2021 saw unprecedented shifts in the way businesses and HR teams operate. Last year, Sage reported that 83% of HR leaders said technology helped them become more flexible in the face of Covid restrictions. They also found that 81% of HR executives said HR software played an essential role in their company’s Covid response.

As we move further into 2022, these figures and this pace of change, shows no signs of slowing down. We’re moving towards a more digital way of working and that means we’ll need to adapt to new technologies and processes quickly if we want our HR teams to stay competitive.  

HR software is always evolving to meet these new challenges and if you want your HR team to stay ahead of the latest innovations, the best way to do that is by keeping on top of the newest trends in HR software and technology. 

Whether you’re about to start a HR system selection process, or you’re just looking to stay abreast of innovations in your sector, this article is for you. It details all the ways HR technology is going to change in 2022 and what that means for your HR department.  

Read on to find out how HR software platforms will adapt in 2022 and what technology trends you should be preparing for to have a productive year. 

How will HR technology change in 2022

Covid-19 has brought about massive changes to the way we work along with how HR teams operate. Before 2020, many companies were wary of remote working. But as we moved through 2020 and 2021, businesses became more open to the idea of flexible and remote working. 

The country’s lockdowns were like a UK-wide forced national remote working experiment, which expedited the development of many HR technologies and brought new ones to the fore. This has made it a really exciting time to be an HR professional but also a stressful one. With lots of new technologies and innovations happening all the time, it’s tricky to know what to pay attention to. Below we’ve listed our top four ways we think HR technology will evolve in 2022. 

Pay attention to these trends now and get ahead of your competition in Q1 and beyond.  

The permanent shift to hybrid work will place new importance on employee self service portals 

Arguably the biggest shift businesses have had to contend with over the past two years is the shift to remote and hybrid working. Successive lockdowns have meant that staff have had to work from home for an extended period of time and while this has had many benefits it has also presented a few challenges too. 

The most difficult thing HR teams had to deal with during 2021, was the lack of face-to-face contact they could have with employees. It became increasingly difficult to sort out simple HR issues when you couldn’t just pop over to someone’s desk and have a quick chat with them. 

But technology has been able to remedy this problem with the creation of Employer Self Service (ESS) portals. These are HR software platforms that allow employees greater control and input onto HR platforms that allow them to raise and solve HR issues independently of the HR team. 

Things like requesting holidays and updating personal data can now be done solely by employees. This frees up HR teams to work on other tasks. This doesn’t mean the role of the HR team will disappear however, HR professionals will still need to approve employee holidays and check their data once it’s updated, but ESS portals put the onus and responsibility in the employees hand which most of them prefer.    

The knock-on effect of this technology shift is that HR software is becoming ever more entwined with the cloud and cloud computing. If you’re going through a HR system selection process or you’re just about to start one then make sure you thoroughly review a product’s cloud capabilities as they’ll be what underpins its ability to operate ESS portals.  

AI will takeover more of the candidate screening process

How many times have you heard “the robots are taking over!”. It might sound like something from a Terminator or Matrix film but in reality AI is already helping HR teams and businesses be more productive, save money and provide customers and employees with better experiences every day. 

We’re not in the realm of killer robots just yet but one shift many companies are preparing for is the great resignation. This is the mass movement of staff into new businesses and sectors as the world opens back up once the pandemic disappears into our collective rear view mirrors. 

With so many people searching for new opportunities the jobs market is currently very candidate-driven and that means HR teams are getting inundated with CVs and resumes. There are only so many candidates you can review in one day but, thanks to AI, that number is increasing at an exponential rate. 

More and more applicant tracking systems (ATS) are deploying AI in their platforms to expedite the candidate review process. AI can scan documents for keywords, skills and experiences you deem important to your vacant roles and place those candidates at the top of your CV review list. 

If you’re searching for a new HR software and you’re undergoing a HR system selection process be sure to check what AI functionality it has and whether it has an in-house ATS function. 

The rest of the year will likely see a lot of people move employers and having an AI helper at your side makes screening CVs a breeze. This, in turn, will give you a better chance of securing the best hires for your business.    

HR teams will also need to become cyber security experts 

Whilst a lot of companies and employees enjoy remote working, it does come with risks. With more business being done online and in the cloud the chance for data breaches and cybercrime increase tenfold. 

For many people, working from home in 2020 and 2021 was the first time they really interacted professionally online with colleagues and business leaders. This made phishing and malware attacks more common and around 55% of people working remotely reported some sort of security issue last year.

HR professionals especially had to deal with increased risks of data breaches, as they were managing a lot of employee data. They also needed to up skill staff members on cyber security issues and protocol to make sure they didn’t allow hackers access to company data when working from home. 

HR software adapted to this challenge by developing platforms with increased role-based access and controls. This means that employees can only access information on HR platforms that is directly relevant to them. 

This added level of control means that data breaches can be contained a lot more easily and one compromised machine in your business won’t affect the overall running of your company.    

If you’re in the market for new HR software in 2022 make sure role-based access control is on your list of desired features. It can save your HR team time when training new starters and can significantly limit the damage any successful malware attacks have on your business.  

Real time people data dashboards will become the norm

Our increased reliance on cloud-based technologies and digital working means it’s now easier than ever to gather ‘people data’ about the employees who are working for your business. 

A study by Sage showed that in 2021 many organisations weren’t using people data to its fullest potential. But as we move forward into 2022 that is set to change. The pandemic has shown business leaders that there is a wealth of people data being gathered by the digital tools their company is using. Collating and creating strategies based on this data is now simpler than ever.

In 2022 business leaders are going to want more granular insights into the data they have on their employees along with information on the strategic, productivity initiatives the HR team are heading up based on that data.   

This means that accurate and up-to-the-minute data will be required by HR teams so they can present reports and react to new insights in real time. 

All of this means that HR software platforms are adding more dashboards and visualisation tools to their list of features. These give HR leaders easy ways to report on the progress of their initiatives as well as construct easy to digest narratives from the sheer amount of data they need to deal with. 

Visualisation tools should be a serious consideration for anyone going through a HR system selection process. More and more C-suite leaders are seeing the strategic benefits a productive HR team can have on their business. 

This means that HR leader’s will be required to report on their business goals more frequently in the year to come. Having easy to digest and visually appealing graphs, data and statistics on hand can make this job a lot easier.  

Do you need help making sense of 2022’s HR tech trends?

Are you looking ahead into 2022 and wondering what HR tech trends you should be paying attention to? If you’re struggling to make sense of the noise, Phase 3 can help. We’re a HR technology consultancy firm that helps HR teams find the right software solutions for their business problems. If you’d like to find out how we can help you contact us here.  

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