HR Technology – The Industry That Keeps Exploding!

By Doreen Dartez of iBTR

HR Tech 2022 was back in full swing this fall in Las Vegas, as attendance was high, and HR technology providers were in the hundreds. All were happy to be, “back to business” in-person! Hickok & Boardman HR Intelligence is grateful for their technology team that traveled to Vegas to stay on top of HR technology trends and innovation. The event indicated, per Global Industry Analyst, Josh Bersin’s keynote address, that the disruption in HR technology never stops! Here are the key themes gleamed from HR Tech 2022 on the latest trends in the HR Tech market for the future of work:

 “The Great Re-Evaluation” – Employees around the world are re-evaluating their work.

The mindset that originated during the pandemic has changed the future of HR Tech. There are different elements that came into focus over the past two years. We can easily identify how recruiting, learning and engagement within HR Tech has received a lot of attention in the last 2+ years. However, it has now evolved to a steady focus on Work Tech, related to wellbeing, career growth, and the WHEN, WHERE AND WHY employees will stay with or leave their current employer. Work Tech is just as much about people as it is about areas of functionality.

 HR Technology is evolving from a culture and engagement focus to productivity and growth.

In previous years we were engulfed in cloud solutions, and mobile access and tools all geared towards increasing engagement, promoting organizational culture, and leveraging analytics to evaluate progress.  We are now seeing a shift to focus on productivity, organizational resilience, and performance. At a time where employee satisfaction must be a top priority, and pay is under unprecedented scrutiny with the status of the economy, performance management is a crucial tool to learn and communicate. Employees are expecting appreciation for their value, and organizations need to leverage it as well as learning paths for succession planning for their growth and ultimately retention.

 Employee Listening tools can combat burnout.

With burnout on the rise from 63% to 81% in 2022, and 14%-24% admitting various grievances from “I am only working for the paycheck” to “This is not the company or profession for me.” to “I want to work fewer hours”, listening is key!  Organizations must figure out what employees need and want leveraging technology. Examples span categories as simple as exit reviews, performance check-ins and incident reporting to less traditional tools for passive listening (our friends Siri and Alexa), crowdsourcing, and email ONA (Organizational Network Analysis). Knowledge is key going into 2023, as you cannot improve what you don’t know needs to be changed.

Core HCM/HRIS Platforms are amazing, however still falling short.

Previous year’s statistics show that despite innovative solutions and provider enhancements over 30% of the HR Tech projects end up being over budget, over 50% of them miss deadlines, and 42% are rated not fully successful by HR professionals. The key message on this topic for 2022 is as those issues continue, the key to success is prioritizing EX (Employee Experience), vs. process. Industry studies are proving that companies that had the most success with large HR Tech projects focused on employees first, technology second.

EX and TI Solutions are on the rise.

While core HCM systems are necessary to run a company, they are no longer the center of gravity they once were. The layers on top, Employee Experience and Talent Intelligence Systems, are even more important.

Talent intelligence platforms integrate insights about workers – their skills, capabilities, experiences, career aspirations, performance, demographics, learning needs, development opportunities – and use this information to help people find the right opportunities for them. In essence it is talent matching, or matching people to opportunities.  The value is in knowing organizationally what skills you have, how much expertise you have within, and how your employees are progressing and performing.

The EX (Employee Experience) platform market is growing tremendously. There is no shortage of these solutions spanning these categories: Productivity, Leaning, IT, HR, Feedback, Hybrid Work, Knowledge, and Benefits.

 Skills Tracking, is it trackable?

The concept of building a skills-based organization is not new. Some industries have done this for years. What is new is the technology, applications of AI, and the idea of using skills in an integrated way for recruiting, development, internal mobility, and pay. The Josh Bersin Company’s research argues that a Capability Framework is needed before investing in skill tracking.  The theme being that an organization can come together and come to an agreement on the capabilities they need to thrive in everyday use, and only then do they know what skills they need to seek out to recruit and develop employees. Skills come and go, as it’s “use it or lose it”, whereas capabilities are in use consistently.

Where does employee learning stand?

Gone are the days where learning for employees is a box checked to assist an organization in managing safety, diversity & inclusion, and security. Learning must be leveraged for employee growth and ultimately their job satisfaction.  The focus for learning is evolving around skills and succession, backed by the path of “learn it, do it, master it, mentor in it AND move employees’ careers forward or move them into roles that interest them most. This delivers true engagement and ultimately increases retention.

AND FINALLY: The HR Tech Mess Needs to be Addressed

2023 HR Technology Priority List

  • Architecture & Roadmap – You need to understand the solution architecture and their roadmap as you’ll want it to be aligned with your organizational goals.
  • Product/Experience Management – What is your strategy for the employee experience and are the solutions aligned?
  • Design Thinking / Design Process – What are your users’ needs and problems?
  • Research resources to support your team during implementation – Managed Implementation Services are on the rise as HR teams are over capacity and tenure is declining.
  • Provider Management – Have detailed processes or resources to help you with your HR tech relationships. (Shameless Plug: Hickok & Boardman HR Intelligence is here to help you!)
  • IT, Data, HR Governance – Focus on what data you need, the integration strategy and certainly the HR & employee data needed.
  • Communications & Change – What is your strategy so that employees adopt your HR Technology, best ways to communicate & as we’ve been talking about all along, how to listen and educate employees and help them evolve?

The HR Tech industry is exploding year after year, with $11.75 Billion invested in 2021. And the “Year of Grace”, 2020 is no more.  Sapient Insights reports that HR tech customer satisfaction is down, and 50% of employers will choose a new payroll platform in 2023, and 46% of their survey respondents expect to increase their HR Tech spend in 2023. With those statistics in mind, we are confident that these new, and some “not so new” recommendations deemed from the industry experts at this year’s HR Tech 2022 conference will be valuable.  Please contact your partners at H&B HR Intelligence for all questions related to HR technology.