Three technology trends that are revolutionising HR  

person having fun in the metaverse
By Caroline Gammon | 16th May 2022 | 4 min read

Over the last two years, businesses were forced to rapidly adapt their HR processes purely as a means of survival; however, now that we’ve come out the other side of the pandemic, it’s time to look at how HR can move from adapting to transforming.

On a recent webinar, I had the pleasure of discussing this topic with Tom Haak, Director at HR Trend Institute and our very own Stephanie Kelly, Chief People Officer at IRIS Software Group.

We covered what HR trends businesses can look to implement to transform their processes and how technology can fuel that change, three of which I’ve highlighted here. 

Trend 1: using the metaverse to enhance the employee experience

The ‘metaverse’ is undoubtedly one of the trendiest buzzwords at the moment, and during our webinar, Tom made it very clear that he sees a future for it in HR.

What is the metaverse: the metaverse is essentially a simulated world, consisting of three aspects: virtual reality interface, digital ownership and avatars. As defined by Polygon, the metaverse is a graphically rich virtual space where people can work, play, shop and socialise – in essence, it’s all aspects of real-life and the internet, but in a virtual reality setting.

Tom delved into the metaverse’s potential for HR, stating: “I'm a big believer in the metaverse and how it can help in all respects of HR, from employer branding to inviting applicants.

“With the metaverse, you can give candidates a real insight into how it is to work for you. Then, of course, the metaverse will also tie in with onboarding, training and all other HR processes.”

In essence, the metaverse will provide the opportunity to create a branded virtual world where people can socialise, meet and work, enabling you to revolutionise the employee journey.

While an undoubtedly exciting topic, I must caveat it by stating that it’s very early days.

I’d think of it in a way similar to the internet in the early 2000s – it’s only just starting and still very fresh, arguably too fresh for you to start investing any resources, but do keep an eye on developments as it could well and truly change how we live.

Trend 2: personalise the experience for each employee   

In the past, HR has focused on creating a standardised employee experience that offered each employee the same thing - it’s now time to think differently!

A trend we discussed in detail in our webinar was the importance of personalisation within the workplace. To create a meaningful environment that engages people and helps retain staff, your employees need to feel like you’re actively supporting their goals and preferences, rather than just being another face in the workplace.

Our CPO, Stephanie, gave a perfect example: “We love it when we return to a coffee shop, and they remember our name, better yet, remember our order – we feel really special. I think for us, as HR professionals, we need to try replicate this feeling in the workplace for staff and be more purposeful with the employee journey.”

To achieve a personalised experience for employees, you need to take individual needs, wishes, preferences and capabilities into account.

HR software plays a fundamental role in achieving this truly personalised experience. With software, you can gather information from employees, whether it’s their goals and aspirations or general thoughts on the workplace, using that insight to tailor their journey.

Specifically, tools within software such as the ability to send direct surveys enable you to quickly gather opinions, while the option to update employee records in real-time allows managers to easily note, action and reflect on employee feedback and aspirations.

Trend 3: speed, speed, speed

The last trend I’ll examine is operating at speed, and this is one that will swing the door open for the possibilities in your HR team.

Everything in our lives currently moves and reacts so fast – as a result, we expect these quick and easy processes to be mirrored in our work life.

However, organisations and HR notoriously have a difficult time keeping up with the speed of change.

For example, if you look at the recruitment process within many businesses, extensive time and effort are needed from both candidates and recruitment managers.

From submitting an application to organising interviews and assessments, it all requires an enormous amount of human intervention, slowing the processes down and potentially putting off top talent.

Whereas with HR software, you’re able to drastically streamline the candidate experience while also alleviating the burden on yourself – features such as pre-application questionnaires and workflows give you time back to focus on other critical tasks.

But recruitment isn’t the only HR process that technology speeds up; onboarding, training & development, appraisals, annual leave and record-keeping are all areas that can benefit from software.

Watch the webinar: HR trends and the power of technology

Trends are incredibly useful for finding new ways to improve how you work, but it’s worth noting that not every trend mentioned will be for your business.

First and foremost, you need to examine what urgent issues your organisation is facing and then reflect on the trends as ways to tackle that.

To see all the other HR trends we discussed, including the organisational scope and skill-based roles, watch the full webinar on-demand here.