Ask the expert! The 3 Most Important Trends in HR Tech
In February’s edition of Human Capital Magazine, Ari Kopoulos (National Sales & Marketing Manager) addresses another burning question in the HR industry. You can find the article in hard copy form in Issue Number 8.2 under the ‘Ask the Expert’ column.
Q. What are the three most important trends in HR technology for 2010?
A. One thing that by its very nature will never remain constant is technology. The innovation brought on by raw processing power and near perfect communication is radically altering our personal and, work lives. As a business, you need to embrace this innovation to ensure you have the solutions that fuel productivity and creativity within the workplace.
During the last decade, we saw self service solutions that put the employee in the driver’s seat. Disparate databases and HR modules were integrated, with automation and workflow being the norm. Moving forward, HR technology is set to become more intuitive, comprehensive, and predictive, facilitating strategic decision making. As we herald a new decade, here are the three top trends that I believe will make the biggest impact in HR technology.
Perhaps the biggest trend is gathering momentum alongside the continual evolution of the web itself. With connectivity of 1 megabit, the workforce is most communicative and connected practically 24/7. This is the realm of social media. In general, social media allows people to locate and communicate with one another. People can share and collaborate on any topic, and form virtual communities. These social networks are slowly being integrated with HR technology and, as an example, an approved recruitment request ‘workflowed’ directly to a job board and the applicants placed back into the HR system. But it’s not stopping there. You can soon expect your recruitment request to intelligently match you with the perfect candidate.
Social networking is not a new concept. Conversations sharing knowledge, opinions and collaboration have been around for thousands of years. It’s just that the process of having these conversations is now near perfect. This brings unprecedented opportunities, as well as challenges that will force revision of HR policies. Consider the employee who is not accepted as a friend by other employees on Facebook, is this discrimination?
Talent Management is perhaps the next biggest trend. The value proposition of an integrated talent management strategy is quite compelling, empowering your business with insight, agility, and efficiency supporting your strategic objectives. As such expect to see a shift away from single module solutions, towards solutions with a holistic approach. These deliver a central framework of tightly integrated HR processes, such as recruitment, onboarding, learning, performance, remuneration and succession. It’s this central framework that enables the exchange of talent supply, with business demand. This is the currency between capabilities and needs, and integrates all the HR modules. As an organisation you will need to develop meaningful and standard definitions of competencies, behaviours, and skills required throughout the organisation and relate those to a unit of demand such as a person, position, job, projects and training.
Finally, Software as a Service is gaining more and more favour. As the name suggests, it involves vendors delivering on demand software across the internet. The vendor provides all maintenance, security and support as well as regular updates. You pay a monthly, click rate for use, thus avoiding the heavier, but once off, licenses and hardware purchases. In this regard you don’t actually own the software but, ‘rent’ it. Data security, perhaps the biggest argument against SaaS, has been addressed by vendors through the heavy and continual investment in security of their platforms and applications. Some of the main benefits include rapid deployment, accessibility, security, and of course, cost savings.
We have always used our technology to extend our physical and mental reach, and we are now heading to a state where information converges into a virtual collective intelligence that truly solves problems. For the HR professional to take advantage of this brave new world, we need visionary vendors that are flexible and reactive in order to deliver and HR professionals driving the need. The good news is, vendors are listening and making significant changes to products and services. 2010 is shaping up to be the most innovative and dynamic year in the world of HR technology.