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HR Tech 2019: Top Trends from Josh Bersin’s Keynote Address

HR Tech 2019: Top Trends From Josh Bersin’s Keynote Address

The world’s largest HR Technology Expo was jam-packed this year, with over 10,000 in attendance at the Venetian in Las Vegas.

The industry’s beloved Josh Bersin gave the opening keynote address, with a forward-looking discussion of trends in the market as well as opportunities and challenges facing HR leaders today.

Bersin’s insights set the tone for the conference on navigating the coming year, and the 500+ HR technology vendors in the expo hall below. Here’s a recap:

“We’re not building software for HR anymore—we’re building it for employees.”

The photo above from Bersin’s keynote address says it loud and clear: Employee Experience is king. HR leaders are hungry for employee-centric tools, and so, we’re seeing a new wave of ‘experience’ providers emerge.

This focus on experience is a response, not only to the tight talent market, but to the uncomfortably high burnout rate – according to CNBC, nearly 40% of employees say they’ve considered quitting their jobs because of burnout.

With that in mind, the conundrum we face now is: Can we squeeze more productivity out of employees? Maybe, but this shift in the market seems to show that giving employees more ownership of their experiences and discovering what’s important to them is equally important.

“AI is more mature in recruiting than any other part of HR.”

This statement spotlights the fact that innovation in HR technology is still largely focused on Talent Acquisition. Which is great, but there’s also a huge opportunity to drive innovation on the post-hire side of the house.

In his keynote, Bersin called out that 2/3 of people say it’s easier to find jobs outside versus inside their companies. That means, even if we have great development programs and learning content, something’s still missing. How do we discover employees’ skills and potential so we can match them to programs and content – before they’re out the door?

“We need discovery tools on top of learning management,” Bersin concluded. So, expect to see more emerging tech that points AI and selection logic inward to help companies discover their internal talent marketplace.

“Curiosity is actually becoming a competency.”

When we think of the skills gap in the workforce, our minds usually go to technical skills, like programming. But, as Bersin pointed out, most people have good software skills coming out of college.

What companies need most, he said, are behavioral skills. Because repetitive, assembly-line-type tasks have been automated, CEOs are now looking for curiosity and creativity in their people.

You might use different words, like ‘agility’ or ‘innovation’ or ‘entrepreneurial spirit,’ but the point is, these behavioral skills are just as critical to the future of work as robotics and engineering. So, start thinking about how you identify curiosity, and how you catalyze creative thinking across your organization.

We hope to see you next year at HR Tech 2020!

Until then, please feel free to check out our resources and learn how Talent Discovery can prepare you for the future of work.

 

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