HR Transformation in 2020

Recent years have shown that HR has gone through dynamic changes from human labor to digitalization and automation. That does not mean it devalues human work but instead, it facilitates human work – making it easier and faster to manage the workforce.

The rise of technology in HR has played a key role in growing the economy and creating greater diversity in human capital. To stay in the game, organizations have no option but to go through digital transformation and stay à la mode, that is, up-to-date.



  • The presence of technology or artificial intelligence does not replace or devalue human work; it rathers facilitates and complements each other
  • Virtual reality can be used to improve recruiting & training endeavors
  • Organizations have concentrated on improving employee engagement and satisfaction to attract talent
  • HR will guide businesses to success in 2020 rather than provide data
  • Gen Y, or Millennials, and Gen X are showing interests in the short-term jobs, also known as the gig economy, and freelancing (part and/or full time)
  • For just one function of HR, for instance, recruiting, an employee goes through a lot of applications. This will be integrated to facilitate smooth data sharing.



Businesses around the world are realizing that to survive it needs to transform HR digitally. The group Vice President of Gartner, Brian Kropp, speaking about the challenges that HR leaders face, says that around two-thirds of businesses will go down if they do not adopt and increase digitalization by 2020.

A lot of planning and strategizing goes down when incorporating technology and the main challenge is for the employees to accept and learn. As rapid development takes place, top industry leaders were consulted to learn about the 10 HR transformations that companies can undergo to make informed decisions.

1. AI and RPA

Artificial Intelligence has shown to reduce the workload while shortening the time it takes to complete a task. Instead of employees pouring over to screen thousands of applicants or to evaluate massive data, the usage of technological applications has reduced the time taken and made the selection process easier to screen through.

Another advantage of using digital apps is to remove human bias. However, there is a downside too. Using AI means there’s no room for human bias during the selection and evaluation process. But, the stimulating factor here is humans. They select specific data that sets the algorithm which selects candidates, even if it is unintentional, and leaves out a significant number of recruits such as women, minorities, or seniors.

AI has also moved on to recognition, development planning, resource organizing, digital training, and a lot more.

Another issue that springs up is whether AI will replace humans. According to Ben Eubanks, founder of UpstartHR and Principal analyst of Lighthouse Research and Advisory, human skills (creativity, compassion, critical analysis, curiosity, and co-operation) will still be required to operate AI. He also goes on to say that even if AI is making advances, humans will still have an essential role to play.

Robotic Process Automation envelopes robotic skills such as ChatBot, machine learning, etc, just as better as AI. This helps in increasing productivity and speeds up communication among employees.

Chatbots are the most popular technology being used by companies to answer employees’ queries, which can be often common and repetitive. By incorporating chatbots, HR is free to address the more important questions that need their attention.

Another advantage of chatbots is having assistance and voice search. One such example is Alexa or Google. Deloitte recommends that RPA can be used for repeatable and predictable communication with digital apps.

2. VR and AR

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality technology are used especially for job-specific skills. For instance, pilots are trained and tested via VR as it showcases real-life scenarios and how it is being tackled. These are best suited for high-risk businesses such as Army recruitments or in construction. Although they are not popular enough now, it’s worth watching out for in the future.


Employee satisfaction has become one of the key issues that most companies strive to achieve. Positive workplace environment, the value of their contribution, challenging work, etc. can be a source of improving productivity, increasing loyalty, and job satisfaction.

Employee retention has become so important that organizations are willing to invest more resources to cater to employees’ needs. According to a survey, it has been found that employees connect job satisfaction to their work environment rather than their remuneration.


One of the trends that may become popular in the future is the Organization Guidance System (OGS) in HR, according to Dave Ulrich, professor, author, and speaker. He comments that instead of just delivering the desired outcomes, HR will also be able to guide organizations in solving problems so they can make sustainable progress and achieve success.


Usually, performance feedback is provided once a year and time-consuming meetings are held to talk about each individual’s progress. Now, with the help of feedback channels and pulse surveys, employees can receive feedback on their personal and professional development and improve productivity.

Having an opportunity to share their views is seen to be more constructive, according to Sushman Bishwas for HR Technologist.


There are now two new ways to work.

  • Temp jobs: To earn extra income, employees take up side hustles or part-time freelancing. Full-time freelancers work on their own most of the time and it has reached the HR too. Now HR consultations are provided by HR freelancers. Todays’ workforce is drawn to this gig economy – so companies need to acknowledge it to still be in the game.
  • Telecommuting: Many companies are now accepting work from home. Besides, it provides high benefits such as greater productivity, motivation due to its effect on happiness and job satisfaction.


As more and more baby boomers retire and newer generations replace them, organizations struggle to normalize and make new adjustments. New and young people means new views, new opinions, new technology that they use, etc. Companies need to understand this archetype of how to shift workers successfully.

In the event of a shifting process, organizations need to make sure that the retirees’ knowledge is passed on to the new worker. On-the-job training for the new employees can be a way to teach them the main functions that the job entails and reduce any potential skills gap.


Another popular trend is that companies are now shifting away from manpower planning to task planning. In Ulrich’s words, more emphasis is given on how the task will be done rather than who does it.

The options are available today such as full-time, part-time, contract workers, and AI. Shortening the tasks by using technology can save time but it will not replace humans, Ulrich stated. It will merely be an assistant which will rely on human ideas to accomplish a task. With remote workforce management software your business travel experience will improve while keeping your global workforce safe and compliant.


It has been predicted that wearable devices will be increasingly used to monitor health issues, increase productivity, and job satisfaction in the workplace.

For instance, workers who have been sitting down for a long time with the wrong posture will be alerted and the data would also get transferred to the management simultaneously.

Another example is where construction workers can see through the wall with a wearable device and decide better on how to tear down the wall


Recruiting alone requires 11 different systems, stated Charney (Recruitment Solutions & Strategy Leader at QuantumWork).

Every function of HR is being integrated with technology, be it career management, recruitment, assessment, etc. With the dawn of automation, integrating technology has become essential to facilitate capacities and explore opportunities.



No matter how technologically advanced an organization is, if the software they use is of poor quality, they stand no chance of survival. Therefore, as your company grows, and more complicated processes arise, you need to keep updating to the latest software versions to keep up.

An example would be Axxerion, a CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management System) where they dispatch work orders, schedule maintenance, keep accounts of revenues and expenses, etc.

A reliable and good quality software that provides solutions to large data, and is responsible for presenting the correct data, can save time, money, effort, and resources.



Technology plays a huge role today in our everyday lives. Even with newer innovations coming up, most organizations have adopted employee-centric culture to increase productivity, and job satisfaction and provide better performance reviews.

Integrating human and tech skills together open up opportunities, saves time, avoids repetitive tasks, and makes life easier for everyone.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.