It’s no secret that technology in general is marching forward, with greater capabilities year on year. HR systems are no exception, achieving new levels of agility thanks to software as a service (SaaS) systems. This flexibility allows HR tech to reach a wider audience, at costs that are more competitive. The alliance between tech and HR has at times been an uneasy one, but HR knows it needs this tech to keep up with the demands of the modern workplace.
The tech trends that HR will want to embrace in 2020 centre around insight, engagement and efficiencies.
1. Making HR analytics accessible
There has been a lot of discourse in the press about HR falling short when it comes to analytics. Cracking the nut that is business analytics is not easy, and jumping to the conclusion that the fault lies at HR’s feet is hasty. For any discipline to get the most out of its data, to truly analyse it and produce insights, that data needs to be of sound quality and of a reasonable quantity to start with – and the analytics tools have to be available and up to the job.
In 2020, we’re likely to see natural language queries promoted as a solution to the HR analytics quandary. Bridging the gap between data and its interpretation, natural language queries might just be the silver bullet that HR needs. HR systems will be able to step up and provide HR strategists with the technological help they’ve been needing – and earn HR the trust that it rightly deserves.
2. Digitising the employee experience
Focusing on employee experience and its key influencers isn’t new. From onboarding, performance management and reward, through to career planning, diversity and inclusion, these issues and their effects on employees are long-standing concerns for HR professionals.
What is new is how HR tech can make a very real, and positive, impact on an employee’s experience at an organisation.
Next year, HR systems with their onboarding and check in modules will evolve employee engagement and performance management from a once-a-year review to an ongoing process – starting before the candidate even commences in role. In addition, line managers will be better able to champion diversity and inclusion policies because HR tech will make those guidelines more readily available. Career planning will also be propelled forward, with HR systems improving visibility over opportunities and aspirations, consequently opening up more conversations about training and internal job opportunities.
3. Using tech to facilitate engagement and communication
Making the leap from one-to-one to one-to-many engagement is not a challenge unique to HR. Many disciplines face this conundrum; but it’s a particular concern for HR who don’t want to lose the ‘human’ element from their work. The flip side to this is that there are some insights that people will never share in a face-to-face conversation, insights that are invaluable to HR in crafting engagement strategies.
This is where HR systems will step into their own in 2020. Pulse surveys will become the norm, with HR and businesses regularly measuring their employees’ sentiments. Tech that makes this process easy, quick and deliverable to a wide (and potentially international) survey-base will be in high demand. These insights allow organisations to better engage with their people, and, where favourable results are achieved, they can then be used to promote the organisation externally, too!
4. SaaS leading the way in ongoing innovation
Experienced HR professionals may have unpleasant memories of old-fashioned HR systems that required multiple on-site servers and lengthy service contracts. The investment required to bring a system like this on board meant that expectations were extremely high. If these systems failed to deliver, the wider trust of the business in HR tech – and in HR – could be hard to win back.
HR software has changed a lot since it’s inception, and more and more providers are following the lead of Salesforce and Workday and embracing agile multi-tenanted Cloud technology. Legacy HR tech was holding its own in the market because it was able to offer a wider range of HR functionality, having built them up over time. As 2020 progresses, we’ll see modern Cloud SaaS HR systems continue to overtake and surpass their traditional counterparts. Multi-tenanted Cloud systems like Cezanne HR are quicker to develop, more cost-efficient, and able to be deployed on a global scale much more easily than their older counterparts. These user- and business-friendly systems will win increased advocacy from the HR world as their benefits are realised.
5. HR processes driven by the rise and rise of automation
Automating HR processes will be how tech will free up HR from endless admin and paper-chasing to become more strategic. HR’s strength lies in their expertise in process, workflow and best practice. Unfortunately, this expertise was often unrealised due to lack of implementation – the processes were there, but in the past there was no easy way to get employees to follow them. Compliance similarly needs strong reliable systems to be a success.
The ongoing development of HR systems will include advancing automation capabilities in 2020. Better, easier to configure, workflow functionality and notification systems will be invaluable in increasingly demanding workplaces – HR processes will be easier to build and implement and flex to fit changing workplace realities. Compliance will also reap the benefits of these advances, delivering important information and recording understanding as needed.
Do you know what your software provider is working on to improve their service offering in the new year? In the first quarter of 2020, Cezanne HR’s customers will benefit from a new clock in/clock out feature (expanding on the current ‘Time Tracking’ module), enhancements to our analytics capabilities, and to tools for employee engagement, alongside other system developments. As Cezanne HR is a SaaS provider, all new features are rolled out as they are built, ensuring our customers are at the forefront of the modern HR tech market.