HR’s going through a bit of a technology renaissance. We’re seeing a whole range of new employee-focused systems that look nothing like the clunky old tools and manual processes of decades past. So where should you put your money? Here’s our hot tips on what will be trending in the year to come.
1. Mobile is the new platform
While the rest of the world has appified, HR might have been a bit slow on the uptake. But that’s about to change. Many vendors are creating smart, mobile friendly user interfaces that appeal to today’s top talent – those who grew up with technology.
Digital natives are now looking and applying for jobs on their mobile devices, so make sure you attract that talent. Every step of your recruitment process needs to be mobile friendly, from job postings to onboarding.
2. The rise of the partner ecosystem
Thanks to the ubiquity of web-enabled software, you can do everything better, faster and at scale. This is creating demand for integrated tech solutions. Software companies are knitting their products together to form ‘ecosystems’ of fit-for-purpose processes – and as a result we’ll see seamless extensions of core HR data throughout other business functions. Think recruitment software that syncs with payroll, payroll that syncs with timesheets and project workflow… Integration eliminates double handling and ensures data remains clean and accurate.
3. Enterprise systems for all
Smart enterprise, on premise, providers are switching on to SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) models, making their finance and HR platforms accessible to businesses of any size. Workday is a great example – built as SaaS from the ground up, they lead the pack with easy to use and no upfront capital costs, it’s changing the game for the SME sector. You can expect to see more enterprise software make the transition to the cloud.
4. Say hello to feedback and culture management
Now that happiness has become a business metric (think about the widespread adoption of NPS), companies are looking for new ways to track and measure employee engagement and wellbeing. Platforms like TINYpulse are great for collecting feedback to improve retention, recognise and reward your staff. Once you have that feedback you can use it to foster a positive, responsive company culture that encourages creativity and innovation.
5. Better employee engagement
Employers can turn to tech solutions to help with engaged learning and development on the job. The seamless user experience of smarter, collaborative tools makes tedious tasks (like checklists) more efficient and frees up time for activities that boost job satisfaction, innovation and (ultimately) your bottom line.
6. Communication in context
These systems won’t just be empty HR shells – there’s a trend towards using them as channels for communication, providing real value for employees in onboarding, learning and ongoing training. The influence of social media has already started to infiltrate internal comms – just look at Yammer – and we’ll see this ramp up, with next gen systems built on the back of communication, collaboration and sharing.
7. Shift to outcomes-oriented systems
Frictionless A-to-B HR transactions were great a few years ago – now, they’re expected. Companies know there’s more value in systems hardwired to work towards their goals. So if the goal is to become the industry leader in next-gen pet microchips, your HR strategy needs to build talent in researching and developing microchip technology – and your HR software needs to empower your people to do it.
8. Performance appraisal, redefined
A good HR software management platform will let you easily track employees on an ongoing basis – the basis for a continuing, constructive conversation with real-time feedback.
That’s not to say the annual performance review will die. But when it comes around, you’ll have easy access to a record of events that have happened over the course of the entire year – not just the last few months. More information means less potential for bias and a fairer review. Given that only 55% of employees think performance appraisals are effective, that can only be a good thing.
9. An HR system with benefits
Employee perks are nothing new, but new HR systems will revolutionise the way they’re managed. Engaging, gamified, integrated systems will offer personalised perks that give something back to the employee as an individual – whether that’s something they need, want or will find useful.
10. More value from Big Data
The growth in analytics shows no sign of slowing. Big Data represents endless new ways for organisations to make strategic decisions faster and improve their operational intelligence by playing with the numbers, eliminating data ‘islands’ and connecting seemingly unrelated data to gain new insights.
For HR, the true value in data is the stories it can tell – patterns that let you apply predictive algorithms to refine recruitment, management and recognition, and meet employees’ changing goals and interests.