Tech trends in HR in 2021: Technology at workplace

January 4, 2021 5:15 AM

We have realised the value of the work-from-home model

techIndian IT companies work with over three-quarters of the Fortune 500 companies in the US, providing them with vital technology services and helping them innovate, compete, and grow

By Ranjan Kumar

While the pandemic devastated the economy, it also created an opportunity to propel advancements in the HR industry and forced organisations to redesign hiring and human resource management to suit the workplace of the future.

According to a survey by Gartner, 88% of business organisations all over the world mandated or encouraged their employees to work from home, and 97% of organisations immediately cancelled all work-related travel. The remote workplace became a reality almost overnight. This new normal transformed all activities of a typical office to the virtual medium. Beginning from virtual meetings to virtual hiring, everything is being supported by technology, which, in itself, is evolving at a rapid pace. However, virtual hiring comes with its own set of challenges. With no personal interviews, reading body language and facial expressions to assess a candidate becomes difficult even by experts. As applicants don’t always reveal everything in spoken words, these are an effective way of evaluating candidatures. Recruiters are on a lookout for a technology that could help read human emotions and predict behaviour.

Here are some technology trends in the HR industry that we saw in 2020 and will continue to rule in 2021:

Virtual/remote workspace: Companies have had to equip their employees with software, remote working tools and networking tools. While existing tools like Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, Zoom and Skype for Business have worked well, we are going to witness newer innovation that will drive productivity and increase engagement. We will also see the use of Emotion AI in rating productivity of meetings using body language and facial expressions.

Contactless hiring: Recruitment is a crucial part of every business process and the right quality of hires determine the performance of a team. With workplaces transcending to remote settings, hiring is also adopting newer technologies and platforms. While the beginning of the pandemic saw a lot of job losses, with the economy opening up, hiring activities have also ramped up. However, challenges remain in the absence of face-to-face interactions and deciphering behaviour based on a candidate’s expression and body language. While players like LinkedIn Jobs have developed video interviewing software, the emotional quotient or human element is still missing. This is where Emotion AI comes into play—it’s a dynamic tool that makes businesses reconsider their biases, methods and screening processes. Facial recognition, candidate assessments, eye tracking, brainwave mapping, video interviews and emotion tracking will soon find space in everyday recruitment. Remote interviews are here to stay, as these not only save commuting time, but are also significantly less expensive for both recruiters and candidates. Companies can now skip the long-drawn process of traditionally hiring people, conducting personality tests, and going through numerous CVs.

Digital tracking: Employers are eager to track not only employee’s work, but also productivity quotient and how employees react to certain kind of work, announcements, changes, etc. While remote working is here to stay, employees are increasingly feeling lonely and productivity is getting hampered. Tracking software can help in getting work done collaboratively and bring out higher productivity ratio.

Virtual reality: Face-to-face videoconferencing will be replaced by more immersive experiences with technologies like virtual reality and mixed reality. Working from home, assessing eligible candidates, onboarding of employees remotely, keeping employees engaged with company’s culture and removing biases in selection and appraisals will be all made possible using virtual reality.

Although these trends progressed in 2020, they are here to rule the workplace of 2021 and beyond. Adoption of technology will be accelerated as more employers start realising the value of the work-from-home model and creating engaging workplaces for employees.

The author is founder & CEO, Entropik Tech

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