It’s been over a year since the COVID-19 pandemic fundamentally changed the way we live and work. And as we continue to be impacted by the pandemic, it’s beneficial to highlight how human resource technology is helping companies navigate the challenges COVID-19 has brought to the workplace and what trends in HR technology we are likely to see going forward.
Top HR Tech Trends During COVID-19 & What’s Next
- Increased Use of Employee Self-Service Tools
- Adoption of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Tools, Primarily Chatbots
- Increased Need for Cybersecurity in HR
Increased Use of Employee Self-Service Tools
As many employees have been required to work from home during the pandemic, Employee Self-Service (ESS) tools are helping employers maintain current and accurate employee personal information in lieu of the traditional hands-on process involving someone in HR.
These tools also played a key role in helping remote employees easily access resources and information from the company and provide them with the ability to:
- Adjust benefits
- View and request time off
- Review pay stubs
- Adjust federal and state tax withholdings
- Enter time and attendance information
- And more
With many companies adopting a blended work environment as we emerge from the pandemic, the use of ESS tools should further increase as traditional paper forms will become inefficient and obsolete. Having an ESS tool in place will be crucial to help reduce HR-related administrative costs while keeping employee information as up to date and as accurate as possible.
Adoption of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Tools, Primarily Chatbots
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) tools, primarily chatbots, have become prevalent since early 2020 with usage increasing during the pandemic. Faced with an overwhelming amount of questions from employees about COVID-19 and company policies, many organizations adopted chatbots as a way to support the workforce and provide up-to-date information.
HR departments can free up time for more complex situations, effortlessly answer employees’ simpler questions and perform more common tasks by setting up chatbots with responses based on a combination of predefined scripts and machine learning applications.
In the foreseeable future, we will most likely see an increase in chatbots utilized in conjunction with virtual job fairs to the benefit of both candidates and employers. With the ability for candidates to submit resumes, ask questions about the job, go through preliminary questions, interviews and more, chatbots are helping candidates before and after they apply to a job. Companies also reap benefits with a more streamlined process that includes reducing the large amount of time recruiters spend sifting through candidates, including many who don’t even meet initial employment requirements.
Increased Need for Cybersecurity in HR
Cybersecurity is one of the critical technologies that HR teams needed to integrate into their operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) contain highly sensitive data, including employees’ social security numbers, payroll information and sometimes even medical information. A growing remote workforce leads to an increase in less secure networks being utilized which exposes higher volumes of employee data to hackers.
Companies need to react quickly to devise ways to protect themselves from cyber threats, and human resource departments play a crucial role as the connection between IT security departments and current and prospective employees to set cybersecurity expectations.
Going forward, we should see an increased attention on cybersecurity from day one for candidates and throughout the year for current employees. Things like more frequent password resets, best practices for creating secure passwords as well as other security measures will be more prevalent post-pandemic.
As you can see, HR technology played an important role in helping companies and employees navigate the pandemic and will continue to play a crucial role going forward. To learn in-depth about the latest HR technology trends and see all the latest technology in action, join us for the next HR Technology Conference and Exposition®.