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Wanted: Amazon.com-like Experience with HR Tech
 

By Aliah D. Wright  7/16/2014
 

What’s the one thing human resource information system (HRIS) managers hope to accomplish when deciding whether or not to invest in new HR technology?

Improve user experience, according to a study from Information Services Group (ISG), a technology insights, market intelligence and advisory services company.

ISG reports that other benefits of new technology HRIS managers hope to attain include “access to innovation and best practices, speed to implementation, and cost savings,” the analysis found.

“As the ‘war for talent’ heats up, CEOs recognize that their employees—especially Millennials—expect their interactions with HR departments to be as easy and engaging as shopping on Amazon,” Debora Card, partner, ISG HR/Benefits Practice, stated in a release. “Finding and retaining the right employees is also a top concern, and managers are looking to HR technology to provide analytics to help them make better employee decisions.”

Card’s words echo those of HR practitioner Jessica Miller-Merrell, chief executive officer of Blogging4Jobs, who told HR professionals during her session on integrating technology and social media into the workplace at the 2014 Society for Human Resource Management Annual Conference & Exposition in Orlando, Fla., that wearable technologies like Google Glass and smart watches definitely will come to the workplace.

“HR needs to keep in mind that today’s talent pool is in the consumer marketplace, using technologies daily that they expect to be able to use at work,” she said. “It’s time for the workplace to catch up and begin to leverage these technologies.”

The ISG survey also found that companies aren’t simply waiting to see if software-as-a-service (SAAS)-based HR technologies perform as promised; they’re actually buying these technologies and putting them in place. More than half of those executives surveyed plan to implement new HR technologies within the next two years, a significant increase from a year ago. That mirrors recent research from Towers Watson, which stated in June 2014 that one in three companies plans to overhaul its HR structure in order to improve quality and efficiency—mostly by embracing SAAS systems, talent management solutions, HR portals and mobile applications.

“We’re seeing a growing comfort level with the technology as we move past the early adopters,” said Card. “An improving economic climate is enabling a long-overdue response to the need for improved HR system functionality. Finally, the fact that SAAS does not require major capital investment, and often promises reduced run costs, is making buying decisions easier.”

As for their top HR organizational improvement to make between now and 2016, nearly a third of those surveyed said to enhance strategic alignment with the business. That was followed by improvements in acquiring talent (19 percent), improvements in business processes (13 percent), reducing costs (10 percent) and driving human capital management technology improvements (9 percent).

More than 10,000 employees participated in ISG’s study, Human Resources Technology and Service Delivery Trends in 2014.

Aliah D. Wright is an online editor/manager for SHRM and author of A Necessary Evil: Managing Employee Activity on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn … and the Hundreds of Other Social Media Sites (SHRM, 2013).

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