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Navigating Gig Economy Through Adoption of Modern HR Tech

April 4, 2019
By Prakash Rao
Navigating Gig Economy Through Adoption of Modern HR Tech

In the face of this new workforce gaining prominence, organisations would need to pace up their adoption of HR technology

Workforce 4.0 has become a very frequently used phrase today. One of the most important factors leading to this transforming reality is the gaining prominence of Gig economy across the globe. In many ways, it has become the most promising employment solution that is slowly feeding the starved employment ecosystem.

According to a recent report published by EY Global Contingent Workforce Study, the global gig economy is growing and by 2020 almost one in five workers will be contingent (Freelancers or contract) workers. The report further stated that “61% of organizations reported that they use contingent workers for 12 or more months, indicating that organizations are willing to engage with contingent workers even for projects and assignments for a longer duration.”         

The question is- How can they make the transition towards digital HR?

1. Digital Paper Resumes

When it comes to the area of recruitment, resumes are going to be digital. Instead of walking around with paper resumes, every candidate is going to have a digital footprint along with a digital CV.

2. Digital Assessment for Selection

The current recruitment process involving multiple rounds of interviews with the prospective employer will move away to digital assessments such as video interviews and online assessments. These assessments will be designed in a way that they are deemed intelligent enough to assess whether you are the right person for the job or not.

3. HR Portals as Mobile Applications

So many companies have heavily invested in multiple HR portals, be it for attendance, payroll, or performance management. The future will be about finding ways to bring HR into a person’s mobile phone. All these portals where employees have to log in will be available directly on their mobile devices as applications.

4. Geo-Agnostic Technology for Time-In/Out

Most organizations today have a biometric integration or a card reader for attendance marking. But the near future is one where location services such as geo-fencing will recognize the employee the moment they are at the premises/work and mark them as a present for that day.

5. Right Time Data

The availability and correct inference from data is such an important competitive differentiator. But organizations are still dominated by a lot of excel linking for a lot of macro-based work. The focus in the future will be to ensure how data is easily available to anyone who needs it at the right time.

6. Conversational Tools for Collaboration

Email has been the standard collaboration tool for years now. But the world is more attuned to conversations now with platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp taking over everyday conversations. At the workplace, collaboration tools will also move to conversational platforms where people can send messages on real-time and get quick responses.

7. Digital Matchmaking

Recruitment will make a shift from manually looking at a candidate and the required job profile and making a decision to digital matchmaking where intelligent systems will understand profile requirements and match candidates to them. A lot of organizations have already marched in this direction.

8. Chatbots/Intelligent Assistants as the New Helpdesk

Traditional ways of customer support such as call-centres are going to be replaced by chatbots for basic queries. These chatbots will get intelligent with time and help companies gather information to understand trends related to customer support.

9. Hourly Gig Payments

With the coming in of the gig economy, the kind of payments being made to the employees (contract or freelance) will not be monthly, but rather move to an hourly model.

10. HR Business Partners as Business Evangelists

The employee is going to be at the core of everything, and this employee is going to be working with organizations with different kinds of arrangements – salaried, contract or freelance. Depending on the kind of employment, the experience will change. HR business partners will have to assume the role of experience evangelists and ensure that every kind of employee has the right kind of experience while interacting with the company for work.

This kind of impact across so many different areas of HR tech lead to the idea that the future is going to take artificial intelligence and machine intelligence and combine that with social intelligence.

The Inconvenient Truth of HR

The question is – Is HR ready to face these changes that the gig economy will bring with it? Not in the current situation. There is a huge gap between what HR wants and what the user wants. While decision makers of a company looking for quicker and intelligent decisions, companies continuously burden them with procedures and reporting that take up most of their time. Similarly, process owners are seeking easy to understand and on-the-go integrated systems; on the contrary, what they get are separated platforms for attendance, payroll and other functions.  Coming to employees, they want a system which is DIY, easy to use and does not involve remembering a lot of ids and passwords. Instead of this, companies give employees complicated systems which are driven by compliance.

The User is Missing in Action

The HR Tech market is a $34 billion market. Out of this, 33 per cent of companies has more than 10 HR systems. 47per cent of this market has decade old systems that make bringing in changes a huge challenge. Consequently, only 16 per cent of companies using HR tech is focusing on simplifying things and putting the user at the centre.

With this move towards the gig economy, there will be no time to brief gig workers on complex HR systems because they will be spending lesser and lesser time at the workplace. Most of them will be virtual as well. In that day and age, it is important to have an HR system which is intuitive, which has ease of use, which puts the user at the centre and works on a DIY model.

This article was published on Business Standard

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