How can Technology Elevate your HR Service Delivery

Kyriacos Kyriacou

Technology is gradually changing the way HR practitioners are approaching their operating models

Surveys have shown that an increasing percentage of organizations use the Internet or Intranet to deliver HR services to employees. Global investment in HR technology and software is continuing to grow. The number of employers expecting to replace their core HR system entirely is at an all-time high. In addition, 40% of companies globally plan to replace their existing on-premise HR system with a software-as-a service solution. Organisations are also rethinking their HR operating models, with 40% globally saying they are looking to change their HR structure in 2015 or 2016. Mobile technology is becoming more pervasive, with 61% planning to use mobile technology in 2015, up from 46% in 2014. Industry experts have observed a shift towards software solutions that deal with every area of HR. While in the past companies have mostly invested in separate technology for talent, compensation and performance management, there has been a dramatic shift to investing in an overarching IT system with the functionality to take care of all of these areas, with a large number of organisations now looking at cloud-based solutions to replace traditional HR platforms.

Still stuck in neutral
Despite this increased interest in HR technology, many companies are still using paper-based methods. More than a third (39%) of businesses are using paper-based systems to process new starters and 47% use paper for their compensation activities. Whilst industry experts expect the use of paper systems to “significantly decline” over the next few years, they continue to be startled by “the extent to which legacy paper systems prevail … ”.

Benefits of technology in HR
Here are just some of the primary benefits of using HR software solutions to help manage your employees:
1. Efficiency of Administration: Technology can alleviate the huge resource drain associated with addressing simple questions such as ‘How much holiday have I taken?’ and ‘Can I have a copy of my last 3 payslips?’ This leads to reduced costs…
2. Reduced Cost: Adoption of an software solution creates efficiencies that reduce the ratio of HR staff to employees, resulting in costs annually
3. Access to Information: Making the right information accessible to the right people at the right time through an integrated centralized HR software solution contributes significantly to optimal data usage
4. Data Analysis and Informed Decisions: HR dashboards, which present high-level, real-time, graphically formatted data to managers, have become an integral part of the HR management. Organizations continue to push information further out to managers, helping them use their firms’ personnel policies and practices to make insightful and informed decisions
5. Security and Disaster Recovery: Most HR systems will incorporate disaster recovery features enabling both the system and business operations to be restored extremely quickly even in the most calamitous disasters

Trends in HR technology, opportunities for HR practice to elevate service delivery

1. Growth of social networking: Integrating information from social networking sites will provide support for recruiting, internal communications, employee knowledge sharing, collaboration and training
2. Continued growth of compliance and reporting requirements: Organizations continue to be affected by heavy compliance and reporting requirements, which require HR to collect and report additional information. It is hard to imagine organizations without a strong HRIS effectively navigating this new environment
3. The cloud and rent-versus-buy decisions: Traditional solutions involved HR software hosted on-premise and with controlled access to a few HR administrators. Nowadays HR systems are available in the cloud and can be accessed securely by employees via the internet. The use of hosted approaches, in which organizations rent services and software from vendors, is growing. As cloud computing delivers more HR applications over the web, rent versus-buy decisions will become more common. Such approaches can provide benefits, especially for smaller organizations that cannot afford to purchase or do not have the IT infrastructure capabilities to maintain a large system.
4. User Experience – the new battleground: Vendors understand the need to continually improve this, and most are focused on building “systems of engagement” rather than “systems of record.” This is not only focused on making software easier to learn but also on making it possible for employees to use these systems themselves, effectively freeing up hundreds of HR staffers who do administrative work
5. Taps replace clicks: With an increasing number of users accessing everything on mobile platforms, mobile is no longer seen as a new platform, it is the platform

HR software solutions have dramatically enhanced HR service delivery in organizations, making it efficient, better informed and increasing its value adding potential. Organizations that combine effective HR management processes with effective, best practice driven and best of breed HR technology are likely to be more productive and more profitable than those that do not.