New Technology in 2023 and the Evolution of Human Capital Management
Updated: Jan 25
When I think about technology and the possibilities it creates, I begin to recall the movies, TV shows, and cartoons that I watched when I was a little boy. These productions fascinated me with the possibilities of our future world. I often pondered about a future that had flying cars, hoverboards, cyborgs, and other seemingly farfetched ideas. Science fiction legend, Arthur C. Clarke, shares his thoughts in 1973 edition of Profiles of the Future, stating, Which just about sums up the magical feelings we all had as children when we thought of the prospects of our future.
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." - Arthur C. Clarke
As a kid of the '80s, I honestly thought we were just a few years away from these things and countless other possibilities. Nothing was beyond our reach. Fast forward to 2022, and I can honestly say that I had no concept of where things would be. Truthfully, did anyone? In many cases, we are so much farther than I thought possible. Simply look no further than the supercomputer we all carry around in our pockets every day—what a crazy little glowing, buzzing, ringing microwave of complete captivation.
On the other hand, I am disappointed that we do not have stylish jackets that adjust the size at the slap of a button (somebody should get back on that), but I am over the moon that mobile phones are no longer the size and shape of a cinderblock. I share this because I am fascinated as to how far things have come and the application that new technologies have in our daily lives, and even more so, how it has so vastly changed the way we work. This brings me swiftly to the point of my writing this article; new HR technology to look out for in 2023. I know that was super subtle.
The HR technology industry will encounter ongoing growth and development in 2023 as new players continue to enter the market, corporations go-to technology for additional capacity and profitability gains, and venture capitalists remain tempted by the guarantee of new and advancing HR tech firms.
However, despite that promising viewpoint, there are developing concerns about the long-term scope of advancements like artificial intelligence (AI), the deficiency of data examination skills required in HR to decipher data created by these new technologies, and the absence of needed capabilities in mainstream human capital management platforms.
Below I have outlined six patterns and advancements that experts in the HR industry hope to find and implement in Human Resource technology as things evolve in 2023.
While Artificial Intelligence or AI is routinely utilized today in recruiting, streamlining HR administration, learning, communication, employee development, and many more applications, AI is beginning to venture into many new zones of HR that were previously not possible.
One of the reasons behind the slow adoption rates is that we are seeing people push back against AI as many feel the need to establish more defined moral gauges and guidelines around its utilization. There are still many people who are not comfortable with AI or do not entirely understand how it functions.
Additionally, we've observed some ongoing claims regarding potential liability in the utilization of some forms of AI in practical applications.
Recently, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) asked the Federal Trade Commission to examine several recruiting companies because of the technology many of them are utilizing checks and assessing applicants' faces and voices as a significant aspect of acquiring talent.
Some believe this may end up oppressing individual sections of the labor market if the proper measures aren't taken. On the other hand, many feel that the same technology can be used to remove the bias that humans have altogether.
We know that data science and AI calculations can assist recruiters with better insights into which cold candidates are open to making job changes or are open to having a conversation about new opportunities.
Rather than the endless searching necessary to locate qualified candidates in an ocean of talent, hiring managers will have the option to proactively focus on the perfect individuals at the time they're open to making a change. That makes sense, right?
Only a small number of people truly understand this technology, and even fewer have thought enough about it to have an opinion. Elon Musk, Founder of Tesla and Space-X, put it this way, "At least when there's an evil dictator, that human is going to die. But for an AI, there will be no death — it would live forever.
And then you would have an immortal dictator from which we could never escape." It sounds like some real Terminator-Skynet stuff, doesn't it?
In a less morbid point of view, Colin Angle, iRobot CEO, said, "It's going to be interesting to see how society deals with artificial intelligence, but it will be cool." I do not know about all of you, but I honestly hope it is more like this.
Regardless of how many feel about AI, the trends lean to more and more recruiters, leaders, and companies tapping into AI tools to help them identify macroeconomic patterns, social trends, leading indicators, and those who are primed for career advancement and who might be more receptive to targeted recruiter communications.
Although recruiting is just one application for leveraging these tools, many organizations are looking to AI to automate their companies in ways we never thought possible.
Founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos put it this way, "I predict that, because of artificial intelligence and its ability to automate certain tasks that in the past were impossible to automate, not only will we have a much wealthier civilization, but the quality of work will go up very significantly and a higher fraction of people will have callings and careers relative to today."
No matter what your position on AI or machine learning is, you'll need to make sure that you understand it and begin to learn it as it is going to be a determining factor in the jobs of tomorrow.
HR departments have progressively begun to embrace technology solutions that incorporate both worker self-automation and administrator automation to make HR data and administration easier to access or streamlined. Be that as it may, many HR experts still struggle to embrace modernized technologies often due to fear of change from frontline administrators or common misconceptions that their employees are not ready for this type of relationship. The truth is, according to a new CareerBuilder assessment, HR leaders lose an average of 14 hours a week, manually carrying out tasks that could be automated. More than a quarter waste of 20 hours or more.
Additionally, many HR leaders believe that new technology can be a daunting task to implement and educate their staff and employees on how to utilize the new systems. Still, other research would indicate that the learning curve is well worth the downtime and investment. With advancements in smartphones and mobile technologies, a growing number of the labor force now expects to have instant access to vital information in the palm of their hands, and without the hassles of making a phone call or involving HR.
When I originally started to think about this piece, COVID-19 was still relatively new and not really on my radar. Nothing had significantly changed about our work, and I had no idea that this work from home order was right on the horizon. Nevertheless, fast forward to now and nearly seven weeks of this, and it has become increasingly evident that things may never go back to being the same.
Many are calling this phenomenon our "New Normal" and showing us that we must adapt to immediate and sudden changes that are presented within our global economy. This pandemic had made me think critically about how we are doing things today, and honestly, how many people had predicted this was going to happen long before it did. Even if not directly triggered by a global crisis, then instead through economic necessity.
By recognizing the trials brought on by COVID-19, we can be better equipped to exploit the opportunities and to make significant impacts in the future of work redesign. Wikipedia defines work redesign as, "A core function of human resource management and it is related to the specification of contents, methods, and relationship of jobs to satisfy technological and organizational requirements as well as the social and personal requirements of the job holder or the employee."
This definition sheds light on the fact that it is not only advantageous to the employer, but organizations need to train their staff as they adapt to new and changing work requirements.
In a recent article I read by Sarah Tiew, she states, "We need to first identify and understand the baseline of what skills our existing workforce has, imagine what skills are required in the future before we know what upskilling activities we need to undertake." Proactive anticipation has a lot to do with how successful HR teams will be in adjusting to new technologies.
As Sara continues, she outlines that leaders must look deeper than the skills employees have exhibited in current roles. She says, "As you reshape the roles and expectations of your colleagues, reassess their current skillsets and look out for other skillsets which they possess but do not have the opportunity to demonstrate in their current roles."
We understand that our work is changing, but we must not underestimate the rate of speed of change as technology advancements accelerate. Since this is the case, we must prepare ourselves for the fact that we will not have the numbers needed to fill those higher-skilled positions that will be necessary for future jobs, if we do not train our current workforce for the work of tomorrow.
This leaves both employers and employees with a unique opportunity to work together through the transition by collaborating on the development of new work, as well as work redesign.
Human Capital Management Software
Although a large amount of work has been done in companies to flatten organizational structures and groups, numerous human capital management (HCM) systems have yet to be appropriately configured to help those newly evolved structures. A few experts accept that it will start to change in 2022 as the future of work lies in level working arrangements that open the lines of communication and collaboration of departments.
As organizations develop increasingly light-footed approaches to keep pace with the speed of business today, HR technology must also adjust, equipping workers with more uncomplicated, yet sophisticated tools to help them become better consumers of their available resources. From companies like Rippling who are leading the way and are focused on pushing the envelope of innovation, to ADP who is taking notice of these trends, you'll begin to see more HCM providers start to drastically improve the framework necessary to adjust and adapt to market necessities quickly.
Employees in 2023 likewise will have changing requirements about how and when they get paid, as indicated by leading trends. Thus, the compensation, wellness, and total rewards experience will turn out to be progressively more personalized, with more straightforward ways for employees to be paid, access benefits, and communicate with employers the way they'd prefer.
Specialized Tech Skills
As machine learning continues reshaping our roles and the skillsets we need, HR and learning teams should continue to adapt and retool practices for employees—incorporating training for HR staff in data analysis, AI, and other technology-related aptitudes.
An ongoing report from Gartner found that only 9% of Chief Human Resource Officers agree that their companies are ready for the future of work, and 46% of HR leaders report that their people come up short on the technical skills that are essential to driving future execution.
The same Garner report discovered it's not just HR leaders that are worried about the absence of skills, but it's the workers themselves. It was estimated that only one out of every five representatives in the examination felt like they have the skills today necessary for what was to come. When you consider the collective apprehension workers have to learn the new skills that will be required, it's disturbing to think of what the technical skill gap will look like in a few years.
As more data-privacy laws are sanctioned to join the General Data Protection Regulation and the California Consumer Privacy Act, HR innovators, and technology developers will assume a more significant role in assisting with establishing some kind of harmony between customer trust and data privacy.
Ultimately, the goal for developers today is to give employees more control of their data than in previous generations.
Andrew Yang recently wrote. "Some companies haven't done enough to protect our data, resulting in breaches that have made our private information insecure." He also asserted.
"Data generated by each individual needs to be owned by them, with certain rights conveyed that will allow them to know how it's used and protect it."
By providing employees more transparency to their information through the use of convenient, integrated, and easy-to-use platforms, they will be more informed and prepared when something is aloof. These types of technology will allow employers to create better firewalls within their systems without the need to print or distribute personal information in non-secure environments.
I believe that this trend of data ownership will only continue to rise. Still, it is essential that during this transition, as technology continues to innovate, employers and employees alike must work together to maintain data privacy.
Technology has the potential to make jobs even more meaningful and appealing to workers and companies. Appropriately implemented, and with proper intention, technology can yield remarkable results in terms of productivity, profitability, talent acquisition, and retention.
On the flip side, we are seeing that many people are merely uneasy and not ready for the changes that are coming. I believe it is essential and necessary that we invest time to help people understand how these changes in the work we do, how we do it, where we do it, and so much more will have a positive impact on many, while we wrestle with the reality that these changes will negatively impact some.
By seeking to understand first, we have the opportunity to discuss viable solutions to today's problems with the innovative solutions of tomorrow. Even if it isn't a new hoverboard…
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