GRM’s Director of Strategic Alliances and Business Development, Yoni Balan, attended the 2018 HR Tech Conference in Las Vegas (September 11 to September 14). The annual conference is an opportunity for the HR industry to learn about and discuss advances in HR technology such as HR software, Human Resources information management systems (HRIS systems), and much more. Below, Yoni shares some of the key HR technology trends that were discussed during conference sessions and meetings, as well as in conversations with GRM partners and booth visitors. Read on for details…
This year’s conference included approximately 400 vendors in the exposition hall, thousands of attendees, and more than 70 HR technology sessions. After meeting with a number of our strategic partners, attending several sessions and speaking with numerous conference attendees and visitors at our booth, I’m delighted to share some of my main takeaways.
Overall, at the highest levels of HR technology utilization, the priorities are still to replace HR paper-based processes and to ensure access to HR information. But I found it noteworthy that although plans for transforming HR environments are decreasing, there’s an increase in the average amount spent on unique HR applications. Success today depends on the application’s unique ability to lead real change and improve productivity, and most of it is focused on talent management, including recruiting, onboarding, performance management, and learning and development. Strong applications that improve customers’ productivity and HR departments’ efficiency (HR as “systems of productivity,” per J. Bersin) and successful integration with third-party systems and tools are crucial for the successful growth of HR technology vendors. The following points are aligned with that trend.
ATS and Recruiting
Employees are typically a company’s most valuable asset, so it should come as little surprise that there’s a major focus on HR technologies that help attract and retain top talent. This includes a range of applicant tracking software (ATS) and recruiting tools – everything from video interviewing, chatbots, candidate relationship management and strategic sourcing, to applying data analysis on the sourcing and screening stages, end-to-end automation in the hiring process, and of course artificial intelligence. Current and emerging technology facilitates easy, streamlined application, screening and hiring processes, and allows customers to attract, recruit and retain top talent fast quickly and effectively.
AI and Machine Learning
Both artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning received a significant amount of “buzz” during the HR Tech conference in Las Vegas. This follows the trend of focusing on employee recruitment and retention. These advanced technologies are most often seen in recruiting and in the evaluation of applications, but not only there. They can also be found in other applications, such as ones that offer conversational AI tools, AI-based screening, resume evaluation, and even games and skills test interviewing.
Employee Experience, Learning and Engagement
Companies are investing in systems and applications that foster a positive employee experience and empowerment. This includes learning and development, as well as employee engagement. So, what are they looking for? A smart interface and HR case management capabilities supported by a user-friendly help desk. Ultimately, the goal is to facilitate all-digital and automated environments that provide accessible and efficient tools that support the employee experience.
The final trend I noted during the HR Tech conference – and a key takeaway – is the ongoing and growing significance of data analytics for HR. Human Resources professionals are increasingly interested in how HR data can be used to shape the workplace and define corporate strategy. Data should eventually lead to actions that foster growth, and as this interest continues to expand, the focus is shifting to the creation of content that draws insights from the data and helps inform business decisions.
HR organizations that effectively manage all of this structured and unstructured data (it is possible!) are claiming their seat at the strategic table.
Snag your seat at the strategic table
HR organizations today are far more creative, data driven and tech savvy than years ago. There is a reason behind the massive investments made by venture capital and private equity firms in the last two to three years in the HR technology industry. The industry is becoming more innovative every day and the market more open to new technologies and integrations.
HR organizations play a more strategic role than in the past; they use HR systems to drive growth and impact the corporate strategy, they are not an administrative function anymore. To make an impact, HR organizations must have strong control over their structured and unstructured data, and clear visibility to the key insights they need at their work. These, together with advanced reporting and analytics tools, will allow them to translate the large amounts of data that they have to effectively manage into meaningful content and strategic actions.
If you attended HR Tech in Las Vegas but didn’t have a chance to stop by the GRM booth, we’re sorry we missed you. Go ahead and give us a call or send us an email – we welcome the opportunity to discuss your company’s information management needs.