Will it be a good year for HR Tech and Startups in 2019?

How will the year 2019 be for startups in the HR tech space in India when it comes to adoption and expectations? Read on to find out.

“It was a good year.” That’s what most of the HR Tech startups we spoke to opined when they looked back at 2018. From the degree of adoption to the amount of funds flowing in, the startup space generally saw an increased awareness around technology in HR. With the talks of AI, automation, technology dominating the whole year around, HR Tech saw a definite uptake both in India and globally.

On this note, what does the year 2019 bode for HR Tech? What are some of the trends that will shape this space in the coming year? We talked to a number of startups in the HR Tech space such as game-based learning platform Quodeck, employee engagement startup Hush, sustainable credit provider SalaryFits, HRMS provider Zimyo, talent discovery platform Vyre, on-demand video platform Monjin, and Zeta which digitizes employee benefits, HR talent marketplace Noble House, among others to understand which way the wind will blow.

Here’s what they had to say.

HR tech to move up the value chain

Continuing from the momentum of 2018, in 2019, HR tech is predicted to move up the value chain to help improve Productivity, Team and Work management from the current state of Integration and Engagement.

Quodeck’s co-founder Kamalika Bhattacharya says that the major thrust among businesses will be towards driving adoption of corporate learning through technology among their employees and partners.

“Early adopters of HR Tech now have large data sets about their employees and will leverage on analytics to drive productivity and improve employee engagement,” she says.

There will be an increase in the use of AI and Technology enabled methods of screening, assessing and hiring talent and emphasis on developing personalized career paths for their employees using tech to reduce attrition while improving employee wellness and output.

Employee engagement and productivity still the focus area for employers

Further 2019 will continue to see employers everywhere focusing on employee engagement and productivity. 

Guilherme Mota, Head of Operations, India, SalaryFits says, “With the innovative HRTech solutions available across borders, HR Heads have a big portfolio of different tools to keep their talent happy and engaged. In this sense, employee’s wellbeing, ranging from focus on health and wellness to focus on productivity, purpose, and financial health, will play a big part as an engagement and retention tool. HRs cannot afford to neglect the effects that financial worries can cause on their employees and their productivity.”

From employer first to employee first

Right now all HR Tech is built employer first. However Ashutosh Dabral, Co-founder & CEO, Hush believes that eventually, the trend will move to employee first as the millennial employee doesn’t stay in a company for a very long time. 

Employee first Tech platforms that can provide value to employees even when they switch companies will have more value.

He adds that when you add the new gig economy workforce then employers will have to engage workers who are not really “employees”. So new kind of platforms will come up that cater to these users also.

More experiments, more AI, more Blockchain

That 2019 will be an interesting year and will present a greater opportunity for HR Tech Startups as organizations grow and more investments come in startups and growth companies, is also reiterated by Sudev Das, co-founder, Vyre. He adds that organizations will be open to experimenting and experiencing new HR Tech products, to enable quick and efficient growth. 

AI & Analytics enriched products would be very attractive to cut on processing time. But it will also lead to expectation mismatches as there are no quick fixes with AI till it matures

The year will also see growth in the adoption of video for hiring, learning, and engagement. Similarly, the use of  Blockchain in assessments, skill certification, and educational qualifications will start appearing in some HR Tech products,  which will be very useful in verification and validation of candidate details. Also, predictive analytics with respect to culture, engagement, skills will see significant uptake. 

The same is seconded by Kumar Mayank, co-founder of Zimyo who believes that 2019 will see the adoption of cloud/ SaaS not only by corporates but SMEs, along with increased adoption of AI-based HR Applications.

Kunal Kapoor CTO, Monjin adds that intelligent process automation is coming into play, which includes AI and related new technology advances, which can help deliver consistent people processes – something that has eluded many HR ops teams given the dynamic nature of the requests they receive. Cost savings also materialize through deploying such technologies as robotic process automation, machine learning, deep learning, and cognitive agents. 

 “The year 2019 will also witness the development of quality-based talent pipelines which will further improve hiring accuracy,” he adds.

The use of AI and predictive analysis can further simplify the hiring process, by picking candidates with skillsets and achievements that match the given requirement.

HR Tech will need to continuously create value

While it is a given that most of the transactional interactions involving HR will slowly and gradually move to technology and companies have already started working on moving some of the regular queries on to chatbots, HR tech companies will continuously need to work on creating value for the user through their platforms, says Sanjay Lakhotia, Co-Founder, Noble House Consulting Pte.

The next year will also see some consolidation in the HR tech market due to a sudden spurt in the number of tools out in the market, he adds. The tools will either get merged or there would be models of collaboration that will emerge between different tools.

From generalization to specialization

2019 may also see a spurt in more specialized HR Tech as per Bhavin Turakhia, co-founder of Zeta. He says, “Right now a large number of HR Tech companies in India are core HR Tech. But very soon we will start seeing specialized companies-some will focus just on planning, some will focus only on performance review and appraisals. If you think about it, talent acquisition is already segregated out. There will a plethora of segregated tools which will fulfill a specific function.”

However, he still feels that the real growth spurt in HR Tech is still a few years away. Larger enterprises are paying more attention to people but smaller companies in non-tech industries will take longer, he opines. Bhavin aptly sums up succinctly the state of HR Tech in 2019 when he says,

“There is a certain level of maturity that organizations have to go through in India before you get to a point where HR Tech becomes a priority.”

By Shweta Modgil, Feature Writer with People Matters

This article was first published on People Matters

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2019 – HR Trends In The Workplace

Employees today, are not just looking for companies that provide salaries and perks. They want organizations that provide engagement and promote general wellness. They are looking for jobs that help them strike a good work-life balance. As a result, HR fast needs to become an employee’s friend rather than a guardian, as it has traditionally been. This transition is not going to be easy.

Employers today already face the daunting task of transition towards a digital economy that is transforming businesses as well as their traditional HR functions. Adapting to new technologies is one of the major trends that will be visible across HR in the workplace during 2019.

A recent survey of 1200 global executives conducted by KPMG International highlights the inertia that a segment of HR managers display. On the one hand, there are forward-looking managers who are constantly harnessing resources to redefine contribution of the HR model to any enterprise. They are implementing technologies such as Digital Labour, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Business Analytics. On the other hand, a larger segment of less confident HR managers are playing the waiting game, or are simply remaining quiet about this change in the digital landscape.

Some of the expected HR trends for 2019 and the foreseeable future, that HR professionals need to be aware of, are listed here-

Employee performance managed by managers

The organization will benefit from performance management lying in the hands of managers, as opposed to HR stepping into the workflow. The role of providing feedback will belong to the manager, and as a result of this, even poor performance will be addressed quickly and turned around faster. HR needs to be a department of productivity enablers and this change will allow the function to concentrate on becoming that.

Higher access to analytics for employees

Members of the C-Suite will have greater access to people insights and analytics than in previous years. Organizations will look to implement robust HR platforms that are user-friendly and can provide strong people analytics trends that will assist in decision-making. The C-Suite will naturally make better decisions with the help of key people analytics and hiring statistics.

Rise of the ‘remote’ workforce

A rising segment of employees today prefer to work out of remote locations instead of the office. This has entirely been made possible through recent development in technology. About half of the US workforce is expected to be freelancing, in some capacity, by 2020.  HR departments will be able to use this trend to their advantage. Instead of hiring full-time employees, they should explore teams of talented freelancers and independent contractors, thereby building trust on a project-to-project basis.

Rise of micro-learning

Most adults start losing attention within as little as ten minutes and is likely to go down further. To meaningfully engage and train learners with such low attention spans, HR departments need to design training sessions that are short and impact-based, rather than long ones. More frequent and shorter training sessions will be more beneficial at workplaces. Micro-learning, as a result, will rise further as the industry norm.

Extensive use of VR, AR, game, and video

Both AR and VR are helpful during training and recruitment. A gamified application experience can be created for the recruitment of candidates, as is done by Jaguar and Land Rover. Collaborating with the band Gorillaz, they create a real setting, allowing candidates to see and experience iconic cars from these manufacturers. This is followed up with a series of puzzles that enable candidates to move forward.

In 2019, HR managers will need to plan systematically, instead of moving rapidly. This will help prevent badly created applications which may frustrate users. AI and Analytics will be able to touch every sphere they operate in, from employee engagement to recruitment and performance management. The year 2019 is likely to be the one when people analytics will finally be able to demonstrate its true potential.

By Kamalika Bhattacharya, CEO & Co-Founder at QuoDeck

This article was first published on stoodnt

How QuoDeck Is Gamifying Corporate E-Learning With AI-based Tools

Realising the need for enterprises to engage their staff in a much more creative and interesting way, QuoDecK, a Mumbai-based startup, attempts to bridge this gap with a SaaS product which uses gamification for enterprise learning market.

Established in 2010 by avid gamers Kamalika Bhattacharya and  Arijit Lahiri,  the platform uses interactivity and games to engage enterprise learners and use that to capture data, which in turn gets used to improve the learner’s experience. “While a lot of learning is needed as it a functional understanding, the way in which it is delivered does not evoke any sense of excitement or feeling from the employees that it is being done for their betterment. So, two of us started looking at ways to improve this scenario and that’s when QuoDeck born in 2010 as a result of this,” says Bhattacharya, who worked with startups and raised private equity and venture capital in her previous stint.

Outcome-based learning

At the core of its platform is gamification, which has been leveraged to make simple activities from documentation to interaction with customers easier. For this, the platform relies on game-based learning and storyline-based games which are used to create an entire course. “For instance, a big requirement in insurance, banking, pharma, and retail sector is conversation simulations which teach people how to talk by simulating a chat with a customer. This is method can also be used for sales training as well as customer service training,” Bhattacharya explains.

QuoDeck’s DIY LMS is one such product which is built on mobile and game-based SaaS platform and brings cutting-edge technology at affordable costs for SMEs, start-ups and educational institutes. Presently, the platform can be deployed within an organisation whose employee strength varies from 30-1000 with different work environments.

AI and ML works at the back end

Analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) have been used at the back-end to process a large number of different datasets. This data is then used to gain valuable insights about learner behaviour and provide them with updates on their progress. It also provides companies with updates on their employees’ performances. “At QuoDeck, we use a multivariate model including clickstream data, time spent on the system, distribution of course usage, devices used amongst many other variables to uncover patterns, correlations and other insights,” Bhattacharya adds.

AI and ML have been exclusively used to improve resource allocation of QuoDeck’s partners, customise learning for employees and to significantly improve their courses efficiency. In the future, the company hopes to leverage AI and Ml tools to provide pre-designed course based on the learners’ profiles before they begin their e-Learning journey.

Road ahead

QuoDeck’s enterprise version is currently deployed in more than 35 global companies and has over four lakh learners. However, the company hopes to increase their user-base to six lakh people by the next three months and leverage AI and ML for increasing their productivity. “We see the next big potential in affordable, DIY, SaaS-based LMS for smaller and medium organisations. The second growth area is for LMS in moving up the value chain of services, from delivering content to providing AI/ML driven actionable to drive up productivity,” Bhattacharya concludes.

By Akshaya Asokan, Journalist at Analytics India Magazine