7 Technologies That Will Transform Human Resources in 2017

May 11 2017 - Technology is set to completely transform the way we approach Human Resources and recruitment. Virtual job interviews build upon the online job application process that has become the norm for many companies. And they are only the start of what is likely to alter the landscape of hiring, firing and everything in between for employees. Here are seven technologies that will transform Human Resources in 2017.

Foolproof Dual Factor Authentication

Dual factor authentication relies on two different methods of confirming one's identity. This improves the security of your facilities and IT infrastructure in a way a username and password alone cannot. The second type of authentication beyond username and password may take the form of a key fob that changes passcodes every few minutes, but this method is prone to locking people out when they fail to enter the code within 30 seconds.

Access badges and key cards could be lost, and they can be used by someone who has learned the username and password. The most secure solution is relying on biometric identification as a second form of authentication. Fingerprints can be compromised by cuts on the hand, irritation from chemicals or sweat; hygiene is a whole other issue.

Fortunately, there is a simple solution that requires almost no effort on the part of employees. Companies like Clearstar use facial recognition software for employment verification and controlling access to your facilities. Even when our facial structure changes in time due to weight changes, facial hair or makeup, the software notices the variations and can inform Human Resources that the person needs a new photo before they cannot access the facility. Facial recognition can also take the place of proximity badges, since the user must be sitting in front of the camera to use systems with that type of control in place.

Interviewing Will Go Virtual

In a world where video seems to be king and there are endless tools for face to face at distance interaction, this could be the year where video interviews go global. Especially when many jobs aren't localized and can be performed at distance. The current business climate transcends borders and multinationals aren't afraid to step out in search for talent.

Video messaging could also be used increasingly to conduct initial interviews to narrow down the pool of talent. The procedure could end up saving companies thousands of dollars in the process.

While outsourcing globally used to be reserved for big multinationals not too long ago, even small to medium business nowadays are turning to this practice to find new people. Other pressures such as the tightening of the workforce and rising costs are pushing more small business to outsource to outside contractors.

This trend should push video interviewing to the mainstream and we can expect more and more companies to either use dedicated video interviewing technologies or video messaging apps to conduct interviews such as Skype and Google Hangouts. Others might turn to ATS/HCM systems equipped with integrated video messaging features.

The Power of Big Data

Big Data can be attributed to the tendency to collect data and then try to find a use for it. Agencies like the NSA and FBI are left trying to wade through metadata on all of our phone calls and emails to find patterns and tidbits of use. Human Resources can use similar tools for the good of their workforces. For example, using data analysis tools originally created for Big Data can help HR track excessive overtime requests to specific managers or employees who either need help or better time management. Analyzing trends at a granulated level can reveal trends for overtime for specific job titles, excessive charging to specific charge numbers or individuals who may be charging labor incorrectly.

Human Resources Apps

Human Resources? There's an app for that today, building upon the online portals that have already become common. These apps are an option for accessing the HR and/or payroll system to enter time worked, adjust 401K contributions and tax withholding or enter information like educational attainment and address changes. Human Resources apps may allow employees to report ethical violations, apply for internal transfers or request a review of their pay grade. And this can all happen from one's company issued smart phone or laptop.

Social Media

Social media is impacting Human Resources in a variety of ways. Job applicants finding the company via job postings on LinkedIn instead of traditional job boards are only the start. The LinkedIn recruiting service allows Human Resources professionals and recruiters to find candidates that match their job descriptions and contact them directly, saving them time and money over posting a job and wading through the flood of resumes.

Social media sites external to the company allow the firm to promote a positive image of the company by talking about job opportunities, hiring events and star employees. Corporate intranets are more often utilizing their own variation of social media. Why send out an email when you can post changes to company policy once on the company's internal HR page? Or update policy documents available on the company intranet and inform everyone that it has changed.

Some companies are using algorithms to track their employees' activity on social media, but this is a legally gray area. It is legal in some jurisdictions and illegal in others to punish people in the workplace for personal opinions posted online or personal activities documented via social media. And the problem is only going to become worse as data mining for information on individuals let's HR generate a full profile of someone across multiple platforms with as many usernames.

Companies are also using social media to vet candidates, but this, too, is a potential minefield. For example, employers are forbidden from asking certain types of questions, and perusing the social media accounts of candidates could lead to discrimination against them on these grounds without it being obvious. In either situation, you're risking a lawsuit if you fire someone for unacceptable behavior per a social media account that they later prove isn't theirs.

Wearable Technology

Wearable technology is starting to be felt in the Human Resources world. The first major implementation has been HR departments encouraging employees to wear health monitoring devices to improve their activity levels or monitor their health. In some cases, those who used such devices were eligible for cash bonuses paid to one's health savings account or discounts on short term disability policies. The potential value of the monitoring must be balanced against the privacy of the user.

End to End Human Resources

In many companies, there is significant waste and a tendency to error because applicant tracking systems are separate from the Human Resources management systems. The issue is made worse by the diversity of applicant tracking systems used by 70% of all firms so they can track the metrics regarding applicants versus new hires.

Onboarding software that handles the process from job acceptance to fully-fledged member of the team may be a third software application along the convoluted workflow. At every stage, there is risk of error as data is entered manually between incompatible systems or incorrectly imported. More companies are adopting Human Resources software that tracks people from the moment they apply for a job through their exit interviews.

These solutions are often called Candidate Relationship Management software. Some of these HR CRM tools even track passive job candidates like those names dropped by recruiters as an ideal candidate for a job. Another benefit of end to end HR tools is that they let you track employees who become contractors, contractors applying for permanent positions and other types of churn traditional HR systems may not document fully.


Many technologies are set to completely transform Human Resources as we know them this year and for many to come. Facial recognition software provides a foolproof way of verifying employee identities for everything from building access to timecard logging. Big Data is allowing for better information based decision making when it comes to HR, and Human Resources portals are being supplanted by apps.

Social media platforms are already used to find and recruit candidates, but they are being used throughout the HR lifecycle and internally within companies now. Wearable technology is starting to impact HR in the hopes of containing healthcare costs. End to end Human Resources is evolving into a real world concept as new software applications join the commonly used ATS to HRMS software and eliminate the need for onboarding software.

In addition, video interviewing may be making its entry onto the mainstream in 2017 and completely change the way interviewing will be done. With all the changes the industry is going through, Human Resources departments might demand a whole new set of skills and future Human Resources managers will have to adapt to these changes if they want to be able to keep up. One thing is for sure, and that is that the trend towards a complete digitization of human resource recruitment shows no signs of slowing down and should affect all businesses, big and small.