Emerging HR Tech Trends to Watch Out for in 2019

BY Therese Pempeña Communication

Emerging HR Tech Trends to Watch Out for in 2019

2019 is shaping up to be an important year for HR practitioners as they try to navigate a continuously shifting industry. These days, HR needs to strike the perfect balance between effective human skills and machine capabilities to create a workforce that will be the driving force behind an organization’s success amidst a major technological revolution.

With the number of HR tech trends poised to make a splash this year, it might be a little confusing to figure out which you need to adapt. Fortunately for you, we’ve handpicked five trends that will keep your company at the forefront of innovation.

Huge Focus on Employee Engagement

With the numerous benefits of having an engaged workforce, it’s no wonder why many companies are putting more effort into employee engagement. And not just on traditional methods, mind you. According to the Source G2 Crowd EE Survey[1], a shocking 80 percent of HR professionals believe that HR tech improves employee attitude toward the company. The Society for Human Resource Management predicts that more organizations will favor technology-based listening techniques[2] over company-wide annual survey to measure engagement, specifically tracking behavior through technology embedded ID badges or computer usage data. For instance, companies can scrape emails, internal collaboration networks, websites, and calendars to gain a better understanding of current sentiment and organizational culture. The data gathered can then be used to improve engagement levels.

Migration of HR Systems to the Cloud

In the past, companies were hesitant to move core HR processes to the cloud due to the complexities of their requirements and some doubt as to whether the technology was mature enough for their need. As time went on, however, it seems like these organizations, particularly the large ones have changed their tune. In 2017, PwC’s Global HR Technology Survey[3] showed that 73 percent of organizations of all sizes have begun migrating their HR processes, including payroll, to the cloud at a rather fast pace. So far, this trend hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down, even increasing to 75 percent now, with 26 percent of respondents saying they have plans to move a core system to the cloud in the next one to three years. With the significant improvement to cloud products over the years, companies have grown confident enough to migrate to cloud-based systems en masse.

Remote Workforce Becoming the Norm

In a study conducted last year, researchers from the International Working Group found that 70 percent of employees around the world work away from the office[4] at least once a week. This proves that work-from-home arrangements have indeed reached mainstream status and no longer considered restricted to certain job roles. Technology has certainly been a key enabler for organizations to maintain a remote workforce (i.e. software like Slack, Asana, and other cloud-based HR platforms) but so have laws and regulations that give employees the option to ditch the typical nine-to-five routine.


The recent signing of the Telecommuting Act into law[5] is expected to further normalize it in the local setting. And with benefits such as cutting operation costs, a higher rate of productivity, increased loyalty and better brand reputation, a remote working arrangement is bound to be widespread before the year ends.

HR Taking on Specialised IT Roles

The Sierra-Cedar HR Systems Survey[6] revealed something quite interesting this year: there is a growing need for human resource information technology (HRIT) specialists. In cloud environments, in particular, the study finds that these roles are 1.5 times more likely to be responsible for data security and technology decision than IT or other functional roles. Since passing the Data Privacy Act in 2012[7], data privacy has become an area of focus for companies, and we may yet see HR have more specialized IT roles to cope. Considering that HR staff deals with more data privacy and integration issues than other disciplines or functions like finance or marketing, companies may want to consider further training their employees or at least hiring someone who has some background in HRIT.

Augmented Analytics for People Data

As HR leaders and employee hiring professionals begin to build and scale their teams this year, automation will play a big role in processing people data. Augmented analytics is a new class of smart software that promises to give HR an edge in analyzing data using machine learning and natural language generation. Such a framework can automatically go through a company’s data and generate insights so leaders can turn them into actionable steps with little to no supervision of a specialist. As a result, decision making regarding employment and other HR concerns can be done in less time and data can be presented to businesses, customers and relevant stakeholders on the fly. 


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