Photo credit: pch.vector – www.freepik.com
Five ways technology will change human resources in South Africa in 2022
The role of HR services in South Africa has always been complex. However, the last three years have seen demand sky-rocket, mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but also because of the natural trajectory of the role itself. When demand increases, we naturally look to technology for help.
In this blog, we highlight five vital technology trends the human resources professional must pay attention to if he or she wants to remain at the cutting edge of HR services, keep people happy in their jobs, and attract the best talent available.
- Importance of data in human resources
Spreadsheets are a thing of the past. The amount of data every employee generates, from the minute they interview for a position to their exit interview, is vast. How an organisation processes, stores and analyses information from data is vitally important. Whether the information is sourced from the easy stuff like payslips and leave, to the more complex such as workflow management and employee training, it must be efficient and easy to use. Information generated must also be satisfactory for the user and the answers exemplary to the employee.
- The role of artificial intelligence and human resources
The invisible march of artificial intelligence (AI) is all around us. AI is becoming a daily part of our lives and the processing capability of computing power increases daily. This has huge implications for human resource departments across South Africa and the world, and the early AI adopters will be ahead of the game in transforming their companies and influencing their people to become important players contributing to strategic goals.
It’s time that low-value tasks are automated. Administrative burdens should be reduced and eliminated. Metrics must be available at any time and accessible to people who are empowered to act for change – change is positive for both human resources, the employee, leadership, and the organisation.
Therefore, when human resource departments search for HR services – specialised software must be what they look for. AI is one of the most advanced and growing technologies and must be part of the solution.
Make no mistake, AI has the potential to revolutionise employee experiences in innumerable ways, from recruiting to talent management, by processing massive amounts of data quickly and accurately.
- Human resources automation
The number one reason to accept and inculcate automation is that it has the potential to unite people and processes. People’s habits are different. Employees want information at different times. Human resource departments simply cannot be caught napping. As a human resources professional, if you can guarantee 24/7 HR services then employee satisfaction increases. Once you get there, unfortunately that’s the minimum you can do. This is when automation combined with AI really comes into its own. Once you automate, you lay the foundation for AI.
Human resource departments will be interested in two types of automation: business process automation (BPA) and intelligent process automation (IPA). Once the decision is made to go ahead, the relevant human resources professional will speak to developers and software engineers that will either build or leverage a system which will combine BPA and IPA.
In 2022 and beyond, it’s no longer the case that the individual follows the technology. Rather, technology will increasingly and quickly follow the individual. This means infinitely more data to process – and more information to interpret.
Data, AI, and automation represent one of the most important triumvirates for the modern human resources manager and leaders.
- Endless complexity
The scope of human resources scope is wide and covers safety, compliance, BBB-EE, remote working, health, talent acquisition, retention, skills development, discipline, and the enforcement of policies, among others. Imagine the monthly reporting process and effort required to cover all these aspects. How do you collect and correlate data? How do you track trends over time? How do you resolve issues and ensure clarity of information?
These are the challenges inherent in the modern-day human resources division.
No professional can do it alone. And throwing additional people power at the problem is not the solution. Everyone needs help – and the use of technology is the solution. The key is ‘help’. As the human resources professional, you can get in front of your people – because you will have time to do it.
- Employee experience and change management
According to Deloitte, South Africans rate working for an organisation of the future as their number one priority. Second is employee. Both these top-rated issues are reputational in nature and if technological solutions aren’t in place, HR services in the organisation will invariably suffer. Employees can tell immediately if an organisation is an ‘organisation of the future’. Furthermore, when human resources needs to respond to an issue immediately or in a crisis and they haven’t adapted, trouble lies ahead.
According to blog mystery minds, employees want agile adaption and smooth changes in the organisation they work for. Bringing people along or changing attitudes will not happen if human resource leaders stay in their offices because they don’t have the relevant information and solutions at their fingertips. They will be constantly thinking about compliance and reporting – things that should be automated. Technology works in the background to enhance processes to give the leadership confidence to implement core activities such as engaging with people to bring them along on the journey of change.
Looking after a company and also its people is a challenge. It’s the classic chicken and egg scenario. What comes first? What is the balance? Like most things in life – it’s both. People and companies like stability. However, stability rarely exists for too long. Change is the constant in life as in business. We only have to look back over the last two years to know that this is true.
By all accounts human nature hasn’t changed much over time. Generally, people are erratic and emotional. Employees want what they want, and they want it now. Therefore, excellent HR services to people has become vitally important, and slipping up almost becomes an existential threat to the organisation’s reputation. So, as a human resources leader, don’t accept these changes both philosophically and operationally – the company and your department lose ground – not incrementally, but exponentially.
The first three trends underpin the implementation of trends four and five. Without the help of Data, AI and automation, the human resources role will simply become unwieldy and non-strategic.
Give CRS a call to discuss how we can help your human resources department.