Niamh Madden

Human Resources was once called “Personnel.” It’s often referred to as Human Capital.

With the shift towards Artificial Intelligence, what’s next? Robot Resources?

Not quite, thankfully.

AI will help reduce manual and operational HR tasks. This is great, because it will give more time to HR professionals to focus on putting the “human” at the heart of HR strategy.

While AI dominated many of the discussions and presentations at HR Tech World Amsterdam, there was another conversation going on too. With robots on the way, Talent Acquisition and HR Managers will need to focus more than ever on helping people find their purpose. 

Here’s the 5 emerging human trends that we discovered at HR Tech World: 

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1. Employee experience is #1 

Max Hunter, Chief Joy Officer (great title!) of Loylogic, launched an internal platform to help employees connect with each other. 

The results were astounding: Now 18 months in, with no rules or policies, there is a 90% engagement rate on the platform. This shows the power of online communities when people are trusted and encouraged to create their own culture and content. 

Loylogic calls its employees "pilots". And managers? They're "co-pilots." Even better is the title of the HR team: People Experience. Performance management in the company is centred around "growth" rather than judgement. Is this the coming of a new era where HR will get another name change? 

2. Crowdsource talented people 

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As the war on talent becomes fiercer and recruitment gets more competitive, networks and talent pools will help match companies with people more effectively. 

For instance, VanHack's online community gives designers, digital marketers and developers a platform to seek work abroad. Meanwhile, here at KonnectAgain we create rich talent pools of interns, graduates, alumni and other people who've been flagged as being top talent. 

HR and Talent Acquisition teams are beginning to see the benefits of highly engaged, targeted communities and the impact these can have on lowering recruitment costs. 

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3. Revisit employee referrals 

William Tincup from Recruiting Daily opened his talk on Talent Acquisition Trends with a shocking statistic: There are 23,000 + HR products in the world! Knowing what to choose is the hardest part. 

Why not reboot the employee referrals programme? It's cost-effective to reward and incentivise your employees for referrals. The process must be straightforward though. Solutions like Simppler improve the process, making it easier for employees to refer great people. 

It's important to extend the same referral benefits to your former employees too, so that they can  refer top talent back to the company, which is easy to do through KonnectAgain.

4. Anonymise this 

While referrals are fantastic, hiring also needs a mix of anonymity to reduce bias.  HR departments are looking for a diverse workforce and want to hire the right people with the right skills, regardless of gender, race, age or sexual orientation. But unconscious bias sometimes kicks in.

Solutions like Blendoor anonymise candidate resumes, so that you can be sure your teams are hiring based on merit, rather than on biases they may not even be aware of. 

With tenure now just lasting 2 - 5 years, anonymous surveys, feedback and exit interviews are going to become more important to gather meaningful information about why employees are leaving. 

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5. Put your phone to bed  

Arianna Huffington, CEO and co-founder of Thrive Global, was the keynote speaker at HR Tech World. Her biggest piece of advice to the audience? Give your phone a rest. 

HR professionals need to encourage employees (and their phones) to get enough sleep so that people don't burn out. Making sure that people can have "no email / no phone" time is key to keeping that balance up, especially on holidays. 

Just launched is the new Thrive app, which helps people disconnect from their phones and limit calls and emails to VIPs and urgent issues. You could consider implementing this to improve productivity and reduce risks of burnout. 

How KonnectAgain can help

KonnectAgain is an online platform that helps global companies tap into rich networks of their past and future talent. We help organisations understand why employees are leaving, stay connected with them and help re-hire high performing alumni. This results in reduced recruitment costs, boosted productivity, improved brand culture and a rich talent pool for referrals and boomerangs.

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