We’re only a couple of months into the new year and it is already clear that HR will be a key area of focus for the remainder of 2023. Many of the HR trends and talking points that have emerged over the last couple of years continue to impact recruitment, employee engagement and experience, and, perhaps most importantly, overall business performance.
It’s leading many HR professionals to search for new ways to approach difficult challenges and many teams and organizations are turning to technology for answers. But what are the main HR tech trends for 2023 and how could they help your organization?
Before we take a closer look at the 6 key HR tech trends of the year, let’s explore the overall HR tech landscape.
HR tech on the rise
We know, we know, digitalization has become something of a buzzword over the past decade, but HR has certainly felt its impact on the trend and there’s good reason for it. For far too long, human resource teams relied on old-fashioned approaches to new problems, but the pandemic and the push for remote work accelerated the adoption of technology across the entire sector.
Heading into 2023, 58% of organizations had already adopted HR technology to address some of their biggest challenges and this number is likely to be significantly higher by the end of the year. Research by PwC also shows that 44% of HR departments are already using some cloud-based technology to increase productivity and efficiency and a further 35% use it as a cost-reduction measure. HR tech is expanding to address all of the industry's major challenges and the human resources management market size will hit $22 billion this year and is expected to reach over $56 billion by 2030.
Much of this trend is being driven by ever-increasing employee expectations and the need to deliver the same standard of experience to employees that you would to a valued customer or client. From Employee Experience Platforms to HR Help Desks, HR is finally catching up with the standards that have been set by customer-facing teams.
So, all of that is to say, if you aren’t already digitilizing your approach to HR then you’re falling behind. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the key HR tech trends of 2023.
Cloud Technology in HR
Cloud technology is transforming Human Resources. Many of the technologies that we will mention throughout this article are cloud-based, but the impact of cloud-based technologies is so significant that it warrants its own section.
The PwC 2023 Cloud Business Survey shows that 55% of participants felt that the biggest impact of cloud-based technology would be on their internal processes and ways of working. It also revealed that HR professionals are using cloud-based technology as the primary way of addressing three main areas of concern: developing and retaining talent, managing remote work and hybrid policies, and HR tech ROI.
By shifting to cloud-based technologies, HR departments are able to standardize their approach across regions, implement self-service policies for basic employee human resource tasks, and reduce their overall tech spend.
By switching from legacy systems to cloud-based solutions, HR departments are able to adopt a fully digital approach and increase their access to information and improve their collaboration. Perhaps most importantly, adopting a cloud-based approach enables HR teams to build the type of ideal tech stack that we will describe throughout this article.
By switching to the cloud, HR teams are able to choose the best-in-class or best-in-breed software providers for each of their specific needs, projects, and requirements. This not only significantly improves HR performance, but it has a huge effect on employee engagement and experience, and its impact can be seen right across organizational performance.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in HR Management
You didn’t really think that we could write an article about tech trends in 2023 and not mention AI and machine learning? It is undoubtedly the dominating topic of discussion within technology at the moment and it has major implications for human resource management in 2023.
Artificial intelligence will help HR teams to automate many of their key functions and reduce the time spent on tedious manual input. With the possibility of improving schedule management, payroll processes, and employee tracking, AI will have a major impact on HR technology in 2023.
But whilst the discussion surrounding the applications for artificial intelligence often focus on technology that has yet to be developed, there are a couple of key areas in which AI can already improve HR management.
Chatbots and Virtual Assistants
Most of us don’t really understand how artificial intelligence or natural language processing (NLP) works, but we’re most likely to come into contact with it through chatbots and virtual assistants. For HR teams, these tools can help to automate many of the time-consuming tasks that they currently deal with.
Chatbots and virtual assistants can replace some of the human elements within onboarding processes and employee training — allowing employees to progress through the steps at their own speed and get easy access to key tools and resources.
AI-based candidate screening and recommendations
The first of these areas is in your hiring process. Whilst many industries and organizations are having to go through the painful process of layoffs, that does mean that companies looking to hire will have candidate pools filled with talented and experienced options. One of the biggest challenges facing HR teams during the recruitment process is how to effectively sort through applications to find the most suitable candidates.
You can significantly reduce the efficiency of this process through AI-based recommendations systems. Artificial intelligence can help you to identify candidates with the most suitable skillsets or even alert potential candidates to positions that you are looking to fill.
These same systems can also help existing employees to identify areas where upskilling will have the greatest impact on their career progression and help you to retain and reward your best-performing team members.
Employee Tracking and People Analytics
One of the main ways in which human resources can impact overall organizational performance is by identifying ways to improve through employee tracking and analytics. Historically, this has often been more art than science has depended heavily on potentially unreliable or subjective performance reviews. In fact, research by Deloitte shows that 97% of HR professionals feel that they need more objective analytics as part of their employee tracking processes.
The right people analytics software will help you to remove the guesswork from your hiring processes and your retention programs. It is an area of HR tech that has exploded over the past couple of years, benefitting from being able to deliver clear results and a return on investment.
But, before you dive into implementing one of the many people analytics platforms that are out there, it’s worth first identifying what you hope to get out of it.
Planning and recruitment
People analytics software will help you to identify gaps in your current talent pool and forecast where you need to focus resources as part of future hiring processes.
By being able to improve your assessment processes and identify high performers you will be in a far stronger position when it comes to promoting and retaining key employees. It also will help you to put in place training and upskilling programs that allow employees to improve the skills that they actually need help with.
Many software providers will simplify employee survey and feedback processes, allowing HR teams to have a clearer sense of the overall feelings across their organization and how employees are reacting to new policies and developments. This can be crucial when focusing on how you can improve employee engagement.
These processes can be further supplemented by Talent Intelligence Platforms (like Eightfold, Gloat, or Beamery) that deliver AI-powered data to help with sourcing, job design, and skills analysis. They can help to deliver intelligent career management, provide clear pathways to employees for internal opportunities and development, and even help with mentoring and job matching.
People analytics might not only be the most important piece of software that your HR team could adopt in 2023, it might be the most impactful software when it comes to your entire organizational performance.
Speaking of upskilling and career development, in order to facilitate effective training programs you need the right technology. Artificial Intelligence and People Analytics platforms might help you to identify the areas in which specific employees can improve, but they aren’t going to go that step further and actually deliver the courses and training that they need in order to develop. That’s where you’ll need a capability academy.
Learning and development is certainly not something new, companies have invested in it for decades. But for far too long those programs have gone unchanged and deliver low engagement that makes them ineffective. Capability academies aim to provide the type of experience that employees expect from other learning tools (like YouTube), but provide it in a corporate setting.
More importantly, these academies not only focus on hard skills, but also the soft skills that have become increasingly important in recent times. In fact, research from IBM has shown that soft skills are not only integral to career development, but also the area in which employees feel that they can use the most help.
The right capability academy will allow you to take advantage of learning templates to speed up your program development, but also deliver customized training experiences that are tailored to your organizational needs.
These programs not only help to improve performance by delivering key resources and training, but also employee engagement by building a culture in which you provide your workforce with the possibilities to improve and develop themselves.
Employee Experience Platforms
That brings us neatly on to employee experience, one of the most important areas of focus for HR professionals and organizations in 2023 and beyond. The pandemic and the ensuing Great Resignation have exposed how willing new generations are to switch jobs and how crucial employee experience is to retention and performance.
Many of the tools that we have already touched on play a part in employee experience and building a complete HR tech stack is the first step towards using technology to improve engagement. The right EX platform will deliver many of the features that we have discussed, but also go beyond those elements to address the entire employee experience.
The leading platforms include HulerHub, Kazoo, Latice, Microsoft Viva, and Workvivo. Whilst some of their features and UX might vary, their core goal is to improve the employee experience throughout their entire journey at your organization, from onboarding to exit, and improve employee engagement in the process.
This is achieved through several key areas.
Employee engagement and internal communication are often incorrectly used interchangeably. And although engagement goes far beyond simple lines of dialogue, communication plays a crucial role in the employee experience. Employee experience platforms facilitate better communication by providing features that encourage one-to-one conversation, open group chats, and even multimedia discussions.
These features not only make it easier for your employees to speak with each other and have transparent conversations, but also provide methods of communication that are adaptable to remote work, different time zones, and employee needs.
Who doesn’t like to be recognized for their good work? We’ve all experienced that feeling of doing something good and seeing it go unnoticed. There’s no way to deliver a perfect internal recognition process, but creating clear methods for recognition and rewards significantly increases the likelihood of creating a culture of appreciation.
Many of these platforms gamify this process by allowing employees to award reward points to their colleagues and other unique ways to recognize contributions. Not only does this encourage recognition, but it also makes it easier to recognize team members who might not feel as comfortable with public recognition or participating in meetings.
We’ve already spoken about how important it is that you provide your employees with clear career development opportunities and goal tracking can play an integral part in that. EX platforms provide the ability to set clear individual, team, and company goals and to track them in a clear and public format.
This has a significant impact on employee engagement by delivering transparent and objective performance reviews and assessment and by allowing them to monitor their own progress and see which areas of their job require greater attention.
Gone are the days of the anonymous suggestion box. The shoebox with a hole in it has evolved and employee experience platforms now provide a means for employees to deliver constant feedback and insights.
This can help HR professionals to identify employees who require one-on-one attention, but also aggregate feedback so that they can see organizational trends and get ahead of problems before they become too significant.
Most organizations say that they care about employee wellbeing, but do they actually put policies in place that support it? Many EX platforms have features focused on wellbeing and provide employees with access to tools and resources that can be particularly useful for teams with remote members.
Implement an HR Help Desk
What will undoubtedly have become clear throughout this article is that an advanced HR tech stack will involve multiple components, software, and platforms. This means that if you want to adopt a best-of-breed or best-in-class approach to your HR tech then you’ll be adding the headache of managing projects across multiple pieces of software.
Not only can this overly complicate your approach, but it can also significantly reduce software engagement as employees will often focus on the software that is most accessible rather than constantly switching from one platform to another. Even the best designed processes can fall apart under the strain of too many applications.
This can prove particularly challenging for startups, small and midsize businesses (SMB), and scaleups that are building HR tech stacks that need to scale as they grow and adapt to new processes, geographies, and use cases.
The Help Desk approach has become commonplace in customer support and success, so why are companies failing to implement the same standards for HR and internal processes? Some of the major pain points in the modern HR experience is a lack of visibility from an employee perspective and inefficient processes on the HR side — an HR Help Desk addresses both of these aspects.
Luckily, there’s a solution that allows you to build your ideal HR tech stack and HR Help Desk without having to sacrifice any of the convenience of a best-in-suite approach. That’s where Siit comes in.
With Siit, you build an employee portal that serves as an HR Help Desk or Service Desk. With the ability to integrate with all of your existing - and future - HR tech stack, your employees gain access to a single entry-point for all of their HR needs.
Most HR teams waste a significant amount of time sorting through messages and requests before they can even get to addressing the issues at hand. By automatically routing HR requests to the most relevant team member, Siit also significantly reduces the workload for your HR team members and streamlines processes.
Implementing an HR Help Desk is one of the easiest ways to improve your HR processes and to deliver the same level of employee experience that your clients have come to expect from your customer support.
The best news of all? You can start using Siit for free and see how easy it is to build your ideal HR tech platform and HR Help Desk.