The FirstVoice team had a blast at HRTech; from attending keynote sessions to networking with HR professionals at our kiosk in the startup pavilion, the trip was beyond worthwhile. Now, after a whirlwind week, we are excited to share our biggest takeaways from the conference.
We have an opportunity to improve the human experience
Many of the conversations at HRTech revolved around how to better engage employees and improve the human experience at work. According to Marcus Buckingham, 85% of people are not fully engaged in their job. They’re “just coming to work.” Besides the negative effect on productivity and retention, employers understand 50 years is a long time to spend in a career when you’re not engaged in what you’re doing.
In his keynote session, Josh Bersin shared the three phases of engaging employees– from least sophisticated to most sophisticated. They include:
- Engagement 1.0: This is the typical benchmarking and annual engagement survey. There are few touchpoints and, therefore, fewer opportunities to actively engage employees.
- Engagement 2.0: Here, engagement is slightly more sophisticated with analytics and pulse surveys, allowing for more touchpoints.
- Engagement 3.0: Utilizing AI insights and intelligent nudges to forecast sentiment, attrition and performance issues.
Bersin illustrated how HR’s role is shifting from managing processes to managing experiences– a concept defined as human experience management (HXM). From the first interaction with a candidate to celebrating their ten-year work-anniversary, HR has an enormous opportunity to architect the employee’s entire experience.
He went further to say that, “Every vendor is now in the business of employee experience,” and the best vendors are “building software for employees, not HR.” From voice platforms to learning and development software, technology will continue to be an instrumental component of improving the human experience at work.
Learning and development software is on the rise
As quality talent becomes increasingly difficult to source and recruit, companies are seeking ways to elevate and re-skill talent within their organizations. Enter: the learning and development platforms.
Josh Bersin cited growth and development as two of the most demanded management philosophies and we saw it everywhere at HRTech, even with the startups. The winner of Pitchfest was a scalable coaching platform that allows employees to learn through regular, continuous development exercises.
With 75% of Gen Z saying they value a company that coaches their employees, platforms that allow employees to drive their own learning and development will become even more essential to the future of work.
HR is changing the conversation around artificial intelligence
A big takeaway we had from HRTech was how the conversations around AI have changed. The question is no longer whether or not HR should deploy AI. The question is now how should HR deploy AI? The conversations were centered on distinguishing where to deploy tech and where to deploy people. In other words, which admin tasks can we assign AI so that HR can spend more time being strategic?
Sabrina Lucas & Tracey Patterson of Accenture shared that over 50% of recruiting activity will be automated in the next three to five years. This means recruiters will have more time to build relationships with candidates and hiring managers– rather than dealing with admin work.
At the LIVE HR Happy Hour podcast, Lisa Sterling of Ceridian drew parallels between the current conversations around AI and the conversations around big data 10 years ago. AI is something we talk a lot about now, but ten years from now, it will just become an integrated part of everything we do. “We’ve got to stop focusing on the latest buzz word and focus on people,” Lisa concluded.
If you attended HRTech, we’d love to hear some of your takeaways! Comment below.