When you apply for an internship, job or promotion, it makes sense not just to research industry trends and competitor developments, but also to understand what’s going on in HR, because these are the people that hire and fire staff.

The latest HR trends are all to do with technology, which is a major factor in any good HR team, so your knowledge of the tech they use will help you get ahead.

AI is being used to find the best candidates

Large companies that don’t use AI (Artificial Intelligence) in their recruitment process are at a disadvantage because they can’t maximize efficiency when it comes to scanning all those CVs and cover letters and interviewing a diverse range of candidates.

As Benefit News reported in April, there are now some brilliant digital tools to spot and counteract recruitment biases towards people of a certain sexuality, gender, race or religion. Say goodbye to the pale, male and stale working environment.

To keep on the right side of an automated data checker, when you submit your CV or digital job application form, make doubly sure you’ve filled the right information in the right boxes. Some application forms can pull in data from your uploaded CV or LinkedIn profile, but they can paste it in the wrong order or with formatting issues.

The intranet becomes more valuable

According to Workforce.com, a company’s intranet is ranked just behind email as a way for HR to keep in contact with staff – ahead of social media, apps and physical posters in staff rooms. As workers deal with email overload and endless email threads, the intranet seems like a great alternative way to spread messages, point out internal vacancies and highlight good employees.

Good job signposting is particularly important for retention: the LinkedIn Global Recruiting Trends report 2018 highlighted the case of Nielsen increasing staff retention by better signposting promotions and internal jobs.

If your dream employer has very few vacancies, consider an internship as a way in. As an intern, you’ve taken that valuable step inside the company and you can check the intranet for news of upcoming vacancies or ways to get ahead internally, like finding a mentor.

Employees are worried about lack of technology training

According to HR News, 70% of UK employees claim they aren’t getting the technology training they need, and 31% of IT managers are worried about a potential skills shortage affecting digital company initiatives.

This suggests there’s a gap between the technology employees are using and the level of training they’re given. If this happens in your workplace, research one-day courses or workshops that you and your colleagues could complete to get up to (and claim on expenses).

Should an employer not be willing to pay for you to learn new tech skills, consider paying privately if the technology is essential in your industry, because it will be invaluable for future jobs, and not having the skills will put you at a disadvantage when applying for jobs.

The struggle to ‘switch off’ is a concern

In May, the CIPD released the results of its major survey, Health and Wellbeing at Work, which monitored health and absence management in over 1,000 organizations. The technology was a double-edged sword for respondents.

On the plus side, 74% of those surveyed said technology helps with flexible working, which is a big plus point for employees, and 44% said it reduces commuting time and costs for staff. However, 87% reported being unable to switch off outside working hours, and 46% said this technology reliance could affect the quality of their sleep. An over-reliance on technology can also contribute to ‘presenteeism’ (working long hours for the sake of appearances or team pressure but achieving little) or ‘leaveism’ (working whilst technically on annual leave).

When applying for jobs, read up on a company’s culture as much as possible to get a sense of its technology use and its level of interest in staff wellbeing through HR priorities and mission statements. A good employer values employees’ peace of mind and downtime as well as their working time.

Understanding these HR technology trends will keep you up to speed with the latest concerns for hiring managers and HR managers, which is always a bonus for boosting your career prospects.

Polly Allen writes for Inspiring Interns, a graduate recruitment agency which also offers graduate careers advice. Find the latest graduate jobs listings via their website, and upload your video CV today.

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