HR buyers are looking for technology to help solve both current issues and reducing transactional HR tasks, while still planning long-term strategies. They want a solution that will grow and evolve as they grow and evolve.
Due to the quickly evolving compliance regulations imposed on employers as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), we’ve seen a significant amount of employers seeking solutions to help with reporting to maintain compliance with the ACA. This is probably the hottest current issue for large employers as there has been so much uncertainty surrounding the ACA requirements, not to mention the fact that there are monetary fines and penalties for not maintaining compliance.
As far as long -term strategies, we are still working with a lot of first generation buyers looking to move from paper enrollments to online enrollments utilizing Benefits Administration technology. We would estimate that more than half of all employers are using an online enrollment system for their benefits now. Another huge problem employers are trying to solve is finding and keeping great talent. HR buyers are looking for technology solutions to help with their recruiting, employee development, social networking and communications, wellness and employee engagement.
That being said, below are the big trends we are predicting to see in 2016 with regards to HR tech:
- Single vendor solutions/integrated solutions
HR tech solutions have been separate segments until recently. Employers are using a separate Benefits Administration system, a Payroll system, an HR system and maybe another vendor for learning management or applicant tracking. Although going the best-of-breed route does have advantages and may be right for some organizations, there are some disadvantages. There are more vendors to manage, and integration can be difficult or impossible. We are seeing more of our employer clients choosing the “one throat to choke” approach – moving to a single vendor that can provide all areas of HR technology in one solution.
Mobile has been and will continue to be one of the bigger HR tech trends for 2016. Digital natives are the ones applying for jobs and are doing so via their mobile devices. In order to attract that talent, employers should be offering hiring and benefits information for mobile devices. Most HR tech vendors have already introduced mobile capabilities as part of their offering, and the vendors that haven’t, need to do so ASAP. Vendors are stepping up their mobile game as well; user interfaces are way more attractive, and the ease of use is improving. We are also going to see more vendors taking their systems from just mobile versions of their system to mobile apps as apps tend to be easier to navigate, offer more functionality and are more aesthetically pleasing.
HR is moving to the cloud! Vendors are moving away from on-premise solutions; nearly every major HR software vendor is offering or making plans to offer their solution in the cloud. Cloud computing will allow for increased flexibility, faster updates and innovation and cost savings. What a relief for HR managers who have to deal with the downtime and expense of upgrading a system every year or two, which will now be done automatically by the vendor! Core HR solutions on the cloud include ADP, Oracle, SAP, Workday, Ultimate Software and Infor (Lawson), among others.
- Employee Engagement & Talent Management Software
Finding and keeping great talent has been a big concern for organizations the last few years. Organizations are struggling finding the talent they need and are turning to technology to help with the learning and development of their workforce. Shifting workforces are causing companies to look for ways to engage very different demographics of employees.
- Big Data/Analytics
Big data, data analytics and predictive analytics are buzzwords being thrown around in the industry, and we will continue to hear more about them. As HR moves away from paper-based systems, the availability of data and analyzing that data is much easier. Data can now be pulled from your organization’s HR tech systems, applied to mathematical future-casting algorithms and then used to make decisions for your workforce and hiring, which could help increase productivity and decrease turnover.
Where do you all see 2016 taking the HR tech industry? Do you have plans to implement any of the technologies or features mentioned above?