7 HR Technology Trends That Will Change Everything in 2022
A recent study by the software company Sage found that 81% of executives said that HR-related tech played a vital role in their Covid response. Meanwhile, 83% of HR leaders said that technology helped them become more responsive and flexible during a time of changing needs.
HR software is evolving at an enormous pace. The past decade has seen enormous changes in HR systems like:
- Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS)
- Human Capital Management Systems (HCMS)
- Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)
- Benefits Administration (BA)
- Learning Management Systems (LMS)
- Employee Self-Service (ESS)
These are just some of the HR technologies that we take for granted in 2021. Meanwhile, new technology has completely reshaped most companies, forcing HR professionals to always be on the lookout for new ways to support, engage, and recruit staff.
Let’s take a look at some of the tech trends that will shape the way we work in 2022.
7 HRIS trends to watch in the coming year
It’s always hard to predict the future. It’s harder still in a time of such extraordinary disruption, both in technology and in the world in general.
That said, there are certain trends already emerging that will have a huge impact on the way we utilize HR technology.
1. A permanent switch to hybrid and remote teams
Hybrid work schedules seem likely to become the norm. Around 79% of executives saying that they will permanently allow teams to split their time between remote work and the office. For HR teams, this represents an extraordinary shift, as they must now support staff in an entirely new environment. Applications such as ESS portals will be more important than ever. Leaders will need advice on performance management techniques when leading a hybrid team.
Of course, HR professionals will themselves have to adapt to a hybrid schedule. This will mean a greater reliance on cloud-based systems for day-to-day admin work. Remote candidate screening and onboarding will also become a routine part of the job. In-person learning and development may never resume as normal, which means that organizations will depend a lot on their LMS.
2. AI continues to help with recruitment (but beware of bias)
Artificial intelligence is slowly becoming part of everyday life. Around 50% of workers report using some form of AI in their everyday work, with 65% feeling excited by the opportunities of artificial intelligence. For HR professionals, one of the main applications of AI is in candidate screening. ATS platforms already use AI to screen resumes, and automated chatbots can handle routine questions from applicants.
AI functionality will become more sophisticated over the coming year, but HR professionals still need to keep an eye on the recruitment process. Computers are not a cure for systemic discrimination — in fact, artificial intelligence can actually make bias worse. AI-power ATS platforms will still work best when overseen by a human HR expert with experience in talent acquisition.
3. HR to play a vital role in cybersecurity
Remote work unfortunately also means a rise in cybersecurity threats. Around 55% of people working remotely have experienced a cybersecurity issue over the past year, with phishing and malware among the most common threats. HR professionals working remotely are often handling highly confidential employee data, which makes them a juicy target for hackers. All HR teams need to follow strict security protocols when working from home.
HR teams also play a vital role in helping to keep everyone secure when working from home. For example, HR teams work directly with IT and local managers to develop role-based access controls, which ensure that each employee can only access data relevant to their duties. HR also plays a big role in educating everyone on security best practices. Again, the company's LMS will be vital here.
Related reading: 5 Ways to Protect Your Data When Everyone’s Working from Home
4. Increased reliance on automation
How much time do we waste on repetitive tasks that could be automated? According to one study, it’s around five hours per week. That’s five hours that people could use for more stimulating and value-adding work. Within the human resources team, increased automation could free people up to focus on strategic HR functions, such as improving employee engagement.
But automation is not a fix-all. It can present challenges too. Working in a highly automated can lead to a bias against workers with limited technical skills. HR will need to monitor this situation and support people with training and development. Automation can also raise compliance issues, especially when the automated process is handling employee personal data. HR leaders will need to liaise with the IT team to talk about how new systems might impact data privacy and other regulations.
5. C-Suite to ask for more People data
Sage’s study shows that many organizations are not using People data to its full extent. As of 2020:
- 60% of the C-suite don’t use People data to determine financial objectives
- 63% are not looking at people data before making recommendations
- 56% don’t consider People data in relation to cultural issues
As we move towards a more data-driven world, there will be growing pressure on HR leaders to provide strategic data. This will mean that HR teams will need the capacity to perform business intelligence, data analytics, and visualizations, including real-time dashboards. Many HR teams already provide useful, accessible reports to the C-Suite. Those HR leaders find that they’re now playing a crucial role in organizational strategy.
6. Technology makes work more accessible for everyone
Traditional working patterns have always been a challenge for some people. While most employers work to provide accessible offices, there are still barriers for the one-in-four Americans with a disability. Until recently, employers have dragged their feet on the most obvious solution: remote work for those who need it. But now that remote work has become commonplace, the doors are open to everyone.
HR teams will need to think about ways to accommodate people with different needs and abilities so that they can succeed no matter what. It’s also important to rethink candidate screening processes when dealing with applicants who may have had issues with their previous work environment. Remote working also creates opportunities for people who were limited by other issues, such as family commitments. Women—especially women of color—were often forced to leave employment during the pandemic to care for others. As a result, women’s participation in the workforce is at a 30-year low. Helping these people back to work will be an important part of 2022.
7. The human touch: more important than ever
Technology allows us all to work smarter, and HR tech will allow teams to do less with more. But there will never be a substitute for an empathic, knowledgeable HR professional who understands people. Right now, around 36% of employees report a decline in their mental health in the past year. That’s something where HR needs to step in with pulse surveys and Employee Assistance Programs.
HR will also play a vital role in employee engagement and retention. Right now, companies are bracing for The Great Resignation, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics already reporting a record-high quits rate of 4 million employee-initiated separations in April 2021. The biggest challenge for HR professionals will be figuring out how to keep employees happy, healthy, and engaged in a rapidly changing world.