The 8 R’s of Workplace HR Technology

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Like any technology sector, Human Resources is continuing to evolve at a rapid pace. It is imperative that HR professionals are able to keep up to date with the latest changes, some of which may have already hit your business, others may be on the way.

Over the next twelve months, these are the top trends we expect to see alter HR departments around the world.

1. Requests – self service and management approval
Self Service has become a key factor in the successful integration of a new HR system into your business. Rather than waiting for a paper form to be processed, staff want to be able to make requests themselves, and then have managers sign them off in real time – without HR involvement. The more HR processes that can be optimised in this way, the more time HR have to focus on their other duties. Self service will allow users to process their own requests, and allow the management team to manage their own teams.

2. Reporting to deliver more
Analytics & “big data” are becoming key to understanding both your customers and your staff. Information gained can help the business as a whole react to change and help keep HR ahead of the curve when it comes to development. If, for example, you can see the sales team are smashing their targets, it may be worth planning an advert for new production staff, so you’re ready when you’re asked for it. Analytics can also help you deliver staff development sessions and training, by seeing how they learn best, you can tailor these sessions to your staff.

3. Revolutionary Technologies will become rarer
Whenever a new sector is tackled by IT for the first time, lots of new players enter the field and you can quickly see rapid innovation changing the face of the market on a regular basis. However, HR has been using IT solutions for many years now and it has become a very mature market – you’re more likely to see refinements in technologies from existing providers, than a revolutionary change.

4. Responsive Design will be expected and crucial
Mobile has become the cutting edge field across a variety of sectors and HR need to make sure they’re not left behind in this development. Ensuring that your HR and learning systems are mobile compatible will ensure you get the highest take up possible from your staff. Younger tech friendly job applicants will expect webpages to be responsive, as they generally access the web from phones or tablets. Making sure your careers pages are responsive will encourage applications from this demographic.

5. Return on Investment trumps everything
As technology revolutions reduce, companies will start looking more at long term return on their investments. One of the most interesting trends connected to ROI is the change in attitude to licensing. Both the UK Government and a lot of large businesses have started to put their faith in open source solutions. This can greatly reduce costs by eliminating per-user license fees. HR departments will need to show all of their spending has a strong ROI, this will include any technology that is used by the department.

6. Rationalisation of Systems
A lot of HR departments have tried out various systems to help them manage their staff. In the next year we are much more likely to see a reduction and rationalisation of these systems. A large number of systems are now moving to “cloud” solutions on online data centers, this reduces upfront capital costs for the organisation. Integration between systems and the ease of use will be key indicators of success here.

7. Recruitment & training using social media
The social media sphere is becoming second nature to a lot of staff, and being heavily utilised by other departments (e.g. Marketing). HR must ensure that it grasps the utility of this technology as it can be great for encouraging staff engagement and conducting research. Equally, recruitment can greatly benefit from connecting with prospective employees via social media channels. Encouraging social interaction between your staff is also greatly beneficial, as this can build a better culture at the organisation.

8. Restricted learning is dead!
The idea of staff only learning in proscribed sessions has long passed as staff are now constantly learning both on the job and in their own time. HR need to ensure that its own systems are flexible and that any LMS can be used for a variety of learning available 24/7. This easy access learning can soon create a culture of knowledge sharing in your organisation which is of great benefit to any group.

Technology is still moving quickly in all sectors, but in HR it is undergoing a period of stabilisation and consolidation. HR departments need to be ready to keep on top of the latest developments, but also keep an eye on their ROI and their strategic direction.

If you want to get in touch to see how we can help your HR department develop please contact us or call us on 0800 862 0131.