I’m in San Francisco this week at SHRM Tech 2023. This is SHRM’s first time holding a technology-specific conference in the US market. They have had a SHRM Tech conference in India for a few years. My session will be talking about the most disruptive HR technologies currently in the market and those coming in the near future.
Honestly, it feels like I could spend the entire time just talking about ChatGPT (generative AI), as that seems to be the topic of conversation everywhere in the tech industry, regardless of your function. Generative AI and the large language model AI will impact all technology, including every part of HR.
But generative AI isn’t the only disruptive technology in the HR space. Since HR is overly laggard as tech consumers, it’ll take a lot of organizations some time before they even adopt a lot of the artificial technology that will hit the market first. Also, many organizations will have to really work through the ethical side of using AI across their people technology stack.
What other technologies are currently disruptive in the HR industry:
- Marketing technology – Employees and Candidates want a “consumer-like” experience. This idea isn’t new,, but we’ve been awful and delivering this. The reason for this has basically been we are awful and using and adopting marketing-level technology. This is part automation, part conversational AI, and part communications tech and strategy. I will also throw Programmatic tech into this bucket from an advertising perspective.
- Old School Tech We Still Don’t Use! Video, text, and employee referral automation. Some of the greatest tech built in the last 5-8 years is still not being used in mass by organizations. If I speak to 100 companies with over 1,000 employees, only about 10% will be using both text recruiting software and/or employee referral automation technology, but both have a giant ROI and help deliver more candidates quickly. So, why are we talking about ‘disruptive” tech when we don’t even use best-in-class technology for our own industry?
- Business Intelligence – Another technology that is widely used in every other corporate function that HR has been really laggard at using. Over 90% of HR and TA pros I speak with will admit they aren’t very good “at data.” We have to be good “as data”! Part of being data literate is having an understanding of what and where is our data and then how do we pool this data into a business intelligence (BI) tool to be able to manipulate this data in a way that helps us make much better decisions,
- Augmented and Virtual Reality – Facebook will spend billions of dollars in 2023 and beyond building dynamic AR and VR tech. Why? Because it can have massive usage by all kinds of people, including employees and candidates. The future of training will be changed forever by AR and VR. Being able to train new employees in real-time by having them wear AR glasses that will watch and show them what to do and not do is amazing tech. Having all employees, regardless of work environment, meet in the same environment on an equal footing will be a great cultural add for so many companies.
- Artificial Intelligence – Okay, yes, we have to understand the power of AI and the different levels and kinds of AI we can build into parts of our HR tech stack. Most of the AI currently used in HR technology is machine learning. This is where the technology learns what you like and dislike based on actions taken. A simple example is an employee asking how they can change their contributions for 401K. Machine learning will see many employees asking about this, and it will reply in ways you train it to reply. But it’ll also see the additional questions, and it might ask a question back. “We see you’re looking to change your contributions. Would you like to talk to a certified financial advisor? The company pays for it, and it can help you make better financial decisions.” AI will end up replacing almost every tactical part of the HR function. That’s just reality.
Yes, ChatGPT will change how we work in HR. There is so much to come on this. But we also have so much great technology available to us that is proven that we don’t use, that we also should not be forgetting about.
I’ll be at SHRM Talent in Orlando and SHRM Annual in Las Vegas this year. Let me know if you’ll be attending and I would love to catch up and meet live!