Technology gives HR a competitive advantage

17 November 2016

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The HR technology market has seen an enormous development over the past few years.

Big HR software vendors have invested heavily in cloud technologies and HR departments are looking towards niche apps to provide unique employee (or candidate) experiences as part of their processes.

HR's expectations towards these applications has also changed extensively. Three main evolutionshave changed the way HR departments are choosing and implementing these new technologies:

  • The HR departmentis now driving the selection of the best tools for their jobs instead of IT or procurement. Providers are playing into this trend - working with different modules and packaging various offerings, enabling big and small companies to focus their investments on the right tools for the job.
  • What a tool can offer in terms of automation and user friendliness remains important, but HR departments are expecting these tools to provide a unique and integrated user experience. Modern UI's, integration with the existing eco-system of applications and cloud software, mobile accessibility, …. Employees and business leaders expect company tools to provide the same standards as the multitude of daily apps and services that we use in our daily lives.
  • HRIS projects have taken on the IT approach to development, meaning new tools are being implemented in an iterative way using scrum methodologies. The advantage here is that HR experts are actively helping to develop and shape these toolsin ways that weren't possible before. On the other hand, change management and engaging key users to work with these new tools have never been so important for the success in embedding these new tools within existing company processes.

The advantages of upgrading your HR software to a mature cloud solution and an integrated eco-system of carefully chosen apps goes beyond automation or HR process efficiency. In the current landscape HRIS projects allow you to build a competitive advantageby providing the perfect opportunity to:

  • Challenge and improve your HR processesby focusing on Employee Experience. Employees' expectations of technologies have far surpassed the experience your old HR processes are providing. Smartphones for example have become a key component of everyday life, which requires HR departments to rethink how they roll out and embed their services and processes with the ultimate goals to improve motivation and engagement.
  • Creating a true eco-systemof your apps and cloud technologies will be key to allow collaboration and building communities. The future workforce is a contingent one, meaning companies will have increasingly flexible contracts with employees and contractors that can be leveraged when needed. This means new challenges for accessibility and security, and requires new automated workflows for compliance checks.
  • All these new tools also lead to an influx of new dataor increases the accessibility of data, both from external sources as company data. Companies should start their journey now in order to revolutionize their reporting capabilities (often Excel spreadsheets) into true HR Dashboard (monitoring and exploration) and HR Analytics (answering key strategic business questions). The competitive advantage that can be gained by asking the right questions, using your available HR data, analyzing employees' behaviour through surveys and interactions with tools, and linking this with the right business data, will be key to a future of data driven business decision making.

Many HR departments will have an HR Software roadmapto work through in the coming years and as outlined above there is much more to the addition of new software than flipping a switch. Integration, user experience, (mobile enabled) process design and change management will be the keys to success throughout these upcoming projects

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