3) Continuous Performance Management Is Here: And You Should Get With It
I wont belabor this topic (read “The Myth of the Bell Curve” for more), but the answer is now clear: continuous performance management is possible, it works, and it can transform your company. We are not talking about doing away with ratings, rather we are talking about building a new, ongoing process for goal setting, coaching, evaluation, and feedback.
The report discusses all the details (including vendors) but let me leave you with one big finding: despite the tremendous success of the cloud HCM vendors in the market, most do not have a total solution for this problem. So you are going to be buying new products to address this issue, and these new “team-centric” tools are likely to become the future leaders in the HCM market of the future.
4) Feedback, Engagement, and Analytics Tools Reign
Only a few years ago the engagement survey market was a robust but sleeply place. Today it has become a dynamic world of real-time survey systems, sentiment analysis software, organizational network analysis (ONA) tools, and products that actually automatically ask your peers for feedback to give you real-time coaching.
And open feedback tools are growing again, giving employees many new places to comment on the workplace. A new area of growth is the explosion of systems to offer pay transparency and are now crowdsourcing and providing benchmarking tools to help you “find your worth” (a phrase Glassdoor coined) through open feedback and benchmarking.
As I wrote about a few years ago in the article “Feedback is the Killer App,” I believe this explosion of transparency has been very healthy for business, and it has spawned a new set of pulse surveys, AI-based analysis and recommendation systems, and culture assessments throughout the marketplace. You can get this technology from startups, ERP vendors, talent management systems, and embedded in the new performance management systems. I think companies have to think about this as an overall architecture, but this is still a new world.
5) Reinvention of Corporate Learning Is Here
I’ve written about this extensively (read The 10 Disruptive Changes in Learning) but the simple message is this: a new breed of corporate learning tools has finally arrived, and companies are snapping them up quickly.
These include the “experience platforms,” a new breed of “micro-learning platforms,” modernized LMS systems, and new AI-based systems to recommend learning, find learning, and deliver learning. Virtual Reality-based learning is now alive and well, and I expect to see smarter and smarter technologies to help us find “just what we need” along the lines of performance support. And you can now buy systems that let employees publish and share content without any major effort on your part.
6) The Recruiting Market Is Thriving With Innovation
Recruitment is the largest marketplace in HR. Companies spend billions each year on recruiting and it has become an escalating war for employment brand, candidates, candidate experience, and strategic sourcing. High volume recruitment (hospitality, services, healthcare, retail) is being automated by chatbots and other new tools; skilled job recruitment is being revolutionized by open sourcing tools, more automated applicant tracking systems (now called recruitment management systems), and better assessments. And video assessment and culture assessment tools have matured so far that everyone can use them.
I find this part of HR technology the most dynamic and innovative, primarily because every major company has to buy a whole tapestry of tools to compete. I liken the recruitment technology market to the problem builders face in construction. You need an entire toolset of world-class machines to do the job, and each one has its own learning curve to use well. Recruiters are like the finished carpenters of the trade: they become better and better over time, and suddenly you find out your competition is stealing your people and you don’t know what hit you.
The market has gotten hotter than ever, with unemployment rate near record lows. We are back into the “war for talent” (a 15 year old phrase) and this time “the talent is leading the charge.” In other words, all the new technologies are making recruiters smarter about candidates, just as candidates are getting smarter about your companies.
Remember also that the old fashioned “job description” is really going the way of the dinosaur. More and more jobs are “hybrid” and rapidly changing, so the new world of tools has to help us find people with the right capabilities and learning skills, not just technical or cognitive abilities. And diversity is now a core part of recruiting, with new technology to help remove bias from job descriptions and reduce bias in interviewing (even VR can help with this). Lots to read about here.