Trends in HR Technology for 2024
6 min. Read
Last Updated: 09/15/2023
Table of Contents
Despite ongoing economic uncertainties, a challenging labor market, and complex work arrangements, human resource (HR) professionals must keep up with changing workplace dynamics to improve their business's growth, efficiency, and company morale. While it's impossible to know exactly what the future of HR looks like, HR trends in 2024 suggest an emphasis on using HR technology to make smart business decisions, improve the employee experience end-to-end, and continually grow and foster a skilled, savvy, and empowered workforce. We identify some of the most pressing HR technology trends below that are likely to shape the future of HR in 2024 and beyond.
What Is HR Technology?
HR technology is hardware and software used to support a wide range of human resource tasks and responsibilities. Payroll, employee benefits, and recruiting and applicant tracking are just a few examples of what typically falls within the realm of HR technology. But more recently, developments in HR technologies help to address a wider range of HR-related challenges — everything from remote and hybrid work environments to the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and data-based decision-making. And a new generation of employees, many of whom have come to expect a technology-forward workplace, is fueling a surge in HR technology use.
HR Technology Boosts Efficiency
HR leaders have increasingly found new opportunities to connect and communicate with employees using human resources technology thanks in no small part to pandemic-era remote working restrictions. "Long gone are the days of handing out hard copies of employee handbooks and annual handbook update replacement inserts," said Paychex HR Coach Jarryd Rutter, PHR, SHRM-CP. Consequently, businesses may realize that now is the right time to capitalize on trends in HR tech and upgrade their systems to more efficiently:
- Manage compliance with applicable employment laws and regulations.
- Track time and attendance.
- Process payroll for employees.
- Maintain up-to-date employee information.
- Communicate quickly to employees about time-sensitive information.
For larger corporate structures, advances in human resources technology are helping HR teams become even more engaged in their company's overall strategic objectives. Specifically, HR leaders polled in the 2023 Paychex Pulse of HR Survey said they would invest in technology geared toward boosting employee productivity, improving the overall employee experience, training and skills building, and retention.
New HR technologies can generate measurable results by enhancing the pace and efficiency of both managers and the teams they lead. These individuals and teams are often supported in turn by HR and IT professionals, helping them determine where technology works best and implementing it to achieve maximum success.
7 Trends in HR Technology for 2024
Technology trends in HR point to solutions that significantly enhance business operations. Since the role of HR continues to expand in many workplaces, HR technology can help automate much of the work involved in areas such as applicant tracking, new-hire training, and benefits administration.
For 2024 and beyond, future HR and technology trends point toward:
- Improving the entire employee experience.
- Retaining employees with upskilling, reskilling, and ongoing learning.
- Supporting different work models (e.g., remote and hybrid work models).
- Demonstrating a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Using AI strategically.
- Making data-driven decisions.
- Adopting cloud-based HR systems.
1. Improving the Entire Employee Experience
Beyond simply focusing on employee engagement or disparately evaluating each step of the employee lifecycle, business leaders may consider thinking more holistically about the employee experience (EX) — from the recruitment process to well after employees' last days with the business. The emergence of EX as a current HR trend indicates that every touchpoint matters in retaining top talent and ensuring optimal productivity.
Integrated human resources technology can be critical to improving each phase of the end-to-end employee experience, as well as key areas that can shape workers' time with the business, some of which include:
- Recruiting and hiring: Adopting a customized applicant tracking system can standardize the processes for job postings, interview scheduling, and hiring workflows for more efficient, consistent results.
- New-hire training and onboarding: During the onboarding process, new employees can more easily integrate into the workplace and gain the training and knowledge needed to thrive for the long term. Onboarding an employee the right way can favorably affect workplace efficiency, accelerate training and development, and help drive results in a healthier, more collaborative company culture.
- Benefits offerings: To remain competitive, employers may need to rethink their benefits programs. Technology in HR can assist employers (and their HR teams) in rapidly comparing benefit program costs and offerings, and in identifying benefits that resonate most with today's job candidates.
- Employee training: To address retention and engagement, a business can offer training opportunities through learning tools and technologies, industry conferences, or online training resources, all of which can help employees hone their skills and prepare for future career growth.
- Employee well-being: Providing employees with a safe and healthy work environment is critical to maintaining a strong workforce. Programs addressing employee health and work/life balance are increasingly popular—including but not limited to those aimed at meeting the physical and emotional needs of remote workers and employees on a flexible work schedule. Companies can do this by allocating benefit dollars toward resources such as an employee assistance program (EAP), mental health services, and digital coaching platforms. HR teams can monitor employee well-being through surveys, polls and working groups, and by instituting policies that protect employees against burnout and encourage social connection among colleagues, even in distributed or remote work settings.
- Offboarding: When the time comes for an employee to leave the business, a standardized, respectful offboarding process can reflect a healthy and positive working environment and, when appropriate, leaves open the possibility that the ex-employee may someday return to work again at your business. Leveraging employee management technology can assist businesses in critical HR areas around employee separation, including compliance with state and federal laws, streamlining important forms and procedures, and tackling other important issues related to an employee leaving.
2. Retaining Employees With Upskilling, Reskilling, and Ongoing Learning
New performance management techniques are transforming the way businesses prioritize their retention efforts. For instance, investing in learning management can help employees further develop in key skill areas and better understand your company culture. Upskilling (training that builds upon an employee's current skills) and reskilling (training an employee for an entirely different job), employee training programs can provide your workers with what they're looking for professionally, helping you invest in the future of your business.
Offering development opportunities through learning management software, as well as job rotation, job expansion, and peer coaching can all help employees grow within the organization and help you create a sustainable workforce.
3. Supporting Different Work Models
Remote work policies established during the pandemic and changing attitudes around "work-from-anywhere" models have changed where and when employees work. With the rise of remote and hybrid work models, employers and HR teams should strive to adopt and implement a consistent work environment that keeps workers connected, engaged, and productive. This includes implementing tools that foster collaboration, provide onboarding and training, and keep lines of communication open between employees and HR.
The adoption of remote, hybrid, and flex scheduling is also a key differentiator in talent acquisition and retention. Embracing a remote or partially remote workforce model allows organizations to substantially expand their candidate pool and help ensure a talent-rich workforce, noted Rutter.
4. Demonstrating a Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is increasingly becoming an organizational priority and core business strategy, gaining a much-needed foothold in companies around the world. In recognizing the value of diverse perspectives, businesses demonstrate commitment to creating equitable environments where everyone feels included.
But creating and fostering an inclusive and diverse work environment requires more than simply recognizing that differences exist among your workforce. It also means recruiting, hiring, retaining, and developing employees from many backgrounds, making sure their voices are heard and incorporated, and providing them with equal access to success within your organization. That could mean using HR technologies to:
- Develop automated skills assessments.
- Gather feedback on the adoption or effectiveness of employee resource groups.
- Make data-backed decisions around hiring and promotions.
- Determine concrete success metrics for a role.
- Use anonymous feedback on inclusivity to improve company policies.
5. Using AI Strategically
AI has dominated news cycles in 2023, and as AI continues to evolve, its influence in the workplace is sure to grow as well. The Paychex Pulse Survey found that over three-fourths of HR leaders in companies with 20 or more employees said they'll use AI in the next 12 months. From resume scoring and ranking to assessing employee satisfaction, AI-powered processes may offer HR teams improved scalability, efficiency, and personalization.
Some key areas where HR teams may be able to leverage AI include:
- Training and career development: Skill-building and career development are a top priority, and AI could fine-tune the advice and support an employer offers to employees. By gathering data on each employee, their talents, and their position, algorithms could deliver valuable insight for goal setting and progressing in an organization based on what others have done.
- Engagement: Through leveraging AI chat functionality, teams can collect and uncover employees' priorities and concerns. As a result, teams can address employee feedback to improve engagement and reduce turnover.
- Employee feedback: AI could be a valuable tool for synthesizing data on employee and company performance. This can be helpful to HR leaders who are eager to track hybrid work, employee well-being, questions for management, and other key feedback.
6. Data-Driven Decision-Making
Using data to make business decisions isn't a new concept. But smaller businesses can be especially slow to adopt data analytics tools. The Paychex Pulse Survey found that companies with five to 19 employees were less concerned with gathering insights from data and analytics than they are with other priorities such as employee productivity, engagement, and retention. They were also more likely to handle HR functions manually.
Even still, companies of all sizes that invest in HR analytics may have the foundation to make smarter decisions, from when to hire more employees due to staffing shortages to whether employees are taking advantage of the benefits offered to them. Investment in data analytics technology can also demonstrate the value of human resources as part of an effective, modern HCM strategy.
7. Adopting Cloud-Based HR Systems
The use of cloud-based HR systems — hosted on servers and easily accessible by authorized users — continues to grow among businesses, especially with younger employees accustomed to working almost entirely online. And if you have employees working remotely or in a hybrid work setup, cloud-based systems and collaboration tools are essential for having conference calls, hosting webinars, working on documents simultaneously, engaging in video chat, and participating in ways that can help increase productivity and build relationships.
Other increasingly popular cloud-based benefits may include:
- The ability to incorporate HR analytics to build on prior recruitment experience and design new processes to attract potential candidates.
- Offering a comprehensive training process that grants employee access to company materials (HR policy manuals, training videos, and other onboarding materials).
- Enhancing the employee experience by enabling employees to use self-service portals and chat functions.
- The means to pinpoint individual employee peak performance and reward their efforts.
An effective cloud-based HR system also paves the way for future growth in the workforce. As the business grows, this automated technology can expand capabilities to meet the increased demand for more employees.
Use HR Technology To Fuel Success
Businesses today must contend with era-defining changes and a significantly reshaped workplace. Human resources technology is foundational for navigating these challenges. Whether it's investing in HR solutions or building on new HR tech trends, it's critical to simplify complex HR administrative functions, free up resources, and create more efficient processes. Discover how HR technology can help your business better align with emerging trends in human resources and develop a thriving workplace.