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Tech, HR, and the Future of Remote Work

Remote work is here to stay. In light of estimates that around a quarter of Americans will be working from home in 2021, human resource departments have to be aware of the tech and trends that can support these workers. For every able business, offering remote work brings certain benefits. With indicators that remote work leads to increased happiness and productivity, providing these options to workers has become not just a perk but a necessity. As companies adapt their remote work policies, HR departments need the tech and solutions to take them successfully through the future of remote work. Here’s what you should know about the advancing working world. And the means to promote remote worker success for years to come.

How Remote Work Changed the Playing Field

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, the working world shifted quickly. Organizations rapidly threw together approaches to provide remote work options to employees and support safety and social distancing.

This sudden shift enables a host of positive factors in supporting workers. But depending on how they’re implemented, remote workers face unique challenges. For example, some managers fear that their workers will not be working if they’re not in a physical office environment. So they have mandated things like always-on video conferencing.

To mitigate the problems of coordinating an effective remote work approach, HR departments are vital. Your HR team helps support remote work policies that offer the benefits needed to reduce burnout and promote success. A useful approach to remote work means tech-supported flexibility that helps rather than monitors workers. Remote workers especially value flexibility and freedom making them more likely to experience a negative attitude towards their work if they feel they are micromanaged.

With all kinds of opportunities open to a global workforce connected virtually, the playing field has changed for the future of remote work. With workers facing burnout while attempting to juggle work-life balance, HR departments need the tools and resources to prevent problems.

For example, due to COVID-19, one in four women are looking to quit their jobs or reduce hours to manage the strain of a heightened workload. Balancing a host of concerns and responsibilities while working remotely can take its toll.

Fortunately, HR teams can use tech to improve the work experiences of all remote workers.

How HR Can Use Tech to Improve Work Experiences

The shift to remote processes in a digital world means that HR teams have the potential to offer benefits previously impossible. Advancing technology is the reason for these benefits. With comprehensive platforms for tracking, monitoring, and promoting employee success, HR professionals can apply both automation and self-serve options to support their workforce.

In addition, synchronized cloud technology enhances the ability to communicate with workers from wherever they are. As high-tech systems like artificial intelligence become increasingly accessible, businesses can streamline their approach to assisting their workers.

Here are the technologies that will define the future of remote work for HR:

Enterprise Artificial Intelligence

Enterprise AI involves the use of smart algorithms to make large-scale business decisions. These tools are transforming the field of HR, leading to innovations in everything from proficiency tracking to recruitment improvements.

AI is made accessible through Software as a Service (SaaS) options. These help HR teams automate a host of tasks that take up much of their daily time. For example, with the right AI system, HR managers can automate the initial sludge through stacks of resumes and match potential employees through semantic language pairing. As a result, they can more conveniently narrow down their search to candidates with an ideal resume.

At the same time, payroll solutions are possible through the tracking of hours, benefits, PTO, and more. A smart system will be able to perform self-audits and catch more problems before they hit an employee’s paycheck.

Cloud Solutions

But these AI innovations would be difficult to pull off without the help of cloud data systems. More companies are realizing the benefits of a cloud data service that can safely protect their information over a highly encrypted and backed-up network. In the remote working world, this frees up time for developing high-security practices while improving the ability of employees to communicate digitally.

For example, a cloud system can allow a team of workers to communicate and brainstorm in an effective digital space that is synchronized to account for time zone differences. With the help of tools like these, you can improve your brainstorming sessions with digital whiteboards, collaborative editing tools, and group documentation all on a secure platform.

Virtual Spaces

Virtual spaces are the future of remote work. Your ability to keep your teams connected and address worker concerns will come down to how you can interact with one another. HR might feel a bit displaced without in-person, face-to-face interaction with co-workers. But virtual spaces may offer the solutions you need to support remote workers.

From virtual reality (VR) to mobile applications that keep remote workers informed on the go, there are more options for connecting in virtual spaces than ever before. Remote teams can use everything from common instant messaging and work collaboration platforms to virtual offices.

AI, cloud systems, and virtual spaces continue to adapt. HR can innovate with these tools to promote supportive employee solutions. This can mean streamlined payrolls, worker flexibility, and enhanced communication.

The Future of Remote Work

With the right tech strategy, HR departments can close the communication gap to engage a remote workforce. In turn, these teams can save time typically eaten up by extensive data entry and system management concerns.

Remote work is the future. And the future of remote work is dependent on human-centric tech solutions that promote a better working experience. Give your team the flexibility of cloud solutions and allow them to communicate through secure virtual spaces. As a result, you can better address concerns and reduce burnout.


7 Recruiting AI Terms Every Recruiter Needs to Know

Interest in artificial intelligence (AI) recruiting technology has exploded recently. From finance to sales departments, business leaders are asking how they can leverage AI technology to become more efficient, cost-effective, and competitive. HR is no exception.

To stay on top of this trend, here are seven recruiting AI terms that every recruiter needs to know.

  1. Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a machine that can mimic human abilities such as learning, problem- solving, planning, perception, and the ability to move objects.

In a nutshell, AI requires large amounts of data as inputs to produce an output which is a solution to a problem. Core areas of AI include machine learning (e.g., Netflix recommendations), machine perception (e.g., Apple’s Siri), and robotics (e.g., self-driving cars).

How AI is used in recruiting

AI for recruiting is the application of artificial intelligence such as learning or problem-solving to the recruitment function. Recruiting AI technology is designed to automate some part of the recruiting workflow, especially repetitive, high-volume tasks.

Applications of recruiting AI technology that currently exist include automated resume screening, recruiter chatbots, and digitized interviews.

  1. Algorithm

An algorithm is a procedure or formula that takes inputs through a sequence of steps to produce an output in order to solve a problem.

How an algorithm is used in recruiting

The simplest form of an algorithm used in recruiting is a keyword or Boolean search. The problem here is identifying qualified candidates from a larger applicant pool, the inputs are your search terms, and the output is a shortlist of candidates who meet your search specifications.

An example of how an algorithm is used in recruiting AI technology is intelligent resume screening. The problem here is the same: identifying qualified candidates from a larger applicant pool.

Instead of using pre-selected search terms, this type of machine learning algorithm trains itself on prior employees to learn which resume data points (inputs) are correlated with successful employees to produce a shortlist of qualified candidates (output).

  1. Machine learning

Machine learning is a type of computer program or algorithm with the ability to teach itself by analyzing data (inputs) and coming up with a solution (output).

A machine learning algorithm continues to learn from new data you input to increase the accuracy of the solution it comes up with.

How machine learning is used in recruiting

Machine learning algorithms in recruiting AI technology is being used to automate resume screening to shortlist and grade candidates by learning from existing employees’ resumes.

Machine learning algorithms in recruiting software are also being used assess candidates’ personality, and job fit through digitized interviews by learning from successful candidates’ facial expressions and word choices.

  1. Natural language processing

Natural language processing is the ability of a computer program to understand human speech as it is spoken or written.

How natural language processing is used in recruiting

One way natural language processing is being used in recruitment automation technology is through AI chatbots that provide answers, feedback, and suggestions to candidates in real time.

Based on candidates’ replies and feedback, the chatbot uses machine learning to teach itself to become more accurate in its answers when interacting with other candidates in the future.

  1. People analytics

People analytics is the use of data and data analysis techniques to understand, improve, and optimize the people side of business.

People analytics links people data (inputs) with different types of business data using predictive algorithms to produce outcomes (outputs) aligned with company goals such as increased revenues and lowered costs.

How people analytics is used in recruiting

People analytics isn’t a recruiting AI term on its own, but it falls under the same umbrella of leveraging data and technology to optimize HR and recruiting processes.

  1. Predictive analytics

Predictive analytics is a catch-all term for the application of a statistical equation or algorithm to a data set (inputs) to create a predictive model (output) that determines a numerical value of a future probability.

In many cases, the data set used contains multiple variables that are believed to be predictive of a particular outcome.

How predictive analytics is used in recruiting

Predictive analytics can be applied to candidates to predict which ones are likely to be successful employees. This predictive model can be created using resume data, pre-hire assessments, or interview scores.

For a predictive model that uses resume data as its inputs, the variables could include education level, years of experience, skills, and personality traits.

Predictive analytics can also be applied to employees to predict which one are likely to quit. This predictive model may use multiple variables such as commute distance, company tenure, employee engagement, and compensation.

  1. Sentiment analysis

Sentiment analysis is the ability of a computer program to determine the subjective opinion, emotional state, or intended emotional effect of spoken or written word.

The basic form of sentiment analysis is classifying the polarity of a given text: positive, negative, or neutral. More advanced sentiment analysis classifies text into specific emotions such as “angry” and “happy.

How sentiment analysis is used in recruiting

Sentiment analysis is being used to identify potentially biased language in job descriptions. The program is fed inputs that words such as “aggressive” are perceived as masculine-sounding whereas words such as “collaborative” are perceived as feminine-sounding.

By analyzing the words used in a  job posting, the program can create output in the form of suggested replacement words in order to help solve the problem that these words may be discouraging female candidates from applying.

The takeaways

The dominant theme in recruiting right now is AI for recruiting. It’s clear that tech-enabled recruiting is here to stay. Give yourself a leg up by familiarizing yourself with the AI recruiting technology terms below:

  1. Artificial intelligence
  2. Algorithm
  3. Machine learning
  4. Natural language processing
  5. Predictive analytics
  6. Sentiment analysis

A version of this post was first published on Ideal.

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