The growing influence of Technology in HR

The current changes in technology are affecting businesses in more ways than we can count, from globalisation and organisational adjustments to having a workforce that near demand for remote and mobile job opportunities. If HR wants to be able to keep up and continue to help businesses anticipate and manage organisational change, they must have technology at its base. 

The Human Resources department is known for being a frenzy of activity, but with technology, the department now has tools that help reduce administrative tasks so that they can focus on issues that require more hands-on attention. 

The evolution of recruitment 

In the past, the recruitment process involved calling, meeting in person or a letter. However, in the 21st Century, companies post job openings online and this requires people to apply through an online tracking system. This saves HR from having to deal with paper CVs or personal calls. 

Online forms sometimes have the capability to generalise CVs, so companies may not be able to tell the difference between a fully qualified person and a recent graduate but using a system like the HCM software (Human Capital Management) can improve this process greatly. 

Ease of Communication 

It is now easier than ever for HR staff members to stay in touch with the rest of the company. New schedules, emails and even conversations can be shared with multiple people at once. It is a huge time-saver and means that staff can work on multiple things at once. 

Data Analysis 

Analysing employee performance used to depend on personal assessments, but technology has made this a lot easier now. 

By using a system like HCM, companies can now manage people, policies and procedures. HCM includes every element of HRIS (Human Resource Information System) but also offers talent management and global capabilities such as multi-lingual, multi-currency, country specific formatting and possibly localisation.  

Performance Management is More Accurate 

Performance management is a huge function of HR because it monitors performance, collects supervisory feedback and manages the process of regular employee reviews. This used to be a time-consuming process involving a lot of paper, but technology has streamlined the process and eliminated a lot of unnecessary steps while opening up a feedback loop. 

As spoken about above, there are a lot of software programs designed to evaluate performance using key performance indicators i.e. HCM, HRIS or HRMS. 

HCM is a program that is utilised to help HR professionals maximise their efforts when it comes to pinpointing particular areas where an employee needs improvement, and it puts the right systems in place to offer additional training as needed. With the integration of technology and learning, improvement is an ongoing process. This makes it more expeditious for the HR professionals managing the performance management process. 

Cost Effective 

A lot of businesses assume that having a software like HCM will be extremely expensive however that is not true at all. A lot of the software’s have financing programs and monthly memberships that can work with even small start-up businesses. The use of these software’s saves companies man hours and a lot of manual mistakes. 

Better use of time 

Everybody knows that HR staff members need more time than they can get and using a system like HCM can help with this problem. It helps to maximise time and saves the department from having to constantly input data by hand, make phone calls and manually vet candidates. 

By using a software like HCM, the HR department will now have more time to do important things like handle legal issues and enforce company policies. 

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The Emerging Technologies to Sell in 2019

There’s really no denying that technology has progressed a fair bit in recent years. In only the past half a decade we’ve gone from welcoming the first smart watch to having AI so seamlessly integrated across domestic homes that the kettle is popped on before we even know we need a brew.

 

Looking forward into the new year, 2019 only promises to bring with it a host of new additions to our digital world, additions that not only require a new user understanding, but are also encouraging us to reinvent the way we live, think and importantly, work. In fact, whatever industry it is we’re a part of, technology, in all its forms, is having a real input. What’s more, the technology available will also create new commerce opportunities, ultimately expanding market capabilities and consumer interest. It’s therefore vital to get to know these new technologies to put the future of our industries into context.

 

Internet of Things

 

First up on the list is Internet of Things. While this sounds like the most vague technological term ever used, it’s actually one of the biggest tech trends currently emerging. Put simply, IOT is the idea that technological devices can be connected to the internet and to each other, bridging the gap between digital and physical worlds. An example of this could be using Amazon’s Echo to pop that aforementioned kettle on, bringing digital use to the physical experience of a cuppa. And as the success of the Amazon’s Echo Dot last winter showed (their bestselling product over last year’s winter season), there is simply no denying that the modern consumer is welcoming domestic IOT with open arms.

 

What’s more, the great thing about IOT is that it is not only changing the limitations of domestic products, but so too is it changing the way we do business altogether. According to Deloitte, flexible consumption models (or, pay-per-use models) are becoming ever more popular across industries as customer data access changes. In short, IOT is here and bringing with it a host of new commerce and development opportunities.

 

Machine Learning

 

Beyond IOT, another technology integrating itself slowly into the fabric of our lives is machine learning. Machine learning is a computer’s ability to learn on its own through the analysis of data and patterns. And as social media platforms like Facebook utilise data carefully, tracking our likes, shares and comments to integrate content prioritisation, the presence of machine learning is already hard to miss.

 

Beyond shaping our day-to-day lives, machine learning is also changing the way companies are able to do business with customers, such as Google’s learning on mobile devices. Machine learning is therefore reshaping the way businesses interact with their customers by helping them to anticipate and meet customer needs more easily. 2019 is truly ready to be the year that we know the customer better than ourselves.

 

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality needs no introduction, an age old-concept that’s been exciting kids, grown-ups and just about every sci-fi writer going for literally decades. And whilst VR now feels like it fits more in 1980s predictions of the future than it does it 2019, the best really is yet to come. Despite it existing since the 50s, only now is VR able to deliver the fully-immersive digital experience we’ve been dreaming of and the effects of this are about to be felt across industry, from retail to health and education.

 

Beyond video games, VR is expected to offer businesses new and innovative ways to engage with their customers, optimising sales and marketing methods. Beyond that, the capabilities of VR in education could be particularly prominent, changing the way we test and develop new skills.

 

Touch commerce

 

Another emerging technology that is seemingly hard to escape is touch commerce. Seen in technologies such as Apple Pay, the concept merges the capabilities of touchscreen technology with one-click shopping to create a simple, ‘clickable’ and insanely speedy shopping experience.

 

The use of this technology is already thriving, implementing its way into just about every smart phone. But the success doesn’t stop there, with purchases of this type expected to increase by 150% this year alone, according to Deloitte. With almost every industry ready to see a dramatic increase in Touch Commerce-related sales over the next year, this is undoubtedly a technology ready to shape the modern world.

 

Cognitive Technology

 

Finally, cognitive technology is similar to machine learning and virtual reality except that it’s a broader idea, covering concepts like natural language processing (NLP) and speech recognition under one umbrella term. These technologies together are able to automate and optimise tasks so that we don’t have to. Sound’s great, right? And in terms of industry, this kind of tech is already working to improve fields such as accounting, analytics and more. Moreover, Deloitte predicts the software sector will be most affected, with 95% of enterprise software companies projected to adopt these techs by 2020, making 2019 a pretty influential year.

 

All in all, new and up-coming tech is ready to make its mark across professional industries, from banking and healthcare to eCommerce and education. Through properly understanding the tech scene, we are able to effectively and competitively utilise advancements to better our business.

 

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Why will AI be so influential in 2019?

As we move out of the 2010s, technology is advancing at an ever increasing rate. These developments are prompting us to not only re-adjust our own, internal working environments, but also signal the need for industries as a whole to develop, requiring new and advanced roles and companies to monitor and support modern advancements. One of the most prominent and arguably important of these developments is Artificial Intelligence. 

What is AI?

AI covers a range of advanced technologies, including Amazon’s voice recognition remote, Alexa, autonomous weapons and Google’s search algorithms. The current in-use level of AI is known as narrow AI or weak AI due to its intended role in performing a ‘narrow’ or specific task, such as answering a series of recognisable questions, facial recognition or driving a car. However, looking to the future, developers are working to expand the function and capabilities of this technology to create general AI, AGI or strong AI. This development would aim to overcome the confines of a single function and while narrow AI can outperform human on its intended function, AGI would surpass human ability at nearly every cognitive task.

What does this mean for the near future in our industries? 

Over the next few years, the intention to keep the effects of AI beneficial for society as a whole motivates a new and progressive form of research in many areas, from economics, law, IT and technical topics such as verification, validity, security and control. The importance of these newly necessary industrial roles should not be undermined as we hand over significant responsibility through allowing these technologies to control inherently risky apparatus such as cars, airplanes, peacemakers and power grids. 

Additionally, the challenge to prevent a disastrous arms race in lethal autonomous weapons not only increases the importance of ethical, legal and governmental understanding of AI but also creates roles requiring cross-industry understanding and utilisation. Moreover, while AI technology may go on to be the greatest technological advancement of all time and aid crises such as war, disease and poverty, the negative concerns surrounding AI cannot be overlooked. These long-existing but imminently relevant questions signal a heightened importance for ethical and democratic thinking across a considerable number of different industries.  

 

What else is driving the relevance of AI in 2019? 

Beyond the potential for AI to expand the capabilities of companies and individuals, the heightened relevance of AI also sits in the circulating of information across consumers from well known scientists and public figures such as Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk. The increased relevance of scientific technology in pop-culture creates an obligation for industrial understanding of current issues and on the other hand, an opportunity to engage with the consumer.

What technological developments are confirmed for 2019? 

In understanding the timeline for AGI, there remains finite certainty in knowing how long it will take until machines are able to comfortably and consistently surpass general human intelligence, or whether it will at all. However, due to recent breakthroughs, AI milestones that were predicted just five years ago to be decades away have now been achieved. Many experts have therefore changed their predictions about the forthcoming arrival of more complex forms of AI. In fact, at the 2015 Puerto Rico Conference, researchers guessed that it would likely happen before 2060. It is therefore feasible that 2019 will provide a host of crucial and compelling developments. 

In terms of narrow AI, new technology is arriving all the time. According to Forbes in summer 2018, the U.S. is currently using a machine learning to predict when its vehicles will need repair, Google is developing AI to predict patients’ death and a research group is now aiming to use AI to predict stock performance. In short, new technologies mean that change, in many forms, is imminent. A vast advancement in consumer-ready AI in 2019 is therefore expected; an advancement that we must prepare for across industries. 

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