Companies, especially startups, are known to introduce many innovative changes to business processes and even the work environment (in general). This includes the improvement of work-life balance among employees, putting a premium on talent and productivity over output quantity, engaging customers before introducing product changes, and so much more.

However, there is one department in the workplace that also revolutionized many of its processes (thanks to technology), and that’s no other than the Human Resources (HR) department.

The HR department (unlike the general management) is not concerned with company sales, returns and performance, but it is also tasked with the most important duty of all – taking care of employees and improving office culture/environment. Luckily, many apps and programs can be used today to make the HR’s job easier when it comes to hiring, screening and retaining employees.

Several programs can automate attendance-tracking, leave approvals, payroll, and could even track employee productivity (for recognition). After all these, what could be next? Below are just 3 possible innovations for HR departments that we all want to see (or they will actually use) in the next few years or so.

1. Virtual Reality (VR)/Augmented Reality (AR) in Trainings

As of today, companies still use the conventional way of training new hires – that is through personal coaching and mentoring. Although this process has its advantages, incorporating new technology such as VR/AR programs can give an extra boost to employee training.

Through VR or AR, companies can effectively simulate real-life business processes and problems that an employee (or potential employee) needs to solve in order to test and improve their skills. Best of all, this can also be used to existing employees in order to improve their skill set and industry knowledge. Training will be more interactive (digitally), and companies won’t even need to hire numerous coaches or team leaders just to train every new hire or improve employees in a team.

The downside however is obviously, some people may eventually lose their jobs. As the training process can be ‘digitized,’ companies don’t need to hire a number of trainers/coaches anymore. This means a smaller HR team, and a massive loss of jobs by the time most companies would adopt this kind of training.

Companies could also save on expenses, because there might be no need to send representatives to different cities – they can simply join in on workshops and conferences through simulated environments.

2. New Channels and Ways For Recruitment

Although we now have platforms such as LinkedIn and Oracle, a lot more can still be done when it comes to effectively screening and recruiting the right people for a company. And it seems like Google and Facebook took this matter into their own hands.

Facebook for one, is currently developing a “Jobs” function, where their user base can scour for job posts or seek to hire employees and partners as well. Google on the other hand, is also working on a service wherein employers can markup their job postings in a particular Google search result.

There’s no telling how these new features could play out (or if they will prove to be better and more effective than current job/career-oriented platforms), but there sure is a lot to be improved on this aspect. Most especially when it comes to matching employee profiles to certain job positions and companies.

3. Incorporation of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI is fast becoming a hot topic in many industries today. Aside from the tech industry, AI is seen to make revolutionary changes in the marketing and medical fields – but that also includes the HR field.
As to how AI can particularly improve HR processes, it remains to be seen. Analysts say that it may help improve employee engagement (though there are already existing programs that can do this). Industry experts also expect AI to be used when it comes to sourcing third-parties or outsourced employees.

With all these current tech improvements and innovation, a good number of people may say that the digitized process is slowly taking out the ‘human’ in “Human Resources.” Unfortunately, this could prove to be true, especially nowadays that more and more companies maintain smaller HR teams than ever.

Now the real challenge is not in the automation of HR processes (because this is inevitable with ongoing tech improvements), but it is in how modern companies can maintain a personal connection and human involvement in the lives and progress of their employees.

Author Bio:
Gemma Reeves is a seasoned writer who enjoys creating helpful articles and interesting stories. She has worked with several clients across different industries such as advertising, online marketing, technology, healthcare, family matters, and more. She is also an aspiring entrepreneur who is engaged in assisting other aspiring entrepreneurs in finding the best office space for their business.
Check out her company here: FindMyWorkspace