New themes in HR technology addressed at the 2018 HR Tech conference in Las Vegas include women in technology, diversity and inclusion, tools to accelerate the recruiting process and how to stay abreast of the changes.

The HR Technology® Conference & Exposition, known as HR Tech (#HRTechConf), is the largest HR technology and services exposition in the world. HR Tech offers the annual opportunity to learn what is new and trending in human resources technology. While it can take days to visit every vendor at the expo and learn about what's up and coming, its an amazing opportunity to hear from a variety of HR and IT leaders in the marketplace. This year's conference was no different.

Here are some highlights:

Women in HR Technology

Rita Mitjans, ADP's Chief Diversity Officer, presented the keynote session titled "The Business Case for Diversity" as she opened up the Women in HR Technology Track. She shared "insights on what companies need to do to build the business case for diversity and ensure underrepresented employees are having the same workplace experience as others," per HRTech.

She touched on her own personal journey and passion for increasing the number of women in leadership. The increased demand for STEM experts and pay equity were hot topics that resonated with the audience. Rita shared three steps in building a foundation for a Diversity & Inclusion policy: assess culture and people, align talent practices and integrate actions into business.

The sessions addressed how technology should be an enabler to HR leaders. As the number of IT jobs continues to grow, the challenge for companies will be to ensure that they can hire strong candidates as the availability becomes more scarce. Recommendations to ensure you are ahead of the competition include identifying the diverse workforce your company needs to be ready for future roles in IT, and selecting knowledgeable employees who understand how artificial intelligence can help enable and track your processes.

The closing keynote speaker, Jenny Dearborn, SAP EVP HR, spoke on the future of work and on the stages of industrial revolutions. Key messages included: what should be automated; that 60 percent of newly appointed CHROs don't come from the HR field; and that key HR skills will need to include the ability to blend emotional intelligence and artificial intelligence.

Recruiting

With low unemployment and the battle for talent continuing, vendors are delivering solutions to accelerate and improve the recruiting process. One example is using artificial intelligence and machine learning to source and rank candidates faster than a human can do it — making recruiters more efficient and allowing them to spend more time talking to candidates. Another example is using powered chatbots to engage candidates in real-time conversations. Some companies are investing in machine learning-enabled interviews, allowing responsive bots to conduct interviews for introductory roles without specific skill requirements. All of these things are helping to streamline recruiting, engage top talent and reduce time to fill.

Topics presented also included how HR technologies enhance the candidate and employee experience. Technology that is making a difference includes chatbots on a career site to engage candidates, integrated assessments, predictive job simulations, texting applications and artificial intelligence technologies that help reduce unconscious bias.

The Future of Work

Presentations and expo demos also covered the agile workforce and robots. People are interested in knowing how work will be done in the future and how to be prepared for the changes that are coming. Robots can be seen as co-workers and have employee IDs. They are replacing tasks, not people. Artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics and automation present an opportunity for HR to rethink the company architecture.

How do you get your company ready to use this technology? Start by evaluating who can do the work and where it can be done. Companies need to build knowledge, revise learning techniques and gain experience to support 21st-century careers. Revamping your approach to workforce management and redesigning processes and tools to create more dynamic teams can help keep you ahead of the competition in the battle for talent.

Tags: Recruiting and Hiring HCM Technology Diversity and Inclusion Research & Insights Articles HR Technology Large Business