Human Resource Trends to Watch in 2024: Technology in HR

From the latest in flexible working to the future of AI in human resources and HR tech, these are the HR trends to watch in 2024 and beyond.

HR Managers, Business Owners
Mar 2024

The workplace has always been fast evolving, with agile HR strategies and best practices key to keeping up. And now, with the introduction of AI, advancements in HR tech and flexible working becoming the norm, there are plenty of new developments to take advantage of. Looking to stay ahead of the game? Our experts have uncovered the top human resource trends to watch in 2024 and beyond.

Trends in Human Resources

Human resources has already experienced a significant amount of change in the last three years. The flow-on effects of flexible working have seen an influx of remote or hybrid working models, allowing companies the freedom to recruit talent globally. The switch from a traditional office environment has also seen an increased dependency on technology to maintain daily operations and the employee experience — the latter of which comes with its challenges as companies strive to foster culture from afar and look after their employees' well-being with little to no in-person interactions.

While the pandemic initially saw a rapid increase in productivity across most industries, 51% of Australians reported feeling stressed. By 2021, six in 10 people were looking to leave their current employer within the next 12 months, and 85% of workers had experienced mental health challenges. More than ever, an agile HR strategy to build and maintain employee engagement was needed.

Last but not least, the increasing emergence of AI technology has brought a big question mark along with it — what impact will it have on the human workforce? For HR professionals, this question, among other trends in human resources, will demand attention in 2024.

Tech in HR

Advancements in HR tech are ramping up. With the move to a global workforce, system updates quickly become invaluable for automating onboarding processes, day-to-day work and performance management.  But, while many companies were quick to adapt for the sake of remote working, that was only the tip of the iceberg. With data crucial to informing HR best practices and decision-making, HR professionals are deploying various tools and technologies to understand workforce trends and manage behavioural shifts.

Wondering which department has the highest employee engagement? Looking to gain an understanding of how diversity and inclusion are represented in your company? These are all within the realm of HR tech possibilities. With monitoring systems capable of tracking employee engagement and performance (without breaching employee privacy), the challenge is marrying HR and tech at every stage of the employee lifecycle to gain the most helpful insights. Moving forward, the HR tech toolbox will also include online learning platforms and training programs utilising virtual and augmented reality — negating the need for overcrowded boardrooms and snooze-worthy presentations.

Artificial Intelligence in Human Resources

The use of AI is set to become increasingly commonplace within the workforce in 2024, with many companies already adopting the use of ChatGPT. In fact, a 2023 survey found that 46% of professionals already use ChatGPT to complete work tasks. Whether it be developing code, copywriting ads or crafting sales pitches, the AI tool has shown its potential to increase productivity. One experiment found that participants using the tool could complete their tasks 23% faster, and the quality of their work, assessed by independent experts, increased by 20%.

As for the use of AI in human resources, its ability to tackle administrative tasks may prove helpful to HR professionals in the future, and now is the time to experiment if you’re looking to stay ahead. HumanX HR has led the way by introducing ‘Xai’ to the team — an AI bot tasked with drafting communications to employees (e.g. newsletters and recruitment materials), data analysis, report generation and proposing strategies to improve HR processes.

A key part of Xai’s ‘employment’ is that the chatbot was onboarded similarly to a human employee. Xai is included on the org chart, complete with a job description that outlines the expectations of the tool and allows other employees to understand its boundaries. It’s also important to note that humans review Xai’s work and have consistent oversight. Comparatively, Xai can be thought of as a graduate employee — a useful pair of hands needing guidance and feedback. As HR professionals look to free up their admin tasks to focus on bigger projects, tools like Xai are set to become one of the biggest human resources trends of 2024.

Flexible Working

For companies looking to attract (and retain) top talent, flexible working arrangements will remain a top priority for HR professionals. A recent survey found that 78% of Australian employees prefer a mix of in-office and remote work, with hybrid positions providing enhanced flexibility for better work-life balance.

Of course, for HR professionals, the ongoing shift towards flexible working requires consistent monitoring to ensure all processes cater to the individual needs of remote employees, wherever in the world they are working from. This includes ensuring that all processes, from performance management to career development and training programs, are available and can be completed online.

Another top challenge companies face when managing remote teams is how to foster connection and build a culture of high morale in the wake of little to no in-person interaction. What this means for future trends in human resources is enhanced forms of communication, with a focus on both formal and informal conversations. From weekly one-on-ones offering supportive feedback to virtual team building through games and quizzes, strategies will need to be implemented to encourage connectedness.

Remote Onboarding

Considering that 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for at least three years if they experience great onboarding, nailing this step in your HR strategy is worth the effort. With hybrid working becoming the norm, creating a welcoming online environment for your company begins well before the recruitment stage. Is your company website up to date and reflecting the culture you’re striving for? What will talent find if they search the company on social media? First impressions count — even if you don’t know you’re making them yet.

Of course, it goes without saying that flexible working and remote onboarding rely a lot on HR tech. The virtual workplace needs to be well equipped, and onboarding a new employee with access to all the tools — whether it be Slack, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet or Zoom — needs to be swift and seamless for a positive experience. Having IT set up passwords and access ahead of time will remove any barriers and allow new employees to get into the flow of the team with the freedom to ask questions right off the bat. 

Introductions have also become a top priority during both online interviews and onboarding processes. Connecting candidates or new employees with the people they’ll be working with as soon as possible helps to develop relationships early on. Create a sense of community with processes that include plenty of ‘face time’ with the manager and team, as well as providing your new employee with a business directory or ‘get to know us’ email highlighting key contacts.

Employee Well-Being and Mental Health

Employee well-being and mental health were highlighted more than ever during the pandemic, with more than half of Australians feeling stressed at work during this time — leading to burnout and a severe decrease in motivation. Numerous studies and surveys have shown that mental health and productivity are closely linked, with a positive work environment prioritising employee well-being more important than ever.

  • A report by Gallup found that highly engaged teams are 21% more profitable for the company.
  • Research by Oxford University found that happy workers are 13% more productive.
  • According to APA, 89% of workers at companies that support well-being initiatives are more likely to recommend their company as a good place to work.
  • A review of 18 case studies found that wellness programmes improved retention rates and reduced staff turnover by 20-25%.

Considering the benefits of providing work-life balance and a happier work environment, prioritising the mental health of employees shouldn’t be seen as a human resources trend but a necessity and core part of human resource strategy. If you need support building and implementing an HR strategy, our team of HR professionals have a wealth of knowledge to share. From team coaching to change management, contact us today for solutions to suit you and your company.

Diverse & Inclusive Workplaces

Companies have worked towards promoting a diverse and inclusive workplace in the past. But for many, it hasn’t been a core part of their HR strategy until now. When steps are put into place to actively build and improve diversity and inclusion in the workplace, statistics have shown:

In 2024, implementing diversity and inclusion in your HR strategy begins before recruitment and is ingrained through every step of the employee lifecycle. From diverse hiring practices to establishing Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and deploying diversity training and education, these are just some of the key developments human resources will adopt in the next (if not already) to enact real change.

For further help managing diversity and inclusion in the workplace or advice on including it in your HR strategy, reach out to our HR professionals today.

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