HR is becoming increasingly inseparable from technology, as more companies invest in software developed specifically for this function* to support data analysis and improve employee engagement. The technology industry has responded to this demand and HR automation software is now a $15 billion market**.
Here, Simon Fowler, Managing Director at Advanced (Specialist Solutions Division) outlines seven technology trends for the future of HR systems.
1) Security – As technology advances, the volumes of data held in such systems will only increase. This inevitably leads to more security risks and the need to be more diligent. It is increasingly important for customers to have access to flexible and configurable security options that meet regulatory requirements, such as data protection legislation, archiving and storage.
2) Social – Social media is widely used throughout businesses to communicate externally but also increasingly internally, for example by using applications like Yammer to share information and empowering staff to opt-in to relevant online groups within the company. The integration of social media feeds and platforms into self-service interfaces will become the norm, helping to increase employee engagement and interaction.
3) Mobile – The explosion of mobile devices onto the market has influenced a much more mobile workforce. Self-serve workflow technologies, such as Advanced’s mobile employee engagement tool, are already commonplace. HR cannot afford to be left behind, and any process or workflow should have the flexibility to be deployed via a mobile device to increase engagement and reduce administration.
4) Analytics – As big data increases, so does the demand for sophisticated analysis. Dashboard solutions have the flexibility to provide KPI information such as turnover by salary, age and gender, absence management and trend analysis in real-time, resulting in a speedier, easier process.
5) Cloud – As a cost-effective and scalable alternative to on-premise IT, the cloud continues to be a popular choice as a platform for flexible and accessible working. It also often forms part of a company’s disaster recovery measures. HR systems hosted in the software provider’s data centre are an economical solution and ensure valuable data is backed up in the face of an emergency.
6) Integration –For HR functions to become more strategic, systems need to be unified. The various aspects of HR should no longer be disparate and software is often the easiest route to integrating payroll, HR, talent management, reporting and analytics.
7) Automation –While not a new innovation, automated processes can increase compliance and best practice through KPI alerts and reminders for training and re-certification. HR software that enables any process and workflow to be automated will support businesses to prioritise compliance while remaining efficient. Expect more automation in the future.
Fowler says, “HR is the hub of people information generated by a business and technological advances means more and more data is being generated and recorded. The issue lies in how to extract meaning from that data and use it to maximise business performance and staff retention through better engagement strategies.
Businesses that utilise a combination of the technology outlined above will be best placed for improving connectivity and productivity in HR and beyond. These organisations will become the business leaders of the future.”