Tech and employee relations: Changes to watch for in 2017

Editor's note: The following is a guest contribution by Anthony Brovero, inbound marketer at Tresnic Media.

Roles, they are a-changin’... from the newly elected president to HR professionals.

Much has already been said about Donald Trump’s involvement in the human resources space. However, shifting concerns within the profession had already set long-held notions aside and new practices into motion.

From recruitment to employee relations, organizations will likely begin implementing technologies within the office space to improve and automate recruitment procedures, workplace investigations, and professional development methods.

Below, you’ll find technology trends to look out for in the new year.

Recruiting gets automated (sort of)

Social media has always been “murky waters” in terms of Human Resources; however, most of us agree that we’ve at least glanced through a prospective candidate’s social media activity to get to know them better (or to see if they’re sharing something your organization isn’t privy to).

Ethics surrounding a candidate’s social media postings have been varied and fiercely defended, but technology has caught up to the employer’s side and has automated the process to promote a more “guilt-free” approach.

There are companies now that cater to “automating the analysis of an individual’s public web presence.” Candidates are not scored, but hiring organizations are provided with any potentially-inflammatory content shared or posted on social streams.

Without a human element, proponents believe software can reduce unconscious bias in recruitment methods while still requiring humans to analyze and make a final decision regarding results.

No matter your take, It will be interesting to see how this technology evolves throughout 2017.

Social media gets to work

It was simply a matter of time before social juggernaut Facebook dove deeper into the business sector.

Workplace, already available to organizations, will surge in popularity in 2017 — there’s just no doubt. It’s ability to control usership while increasing employee productivity and engagement, as well as employer efficiency, will make it a must-have for many businesses looking for a middle ground between a “No Facebook” policy and letting employees run wild.

Because of the sheer volume of people already on Facebook, integration into Workplace will be minimal. No training or false-starts. Users already familiar with the social sharing platform will quickly become accustomed to Workplace’s aesthetic and use.

Tech enables better handling of workplace investigations

Workplace investigation caseloads are on the rise. Consider that 40% of respondents of the 2016 HR Acuity Employee Relations Benchmark Study reported handling 11-25 cases at any given time. The same study recognizes leadership’s adoption of technology in this area, finding “45% of organizations now use some form of an employee relations management solution.”

With efficiency a key concern for leadership, addressing employee concerns as quickly and proactively as possibly has key ROI factors, including: maintained/increased engagement, productivity and retention.

Leadership already affected by high millennial turnover rates are searching for any and all tools within their kits to keep current employees satisfied and their concerns acknowledged.

2017 will likely bear witness to continued, aggressive undertaking in reducing workplace investigation caseloads in hopes of encouraging a more transparent, meaningful experience for employees.

Highlighing the importance of professional development

Speaking of millennials, a recent Gallup poll found that 87% of the largest workforce say that development is an important aspect of their job.

While videos, worksheets, and courses are available, it will be interesting to see how organizations, and HR software, approach this important concern for millennial workers. There are few reasons why businesses wouldn’t want to invest in a more robust learning and development series for employees, and little reason why eager tech firms won’t spring to action providing them with an array of solutions.

In 2017, HR technology will only get better

Really, it doesn’t matter from a technology standpoint who won the presidential election. HR tech will only improve into and beyond 2017. A push to attract and retain millennial workers means that leaders, begrudgingly or otherwise, must adopt a more technocratic identity.

Understanding why technology helps the employer and employees, in development and relationship-building, is just as important as locating these solutions in the first place. As long as leaders continue focusing on the concerns of their employee relations, we’ll be sure to see some incredible innovation in the coming year.

Filed Under: HR Management HR Tech & Analytics