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Creating Your HR Technology Strategy

Published on April 13, 2016

Henny Maskufah - Changing employee expectations, new technologies, increasing globalisation and a need for agility in the face of a turbulent business environment mean that tomorrow's workplace will be barely recognisable from today. HR will need to respond accordingly.

The impact and use of technology in the Human Resource function has seen a rise in importance as HR leaders are becoming a valuable part of strategic senior leadership. Once viewed as a cost center part of the business, organizations are now including HR as part of key decision making. Technology is enabling HR leaders to create a true business case for what they bring to the table and to manage their people more effectively.

Creating Your HR Technology Strategy

To be truly valuable to the business, HR data should be combined with business performance data to generate trends and correlations that push towards the "why" rather than the "what". Historically, IT has had access to business data and HR relied on them to create workforce reports. But as HR technology has advanced, workforce analytics tools have become increasingly easy to use. These tools deliver actionable insights about the flow of talent into, through and out of organizations over time, to help organizations make informed decisions about how to better manage its people and evolve its culture.

Cloud-based learning, collaboration and performance management are among the HR technology trends 2016 that are conspiring to put more control over HR processes in the hands of employees and managers, according to a new report released at the HR Technology Conference & Exposition at Las Vegas October 2015

2016 Trend HR Technology understand two things:

  • How organizations use HR technology
  • How HR technologies impact organizational performance

HR departments are often seen as a non-value adding cost-center function within a business. But, among many other things as finding and attracting talent is a value add that has direct bottom line implications. Developing people increases retention, reduces expense and makes the company more responsive

In a thriving job market and with the social work habits of millennials, job hopping is on the increase. Shorter stints in a company are becoming the rule, especially compared to the "lifer" mentality of the baby boomers. With talent acquisition being extremely costly for organizations, HR departments are deeply concerned with ways to retain their workforce longer. Succession plans are required to manage the consequences of shortened job. Companies require a strategic plan for employee talent and development cultivates internal talent to meet evolving company needs. Leveraging HR technologies to accomplish these needs is an important part of the overall strategy. The correct system gathers data to create insights.

A successful employee engagement strategy involves technology with an intuitive user experience. The younger workforce has an expectation for user friendly technologies and is often resistant to antiquated HR systems. With the correct execution of HR technologies, HR leaders can work to accomplish the following for their workforce

Tackling core HR processes effectively is a paramount to success. Paying those currently on staff and ensuring that benefits, maternity, permits to work, taxation, employment laws and all the basics are in perfect shape must be in order first before HR can worry about other areas of development. Organizations are nervous to rely on technology only as this area carries much variation with individual regulatory concerns, qualifications for different types of employees, work schedules: full time, part time, seasonal, etc.

But technology can also allow organizations to quickly achieve what they need to in these important areas, so that HR professionals can concentrate on more strategic, value adding tasks.

  • Managing multiple payroll structures in one system
  • Trusting vendors to ensure employment regulations & compliance requirements are met and consistently updated
  • Managing employee benefits and creating ongoing review processes
  • Providing an employee self-service to review and change personal information

Effective training and learning begins in the onboarding process and extends throughout the employee's life with the company. The more knowledge and learning, the greater the value add. The best use of learning technology is to develop the team in increasingly effective and efficient ways.

The HR function is broad and requires many unique bits of functionality in order to achieve operational requirements. Successful HR Technology implementations depend on the interface and integration of a variety of technologies. Each individual HR setting requires a unique set of technologies based on the organization's priorities.

For this reason, the most effective HR Technology problem solving begins with a clarifying view of the problem followed by an agnostic investigation of possible technology solutions

Employees now want access to the same tools HR has-and they expect those tools to be simple, effective and even enjoyable, just like consumer technologie. When technology is more social, mobile and accessible, employees are more engaged, productive and fulfilled-which results in a positive impact on the bottom line.

The correct systems can create an HR environment where the technology frees up HR leaders' time to focus on the needs of the organization and become a strategic part of the business. HR Leaders want technologies that help them execute their strategies. Instead, they are often pointed to HR Technologies that require adjustments to the strategy. A key component of a successful software selection and implementation process is understanding what the business needs and designing the strategy first.

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