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The Future of HR – What Lies Ahead?

9 min read

To Survive In This Cut Throat World Of Recruiting The Right Talent, Retaining Them And Making Sure They Are Productive At Every Stage Is Critical.

Almost every company is going through a digital transformation. HR software that enable cloud and mobile computing, people analytics, artificial intelligence and automation of various HR processes have become the objective of most businesses to keep up with their competitors and stay technologically advanced. Along with this, improving employee experience has also become a top HR as well as business priority. This has led to investment in latest digital technologies which enable employers to create a highly engaged workforce.

Digital HR software has revolutionized the world of work. It has transformed media, retail, education and the entire service sector. HR is the latest adopter of digital as it has started impacting new ways of recruitment, work methods, learning and employee engagement. However, this is easier said than done.


“Just putting digital HR technologies in place won’t yield higher returns.”


New digital solutions come with the need for having a new mindset, along with consumer focused and technological skills to create innovative HR solutions that work. Companies are coming with new and unique solutions that can help them get the best at every stage of the employee lifecycle, starting from recruitment to exit interviews. For example, Zulily is an e commerce company that invites candidates applying for a job on its social media team to submit an Instagram post that gives the hiring team a reason why the candidate would be a good fit.

We define employee experience simply as seeing the world through the eyes of our employees, staying connected, and being aware of their major milestones. In the last year we have appointed a Head of Employee Experience and we are developing a strategy to create an employee experience which takes into account the physical environment our employees work in, the tools and technologies that enable their productivity, and learning to achieve their best at work. All of this is part of continuously evolving our HR capabilities.”

–  Susan Peters, Senior VP, HR at GE

HR leaders across the globe are taking initiatives to make the workplace an experience that allows companies to create a vibrant and engaged workplace culture. This is turn can be used to successfully recruit and retain the best of talent, as the war for talent continues to heat up. As per Mercer, 90% of employers anticipate more competition for talent, especially in India, North America and Asia.


Employee experience continues to be a top focus for businesses everywhere making companies invest in offering better training solutions, improving workspaces and giving more rewards to employees.”

Here are a few digital methods that will be applied at the workplace to meet this goal through intelligent HR software

1. Shift Of Focus Towards Core Issues

Till a few years ago, agility was a concept used purely in tech teams to operate with speed and manage unpredictability. This same approach is now being used to hire, develop and retain talent. Automation for a lot of “regular” and mundane processes such a payroll and attendance have also started taking place, with organisations increasingly starting to realise the critical role of HR in ensuring higher productivity and an engaged workforce.

As the crunch for talent increases, it has become more evident that one sure shot way of keeping top talent engaged and motivated is by investing in their growth and making their lives easier. HR is shifting from being a department that handles manual tasks involving a lot of documentation and calculation operating in silos, to a department, the functioning of which impacts critical decision making at the organizational level.

2. Consumerization

We live in a world of reviews, and this is not just limited to the service sector anymore. Just like one can check reviews before making a decision to where to go for dinner, one can also do the same for companies and their experiences. The world is getting increasingly transparent and employees can rate their culture, experience, managers and overall company management on public forums. This is why the focus is shifting to creating enriching consumer like experiences and strategies for the employees now, at every stage of their association with companies.

For example, the above image shows how employees can now have their own profiles within the organisation where they can access information related to policies, attendance and payroll, and also interact with their peers through engaging tools like Q&A, discussion forums and chat.

3. The Rise Of AI

The market for Artificial Intelligence (AI) is rapidly seeing an increase in the market and is predicted to surge from $8 billion this year to $47 billion by 2020. Marketers have already started using bots in their strategies and very soon it will be difficult to spot out the difference between a human and a machine.

Using chatbots to create conversational experiences is the latest trend that we see all around us. As the head of data science at Boomberg LP, Gideon Mann rightly suggests, “Over the next five years, automation will seep into more and more aspects of our work and personal lives.” If this is to be true, the fundamental nature of how human work will also be transformed. The journey would be interesting to observe.

4. The Gig Economy

The Freelancer’s union predicts that atleast 40% of the workforce will be freelancers in the next few years. Hence, HR software needs to come up that can accommodate the smooth functioning of this booming gig economy.

Employees of the future are not going to be all full time. The gig economy has seen a massive rise which has given rise to a blended workforce in organizations –  a unique combination of full time, freelancers and consultants spread across geographies, who work together to make things happen. This is the new reality because of which 93% of companies already identify the blended workforce as they are seeing freelance workers team up with employees to work on projects together.

5. Focus On Teams Over Individuals

The traditional focus of HR departments have been on individual employees. Such exclusive focus makes HR teams miss out on the power that a team can deliver. In recent times, there have been various studies and experiments that have made organizations realize that team efforts yield way higher results than individual performances. Cisco is one such company which noted that great accomplishments are delivered through teams and not just through individuals working alone.

Hence, the goal is to look at HR processes with the lens of team dynamics. Keka’s HR software fosters team work through their attendance management system which shows an employee who all are on leave for the month, so that they know how to plan their own responsibly.

Like it or not, these changes are bound to happen. It will be interesting to note the way organizations react to such realities, and how it further shapes the world of work.

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    Meet the author

    Keka Editorial Team

    A bunch of inspired, creative and ambitious youngsters- that’s Keka’s editorial team for you. We have a thirst to learn new subjects and curate diverse pieces for our readers. Our deep understanding and knowledge of Human Resources has enabled us to answer almost every question pertaining to this department. If not seen finding ways to simplify the HR world, they can be found striking conversations with anyone and everyone , petting dogs, obsessing over gadgets, or baking cakes.


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