Technology in HR has come a long way in the last year or two. A wave of new and disruptive solutions has been developed in response to the industry’s demand for people analytics - data driven tools that go beyond streamlining processes and offer a predictive element that allow teams to evolve their programs and systems in almost all areas of HR. HR departments are an integral part of an organisation’s business strategy and as such, budgets are being allocated to pursue this technology with spend expected to rise exponentially over the coming months.
Much of this budget will be allocated to the next generation of integrated HRMS and cloud based solutions. These technologies allow firms to build platforms that manage their workflow across the board, and work in conjunction with systems in other areas of the business. In addition to this, improved talent acquisition tools, learning platforms and performance review technology will come into play.
Talent acquisition software is now an end-to-end solution that incorporates the traditional elements of CV tracking and workflow management as well as the marketing and social side of recruiting. Legacy learning and development platforms are being supported by tools that provide an environment where employees can browse content and make their own decisions on what they want to learn. Based on their viewings, software can align an individual’s interests with their career development and even provide them with the education programs needed to move to other roles in the firm. Performance review technology is enabling the current trend of a move away from individual employee ratings to team and goal orientated assessments. Solutions are largely cloud based and integrate with other HR systems as well as extracting data from job function systems.
HR technology tools are no longer simply about cost effectiveness or process management, they also seek to create an environment that employees want to be part of. Firms have long sought to provide employees with the tools that enable them to do their job to the best of their ability. Now they are seeing the value in providing career and life enhancing environment. Technology is empowering employees to take control of their own career development, managing their work/life balance and even their health, all from integrated company platforms accessible throughout the working day and on their mobile devices. The current entry level workforce is looking beyond being “engaged” with the companies they work for - they want to “experience” their career and HR teams need to provide a compelling corporate culture using the technology available to do so.
How will this change the HR job market?
It is a given that HR professionals will need to understand and adopt technology easily, and for most this is not a problem. However, arguably there will be more time for HR teams to function at higher more strategic level. The volume of data and analytics available to them will offer decision makers the opportunity to steer programs quickly to align with the wider business objectives of the company. This will facilitate the general trend we have seen evolve for business minded individuals at the senior level that have a persuasive reason to sit at the top table.
Analysts and specialist IT support function roles will be more prevalent to take advantage of the volume of data that will be available. It is likely that many mid-sized firms will lead the way in adopting off the shelf software and will be attractive to ambitious junior HR professionals that are already at ease at the fast pace of technology evolution. Technological advancement is not confined to HR, so it is also likely that as every area of the business will need support in adapting, with more demand for learning support staff to implement retraining programs.
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