2013-targetFour very important technology trends left their mark on the world of human resource management in 2012, and all four are poised to gather even more strength during 2013. Each trend brings a corresponding set of recommendations for managers and HR professionals in almost every field. If you keep only a few New Year’s resolutions this year, these should probably have a place on your list.

Trend #1: The rise of offsite data management and software as a service (SaaS) provision for HR

Call it cloud computing, offsite enterprise resource planning, application service provision, or whatever you like. But no matter the terminology you use, HR data management and software applications are moving offsite. For a flat, manageable fee, most software service providers can help companies manage their data and systems with high processing capacity and low risk. This year, if you haven’t conducted a thorough review of your software capabilities and found a way to access vital software and applications using the cloud (an offsite service provider), it’s time to start. Make sure your applications are up to date, and find a provider that can take care of your infrastructure so you don’t have to.

Trend #2: Social media is real, and it’s here to stay

Experts are beginning to agree: Social media is actually a thing. It’s not just for kids, and it’s taking on a powerful, if not vital, role in staffing and hiring efforts across a wide range of industries. If you’re still conducting your recruitment process without any attention to social media, it’s time for a change. This does not mean screening potential candidates by looking at their Facebook pages. It does mean using Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin to gain a wide and targeted audience for job postings and bolster your company’s workplace brand.

Trend #3: Strong HR efforts are founded on strong data

More than ever, HR efforts are driven by reliable data. Effective human resource management will always acknowledge an unquantifiable element of human nature, but most HR managers now know that strong data means better planning, better control, and higher productivity. The right software applications and data gathering tools, like CRG emPerform, can help you get ahead and stay ahead when it comes to staffing, evaluations, and policy development.

Trend #4: When it comes to employee feedback and coaching, once a year isn’t enough.

With the advent of social media and ‘instant’ knowledge, employees are demanding the same level of accessible and instant performance feedback. 2013 will see a drastic climb in companies enhancing annual reviews with mechanisms that enable year-round feedback and coaching. When you start to plan your review processes, be sure to take into account what platforms should be in place to facilitate this communication and to ultimately give managers the records needed to manage and assess performance. See emPerform tag .