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2020 Digital Transformation Trends in HR

December 19, 2019

This post is one part of G2's 2020 digital trends series. Read more about G2’s approach to digital transformation trends in an introduction from Michael Fauscette, G2's chief research officer.

With five generations of employees in the workforce today, companies must provide solutions that meet everyone’s needs. HR software and technology is evolving to encompass so much more than just managing the employees’ lifecycle. These solutions can be leveraged to provide employees a  personalized experience at work that closely resembles the technological experiences they enjoy in their personal lives.

G2’s 2019 HR trends focused on boosting employee engagement, removing unconscious bias from recruiting, improving sexual harassment training, expanding corporate wellness solutions, and employing artificial intelligence (AI) to improve HR operations. This year we’re focusing on how HR technology can enrich the employee experience.

RELATED: Learn about the impact of AI on diversity recruiting, here

At G2, we are most excited for HR technology trends that provide personalized experiences to candidates and employees alike. These include technologies that enhance the employee experience, diversify the workforce, improve career website accessibility, and expand employee benefits. 

This article will provide a high-level summary and prediction for each trend. Throughout the next few weeks, we'll publish articles that dive deeper into each trend.

Emphasizing the employee experience 


Businesses will increase their employee experience spending by 30% in 2020.

2019 saw lots of content about employee engagement; we authored some too. Our employee engagement report surveyed both HR and non-HR employees to see how they felt about engagement. We found that 80% of HR employees implemented HR technologies to improve employee attitude. 64% of HR employees expected their spending on employee engagement technologies to increase. This year we expect similar spending on employee experience budgets. 

2020 is all about personalizing solutions to enhance the employee experience. From career sites to employee benefits—HR is customizing solutions based on candidates’ and employees’ needs. HR departments are fine-tuning their processes and their technology to meet employees where they work, every single day. Businesses are tailoring programs and solutions to enhance the employee experience, and to treat employees and candidates as the individuals they are, or rather, as the customers they want. 

MontyRedPromoSquare2020 is all about personalizing solutions to enhance the employee experience. From career sites to employee benefits, HR is customizing solutions based on their candidates' and employees' needs

The consumerization of the workforce was front and center at HR Tech this year. Companies are creating social, mobile, and consumer-style work experiences to promote employee engagement and improve the candidate process. The focus on engaging and personalizing employee-centric tools allows companies to treat their employees just as well as they treat their customers.

Expanding HR analytics tools and capabilities help companies understand and predict individual preferences to create these tailored experiences. Employee engagement tools maintain the pulse on employee engagement and provide companies with actionable insight. HR departments can leverage technologies to address concerns including career mobility and workplace culture. Unlike employee engagement software that focuses on pulse surveys, employee experience solutions cover a wide array of technologies including candidate relationship management, career management, and wellness initiatives. We expect to see more of these solutions tailoring their features to enrich the employee experience. 

Read reviews on Employee Engagement Software, HERE →

Making career sites more accessible for candidates


Companies will increase their use of technology to improve career site accessibility by 30% in 2020.

According to the World Health Organization, about 15% of the world’s population live with disabilities, which makes them the world’s largest minority. People with physical and mental disabilities are immensely underrepresented in the United States’ workforce, yet companies report an 85% retention rate for employees with disabilities. In addition to fostering a neurodiverse workplace, businesses must make their career sites accessible to all candidates.

75% of the companies on the FTSE 100 Index on the London Stock Exchange do not meet basic levels of website accessibility, resulting in a loss of $147 million in potential revenue. These companies missing out on revenue from potential customers while also overlooking diverse talent pools. 

At HR Tech this year, Phenom People discussed the results of a study they conducted on the accessibility of Fortune 100 career sites and the solution they’ve created to help companies address these issues. They analyzed sites for six common Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) including alternative text, color contrasting, focus indicators, keyboard navigation, resize text, and use of tablets. 

RELATED: Learn more about web accessibility and why it matters for businesses, here

WCAG was created by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to help companies maintain compliance. Phenom People found 89 companies failed at least one WCAG 2.0 standard, 46 companies failed three or more, and only 11 companies met all six standards. The biggest issue for most companies was failure to meet color contrast standards.

Phenom People is one vendor that provides solutions to help companies maintain compliance with WCAG 2.0 standards across their sites. These solutions enable HR personnel and compliance teams to remove barriers that might prevent candidates with visual, auditory, speech, mobility, cognitive and neurological differences from using their websites. 

We expect to see an increase in solutions aimed at helping companies address their career site accessibility.

Diversity recruiting software is a burgeoning market


The diversity recruiting software market will grow by 45% in 2020.

The diversity recruiting software market is experiencing rapid growth and innovation. Unlike some of the more established HR software spaces such as corporate LMS and applicant tracking system software with many notable multinational players, this space is just beginning to develop. It’s still a level playing field, and ingenuity in the space has been propelled by companies of all sizes, experiences, and gumption.

As we highlighted in our 2019 HR trends post, companies are moving to improve their interviewing and recruiting processes for diversity hiring. Software isn’t the panacea for improving diversity, but it can certainly help HR personnel and hiring managers improve their hiring process and find great talent.

The diversity recruiting software category on G2 started with 10 products, 6 of which were previously listed in other recruiting software categories. As of November 2019, there are almost 30 products in this specific category. In the past six months, visits to the diversity recruiting software page have increased 19%; the number of active buyers is up 419%. Of the 112 user reviews in this category on G2, 20% work in computer software, 14% in internet, 10% in IT, 10% in staffing and recruiting, and so on.

RELATED: Check out 35 HR statistics you need to now in 2019, here

These products represent a large range of solutions to help companies implement and improve their diversity hiring initiatives. They include AI-based recruiting, candidate sourcing from niche job boards, resume screening and redacting tools, removing bias from job descriptions and interviews, and diversity programs analysis. 

Diversity recruiting software is an expanding market that will continue to grow. You know when Josh Bersin highlights a new significant burgeoning market, it’s sure to explode.  According to Bersin, “You can now use AI to identify biased interviewing, sourcing and recruiting practices.” This technology helps users identify recruiting issues and provides solutions to solve them; when solutions address a broken talent process, the demand is endless.

Explore the best Diversity Recruiting Software, here.

Expansion of employee benefits to address health and wellness needs

The rising cost of health care, a competitive job market, and an expanding multigenerational workforce impacts the variety of benefits companies offer their employees. Yet, according to a recent report by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 70% of organizations maintained their health care benefits and 20% increased their offerings. Health and wellness benefits experienced the highest growth in 2019, followed by flexible leave, career development, investment, and retirement. 

According to Glassdoor’s 2015 Employment Confidence Survey, nearly 80% of employees prefer an increase in benefits over a pay raise. The survey also found that for 60% of people, benefits are a deciding factor when considering a job offer. We can expect to see the technology around benefits, such as benefits administration, corporate wellness, and financial wellness, grow as companies work to address their employees’ needs.

The personalization and modernizing of benefits will include paid leave (parental and caregiver), fertility benefits, financial wellness, student loan debt repayment programs, and transgender-inclusive health care benefits, to name a few. In 2016, the International Foundation of Employee Benefits Plans (IFEBP) found that nearly 30% of businesses with 10,000 or more employees offer comprehensive health benefits for transgender employees. 

"Employees aren't just looking at potential salary when considering job options, [they] are looking for inclusive organizations that offer a range of benefits to serve a diverse population."

Julie Stich, CEBS
Director of Research International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans

As the workforce continues to diversify, organizations will further expand the variety of benefits they provide their employees to meet growing needs.

G2's 2020 Digital Trends are live. Our analysts give their predictions for the  tech industry in 2020.    Explore Now →

2020 HR trends and beyond

HR solutions that provide a holistic approach to the employee experience are on the rise in 2020. This expanding market includes solutions that enhance and improve the employee experience, diversify the workforce, make career websites accessible to all, and provide considerable employee benefits. As the gatekeepers to the heart of the business, HR employees must embrace digital transformation in all its forms, from analytics to wellbeing, and everything in between. 

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