Top 8 HR Tech Trends for 2021

HR tech trends for 2021

Even in the midst of an ongoing pandemic, HR technology continues to act as a crucial asset for HR professionals. The attempt to disseminate information to remote employees is greatly aided when proper digital communication platforms are in existence. 

Irrespective of the size of the companies, businesses think that it is now time to focus on trends in HR technology and update the programs that help them stay compliant, monitor time efficiently, manage payrolls, and secure employee records. 

For bigger organizational structures, enhancements in human resource technologies are allowing HR leaders to become even more responsive to the overall core challenges of their organization. According to a survey, 85% of HR professionals have admitted that technology has strengthened their contribution to corporate success.  

8 HR Tech trends to look out for in 2021   

A variety of HR innovations are helping HR practitioners manage their toughest challenges today, and more technologies are emerging fast on the horizon. Here’s a quick peek at what’s going on in the world of HR technology: 

HR tech trends

Emphasis on Employee Wellness  

Programs focusing on employee wellness and work/life balance are common, with new momentum building to fulfil the physical and emotional needs of increasing numbers of remote employees. The strain of changing behaviors at work and at home can also contribute to the need for increased mental health services. Businesses nowadays are opting to offer benefits by allocating funds to the employee assistance program (EAP).

Once implemented, managers across the organization can direct employees to make the most of this crucial benefit. Video applications such as Skype, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams are proving to be highly successful resources for promoting wellness-focused webinars and stay fit presentations to off-site personnel.

 This will enable employees to be updated via social media feeds in new in-house healthcare programs and associated efforts. It is a useful way to empower and motivate the employees to take part in team challenges, leaderboards and other virtual interactions.  

HR on the Hot Seat  

While there has, of course, been a tremendous shift in the way companies operate in 2020, there have still been considerable personal challenges for employees around the world. Employees are concerned about their health as well as that of their loved ones, anxious about the security of their jobs, finding ways to spend time with children and family at home while trying to get their work done, and about trying to cope up with a whole host of other stressors involved in living through a pandemic.  

And, of course, leadership also is concerned. Uncertainty over what should be discussed and how it should be accomplished distorts the already daunting job of overseeing teams and defining business values. In the middle of all this turmoil, businesses inevitably turn to HR for answers. 

As such, HR departments in many companies have been on the forefront, facilitating employees, addressing organizational requirements, resolving the issues and grievances of their employees, assisting them and concentrating on people’s mental and emotional well-being.  

Being at the forefront of the crisis is an immense and heavy obligation on the part of every HR department. To succeed in the driver’s seat and retain its new place by 2021, that means leading – and accelerating – the renowned digital transformation that has become the HR trend for years to come.  

Perennials: Emergence of a New Generation  

For the last decade, we’ve been reflecting a lot on what differentiates generations. Millennials and generations such as baby boomers, X, and Z have all been extensively researched, interpreted, nudged, and hypothesized, even on HR trends lists – but the scientific evidence of intergenerational discrepancies remains thin. 

In fact, research is progressively revealing that generational disparities in people’s opinions on work and life are not as broad as we initially assumed. What people expect from their working lives—purpose, successful leaders, and career growth—doesn’t vary that much from generation to generation.  

Instead, we expect to see a rise in the number of Perennials, first described by Gina Pell. Perennials are “a group of people of all ages, stripes, and types who go beyond stereotyping and make connections with each other and the world around them.”

In order to consider our workforce and improve our workforce management strategies, we need to look past group discrepancies to gather insights into the desires, beliefs and inclinations of individual employees. It also helps us to personalize how we manage people as HR practitioners. This is something that we’re going to get back to in a later trend. 

Gig Economy  

The days of conventional employment techniques have long gone as the gig economy continues to expand. Employees love this work system because of its high degree of autonomy and independence, which contributes to a stronger work-life balance.  

In order to deal with this transition from a conventional environment, in conjunction with the long-term jobs, HR practitioners and senior management need to search at new strategies to keep their employees productive and efficient. Technology and software developed to on-boarding and off-boarding, employee time and performance management, etc. is now the new way that is replacing the traditional human resource management approach. Moreover, freelance platforms will eventually become the mainstay of the company’s arsenal of recruitment tools. 

The Job Crafting Buzz  

The transition we’ve seen this year in the way that all of us work, eventually drives employees to create their own ideal work environment. They organize their work space at home as they choose fit, they can work beyond the standard working hours if it suits them best, and though some people may feel the need to check in with their coworkers for a Zoom coffee every day, others may choose to do so once a week. 

When it comes to the regular tasks of employees, it seems normal that they want to make any (small) changes there, too. This is where the idea of job crafting comes in. Job crafting is focused at optimizing people’s work for the betterment of both the employees and the organization.

It is a method that enables employees to develop their jobs in five separate ways; in terms of assignments, expertise, intent, connections and well-being. We think that giving employees space to take ownership on their role would be key to workplace satisfaction and productivity in 2021 and beyond, improving both the performance of employees and the success of their company.  

A Data-driven HR  

HR departments deal extensively with data, and it’s high time to make effective use of all that meaningful insights by HR analytics. With HR analytics, experts will obtain a clear insight into the data they gather so that they can make better decisions and projections about the workforce. This data-driven insights can also prove to be beneficial for business leaders.  

With HR analytics technology, HR experts will not only be capable of providing figures with these metrics, but will also be able to determine the triggers behind these numbers. Advanced predictive analytics will also allow HR practitioners to make predictions about these metrics that will enable them to come up with actionable solutions. For example, HR practitioners may use HR analytics to identify connections with metrics such as voluntary turnover rates, salary hikes, and promotion wait times. This could offer information on the causes for employee resignation and help HR teams build employee retention strategies that are more likely to work.  

Next-gen Performance Management  

In the past five years, companies have fundamentally transformed the way they assess, analyze and evaluate employee performance. Today, with several preliminary tests, continuous performance monitoring practices are being implemented on a larger scale. The modern methods are already simpler and more structured.  

Agile goal setting, check-in and ongoing reviews are now more prevalent, and new forms of assessment and incentives are being implemented. The benefit of continuous, real-time performance management system is that it looks ahead rather than backward. 

The technique is centered on what you’re doing now, what areas of growth will make you better tomorrow based on what you’re seeking to accomplish. The simple interface solution with 360 degree evaluations would greatly increase the adoption of a culture of real-time feedback in the coming years.  

New Learning and Development Space  

Continuing our HR trends with one in the field of learning and development. While there was already a consistent need to upskill a substantial part of the global workforce before COVID-19, this need has only become more evident in the months since then. Unfortunately, there are slim picks in the market for HR experts with future-oriented expertise. Instead of constantly looking for new talent, the most effective approach is to upsurge the HR team to ensure that they have the expertise to spur growth in an evolving digital world.  

We’ve identified three major capabilities: 

  • Business vision: HR needs to understand the business, its strategies, clients and its scope. Only if they have deep knowledge and understanding of the business, they will be capable of contributing to business acceleration. 
  • Data-drivenIn order to be a successful business partner, HR practitioners need the ability to make data-driven and evidence-based decisions.  
  • Digital HR: Digital HR creates an opportunity to drive HR effectiveness, deliver HR solutions and drive economic impact through technology.  

Upskilling in these fields will continue to make the HR department fit for the future. As such, we agree that this is one of the important trends in HR for 2021 and beyond.  

Bottom Line

Here you have it: our top ten HR trends for 2021 and beyond. While transition continues to influence companies, HR practitioners need to discover and incorporate strategies that will help overcome challenges that impact both the workforce and the organization as a whole. 

Contributing 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.