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4 technology trends that will change HR

Technology remains one of the most fast-changing and disruptive elements of business, so how will it affect the HR landscape in the next year?

A report by Towers Watson has revealed the four trends HR practitioners need to look out for, understand and adapt to, if they want to stay competitive.

1. Re-examine the HR structure

In the past few years, HR has made significant improvements in becoming a more strategic business partner, and should continue to leverage on technology to maintain the transition.

More than a third of 1,025 global respondents indicated they intend to restructure their HR function by the end of 2014, with 74% of them expecting to “realise further operational efficiencies”.

2. Consider new technologies

Because of the nature of HR’s role, the function needs technology which is “intuitive, logically designed and effective in any required situation”.

In the last 18 months, 47% of respondents have re-engineered key HR processes, with more than 80% reporting the results were at or above expectations.

Just over a quarter of respondents also said they plan on adopting a new HRM in the near future, and more than 60% said they are already providing employees with smartphones.

3. Analyse and change HR processes

Half of respondents added they are moving towards a shared services model with centres of excellence and business partners.

“By centralising key support functions in groups with specific domain expertise, the shared services model gives HR practitioners the opportunity to partner with the business on more strategic issues,” the report said.

“For the business, shared services provides a more consistent HR service delivery experience supported by a devoted HR function with the time and motivation to develop deeper business knowledge, and help solve HR issues.”

4. Extend manager self-serviceManagers play a critical role when it comes to career development and performance management, hence they need to be able to leverage on technology to help them continue doing a good job.

“Improved processes empower manager and HR discretion,” the report said. “To empower managers through new processes and self-service technology, organisations need to cut the clutter by changing approval structures that create needless obstacles.”

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