For most of us, business was humming along as usual until early 2020, when it ground to a screeching halt as the COVID-19 virus morphed from a looming threat to a stark reality. After trying to make sense of the new anything-but-normal, industries everywhere had to cobble together new operating procedures or face the imminent demise of their profitability, and even their very existence.
Arguably one of every industry’s hardest-hit departments is human resources (HR). In a profession with everything to do with people, how do you conduct interviews, onboard new hires, and institute a cohesive culture of teamwork when most employees are suddenly working remotely?
The answer is digital transformation.
Press fast-forward on your company’s digital transformation strategy and leverage all available HR technologies to “protect employees, ensure business continuity… build resilience… and foster agility,” according to Chaitanya Peddi, co-founder of Darwinbox Digital Solutions.
And that’s what companies all over the world must continue doing to remain competitive into the future. Make no mistake — remote working, with its incumbent effect on the ever-expanding world of HR technology — is here to stay.
What follows is a discussion of the top HR technology trends and how to harness these new HR technologies during a pandemic.
Digital transformation is replacing manual processes (or even older digital processes) with digital technology to renovate and streamline services.
With the worldwide pandemic still lingering and remote working at an all-time high, digital transformation has become a matter of necessity more than a matter of convenience.
According to a Darwinbox survey, 84 percent of the organizations surveyed “have either adopted at least one HR tech solution during the pandemic or [are] planning to in the next 12 months.”
We will now look at the top HR digital transformation trends to channel in 2021-
- Artificial intelligence can be used for identifying job candidates, screening interviews, and data analytics.
- Cloud-based HCM streamlines information sharing and storage, enabling information access across the board. Cloud-based solutions are especially pertinent during the pandemic when remote working is the norm and employees don’t have access to hard-copy files.
- Virtual reality is a bleeding-edge solution that industry leaders use to provide remote training programs that still offer a fully immersive experience for employees during the onboarding process.
- Chatbots are no longer solely the customer service department’s domain. In a world where employees and new hires have little to no personal access to their HR representatives, chatbots can assume many of the functions hitherto performed in person, such as information submission and collection and the resolution of various simple issues.
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No human resources discussion would be complete without touching on the employee experience. Promoting company culture and employee retention are critical elements of an HR professional’s responsibilities.
Teamwork, collaboration, and socialization have become difficult ideas to embody during these strange times. Remote working is just that – remote. It can be very isolating. It can also keep employees from feeling invested in their company that starts to feel like a concept rather than a cohort.
Once again, HR technology can come to the rescue. Companies must rethink ways of:
- Celebrating accomplishments and milestones
- Conducting orientations
- Promoting team building
With social distancing mandates in place and so many people working from home, the solutions are going to be technological out of pure necessity. The Zoom app, of course, is one terrific option.
Virtual Alternatives for Interviewing, Meeting, etc.:
- Skype – Skype is free, but better suited to small groups and socially-motivated interactions.
- Google Duo – Another free app, Google Duo is also best suited for informal communication and limits the participant number to 12.
- Google Meet (fka Hangouts) – This free tool from Google is one of the most popular alternatives to Zoom.
- MS Teams – MS Teams has a both a free and a paid version. Up to 50 people can participate with this app.
- ClickMeeting – This subscription-based service starts at $25/month and gives users the ability to schedule, share, and record meetings for later distribution.
- Ekiga – This free platform has great video and audio quality, but it’s not currently compatible with Mac systems.
- Adobe Connect – This paid platform is ideal for big businesses, as they can afford its price tag and it allows up to 1,000 participants.
- GoToMeeting – GoToMeeting is a simple platform that ranges from some free services to a somewhat more expensive option with useful features.
- BlueJeans Meetings – BlueJeans Meetings has a free option for up to 50 participants, with an upgrade to a paid enterprise version if you need to support more people.
- Join.me – This platform is best for small companies on a tight budget with few participants.
Preparing Your Team to Transform
Efficiency and improved customer experience are often the main drivers behind digital transformation. There’s ample opportunity to build employee skill sets to make this transformation a reality during a pandemic, including employee training in IT Service and Architecture, AWS Cloud Computing, Digital Marketing, and Digital Selling.
Digital transformation is already happening all around us. If you’re not yet preparing your business for an alteration of the way you operate, it’s time to start.
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