No matter the company’s size, its day-to-day needs can feel overwhelming for HR leaders, especially when faced with issues like team vacations and evolving role duties—or new responsibilities due to COVID-19. On top of that, many HR departments are small—they may even operate as a department of one—and have been stretched to the brink during the pandemic.
Fortunately, HR technology can help address today’s challenges by easing burdens on HR professionals, enhancing
the overall employee experience, improving workflows and assisting organizations in responding to change. HR technology can seem intimidating at first; however, much of what employers use today is user-friendly. When planning how to create efficiencies in 2022 and beyond, employers can consider how current HR technology trends might create an opportunity for their workplace.
With efficiency, productivity and accuracy as common workplace goals, it’s essential first to recognize daily challenges. In doing so, an organization can understand where improvements can make a significant impact. While every organization faces unique challenges, HR professionals often spend much of their everyday time and energy on the following tasks:
- Managing employee information
- Managing payroll, including time sheets and paid time off (PTO) requests
- Managing employee benefits
- Staying up to date on compliance
According to PwC’s Human Resources Technology Survey, the core issues driving HR technology decisions include:
- Finding, attracting and retaining talent
- Developing people to reach their full potential
- Improving the employee experience
- Creating collaborative work environments
- Planning for the workforce
- Ensuring employee well-being, diversity and inclusivity
- Onboarding and Offboarding
Onboard & Offboarding: For onboarding, some employers are using technology that improves accuracy and speeds up the process of collecting employee information. New hires can complete and sign onboarding paperwork electronically, and then stakeholders can be notified automatically to stay informed.
Likewise, the offboarding process can also be simplified. Technology can ensure records are well kept and accurate
and give HR leaders peace of mind. Technology can provide consistency to both of these critical processes that impact the overall employee experience.
HR departments are tasked with many complex and sensitive administrative tasks—and it’s easy for errors to happen with manual data entry. Conversely, employees may want to own, access and update their information. Employers are using self-service portals that allow employees to perform a range of HR-related tasks without filing paperwork, such as the following:
• Updating personal information
• Confirming employment status or rate of pay
• Tracking and evaluating employee performance
• Accessing online pay stubs
• Viewing and printing federal, state or local tax forms or withholding information (e.g., Form W-2)
Employers and HR professionals can also leverage self service tools to communicate time-sensitive information like
employee benefits changes and company holidays.
Benefits: Variations of virtual open enrollment are among the many ways to make employee benefits adaptable for employees in different work environments. As the future of benefits administration becomes more digital, here are some ways employers are leveraging technology:
- Providing a destination for voluntary benefits—Digital platforms can help employees leverage more of their
voluntary benefits. Online access to voluntary benefits, such as financial wellness coaching, budgeting tools
and mental health support, can help increase employee utilization of benefits that employees have come to depend on more during the pandemic.
- Using robotic process automation (RPA) to streamline processes—Chatbots and other artificial intelligence(AI) elements can remotely guide employees through benefits enrollment, medical plans, retirement savings and financial wellness. RPA technology ranges from easily accessible online tools to custom applications.
- Leveraging data for cost-saving potential—Benefits administrators and employers can use data and analytics to learn more about benefits in their workplace and inform their benefits strategies.
Digital tools and thoughtful user experiences will matter now more than ever. As feasible, employers can seize the opportunity now and design a good benefits technology platform that engages and connects employees to each other and the company.
Cloud Based: Most workplace experts agree that both remote and hybrid work arrangements—where employees work remotely part of the time and in the office the remainder of the time—are here to stay in 2022 and beyond. Regardless of location, technology and project management tools can help improve workplace collaboration, communication and workflow efficiency.
And if employees are working remotely, that likely means HR is too. Cloud-based platforms can integrate several aspects of HR. Regardless if teams are distributed or not, cloudbased HR software is slowly becoming the norm because it’s scalable and feasible to implement.
Recruiting: According to LinkedIn, 81% of talent professionals say virtual recruiting will continue even after the pandemic. Notably, 70% of those respondents say virtual recruiting will become the new standard. Consider the following ways employers are using technology to engage the job market:Using online platforms—such as LinkedIn, Indeed, Handshake and more—can build an employer’s brand and make it easy for applicants to apply for positions directly.
- Being active and present on those accounts by providing insights and thought leadership.
- Aligning an employer brand with recruiting efforts by expanding an online presence.
- Participating in virtual events—such as career fairs—to engage with job seekers and be represented without physically attending events.
Some organizations may experience HR cost savings when they embrace technology for the workplace, along with successful business results. Consider how these trends might motivate your organization and employees to adopt new technology that is intuitive and accessible. Technology doesn’t remove the human aspect from HR, but it can certainly enhance it. When HR departments use technology to create efficiencies, HR professionals can shift their focus from administrative tasks to actual employees.