Q&A on HR Technology

Thursday, September 1, 2016
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Q: What's the one HR-technology solution today that is most transforming HR departments?

A: The world of work is changing more quickly than ever. Over the last 20 years, recruiters in particular have had to constantly adapt to new hiring technologies from the first online job boards to cloud-based applicant tracking software, mobile devices, social media and, more recently, recruitment marketing automation/customer-relationship management tools. It can be hard to keep pace with these innovations alone. Factor in the fluctuating global economy and the morphing behaviors and expectations of job seekers, and it's no wonder that many HR teams and company leaders experience frustration and confusion with misaligned processes.

Talent acquisition Software-as-a-Service has made tremendous strides during this time to not only innovate to match the needs of recruiters and consumer-driven job seeking behavior, but also to take the mystery out of cloud services and data. Advanced best-of-breed SaaS offerings lessened the cost of implementations and allowed for faster, better software upgrades. And today, HR professionals are ready for the next phase of process refinement and data management: Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS).

While SaaS enables employers to manage and analyze necessary networks and servers, PaaS essentially opens up the gateways to allow more HR tools to be brought into the fold more quickly and easily through pre-built integrations. HR technology users will now benefit as software products become available and are implemented more quickly from a variety of partnering vendors and all through a common, comfortable user interface.

Q: Going forward, what areas should HR leaders be focusing their HR-tech investments on to secure the best bang for the buck?

A: The U.S. recruiting market is currently valued at $130 billion, with talent acquisition comprising $8.5 billion of that. With this in mind, company leaders have to ensure that it is money well-spent by maintaining focus on making the right technology investments to ease internal processes and bring cohesion to the HR function. In this way, talent acquisition PaaS is the next logical maturation of modern HR technology solutions. Employers realize that they need to invest in their people in order to thrive, but the same must be said for the tools used to successfully attract, screen and onboard these individuals into the organization.

For HR leaders to fully benefit from the right technology solutions for their hiring needs, they first must acknowledge how fierce the competition for talent has become in recent years. A new iCIMS study found that 63 percent of full-time employees are looking for a new job. The wandering eyes of the workforce should be a wake-up call for employers to refine their hiring strategies in order to reduce time-to-fill and better gauge quality, saving the high cost and stress of unfilled positions.

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Looking ahead, HR leaders would be smart to pursue talent-acquisition platforms with intuitive, simple user interface design and prioritize scalability, stability and great service. A well-connected recruitment software suite backed by an ecosystem of best-in-breed HR technology partners is the ideal central starting point for all employee-centric services, allowing for seamless transfer and reporting of data between human capital management systems. 

Q: In implementing new HR-technology solutions, what are the specific best practices HR leaders should be employing to ensure that those implementations go smoothly and successfully?

A: The push toward Platform-as-a-Service is driven by the desire for simplicity in user-friendly design and data management. Employers should aim to synchronize HR processes, and to identify, test, manage and measure all of the solutions their business needs from one platform of record. HR leaders can take a cue from sales operations' implementation of Salesforce, a PaaS powerhouse with a third-party marketplace that allows users to easily select the point solutions best-suited for their unique needs and plug directly into the platform.

Winning the war for talent begins with strong applicant tracking software, and extends to a dedicated suite of talent acquisition solutions focused on addressing the rapidly evolving recruitment landscape. The most progressive hiring companies will look for a stable, intuitive platform to serve as the hub for all things talent-related -- a 'Salesforce-like' system that offers connections to other solutions and can organize and report on all aspects of their hiring pipeline.

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