10 Upcoming Digital HR Trends in 2019

These top 10 trends in digital HR demonstrate how new technology is changing our workplaces, making us more productive and connecting us on a global level.

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Digital HR is all about the people – just in an effective, streamlined and future-friendly way. As new technologies become available, HR experts are leveraging them to make key people processes that much better.


Today we’ll go through some of the upcoming digital HR trends in 2019. Get ready to be wowed by these innovative advances.

1. Virtual reality training
We typically think of virtual reality as belonging to the entertainment industry. However, HR is now using virtual reality to give truly immersive training. Of course, the type of onboarding or training will depend on the company. However, successful VR programs have included training for different customer service situations, or even for workplace sexual harassment prevention. This application of VR in the HR world is really groundbreaking.

2. Digital employee engagement tools

Economists estimate that a lack of engagement at work costs the U.S. economy $550 billion annually. This is a huge challenge for HR to try to get workers to stay engaged, productive and happy at work. A regular old survey just won’t cut it anymore. HR experts are looking to leverage software and online tools to track their employees’ mood, get feedback from them and celebrate their achievements. There’s plenty of good services out there – from the popular WooBoard for employee achievement to the digital tool Chimp or Champ – for gauging employee satisfaction week-to-week. Some HR departments are even investing in more formal software to engage employees at their work computers throughout the day. Whatever the digital tool they choose, HR workers are looking for actionable ways to draw employees in.

3. Blind hiring technology

Unconscious bias is a well-studied phenomenon when it comes to hiring. Studies show that applicants with identical resumes but different racial/ethnic names are less likely to be called back for an interview. To combat this hiring bias, HR workers are using blind hiring technology, which is a way to recruit, screen and interview candidates without knowing their demographic information. This kind of trailblazing tools make recruitment more equitable and also foster greater diversity in the workplace.

4. Wellness wearable or mobile technology

Companies are now pushing corporate wellness to keep employees healthy and happy. Part of these initiatives include giving employees wearable technology, such as smartwatches, step trackers, heart rate monitors or even apps to measure stress reduction and health promotion.  Some companies are even creating their own internal apps to reward employees for meeting health goals, or doing company-wide exercise initiatives such as 5Ks. This kind of wearable or mobile technology will make employees healthier and more productive in the long-run.

5. Self-service apps for employees


HR experts spend a lot of time answering employee questions, sending reminders to fill out forms or making sure formal evaluations are scheduled. With self-service apps, HR experts can automate certain tasks and communications. This can help HR staff manage their time and let workers focus on more involved problems. Companies are investing in self-service apps where employees can talk to bots for basic questions and get automatic reminders for certain forms. These are great time saver techniques for HR departments.

6. Big data analytics on employee behavior

Digital HR experts are now starting to better study their employee behavior to prevent conflicts and talent flight. In general, they track personality profiles, engagement metrics (such as absenteeism) and different AI methods to have a better idea of how employees behave and will behave in the future. These kind of analytics also help HR managers take actions to improve employee retention.

7. Hiring a Digital Adoption Manager

According to new digital HR trends, companies will also start hiring Digital Adoption Managers. If you haven’t heard of this role before, you’re not alone. Digital adoption is a new trend to better streamline use of digital tools at work, better train employees on tools that they don’t understand and make sure digital assets are protected with up-to-date security systems. This role is a catch-all for the way technology is transforming the way we work. This role is for somebody with the tech know-how to leverage tools and the patience to explain and protect them in the future.

8. Visual storytelling in recruitment

Visual storytelling is a new digital HR trend that is making waves in the recruitment field. Nowadays, hiring managers are requiring videos from applicants to better see how they communicate and carry themselves in public. This also goes hand-in-hand with the hiring trend of valuing soft skills more than ever. According to studies, profiles with video resumes are much more likely to be viewed, interviewed and hired.

9. Digital team collaboration tools
With distributed teams becoming the norm across industries, HR has innovated new ways to cultivate digital collaboration tools at work. This ranges from integrating innovative communication tools such as Slack to time zone calculators like World Time Buddy. What’s certain is that HR is creating company-wide communication protocols so that teams – whether remote, distributed or in-office – are able to create seamless collaboration for the fast-paced business world.

10. AI recruitment for smart matching

Distributed work is on the rise. Remote work statistics show that 70% of employees globally work remotely at least once a week – and 50% of employees work remotely half the week. These are some of the first studies to survey professionals in 96 different countries and across a range of industries. Statistics fluctuate depending on the country and industry. (For example, remote IT workers are leading the pack.) However, this huge percentage shows that remote work – whether part-time or full-time – is a major trend worldwide.

These top 10 trends in digital HR demonstrate how new technology is changing our workplaces, making us more productive and connecting us on a global level. From VR, digital tools, wearable tech, apps, big data, visual tools and distributed work, HR is innovating the way we work for the better.

Are you using any of these digital HR innovations? How are they transforming your workplace?

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