HR Technology - From Thought to Action

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Companies have been talking about investing in HR technology for a long time. In 1999, the intent was clear, with 100% of this survey’s respondents planning to automate their HR systems (or upgrade their current automated systems). Before moving forward, however, most organizations were waiting for a new generation of technology to emerge that would support a more robust business case. 

Cognizant Confluence 2013, Flickr

Fifteen years later, intent has become a reality: investment in HR technology is growing across all industries and geographies and HR technology solutions now exist to meet a wide range of needs and budgets. 

HR Technology - From Thought to Action

The most recent evidence of the shift from thought to action is documented in Towers Watson’s 2014 HR Service Delivery and Technology Survey: a global survey of 1,048 companies. This survey found that, even where HR spending is being reduced in other areas, HR technology is flagged for increased spending. In fact, one in three respondents (33%) plan to spend more on HR technology in the coming year, with some respondents expecting that increase to exceed 20%. More importantly, only 15% plan to spend less in HR technology in the coming year as compared to the previous year.

Reasons cited for this increased commitment to HR technology include the more traditional drivers of cost reduction and efficiency; together with a number of emerging drivers, including improved data analytics as a contributor to strategy development, and providing greater accessibility to information via web-based portals and SaaS solutions.

HR Data Contributes to Strategy

Data obtained through effective use of HR technology is increasingly being used to delve into organizational health and to contribute insights toward strategy development. Towers Watson Study, for example, found:

  • 63% of respondents regularly conduct engagement surveys and use the data to contribute to strategic people-related investments that impact their business;
  • 33% of respondents use the results of these surveys to influence transformation within their organizations; and
  • 30% feel they could do even more with this data.

According to Edward Piper of Stoel Rives, LLP, in his review of the White House report entitled, Big Data: Seizing Opportunities, Preserving Values:[1] “For employers, big data collection can have major benefits. It allows employers to assess the characteristics of their workforces in unprecedented detail and detect trends that, until very recently, were analytically invisible. The insights an employer gleans from that analysis may challenge long-held assumptions about the best ways to hire, promote, and fire. For example, which applicants help decrease employee attrition? What perks attract the best talent? What personality traits jive best with my organization’s culture? Big data can offer incisive—and often surprising—answers, which many employers are beginning to use to recalibrate their approach to human resources.”

HR technology is the vehicle which enables companies to gather, analyze and act on HR data and to realize the potential it offers for more insightful and strategic business management. The predictive analytics potential of HR data is a growing motivator for the adoption, expansion and restructuring of HR technology.

SaaS and HR Technology

It’s especially interesting to note the impact SaaS has had on the evolution of HR technology. In 1999, the conversation about HR technology was almost exclusively happening among the largest organizations and revolved around automating payroll and implementing core HRIS functionality. Today, HR technology offers a much broader array of tools to supplement traditional HR information management; from applicant tracking and onboarding tools to performance review automation, real-time feedback and mobile access. In addition to simplifying employee and manager self-service, a feature used by 71% of North American organizations[2], SaaS has made it possible to offer a full gamut of HR technology options, ranging from single purpose applications to more robust, integrated HCM systems, at a price point smaller companies can afford.

The SaaS landscape has also matured in the past 15 years and now includes some well-established players. While these larger players grow market share, a number of scrappy, innovative startups continue to push the boundaries and hold their own. In fact, some companies in the market for new HR technology prefer to work with these startups. They recognize the limits of HR technology are a long way from being reached, and that some of the most creative ideas are being developed by these agile contenders.

The evidence is in and the message is clear: HR technology has become a “must have” for business. While HR technology will never replace the human in HR, it provides a power-tool for administration, a 24-hour access channel for managers and employees, and a goldmine of insight for leaders.

 

Let HR technology enhance your world of work with TribeHR.  Start your free trial today.

What Mobile Means to HCM

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There is a lot of hype these days about the ubiquity of mobile. Much of the conversation focuses on which type of device is capturing the most (or the least) market share and whether people access the Internet on an iPad or a smartphone most often. What’s more important than the device wars is the fact that mobile “free[s] people from having to decide which device to use. If you sit in your office, mobile means using your laptop. If you sit at home, mobile means using whatever device happens to be within reach. If you …

Mobile HR: The Future is Now

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The ADP research Institute has just completed a study called Employee Self-Service and Mobile HR Applications[1] The introduction to the study succinctly states: “Fourteen years after the first BlackBerry® smartphone was introduced, six years after the first iPhone®, and just three years after the first iPad®, mobile access has become the ‘new normal’ for a rapidly growing number of people and organizations worldwide. In 2012, global mobile data traffic grew by an estimated 70 percent and average smartphone usage grew globally by 81 percent.[2] By the end of 2013, the number of mobile-connected devices is expected to …

Three Lessons HCM Can Learn from ERP

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It’s generally recognized that the Human Capital Management (HCM) space is heating up and that HR professionals and departments are opening their wallets and investing in technology. Existing systems are aging, cloud systems make software easier to buy and advances in user experiences make purchases more compelling[1]. In this flurry of growth, however, it can be easy to lose track of the long game. As we evaluate HCM vendors and a new generation of HCM solutions, we should keep in mind that it is a quickly evolving landscape and there are lessons that can be learned from ERP: …

Engagement, Performance and Leaderboards

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Wikimedia Commons, cucodevenegas, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license Over the past few years, gamification, the idea of using gaming elements in a business setting to help achieve a wide range of business goals, has gained popularity. In the realm of HR, this trend has some pretty significant implications. While it may be greatly beneficial to incorporate elements from game design into, for example, eLearning applications, it’s important to distinguish between adding specific game design elements that draw on the psychology of motivation and simply turning required work into a game. When they are thoughtfully implemented, game design …

HR Technology and the Remote Worker

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With the growth of the knowledge economy, technology has become an enabler to the growing phenomenon of telecommuters or remote workers. From electronic time cards to video conferencing and GoogleDocs, the technological tools for connecting with and managing employees in the field abound. Creating effective virtual teams, however, involves a lot more than providing cool technologies and a good broadband connection. Remote workers face a number of challenges as do the companies that employ them. Both structured and ad hoc communication with remote employees, for example, becomes critical. Supporting an awareness of the company’s vision and mission can …

Can HR Technology Help Engage Employees?

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An actively engaged workforce is essential to business success, and fostering it is a core pursuit of human resource professionals. We struggle with questions like: Do employees come to work motivated? Do they work efficiently and independently? Are they prepared to grow from their successes…and their failures? And increasingly these days …Can technology help? There is mounting evidence that it can. Workplace technologies that allow employees to interact and function in ways they are most familiar with contribute to overall workplace satisfaction. Self-service, for example, topped the list of employee benefits in a survey conducted in 2010 by …

PRISM’s Impact on Businesses and HR

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The news media and Internet have been sizzling ever since last week’s revelation by The Guardian and The Washington Post that the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) has been tracking data from many U.S. phone calls as well as much of the world’s Internet traffic. Amid retractions, corrections, denials, international concern, non-comments, and accusations galore, parsing through the implications of what exactly has been going on in both the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court system and the NSA’s “PRISM” program is an important and ongoing conversation for civil …

4 Social HR Predictions for 2013

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Originally posted to TLNT.com on December 17th. Joseph Fung is co-founder and CEO of TribeHR, pioneer of the industry’s first social HR platform and headquartered in Boston and Waterloo, Ontario. Connect with him at info@tribehr.com. ‘Tis the season for decking the halls and finalizing 2013 budgets. As you and your company crunch the figures for the year ahead, there’s something that can dramatically alter your bottom line to get on your radar: Social HR. Over the coming months and years, businesses that don’t embrace social HR will not only struggle to retain employees but companies …

Dos and Don’ts for Using Big Data HR

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Big Data has become the latest buzzword to hit the HR world. Experts say it’s going to revolutionize business. But what is big data? Can it really change the way human resources works? What can you expect from it? Are there risks? What Big Data Is, and Why It’s Invading HR In short, big data is any type of analytical software program that can track and analyze small actions on a large scale. At such scales, conventional statistical programs do not have the computing power to draw valuable conclusions in short time scales. For HR, big data represents …

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