5 Examples of Successful HR Innovation

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5 Examples of Successful HR Innovation

Here at Digital HR Tech, we talk a lot about HR innovation. After all, most of the HR technology out there aims to innovate existing HR systems and processes. As such, there are many examples of HR functions that have successfully been (partially) innovated.

What is HR innovation?

HR innovation is the implementation of new ideas, methods, and technologies to better meet the ever-evolving requirements of the organization and its workforce. It’s about anticipating future needs and circumstances rather than simply finding a response to a changing present situation.

In today’s article, we highlight 5 examples of successful HR innovation.


In this Interview, Erik van Vulpen talks with Julian Birkinshaw about
the role of HR in stimulating innovation.

1. Recruitment innovation

Good recruitment is essential to the success of every organization. Perhaps this is why we see – a lot – of innovative technologies in this part of HR. There’s a solution for each part of the recruitment funnel:

Job adverts

When it comes to HR innovation, job ads are probably not the first thing that comes to mind. Augmented writing technology now makes it possible to predict whether a job advert (or any other type of text for that matter) you write will get you the outcome you want.

Let me elaborate.

In order to be able to predict whether or not a job ad that’s aimed at a certain type of candidate will appeal to that kind of candidate, the technology uses machine learning and predictive analytics.

For example, if you want to make sure your job advert won’t turn off female applicants, the use of augmented writing technology can help you increase your chances of getting a desirable outcome. Here’s an of how Textio helps improve job adverts:5 Reasons Why Diversity Hiring Matters (And How to Go about it)


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Programmatic job advertising is something that’s blown over to HR from marketing (like so many other things). It’s the automated and targeted placement of job adverts.

Recruiters can specify exactly what characteristics, skills, and demographics they are looking for in a candidate. The software makes sure that the job ad is shown to the right people, on the right platform, and at the right time.

The innovation lies – among other things – in the fact that recruiters and hiring managers no longer need to manually select job boards (or social media platforms) and post job adverts. It also significantly increases the recruiter’s reach.

As such, programmatic job advertising can, for example, lower an organization’s cost per application and reduce its time per hire.

HR innovation in sourcing: Wunderkind

Wonderkind chooses the best platforms to place your job ads.


It’s hard not to mention chatbots in an article about HR innovation. While a chatbot is nothing more than a piece of software – sometimes powered by artificial intelligence – it can take care of numerous tasks. Think of sourcing, screening and scheduling candidates for instance. Many chatbots also have natural language processing (NLP) capabilities so that they can ‘understand’ human language.

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While you may think that the use of a chatbot negatively impacts your candidate experience, it can actually be a real boost for your candidate experience and satisfaction.


Well, because a chatbot is never out of office, for one. While we go home in the evening and during the weekends, a chatbot is able to reply candidate questions literally any time.

HR innovation: Chatbot Mya

Chatbot Mya in action.


Preselection technology enables organizations to hire selectively – and to bring people on board who add value. As such, selective hiring is a Human Resource best practice that can increase a company’s profit. Pre-employment assessment software has come a long way. No more need to manually go through dozens – sometimes even thousands – of CVs to make an initial selection; there are various solutions out there that can do the heavy lifting for you. Think of an AI-powered multi-assessment platform for instance.

A what?

Let me explain.

In short: candidates go through an online experience that gives them a realistic preview of the job – and the organization they’ll be working for once hired. While the applicants flow through the assessments, data is gathered based on their actions and answers. This data allows an algorithm to make predictions about the applicant’s suitability for the job.

Recruiters can use this data-based information to make hiring decisions.

HR innovation in preselection: Harver's technology

Harver’s technology gives candidates a preview of their future job and work environment.

2. Onboarding

Strictly speaking, onboarding could be considered as a part of recruitment. But since a candidate needs to be hired in order to be onboarded, we’ll treat it as a separate example of HR innovation.

Onboarding is something that’s all too often being overlooked (and so is inboarding by the way). Worse even, the lack of a good onboarding process is one of the top reasons new hires leave prematurely.

Luckily, there is HR technology that manages the entire onboarding process. Some solutions even take over as soon as a candidate has signed his or her contract. Hence making sure your fresh recruits don’t feel like they’ve fallen off the radar.

An onboarding app can organize virtually everything related to the arrival of a new employee. From the (tedious) paperwork to the introduction of colleagues and company policies.

HR innovation in onboarding: the Enboarder app

Enboarder takes care of your onboarding process.

3. Learning and development (L&D)

Another area where we see a lot of HR innovation is that of employee learning and development (L&D). If they want to, organizations are now in a position to offer their workforce on-demand, real-time learning. An L&D program that’s customized to the preferences of each individual employee. This means that employees can access the L&D content on any kind of device and learn about things that are in line with their personal career goals.

In an era with an increasingly diverse and mobile workforce, this is an important development. And a must for organizations wanting to attract – and retain – top talent.

HR innovation in L&D: SimpliLearn

SimpliLearn offers employees self-paced, interactive learning courses.

4. Talent management

When we talk about talent management and HR innovation, one of the first things that come to mind is the talent management dashboard (TMD).

A talent management dashboard gives recruiters and hiring managers a comprehensive overview of their talent pool. This enables them to communicate with and nurture their talent in order to plan for the future.

A Talent Management Dashboard has 5 main functions:

> Reporting
> Performance management
> Engagement with talent
> L&D
> Talent pipeline

What is a Talent Management Dashboard? Functions, Examples and a How-To

A TMD overview example from Taleo.

5. Performance management

Although there is a lot of innovation going on in performance management-land, today we focus on the feedback part.

We’ve come a long way from the awkward, yearly appraisal chat. You know, the one with the manager that hardly knows what the employee in front them does on a day-to-day basis (even though this phenomenon still exists in too many organizations). Fortunately, there are a lot of companies that understand the importance of performance management and feedback done differently.

With real-time, 360 degree feedback for example.

Today’s performance management technology enables organizations to let their employees – and managers – give and receive continuous feedback. The software tracks people’s progress and gives valuable insights into their progress. This helps managers to support their employees when necessary. It also creates a culture of coaching between peers.

HR innovation: Impraise feedback app

Impraise enables companies to create continuous feedback.

HR innovation is crucial

These 5 examples are just the tip of the iceberg. For each HR function we mentioned there are at least a dozen other examples of HR innovation. And that’s a good thing. The way we work – in the broadest sense of the word – is changing rapidly: from the type of jobs we have to the places we work from and even the way we get paid (think cryptocurrencies). So while the adoption of HR technology by organizations may be lagging behind, the need for HR innovation is clearly there.

Can’t wait? Start innovating now!

I’m sure that you can’t wait to start implementing some of these innovations within your organization. Don’t just copy paste these inspiring examples though. Start by identifying which technologies are most likely to have an impact on ‘the business’ and develop a clear strategy for Digital HR. Not sure how to go about drafting such a strategy? Check out the Digital HR Strategy course and start today!

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