I’ve been in recruiting for 15 years and no candidate market has ever been as persistently tight and competitive as the one we’re facing today. The unemployment rate remains at 3.5% – matching a half-century low – and for many industries, this rate is even lower.
In this market characterized by high demand and limited talent, HR technology investments are no longer a “nice to have.” These investments are a critical business imperative to unlock new efficiencies and gain a competitive recruitment edge. While tech can’t replace a human touch, it can help HR professionals automate repetitive tasks and minimize human errors. This increased efficiency gives leaders more time to focus on critical strategic initiatives, like optimizing the employee experience.
These are three essential tech trends reshaping HR – and how to think even bigger about them in 2020:
1. Rise of HRIS roles.
These hybrid positions combine human resources and information systems, forming strategic partnerships to implement HR tech in conjunction with a company’s IT team. An HRIS Analyst, for example, will oversee essential HR data, including employee performance and engagement metrics, ensuring data accuracy, security and consistency. The most effective HRIS leaders do more than maintain data integrity, however. They’re working hand-in-hand with business leaders to move organizations from reactive, operational reporting to proactive issue identification and real-time solution recommendation.
Think bigger: For many organizations, there’s still a gap between collecting data and using this data to inform strategic business decisions. How can you empower your leaders to build an evidence-based HR culture?
2. High demand for HR professionals with SAP SuccessFactors or Workday experience.
SAP SuccessFactors and Workday are cloud-based HR solutions for the full employee lifecycle, with modules including applicant tracking software, performance management, learning management system (LMS) and compensation management. The demand for HR professionals with SuccessFactors or Workday experience increased exponentially over the last year – and continues to trend upward. Oftentimes, professionals with this experience have worked for SuccessFactors or Workday before going in-house with a major company, and few actively look for new opportunities. Businesses need to be prepared to pay top dollar for experienced talent or invest in training resources to bring current employees up to speed.
Think bigger: Robust HR solutions like SuccessFactors and Workday can lead to data overload. Which KPIs matter most to your organization and how will this data inform future strategy?
3. Artificial intelligence (AI) grows up.
AI in tech is maturing, and the question is no longer when HR teams will use this technology but how. If your organization has been slow to adopt AI, this is the year. Focus on tech solutions that use AI to automate repetitive tasks. Easy entry points include time tracking and payroll, but the greatest operational efficiencies are achieved when automation expands to include manual workflows like employee onboarding and off-boarding. Doing so not only saves time and reduces human error, but also improves employee experience, which is critical to minimizing turnover in this competitive market.
Think bigger: Trying to decide where to invest your AI tech dollars? Focus on user experience over self-service. Technology that delivers an effortless experience for employees and managers has a greater positive impact on performance than technology that offers on-demand access, according to Gartner.
Technology is reshaping HR, but the tech infrastructure and talent to run it won’t come cheaply. Organizations need to be prepared to invest not only in the right tech but also in the right hires to implement this tech– and in a competitive hiring market, this means paying top dollar. Set budget expectations accordingly or risk losing out on a sought-after hire.
What is your biggest HR challenge going into 2020?