As digital transformation, automation and artificial intelligence sweep through organisations, the world of work and workforce is transforming. The need to reinvent HR has never been more urgent as technology is altering all its core functions — be it recruiting, engaging, training or spurring performance. Here are the five best HR practices that future-ready companies are already putting in place:

Bringing science to talent management: Research by Bersin by Deloitte shows that the ability to attract the right people and retaining them will become one of the biggest differentiating factors for businesses. Recruiting, Retaining, Engaging continue to be the core functions of HR. However, the ways of doing these are changing by the day. Tech-based recruiting platforms based on analytics now handle everything from sourcing, screening, background verification to candidate relationship management. Freed of these administrative tasks, HR has begun to focus on forecasting, identifying the skills that the organisation may require and keeping the workforce engaged. Some of the best practices that companies such as Airtel have introduced include making the hiring process more efficient by crunching the time taken for recruitment of a candidate from weeks to days; moving acquisition teams close to where the talent is and identifying and creating a bench of talent standbys.

Focussing on the employee journey: One of the newest trends in keeping employees engaged is to consider the entire employee life cycle, starting with before they are even hired through after they leave a company, says Brad Shuck, Strategic Partner BI Worldwide. In each leg of the journey, HR departments need to create an unforgettable experience, and this is visible in several companies such as Hike Messenger, which is weeding out the paperwork and cumbersome processes so that employees can concentrate on their core jobs. Going forward as the next generation dominates the workforce, employee experiences are going to be even more important. For, as Andrew Mitchell, CEO of Rewardian, a rewards and recognitions company, points out, “Millennials do not want lifelong jobs but are seeking experiences at the workplace.”

Creating a strong learning environment: Training has become mission critical for organisations as not only do employees need constant reskilling, but the leadership development pipeline needs to be strengthened given the war for senior talent. With the coming of new technologies, and increasing skill gaps, companies need to re-engineer their learning programmes. Today, when attention spans are low, training also needs to be delivered in bite sized, continuous ways, and personalised according to the learner’s needs. According to Arun Rajamanim, country head of Pluralsight India, three upcoming trends that will further change Learning and Development models in organisations are gamified learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Cloud Technology in Learning. HR needs to be on top of all these.

Investing in effective communication: Organisations no longer operate in silos. Collaboration is the key and inter-department team work can only be fostered through strong communication. It’s HR’s task to engineer and facilitate internal communication as well as get top management to engage with the workforce. Today, a host of tech tools, including enterprise social networks such as Facebook At Work are available to make communication easy.

Continuous performance management: Annual reviews and appraisals are passé. Instead, continuous conversations and actionable feedback in real time are what companies like Adobe are implementing. Many companies are also factoring in individual aspirations and aligning them to organisation’s goals as well. But for these new models to kick in, a cultural shift needs to take place, and HR has to drive this transformation.