Jan 28 2021

10 HRTech Trending Tools in 2021

“In 2021, HR will continue to lead the organisation's digital HR transformation initiatives; redefining who, how, where and when work gets done.”

by  Sanika Sarmalkar, Trainee - Digital HR, hrtech.sg

In 2021, HR will continue to lead the organisation's digital HR transformation initiatives; redefining who, how, where and when work gets done. We can expect a rise of new-age jobs with greater tech adoption for the hybrid workforce. It is evident that technology will continue to be a key driver for the transformation of the HR function in the year ahead and companies of all sizes will be pursuing Digital HR initiatives in an accelerated fashion.

Tracking the HRTech market closely, we see some emerging patterns based on our interactions with the vendor and consumer ecosystem. Here’s our list of 10 Trending HRTech tools for 2021 (The infographic can be accessed from HERE): 

  1. Data-driven Employee Mental Wellness: Employee wellbeing dashboards empower HR teams with data and insight for wellness analytics, better healthcare outcomes and improved employee well-being. They help identify employees experiencing stress and burnout early on, and make a suitable lifestyle and benefits administration changes for a positive impact. Apart from improving workplace productivity, it supports organizations by creating a happier, healthier culture. 

  2. Smart Performance Management Solutions: As we move to an outcome-based performance environment (and not effort-based) in a virtual workplace, more companies are hopping onto digitise performance reviews and appraisals, with customisable and configurable feedback forms and workflows. Smart PMS tools automate the entire 360° feedback capture mechanism and help employees stay focused and measure progress with SMART Goals management and Objectives & Key Results (OKRs).

  3. Organisational Network Analysis (ONA): These tools help in analysing digital interactions across the various enterprise communication and collaboration systems on a real-time basis (without ever looking at content). These tools can generate a range of actionable insights to make better data-driven people decisions. They can help measure the impact of leadership development programs, identify high-potentials (HiPos), and measure workplace inclusivity among other aspects. They also provide a competitive advantage while initiating organisational change (such as adopting new technology, culture, or any restructuring) by identifying key influential employees, measuring team integration and collaboration, and visualizing the human capital aspects.

  4. Blockchain-based background check: Use of blockchain enables data to be transferred between employers by candidates throughout their careers, offering secure and accurate information, thereby reducing the cost and time taken for candidate background verification. They also offer accurate, secure, faster & seamless integration with an ATS or Candidate CRM system for smooth and fast communication between platforms.

  5. Virtual Onboarding: These tools enable candidates & clients to have a hassle-free & seamless joining experience for remote or distributed teams. They reduce onboarding time by automating processes, decreasing errors, reducing cost, and all of these, while ensuring safe and secure data storage.

  6. Conversational AI Chatbots: Act as a pocket HR manager, answer questions, and process requests in real-time with minimal human intervention. In the Talent Acquisition space, chatbots can connect with ATS, video interview tools, gamification platforms to make the interview process effective, engage applicants better, and evaluate candidates objectively (based on their responses).  In the Talent Engagement space, chatbots can be personalised for smart conversations with employees that lead to a richer candidate/employee experience and valuable employee insights that were earlier unavailable. 

  7. Video Interviews: Aid recruiters by assessing soft skills, motivation, proficiency, and expertise in a single step, thereby saving 60 – 80% time of the first round screening process. By gauging soft skills and culture-fit early in the process, it helps in retaining best-fit candidates in the recruitment process. One step ahead, some video interview tools can help generate customised and comprehensive behavioural profiles by leveraging Natural Language Processing (NLP), Machine Learning (ML) and Video Analytics to gauge emotions, analyse tone, psycholinguistics and more.

  8. Gamified Assessments: help in assessing a candidate’s potential by simulating real life scenarios & measure job competencies. Such tools help evaluate job skills & traits of promising candidates in a gamified environment that can be custom-built for each role to identify best-fit candidates.

  9. AI-driven Applicant Tracking Systems: can proactively predict an organisation's hiring needs; automatically stack-rank and identify top qualified candidates against the job description; engage candidates with personalisation and derive inference from the conversations; streamline and digitise offer management process to avoid losing top candidates and fill open positions faster; get actionable insights into all stages of the recruitment process and generate reports for making data-driven decisions.

  10. Digital Employee Rewards: These systems connect & align the entire organization to a shared goal and vision. Automating the employee rewards, incentives & benefits program removes enormous manual costs and errors in managing large scale incentive programs. They act as a catalyst for meeting corporate objectives through positive behavioural changes (by way nudges, appreciations & rewards).

Today we are experiencing a market that is inclined more towards niche tools and solutions. HR teams are looking to adopt best-fit solutions in every segment that can seamlessly interact and inter-operate with all other systems in the existing HR Tech stack.

HR teams have clearly played a pivotal role in managing the pandemic in 2020. This year too, HR will need to keep up with the fast-evolving market, support organizations to be flexible, adaptive, and most importantly use technology as an enabler to drive data-driven decisions. The HR Technology landscape is at its inflexion point as HRTech solutions become more mature & innovative to cater to the changing demands of the workplace. It is however imperative that HR professionals do not lose sight of the human element and create a “human-centred” experience. Employees are more than just data.

If you are an HR professional embarking on digital transformation initiatives, here are some of our other infographics & resources to help in your endeavour:

 10 Golden rules for a successful HRTech Implementation

 7 Reasons Why HR Tech Implementations Fail


Sanika Sarmalkar is part of the Digital HR Advisory & Consulting team at hrtech.sg. With a Masters in HRM and a background in creative content writing, she is a HRTech evangelist who aims to encourage Enterprise HR Teams to adopt new-age HRTech solutions, and thereby enable their transition into becoming a Strategic HR Business Partner.

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