Did anyone else watch Back to the Future as a kid and get excited for flying cars?

Just me?? 

I was super excited about the advancement of technology as a kid. 

Yes, I’m a nerd. I know

But that same excitement I had as a kid, still exists as an adult. It’s what made my time at HR Tech in Vega this past week memorable!

I loved walking around the expo and seeing the different HR tools and platforms. 

Obviously, I geeked out about what was being built and where the tech was going. 

3 trends that I observed off the bat:

  • AI is everywhere, you can’t escape it 
  • Compensation tools are emerging to handle the pay transparency laws and growing demand from employees
  • More platforms are focused on how to support hybrid/remote work

As you’re thinking about your HR tech stack, understanding these trends could help you understand how to leverage your tools and where you could improve your HR AND employee experience. 

Because we all know, the HR cup runneth over. 

Let’s look at each trend! I even tapped some friends in the HR space that I greatly respect to share their perspectives. 

No. 1: AI 

I wrote about AI a few weeks back from the lens of:

Seeing the dozens of tools and platforms at HR Tech made it clear AI isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. 

In fact, I bet it’ll be embedded into almost every software in your HR tech stack.

How AI is currently being leveraged In HR tools:

  • Automations
  • Chatbots 
  • Providing insights from data 

You can get started by understanding if any of your tools already have AI functionality. 


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Spoiler alert: they probably do!

From there, I’d recommend starting a list with things you could automate.

How often do you just do the same task over and over again? Now could be an excellent time to stop and think, can I automate this? 

To get started, try this:

  • Make a list of your tasks 
  • Categorize them into able to automate / not able to automate 

Tasks to consideration for automation:

  • Anything recurring either daily, weekly or monthly 
  • Don’t required personalization 
  • Aren’t complex or very detailed 

Specific HR processes that are great candidates for automation:

  • Benefits enrollment 
  • Onboarding /offboarding (dozens of individual repetitive tasks here)
  • Recruiting tasks (posting JDs, email flows, candidate scheduling)

Additional reading: Thinking with an automation mindset

As an HR Practitioner now turned HR Tech Startup Founder, I’ve seen and now impact how technology is reshaping the HR landscape. Automation has brought immense efficiency and scalability to HR processes, allowing us to handle a growing array of tasks faster and with fewer errors. Yet, even as we embrace this digital revolution, we must remain steadfast in preserving the heart of HR—the human touch. AI should be used to augment Human Intelligence not replace it. 

Jay Polaki, CEO & Chief Gecko at HR Geckos 

No.2: Compensation tools 

Pay transparency is more than legal jargon; it’s a commitment to building workplaces where every person can see and seize their worth. Yes- they might be a pain to work with, but let’s remember the “why” behind the “what.”

Jenny (JCK) Cotie Kangas, founder and Chief Solution Architect, WhiteRock

When pay transparency laws began to get passed I was pretty worried about the legal jargon and compliance. Truthfully, I figured most companies would probably not comply unless they faced real ramifications. I mean, do you blame me!?

I will acknowledge that many HR leaders love pay transparency, face resistance from their executives and haven’t been able to implement new policies yet!

Meanwhile, some workplaces jumped at the opportunity to show employees that they valued them. They understood the why like JCK said above! 

Since pay transparency laws have picked up speed, new tools have emerged to help with the task at hand. These tools focus on more than just market data, they seek to help HR manage compensation in a fair and equitable way. 

A really great compensation tool:

  • Aligns all the stakeholders
  • Communicates your compensation philosophy 
  • Supports recruiting efforts
  • Supports managers with the data they need 
  • Shares compliance information 
  • Ensures pay equity 
  • Helps plan for the future 

If you’re struggling to do/all of the above you may need to consider adding a compensation tool because this compensation transparency trend is not going away. 

And fun fact pay transparency impacts more than just compensation… 

“The new compensation transparency laws are causing a ripple effect. Companies are approaching career frameworks and compensation philosophy with more intentionality to back up the pay ranges that employees can now see. It’s been an opportunity for HR tech to step up and provide solutions for a process that’s been traditionally siloed to backroom conversations and siloed spreadsheets.”

Alex Hilleary, Community & Partnerships, Charthop

No. 3: Hybrid/Remote work tools

^^ live footage of me in 2020. 

The RTO (return to office) debate rages on and it’s become increasingly clear that employees want their flexibility.

In fact 74% of US companies are planning to implement a permanent hybrid working model. Praise! 

But there’s no doubt that the hybrid working model is the most complicated to manage. HR teams find themselves managing employees across multiple locations, time zones and jurisdictions. 

Tools that help HR teams manage hybrid/remote work is a broad category. 

At the start of the pandemic we saw the boom of tools that help hire globally like Remote, Deel and Oyster. Then came a focus on collaboration with tools like Zoom, Loom and Notion. From there desk management had a moment. 

The current focus? All of that + managing employee connection. 

Connection in the hybrid/remote era has been an ongoing challenge. 

If you don’t have a tool in your tech stack yet that aims to help connect employees to one another, this could be the time to consider one.

Check out: Donut, Gatheround or HeyTaco! 

The good news? There are more tools now than every before that help with the hybrid/remote workforce. 

The bad news? It might get overwhelming. More on that next week!

Next to AI, the biggest theme I noticed was hybrid/remote work.  I ended up talking with John Hussey, CEO of Remote Requirements Lab, at an event, and he has a really cool solution to take some of the pain away in onboarding new employees.  In less than a minute, remote applicants or employees can verify that their work-from-home system, connection, accessories, and location meet employer requirements – born out of a video game site, I had never heard of this kind of quick and easy solution that I can’t wait to check out!

Tracie Sponenberg, Chief People Officer, The Granite Group

What’s next: 

Big shoutout to: Jay, JCK, Alex, and Tracie for sharing their HR tech thoughts! I had the amazing opportunity to meet them all in Vegas. Feels wild when your online friends become your IRL friends! 

Now that we got the big trends down that could impact your HR tech stack, it’s time to rethink our tools. 

Should I keep a running list of how many times I say “rethink” this quarter? Maybe for funsies. 

Next week, I’ll tackle how to rethink your stack, prioritize what you need and potentially consolidate your systems.

Hebba Youssef
Hebba Youssef

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