What exactly is HR technology? Essentially, it refers to the software and systems organisations use to manage and streamline their HR processes. These processes include everything from recruitment and onboarding to performance management, payroll, and benefits administration. For that reason, many businesses are adopting a large variety of HR technology for their teams to benefit from, with survey data from the International Services Group (ISG) discovering that 46% of organisations use HR technology. But what is that benefit really, and is it worth incorporating HR tech into an organisation?
Table of Contents
Human Resources Technology and Employee Productivity
HR technology is designed to automate and optimise HR processes, reducing organisations’ time and resources to devote to these tasks. Organisations can store all their HR-related data in one centralised location, making it easier to manage, update, and access that information as needed. HR technology also allows teams to automate and streamline many administrative tasks that can bog them down and prevent them from focusing on the most important work.
Long-term, HR technology can also help improve employee engagement, communication, and collaboration, all crucial factors in building a productive and successful workplace culture. Research by Qualtrics found that workers who say technology is enabling productivity are 158% more engaged in their work and 61% more likely to continue working for their company. Through this digital transformation, you can create a more transparent, connected, and supportive environment that improves the employee experience at your organisation.
Types of HR Tech
HR technology is broad and wide, with each tool designed to help companies manage HR tasks more efficiently and effectively in different ways. Let’s look at the most prevalent types the HR sphere operates with today.
HR Management Systems (HRMS)
HR management systems (HRMS) provide a centralised database for employee information, including contact information, job titles, and performance evaluations. HRMS can also handle critical HR processes such as payroll, benefits administration, and compliance tracking.
This tool improves accuracy, saves time, and reduces the risk of errors or compliance issues. HR professionals can easily track and manage employee data in real-time, generate reports, and automate tasks such as leave requests and approvals. For example, if someone requests time off, HRMS can instantly verify if that person has enough leave time available, reducing the need for manual tracking and verification.
Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)
Have you ever spent hours sifting through resumes to find the best candidate for a job? An applicant tracking system (ATS) can make this part of the talent management process more efficient. An ATS can manage CV screening, job postings, and interview scheduling tasks. An ATS can also help companies comply with legal and regulatory requirements, such as equal opportunity employment. These benefits can save an organisation’s time, reduce administrative burdens, and help HR professionals focus on strategic tasks such as candidate engagement and culture fit.
Learning Management Systems (LMS)
A learning management system, or LMS, can help hr teams manage their training and development and help companies comply with industry regulations, such as safety and ethics training. LMS can handle tasks such as course delivery, tracking, and reporting, helping HR teams ensure that people receive the training they need to perform their jobs effectively and efficiently.
Performance Management Systems
Performance management systems can help companies track and evaluate employee performance. These systems can handle goal-setting, feedback, and performance appraisals, ultimately providing valuable insights into employee performance and identifying key improvement areas.
Time and Attendance Systems
Do you ever wonder how many hours employees have worked or how much leave time they have available? A time and attendance system can help manage employee attendance and working hours. These systems can handle time clock management, scheduling, and reporting tasks, for both in-house and remote employees.
Employers can easily track employee hours, manage holiday and sick time, and ensure compliance with employment laws using a time and attendance system. So if someone takes an extended leave, the attendance system can calculate their leave accruals and let the person and their manager know how much-remaining leave time is there. This can save time and reduce the risk of errors or compliance issues.
Many organisations see this happen in their workplace: a new hire is recruited, the onboarding process begins, and a mountain of papers emerges, ready to be filled out, with countless orientations to complete. Onboarding software can help streamline this process by managing orientation, paperwork, and training tasks, guaranteeing new hires a smooth and efficient onboarding process, and making them feel welcome and valued. Onboarding software can also help employers track the progress of new hires, provide feedback, and identify areas where the onboarding process can be improved.
Innovative HR Tech Trends
Moving into the future, workplace technology continues to advance, and with it come innovative HR tools that can revolutionise managing a workforce. Much of this technology is being well received, with research by Deloitte showing that over 90% of HR leaders believe technology will play a crucial part in improving work outcomes and team performance for the future of all workplaces. So let’s take a closer look at some of these new technologies emerging and see how they can help drive productivity in the workplace.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI is an emerging technology enabling machines to perform tasks that typically require people. In the context of HR, AI introduces automation to many of the repetitive tasks associated with recruitment, such as CV screening and candidate matching.
AI systems can be trained to recognise CV patterns, making identifying candidates who meet specific requirements easier and matching candidates with job openings based on their skills, experience, and other criteria. Moreover, AI can also analyse employee data to identify patterns and trends in employee behaviour and performance. This can help organisations make more informed decisions about training and development opportunities and identify areas for improvement in their HR processes.
Machine Learning (ML)
ML is a subset of AI that involves algorithms that learn from data and improve over time. In HR, ML can help identify patterns in employee behaviour, like which workers are most likely to leave or are most engaged.
Through these workforce analytics, ML systems can identify patterns in employee behaviour that may not be immediately apparent to HR managers. For example, an ML system could identify that people who work in teams are more likely to be engaged and productive than those who work alone. This allows employers to make more informed retention, engagement, and productivity decisions by identifying these patterns.
Chatbots are AI-powered tools that can introduce automation for many repetitive tasks associated with HR, such as answering employee questions and handling leave requests. Chatbots can also be used to provide personalised support and assistance to employees, such as on-demand training and development resources based on their needs and preferences.
Using chatbots, workers can get quick and accurate answers to their questions without waiting for an HR manager to respond. This can save time and reduce administrative burdens for HR managers, allowing them to focus on more strategic tasks.
Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)
VR and AR allow organisations to create immersive and interactive experiences. In HR, VR and AR have the ability to improve onboarding, training, and development processes. For example, you could use these technologies to simulate a realistic customer service interaction, allowing employees to practice and improve their skills in a safe and controlled environment.
In addition, VR and AR can also be used for remote training and collaboration, creating virtual environments where people can collaborate with colleagues and participate in training programs from anywhere worldwide.
How HR Leaders Can Improve Productivity with HR Tech
Now comes the tough part: how does an organisation successfully implement HR tech to maximise productivity levels?
- Assess business needs and goals: Understand the pain points and challenges that HR technology can help address. Once the needs are identified, goals can be set for implementing HR technology.
- Research and select appropriate HR software: After identifying business needs and goals, the next step is to research and select appropriate HR technology. Perhaps implementing a chatbot or a VR onboarding process is exactly what your business needs, or maybe it could be a time tracking system to improve the tracking of hours worked.
- Train people on new HR technology: Once the appropriate HR technology is selected, the next step is to train your hr teams. This is critical as people may resist change and require additional support in using the new technology. Training should be thorough, and people should be provided with ongoing support.
- Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of HR technology: The final step. Track employee productivity, engagement, and retention rates, among other metrics. If the HR technology is not meeting the desired goals, adjustments can be made to improve its effectiveness.
Difficulties in Implementing HR Technology
While you may develop a clear approach to incorporating HR tech into your organisation, you might be met with some resistance. Data shows that 34% of workers may find the implementation of new technology somewhat disruptive to their routine. This could be from employees who found comfort with existing systems and may doubt the need to use new technology.
Another issue might be a lack of IT infrastructure to support the change or implementation of HR tech or perhaps a struggle to integrate it with other business systems currently in place.
Whichever the case may be, here are a few pointers you should keep in mind:
- Sometimes the benefits aren’t clear enough, so involve your team members in the decision-making and genuinely showcase how beneficial this innovative technology can be for your organisation. Provide thorough training and ongoing support to ensure everyone is on the same page and can stay up to date regarding the new HR tech.
- Communicate with your IT department to guarantee that the necessary infrastructure is in place to effectively use the new HR technology being implemented.
- Discuss what HR technology integrates well with other systems or invest in technology that provides an integrated solution. Eventually, monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the newly implemented HR tech and see whether there’s a need to pivot in a different direction or optimise your current approach.