HR Technology 2017: Trends, Issues and Challenges

By Rosemary Haefner, CHRO, CareerBuilder

Rosemary Haefner, CHRO, CareerBuilder

Technology is a driving force that helps organizations attract talent, engage employees in the HR environment and improve business outcomes. And while the ability to effectively use HR technology—and to keep up with trends as they continue to evolve— can be critical to an organization’s success, opportunities come with headaches for HR teams as they grabble with the need to embed new technology at the speed their current and prospective employees are demanding.

"More than a third of HR managers say their biggest technology challenge this year would be automating more of their recruitment and HR processes to free up time"

According to a new CareerBuilder survey, 1 in 6 employers plan to change their core HR system in 2017 and 45 percent want to purchase new recruitment technologies, but are coming up against a variety of obstacles. Convincing senior management to make the investment and getting support from tech teams to help with implementation are among their biggest headaches.

As organizations and business leaders position themselves for the future, the following four HR technology challenges and solutions will continue to change human resources.

Automate Your Processes: In recent years, the automation of recruiting and hiring has developed beyond the traditional job boards of yesterday and into outreach and applicant tracking systems. And while this trend continues to grow, it’s HR leaders’ top challenge. More than a third of HR managers 35 percent say their biggest technology challenge this year would be automating more of their recruitment and HR processes to free up time.

Automating HR allows you to free up your human resources workers. This doesn’t mean that you won’t need them anymore–automating human resources just means that they will actually be able to do their job much more efficiently, and that’s a strategic benefit. Think about what you can accomplish if everyone on your team had an extra hour or two in the day.

Make Sure You Partner with Your CTO and CFO: Although CFOs, CTOs and CHROs don’t always see eye to eye, getting everyone on the same page and working together is critical to eliminate inefficiencies, work toward goals and achieve business success. Yet, the majority of HR professionals do not partner with their chief technology officer (67 percent) when deciding which HR technologies to implement, and 55 percent say their chief financial officer is only a little involved or not at all involved in buying decisions.

You can create a powerful partnership between these key players with these three steps:

• Engage everyone in strategic planning
• Align HR and finance metrics with company objectives
• Implement an ongoing review process to test efficiencies

Ensure the Solutions You’re Buying Are Data Infused: By tracking and modeling data on your company and the economy at large, you can better identify critical skills and analyze the supply and demand for those skills. You have a stronger grasp on your internal workforce and when you need to ramp up the supply of talent to fill gaps. In the long term, this helps your company minimize turnover.

According to CareerBuilder research, the majority of employers (58 percent) use data and analytics in recruitment to see which recruitment sources give the best ROI. Big data is also used to determine how much they will need to pay someone based on what the market is dictating (40 percent) and to narrow down markets with greatest concentration of available talent (36 percent).

65 percent of survey respondents say using big data has helped lower cost per hire, and 68 percent say it has helped speed time to hire.

Pay as Much Attention to the Hiring Manager Experience as You Do to the Job Seeker Experience: Hiring managers are a key driver of the talent experience—how engaged they are in the process and technology has a critical impact on quality of hire and retention. View the hiring manager as a customer by following these three steps:

• Set Expectations upfront: Use labor market data to set realistic expectations with hiring managers. Supply and demand data, for example, could show them which positions are particularly hard to fill and may mean longer time-to-fill or an adjustment of their strategy. Meanwhile, compensation data will help them understand the most competitive compensation rates so they can either adjust their salary offers or their requirements.

• Create Feedback Loops: Ensure open communication and don’t be afraid to ask a hiring manager if what they’re looking for has changed. This is especially important with junior hiring managers, who may not actually know what they’re looking for in the first place.

New positions in the company that are created to fill an organizational gap often involve multiple stakeholders with conflicting perspectives of what skills and competencies are needed. Recruiters can help remind and enforce that cross-functional stakeholders have spoken, and better yet, join those conversations.

• Keep on Communicating: A common complaint from hiring managers is that once they submit a requisition, things seem to disappear into a “black hole.” And that this lack of communication continues throughout the entire recruiting process. Make it your mission to become a proactive communicator. Over-communicate. This does not have to take all of your time. It can be just a brief email or quick note at key milestones. Keeping hiring managers in the loop throughout filling their vacancy goes a long way in building trust.

Check out: Top HR Technology Companies in APAC

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