4 Areas that Deserve HR Tech Investment in 2021

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You may be used to thinking of HR Tech as a tool for process automation, and though it can help you scale operations, it’s so much more than that. In fact, every element of the Talent Acquisition process can be aided by tech tools, from D&I to employee experience.

In the last year, the impact of the pandemic, as well as social movements like #BlackLivesMatter, have brought to light holes in HR and Talent Acquisition capabilities. We need ways of hiring and managing our employees that speak to our moment—from inclusivity to agility. 

Recruiting and HR have been quick to respond to the demands of virtual recruiting and remote work. However, now it’s time to take the long view and that means building out your HR Tech stack to meet the demands of 2021 and beyond. With so many technologies out there, you may be at a loss as to where to focus your HR Tech investment according to the latest trends.

4 Areas Where HR Tech Investment Can Make a Positive Difference

1. Remote Work Experience

Remote work is a trend that was accelerated by the pandemic and is likely to continue even after restrictions are lifted. Employees appreciate the freedom of working remotely and companies have larger talent pools, not to mention the budget saved on office space. With all the pluses, we can’t ignore the challenges shouldered by HR and Talent Acquisition hire, onboard, and engage employees with no physical space and interaction to reinforce company culture.

Quick fixes will not be sufficient, leadership and people must work together for a long-term plan which will include investment in the recruiting/HR tech stack to deliver a great at-home experience to employees. Solutions for at-home work experiences are likely to include nudge notifications and prize a consumer-grade experience with a one-stop-shop portal for all your employee needs from an intranet to communication channels.

2. Communication

Building on the remote work experience, communication will be a concern for many workplaces. Information must be transferred in intentional ways to avoid confusion. Previously you could go up the hall and clear up questions with a face to face interaction, but that’s not the case anymore. 

In addition, remote work has enabled global talent pools, so your workforce and teams may not be in similar time zones. Communication may have to be asynchronous, i.e. not in real-time.

Talent Acquisition and HR teams will have to audit the needs of their company and select communication platforms that speak to the unique challenges. If you are currently evaluating vendors and need some guidance check our article ‘How to Get Started with the Latest HR Tech in 2021 in 3 Steps.’

3. Wellness

Living through a pandemic has shown a light on the importance of wellness for employees. Work and living in the same place means we have to be much more intentional to fulfill our physical, mental, and emotional needs. We need movement, sun, connection, and screen breaks to be healthy and do our best work. 

Wellness needs are increasingly entering the realm of talent acquisition and HR as workplaces can no longer offer the traditional perks that are tied with having a physical office space like catered lunch or games in the breakroom. Recruiters can leverage wellness perks to attract top talent, while HR leverages the long-term value of wellness in terms of productivity and employee satisfaction.

Wellness programs can even become part of your tech stack. Some programs offer notifications for screen breaks or stretches or remind managers to check in with their team members to offer support in these uncertain times.

4. Talent Mobility

Talent mobility is finally getting the consideration it deserves as organisations angle for more strategic workforce planning. With the impacts of the pandemic affecting business needs, companies have started redeployment programs to avoid worker layoffs or shortages.

Upskilling workers is not only an attractive perk for recruiting, it makes sense for long-term business goals as new skills are needed every day to keep up with the rate of innovation. Some organisations are investing in internal job portals to make internal opportunities transparent and accessible for employees, while others are providing upskilling budgets or subscriptions.

Bonus: Diversity and Inclusion

In 2021 and beyond, inaction is unacceptable when it comes to making your organisation diverse and inclusive. In order to claim D&I as a value, you must take concrete and measurable action.

In the last few years, there has been a proliferation of HR tech solutions that speak to D&I challenges such as creating diverse candidate pipelines, guarding against unconscious bias, regulating adjudication criteria, watching for harmful language in employee communications, scanning job ads for gendered language, and providing a place for employees to give anonymous feedback, the list goes on!

Closing Thoughts: Your HR Tech Stack Should Reflect Your Company Values

You may think of HR Tech as simply admin automation, but it’s actually much more than that. In 2021,  an HR tech stack is a direct reflection of your team and the company’s processes and values, from how you value your employees to the way you envision your organisation’s future. So it’s important to choose thoughtfully and make sure these vendors will empower your company mission from top to bottom.

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