6 Tips For A Powerful HR Technology Strategy
If you’re a CHRO or an HRIT Manager, one of the major challenges you might be facing is the digitalization of HR processes. Whether it’s attracting or retaining talent, reducing costs, gaining a competitive edge or driving HR efficiencies, digitalization has become imperative.
And this should reflect in all the core processes of the employee lifecycle — right from hiring, onboarding, engagement to offboarding.
According to a study by Gartner, 88% of chief HR officers say they need to invest in about three or more technologies over the next two years.
While this is an important step towards bringing in greater efficiency in HR processes, it can also be an overwhelming undertaking for most HR heads.
Additionally, the wide array of options in the HR technology market can be mind-boggling, making it difficult for CHROs and HR heads to identify which new HR technologies to choose so as to maximize the benefits of digitalization and ensure business alignment.
But it is also essential to recognize that the digitalization of HR management extends beyond just adopting efficient technology. Essentially, as important as investing in technology is, the real impact on HR processes can be brought about when the technology is employee and consumer-centric as well. Using technology to bring in transparency in HR processes and to foster interactive, personalized experiences, is what true digitalization is all about.
With how things currently stand, not adapting to technology means a detrimental impact on cost per hire, cost per employee and the overall productivity of the workforce. Hence it has become essential that HR heads identify the challenges early on and employ the right digital solutions to each problem in order to stay ahead of the curve.
Ultimately, the primary aim of adopting any HR technology should be to maximize the efficiency of HR processes and improving productivity, while reducing costs and delivering better employee experiences and business outcomes.
But with the current boom in the HR technology market, every company is trying to position their software as the silver bullet to all your HR needs. So how can you as a HR leader, ensure that you select what is best-suited to your requirements?
In order to select a technological solution that will help you accomplish your organizational goals, establishing a well thought out HR technology strategy is critical. In this article, we give you 5 tips to help you form a powerful HR technology strategy.
6 Tips For Forming A Powerful HR Technology Strategy
1. Assess your existing HR Technology landscape
The primary step in establishing an effective HR strategy involves assessing your existing HR technology landscape thoroughly; Take stock of the technology you are currently using and assess whether it meets all your current and future requirements. Actively look for opportunities to leverage technology and automation to streamline workflows in all facets of the HR function.
If there is a need to change your existing technology solution and adopt other, emerging technology providers, you should determine the level of investment it requires and map it against the current HR technology cost. Even before you invest in new technology, ensure that you have a solid grasp of its possibilities and limitations. World’s renowned HR industry analyst, Josh Bersin recommends the below HR Technology Architecture as a part of the HR Technology Market 2020 Report.
2. Optimize HR Technologies
Most companies tend to have poorly integrated HR technology applications that are obsolete and have functional gaps, making them difficult to use. This impacts employee adoption.
Hence companies should find ways to optimize and modernize the existing technology while adopting other, emerging technologies as well. A successful HR technology deployment goes beyond implementation. For managing a diverse set of HR technologies, you also need to consider different factors like employee preferences, stakeholder expectations and business operating models.
Below is Gartner’s recent Hype Cycle for Human Capital Management Technology that shows the modern and emerging trends in HR technologies.
You can also refer to Gartner’s report on Assessing the Maturity of Your HR Technology Function for further insights.
3. Collaborate with IT on a digital workplace strategy
HR heads need to understand that digitizing HR processes is not just an IT initiative. Instead, HR should collaborate with various functions, including IT to establish the HR technology strategy.
Partnering with IT helps provide a new perspective on what the right technology solutions are to approach existing business problems. IT’s technological acumen can help CHROs choose the right applications to drive the digitization of HR processes.
But the HR technology strategy must predominantly be driven by HR leaders as they are aware of the employee perspective and understands which practices are required to support an effective workforce.
4. Stay updated with the latest HR technology trends
There are several innovations in the HR technology landscape in the recent past. Some prominent ones are in the areas of AI, machine learning, NLP, virtual assistants etc. And many technologies are fast emerging. Understand the maturity and adoption rates of these technologies to make an informed decision.
Today, we are seeing organizations use technologies such as chatbots and modern intranets extensively in order to enhance employee experience and reduce costs. Chatbots which are one of the most prominent applications of AI, are being used at different stages of an employee’s life cycle — right from recruitment and onboarding to engaging the employee, fostering retention or offboarding. Chatbots provide self-service to employees and help them complete HR tasks like applying for PTO, access HR policy documents, get answers to their questions and more.
Modern intranets too are finding their way into the workplace, changing the ways in which employees can communicate and collaborate with each other. Mesh, an intranet accelerator solution by Acuvate, can be used by organizations to build an intranet that specifically fits their needs. It comes with a host of different features for communication, collaboration, authoring etc. and can be directly deployed on Office 365 and SharePoint Online. It also comes with a companion bot named “MeshBOT” that can provide employees with a rich self-service user experience.
According to Gartner, the emerging technology trends that HR heads must be aware of include:
- Internal Talent Marketplace — Uses marketplace principles to match internal employees, alumni, and contingent workers to short-term projects and other work opportunities, without any intervention from a recruiter.
- Voice of the Employee (VoE) — Uses VoE technology to collect and analyze the opinions, perceptions and feelings of employees and workers.
- Virtual Assistants (VAs) Conversational interfaces that are tightly integrated with the HCM suite and other HR applications.
- Platform as a Service (PaaS) — An application toolkit provided by HR software vendors that includes development tools, multiple APIs and frameworks, enabling customers to extend an application beyond its delivered configuration options.
- Worker Engagement Platforms (WEPs) that are designed to boost employee engagement by providing positive experiences at work.
- Machine learning capabilities that provide analysis and recommendations to improve processes through the identification of trends and patterns.
5. Agile Product Development and Gamification
According to a report by Gartner, the two HR capabilities that CHROs and HRIT managers must adopt for the future of work are Agile product development and Gamification. While less than 30% of HR functions are estimated to have adopted either, Gartner believes that agile product development is a way to quickly deliver HR solutions in response to ever-changing employee needs. Gamification, on the other hand must not be adopted as a means to make HR processes more entertaining. Rather, HR heads must only gamify those processes from which a unique value is to be achieved that couldn’t be achieved with the help of other tech avenues.
6. Partner With The Right Vendors
- Understand your business requirements and shortlist them based on priority. Take inputs from all departments including IT and legal.
- Consider your workforce needs, culture challenges and characteristics
- Interact with your peers and HR professionals who work in your industry
- Shortlist 2–3 vendors and request for a demo. Ask them to provide a sandbox environment which your team can use to experience the solution’s features. Consider asking for client references.
In order to ensure that digitalization helps accomplish the organizational goals, HR heads must not only implement the most promising technologies but also, optimize, manage and measure them based on business outcomes. Partnering with the right vendor is also the key to success.
If you need help in devising your HR technology strategy or exploring new technologies, please feel free to get in touch with one of our HR technology experts for a personalized consultation.