When I was in college, a biology professor refused to allow students to record his lectures. (This is back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and "record" meant running a tape recorder.) His view was that if we recorded his talks, we wouldn't pay attention. He jokingly suggested that if he put his tape recorder on the desk to play the lecture and the students put their tape records on their desks to record it,  we could all skip the lecture and have more free time. 

Technology has advanced since the days when hand-held mini recorders were something to ooh and ahh over, and advances in technology, in particular artificial intelligence, have opened up a raft of new ways to think about how we do things. As it becomes possible to automate or partially automate HR processes, I'm fascinated at the changes in employee experiences. 

One of the most interesting tech trends is increased automation of employee transitions such as joining an organization, changing roles, promotions, retiring and other exits, and joining an alumni group. Apps and other technology allow employers to front load the most likely questions and give the employee more control over the the pace of the journey. Employees can even be given an app to find their own mentors. 

The aim is to drive employee engagement by giving them more control, and of course to make HR processes more efficient. It's still early days so watch this space; efficiency and success can be measured in many ways. From my own perspective, however, the human element is imperative, particularly in the onboarding process. Once it becomes too automated, we might as well leave a tape recorder on the employee's desk.