HR Tech: Quo Vadis?

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"I'm sorry Dave, I can't do that." This quote from the magisterial '2001, a Space Odyssey' by legendary filmmaker Kubrick sets the tone at the beginning of this article. The film creates a frightening image of artificial intelligence as if it were a weapon, controlled by the gods to remind man of his own mortality. This conviction sharpens the debate between enthusiasts and opponents of technology and AI.

The world of HR also undergoes a true (r)evolution in technology. All over the world, companies emerge which orbit technology and artificial intelligence around planet HR. In recent years, Ghent has emerged as a true mecca of HR Tech. High time to get things straight.

Personnel administration is one of the areas where a lot of energy is put into tracking and updating information and maintaining outdated procedures. Folders with contracts and Excel files in which all possible information is listed about the employees, their company assets, leave requests and so on....

Officient has built a platform that simplifies a lot of personnel administration issues. Dimona declarations are sent in a single click, contracts are drawn up and signed digitally and leave requests are submitted and managed centrally in the system. A link with the social-accounting secretariat also makes the payroll processing a lot easier. In addition to the HR platform, there is also a self-service app for the employee. All you need is a laptop and a smartphone. Piece of cake!

Another interesting HR platform is Nakama HR. This platform orchestrates an 'employee referral' system in your organisation. The platform succeeds in drawing up a cost-efficient referral strategy tailored to your company. In times of tight labour markets, this tool proves its added value.

In addition, there is a great future for Artificial Intelligence in HR. Just think of chatbots that make a first acquaintance in the search for a job. Or a self-learning search engine that can reduce the administrative burden of a recruiter. The possibilities are endless.

Does your company also have difficulties in getting self-learning organisations up and running or in mapping out knowledge silos in the company? Don't worry! Uman.ai has built a self-learning machine that maps out the competences of your employees. The algorithm will detect the specific knowledge silos and makes it easy to group and map all learning in your organization.

Another interesting path for technology in HR is Blockchain. Problems with referencing, checking the authenticity of work experiences and taking IQ and personality tests can easily be captured in Blockchain.

The combination of all these things has the potential to make the HR process simpler, faster and more effective. As with most innovations, it's first the large structures that will put the technologies in place for small businesses to benefit from them.

Allow us to add a critical note to this euphoric story of technology and innovation. There is also a danger in blending HR and technology: innovating for the sole purpose of innovating. Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater: some things will always be better done by people. In times of digitalisation, there will be an increasing need for a human approach. From this point of view, technology in HR will function as an enabler for all processes where there is little time left by the end of the process. Big data, self-learning machines or Internet of Things will allow us to understand more quickly what is going on in the workplace, but the focus of intervention and adjustment will always be on the human side of the interaction. After all, this way, people will always form the basis for a good and well-functioning HR policy. We will always need leniency in evaluation interviews, a difficult manager during salary interviews, an empathic interviewer during a job interview or team building organised by and for people.

Let's lightly fine-tune the opening note: "Together Dave, we can do it!"