Best Articles and Resources on HRTech: November 2020

Best Articles and Resources on HRTech-November

Best Articles and Resources on HRTech: November 2020

by Swechha Mohapatra, Senior Consultant-Digital HR, hrtech

I. RESEARCH: Three cornerstones of HR success


The recent ‘Future of HR 2020’ study by KPMG sheds light on how HR departments around the world are shaping organizations ready to take on the future. KPMG study of over 1,300 HR executives discovered that a small percentage of HR departments exhibit four defining characteristics of shaping workforce, culture, experience, and strategy termed as “Pathfinding HR”.

KPMG advises firms to have a balance of these Four Pathfinding HR qualities while they have observed that it is a common tendency for companies to focus on just one or two elements while neglecting the others, which could lead to wasted resources and frustrating outcomes.

For pathfinding HR teams to drive value to the organization and enable organisation transformations KPMG lists three vital cornerstones HR teams need to get right for a successful business; exploiting the full potential of cloud technology to revamp the target operating model to support informed data-driven decisions. Next, putting data in a wider context by connecting various sources of data by breaking down the silos to increase workforce performance and productivity. And lastly, have a deep understanding of the workforce and the skills they possess.

Read more in the study here.

II. RESEARCH: 3 Trends in the Gartner Hype Cycle for Human Capital Management, 2020


By 2025, Gartner forecasts that 60% of global midmarket and large enterprises will have invested in cloud-deployed human capital management (HCM) suite for administrative HR and talent management. According to Helen Poitevin, VP Analyst at Gartner “The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to HCM projects and challenges that were unanticipated and accelerated the transformational impact of new technologies. The Gartner Hype Cycle for Human Capital Management, 2020 can be used to gauge the maturity and capabilities of these technologies.

As HR leaders focus on managing their pandemic response and uncertain economic conditions while negotiating the future of work, three Hype Cycle trends are especially relevant:

  1. Increased use of technology to track employees like next-gen workforce management solutions and services to manage the operational deployment of workforce and employee productivity monitoring technology to improve workforce productivity.
  2. Increased use of technology to connect with employees and support their development and well-being through tools such as voice of the employee (VoE) and learning experience platforms (LEPs) facilitate continuous education and help foster employee feedback and transparency.
  3. Increased use of technology to conduct workforce planning and to redeploy employees especially gig workers and internal talent to drive innovation and growth by deploying tools to plan, monitor, and align – talent supply & demand in various business scenarios.

Read more about the Gartner Hype Cycle for HCM Technology 2020 and the 3 trends here.

III. CASE STUDY/ BLOG: Elevating Employee Care with AI Based Virtual Agents


At the beginning of the pandemic, many organisations were forced to move to remote working overnight. During this time, HR Service Centers faced an unprecedented situation as call volumes soared, types of queries varied, agents faced hardware and infrastructure issues to adapt to remote working and experience a shortfall in manpower due to budget cuts or illness. This created a capacity shortfall for HR leaders which required them to react quickly to ensure employees could get the information they needed.

Many organisations found their solution by adding a chatbot that could be set up to specifically answer questions about Covid-19, offsetting the increased workload in the service center and giving employees a single 247 point of contact for information about the virus. It also enabled HR teams to easily update information as the situation changed.

In this blog Eric Bokelberg (HR Innovation Leader, IBM Talent and Transformation Services ) shares conversational AI solutions IBM has implemented and the stages in which it can be used.

He explains how most organisations start with a single topic chatbot (like the Covid crisis assistant for sharing Q&A information with common answers). This enables the HR team to establish processes for managing content, capturing feedback, and learning how to support conversational experiences. Next, they expand the chatbot into a virtual agent, adding additional topics and connecting it to the HRIS so that responses can be tailored based on employee information like location and worker type. The final stage is creating a true digital assistant, establishing additional system integrations to support common transactional requests, like updating personal data or requesting time off.

Read the full blog on the principles of success in implementing a conversational AI chatbot and its role in the future of personalized HR services.

IV. BLOG:Employee Engagement Programs in The Unprecedented Times


2020 has proved to be a year of changes and opportunities. With businesses having to transition to remote working overnight, organisations and HR teams have had to ramp up their efforts to engage with employees, customers, and partners remotely. The shift has required HR practitioners to be agile and innovative to create new methods and practices to deal with this change while addressing the top organisation concerns of employee health & wellness, business continuity, and productivity.

 In this interview article in HR in Asia, Sudhanshu Tewari, Co-founder, and CEO of Rewardz (a leading employee engagement, benefits, rewards, and recognition provider), shares his thoughts and tips on how to better engage and retain employees during hard times.

Sudhanshu talks about the importance of key considerations such as empathy, supporting the mental wellness of employees, keeping a pulse on employee sentiments & engagement levels, etc. for long-term business impact. He also shares that cloud technology and the adoption of AI has become a win-win proposition for both employers and employees. This necessitates organisations to invest in the right tools and predictive analytics as it will be an overarching trend for the years to come. Rewardz engagement and wellness platforms – CERRAand Flabuless– allow firms to digitise key tenets of their business including employee engagement and employee wellness, quickly, cost-effectively, and in a smart way.

Read more in the detailed interview here.

V. BLOG: Engaging Your Employees in a Virtual World


In the recently held Canadian Virtual HR Conference, Jeff Waldman shares tips and insights on how to engage your employees in a virtual world. In his session, he spoke about employee engagement, the key drivers of employee engagement, and the importance of communication. He highlighted that communication is paramount, specifically a diversified approach that seamlessly integrates technology – consistent, transparent, and frequent communication.

He shares 6 key tips to boost engagement in any organisation; implementing a One-stop-shop virtual wiki, diversifying communication, enhancing employee connection, supporting virtual employees, top-down leadership communication and visibility, and lastly re-evaluating the organisation’s HR tech stack.

Jeff emphasizes the importance of employee experience across the engagement efforts and urged HR teams to evaluate their HR tech strategy. To ensure a top-notch experience and allow employees to do their best work, he suggests an ideal HR tech ecosystem be viewed into 2 categories: a) social collaboration and b) HR technology. Social collaboration is all about how employees interact with colleagues and work together — Slack, Google Meet, Drive, ClickUp, Notion, and Zoom, and other tools that allow for an optimal virtual social collaboration experience. While the mandatory HR tech tools that all organizations need are a) payroll, b) HRIS and c) recruitment to be integrated with the collaboration tools for a holistic employee experience.

View the slides and read more about Jeff’s session in his blog here.

VI. BLOG: Why HR Tech Should Pay Attention to User Experience


With the user base for HR Tech not being restricted to HR staff but all employees in the organisation, it is imperative that the HR tech interface is easy and accessible. This article considers some reasons why user experience is important for HR tech including the ease of usability, increased user engagement, time and effort savings arising out of HR tech implementation, and the subsequent increase in employee productivity.

Some of the best practices for improving User Experience in HR Tech include:

  1. Keeping the design simple and minimalistic by making the HR tech intuitive, to increase user engagement, and reduce the resources directed towards training.
  2. Focus on Accessibility to ensure the HR tech is designed to be inclusive and reflects compassion towards the disabled as it is a growing demand for most organisations
  3. Improve Mobile Experience to enhance the usability and flexibility of mobile devices by ensuring the solution(app/website) is responsive and mobile-friendly to increase user engagement and adoption
  4. Simplify Workflows by minimizing the number of clicks, ensuring easy access and navigation, focusing on consistency for increased familiarity, and leading to a better user experience for HR tech.
  5. Offer Gamified Experiences to increase engagement and improve user experience.

Read the detailed blog here.

VII. PODCAST: How people data can drive better business and employee outcomes


In this Digital HR leaders podcast David Green(myHRfuture) and Chin Yin Ong (Head of People Operations, Grab) discuss how “People data can drive better business and employee outcomes”. Chin Yin in her conversation shares how Grab uses technology and analytics to drive better outcomes for the business and its workforce.

In the podcast Chin Yin and David discuss:

  • How to keep employees engaged and connected during the crisis 
  • Examples of how people data is driving better business and employee outcomes at Grab
  • How to infuse HR professionals with the skills required to be more data-driven and achieve the optimal combination of head, heart, and gut
  • The rise of microlearning and the impact on skills
  • Why the 2020s is set to be the golden age for HR

Chin Yin shares her insights of how Grab focuses on employee experience, people analytics, HR technology, and business outcome-driven HR. Hear the conversation here.

VIII. WEBINAR: HR Megatrends for 2021: The Three Gamechangers


HR has traditionally been considered the least important department in any organization; however, the pandemic has forced all organizations to take a relook at their HR practices. Companies are now heavily relying on their HR department to ensure a smooth transition to remote work and be prepared for the challenges it brings with it. This is a great opportunity for the re-birth of the HR function.

Keeping in mind the indispensable role of HR for growth and sustainability in the current scenario, organized a webinar titled “HR Megatrends for 2021: The Three Gamechangers”. The webinar was based on the HR Megatrends report published by Ultimate Kronos Group (UKG) and the relevance of the findings & trends HR leaders are observing as we enter 2021. 

The event witnessed 5 eminent HR Thought Leaders share their perspectives on what HR will look like in 2021 and was focused on sharing the 3 Key HR Megatrends: 

  1. People before Profits  
  2. Life Work Synergy
  3. The Rebirth of HR

Read the event summary or

watch the webinar recording

IX. WEBINAR: AI FOR GOOD PERSPECTIVES | The Now and Future of Using Artificial Intelligence for Human Resources 

BY CHRIS BOCKMAN (AI for Good) and JEANNE MEISTER (Future Workplace)

In conversation with Chris Bockman (AI for good) and Jeanne Meister (Founding Partner of Future Workplace) where she talks about the HBR study – 21 HR Jobs of the Future and the implications of Artificial Intelligence in HR.

According to Jeanne, the future workforce will comprise full-time employees, gig workers, contract workers, and machines. The use of AI is going to rapidly increase. However, AI is not going to strip people of their jobs, it’s a potential accelerator for creating jobs. Any organization has a technical infrastructure in combination with human infrastructure. While AI focuses on the science of the job, humans focus on the culture, art & emotion of the job.

AI has a wide scope of application to solve real workplace problems like talent acquisition, internal talent mobility. Resistance towards AI among employees is conspicuous. The best way to deal with it is to highlight the business problem that AI will solve and how it will work in collaboration with the workforce. The AI machinery is aimed at dealing with volumes of data, streamlining, and improving processes, and enriching the experience of the workforce and the business.

Watch the full interview/webinar here.

X. EVENT: HR Technology Show Asia

The recently held, HR Technology Show Asia that focused on “ DIGITAL INNOVATION IN HR & WORKPLACE MANAGEMENT” brought together over 40 expert speakers who shared their insights across 3 channels covering the future of work, HR Tech, and People Tech.

Some of the key highlights and sessions under each of the channels across the event included:

  1. HR TECH CHANNEL: Featured the latest technological solutions in HR. HR experts shared how processes can be streamlined and how engagement can be amplified. Some of the HR Tech Channel highlights included:
  • The role of technology to engage and empower your staff 
  • HR Technology: Driving HR Transformation 
  • HR process automation: The clear benefits for your business 
  • Technology’s role in the people transformation agenda beyond the great reset 
  • Embracing the digital transformation of HR: Robotics, AI and Chatbots 

2. PEOPLE TECH CHANNEL: Designed to learn how to use technology to attract and hire the top talent. HR leaders shared how technology can cut the amount of time spent trawling through CVs and how technology can be used as an engagement tool. Some must-attend sessions included:

  • Panel: Attracting the right talent during a recession
  • Hiring, training & retaining top talent in a cash lean economy
  • Digital Transformation is about Talent, not Technology
  • Technology to empower your staff, while working remotely

3. FUTURE OF WORK CHANNEL: The channel covered how HR will change over the next few years and how technology can support the new face of work. Key session highlights included:

  • Future of work now
  • Leveraging Technologies to Develop a Competitive Workforce at the Speed of Business: Lessons from 70 Organisations
  • Digital Tools for cultural transformation
  • Panel: How did COVID-19 transform the way we work?

View the sessions on-demand here

About the author :

Swechha Mohapatra (IHRP-CP, Associate CIPD) is a Senior Consultant – Digital HR at and has over 7 years of global experience in various Talent functions. She is a passionate HRTech evangelist, a member of the member of the IHRP HRTech CoP Taskforce and an avid learner who is certified Six Sigma-Green Belt with a background of MBA (Specialization in HR and IT) and Master’s in Labor Laws and Labor Welfare.

Continue Reading: Best Articles and Resources on HRTech: October 2020


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