By Jeffrey Fermin

The future of human resources looks very promising. Companies are slowly starting to understand the importance of employee engagement, and having a good company culture.

This is an excellent opportunity for software vendors to capitalize on this growing trend. There is already a lot of great HR software out there, but I think we will see a big increase in certain areas like we’ve seen with software in other industries. Marketing and sales software have gone from being very clunky, corporate, and requiring lengthy setup processes to being more lightweight. I think we will see a similar trend in HR.

A lot of the trends that industry leaders are predicting for the future of HR software are general trends that we’re seeing across the entire tech industry. Big data, more emphasis on mobile, more integrations with other tools, etc. Generally speaking, the industry itself is getting smarter and data-driven. HR now has a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t, based on the tons of research that has come out in the last few years.

Here are some of the trends that I’m predicting for the future of HR.

1. Mobile

Realistically, this is a trend that we’re seeing in every industry, because of the fast rise in mobile and tablet usage. First it was the IT department that had to deal with “bring your own device” issues, now HR will have to make sure they are providing a good user experience on mobile devices, too.

Recruiting has been pretty popular on mobile devices, but the rest of the employee lifecycle will move to mobile. Things like onboarding, employee engagement surveys, employee training will all take advantage of mobile. It will also give much more control and personalization to the user.

2. Employee-Centric

Deloitte called 2014 the year of the employee. Employees will have much more control over different HR initiatives. There will be much more transparency, and employees will be able to update and access information quickly and easily. No more documents sitting in the HR office’s file cabinet.

There will be much more personalization. For example, in recruiting based on the amount of data that is out there they can know that you’re likely looking for a job and which job you might be interested. This is done through recruiting marketing. A technique that organizations are now utilizing to get a good cultural fit within their organization.

3. Predictive Analytics

HR analytics is finally starting to get the attention that it deserves and as HR managers get better at filtering and understanding the data, things like predictive analytics could be possible. So based on previous data collected, look at who might be at risk of becoming disengaged, and who might be in danger of quitting, and then being able to act based on those predictions.

4. Lightweight

Many years ago, CRM systems were big and clunky and cost a lot of money, and then Salesforce came in as a revolutionary cloud-based tool, the same thing will happen in HR. HR vendors will need to become much more lightweight and agile, and be able to integrate into other systems. There will be a much bigger emphasis on true multi-tenant SaaS companies that provide an incredible user experience.

5. Big Data

HR managers will soon become data scientists, being able to analyze troves of data to make decisions. No longer can hypotheses go untested. All areas of HR – recruiting, onboarding, retention, etc…will start to use data to make decisions and to optimize their processes.

6. Real-Time Tracking

The beauty of a lot of these new HR predictions (mobile, lightweight, employee-centric) is that data is being collected in real-time, allowing for much quicker decision-making. Companies and vendors will be able to test things, and adjust on the fly. HR managers will become much more like marketers, and start doing things like A/B testing for different initiatives.

7. Less Importance On Resumes

Companies will start placing less emphasis on traditional resumes and will look to online contributions as a greater source of information. For example, if you’re hiring a software developer, no need to look at a resume, just look at his Github profile or his StackOverflow profile.

Resumes can be optimized so people seem like they are more than what they are, whereas contributions online are much harder to fake. Companies will start to wise up to this, and get smarter about how they recruit.

8. Video

Companies are already seeing this, but there will be a continued push into video technology, both for making the interview process better, and for better inter-office communication. Tools like Google Hangouts will become more important as more members of the team will be virtual and working remotely.

What do you think the future of HR looks like?