While sunny Las Vegas provided the backdrop for this year’s HR Tech, I actually came out ahead in Vegas with a windfall of knowledge. And it wasn’t just about HR. This event is all about trends in the marketplace featuring demo products from varied aspects of the HR technology landscape. It’s here we learn how others solved their business problems with HR technology. And of course there was the added win with the unique chance to network with over 9,000 attending consultants, vendors, and practitioners.
I had many takeaways from my time there, but current trends are what were most memorable. The trend of HR technology’s place in the organization has been on the rise, but this year has become much more prominent. Where HR technology was once a way for HR to become more efficient, compliant, and insightful, it has evolved. Simply put, HR technology is not just for HR anymore.
In the mid-market, payroll technology is the leading “plan to buy” technology that companies are 2looking at in the next 12 months. But objectives for “payroll” technology go far beyond the streamlining of processes and elimination of dual entry. The top 5 objectives identified were:
Support managers and supervisors effectively
Retain top employees
Improve employee productivity
Attract better talent
Every single one of these objectives speaks to how technology impacts employees. Is the technology convenient for employees to use? Is it intuitive? Is there information there that is helpful to them? Does it help make their jobs and their lives easier? Will it provide managers with the tools they need to make better decisions? Does it guide them through processes they don’t use all the time? Remind them of upcoming deadlines? Provide proactive tools to manage their people? Recognize them?
Basically, does it make the real, live people in the organization have a better relationship with the company and create efficiencies in their day?
While, core HR and payroll functionality is still important to vet thoroughly, if you are among the group of professionals considering a new system in the next 12 months, you should look beyond the HR functionality and look also at the employee and manager experience. Consider having a user group component to your selection process to understand their pain points and wish list items. It also goes a long way towards user acceptance and adoption. And what’s the point of implementing a new system if you don’t have user acceptance and adoption? That’s right, there isn’t one.
Finally, while HR technology is not just for HR anymore, it is still also for HR. With administrative tasks streamlined, technology can also provide you with key insights into your people. Your focus can shift to solving business problems and achieving your goals. This allows HR to become more strategic and focus on how they can become more aligned with the organization’s goals and business drivers. When the stacks of paper (physical and metaphorical) are off desks, there becomes a better chance that HR can focus more on the employee experience and less on tactics.