HR Technology Shifts Toward Experience Focus in Latest Report


HR’s function is evolving and with that so does its focus. As a result, the technology that drives and supports HR’s performance evolves with it.

That was the focus of the latest HR technology report from industry expert Josh Bersin. The report, titled “HR Technology 2021: A Definitive Guide” outlines how the $40 billion HR technology market has been disrupted due to the events of the last year, forcing the industry to shift focus from HR technology to workplace technology that improves the employee experience.

The last year has seen a focus on flexibility and personalization in a way that has taken it from luxury to organizational priority when it comes to the employee experience conversation. Organizational structures are adapting and internal systems or mechanisms for collaboration are giving way to platforms like Slack, Microsoft Teams and Workplace by Facebook.

Microsoft made waves recently announcing the arrival of its new Viva platform, which boasts applications for learning, collaboration, knowledge management, productivity analysis and even wellbeing.

All this at a time when jobs themselves are shifting. The Bersin report notes that product creation jobs are largely being automated while human service oriented jobs in design, sales, management, service, healthcare and others are growing.

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“Person-to-person communication and interactions are vital to business success – especially when people are working physically apart and work processes are rapidly changing,” Bersin said. “Therefore, companies need seamlessly integrated platforms to make employees productive, engaged, and happy throughout their career journeys.”

Investment in HR Tech

As an industry segment, HR technology has seen a significant amount of investment over the last decade. Since 2009, more than 3,200 companies have invested about $16 billion into it, with about a quarter of that coming in 2019 alone. Over the last year, that number fell to $1 billion, due to the changing needs of the industry and incredible amounts of uncertainty.

But one thing is for sure, the landscape for HR technology solutions has become a lot more competitive in that time. The list of major companies building HR solutions is massive, causing traditional human capital management (HCM) vendors to take on more and more functions and integrations.

“It’s more in tighter integrations,” Eric Higginbotham, Chief Technology Officer at Global HR Research said. “I’ve worked for companies that have tried to build the entire suite of functions, but we still had integrations because there were things that we simply couldn’t focus on or that other people did better. That’s still true today for any technology vendor, so the goal is just to make our tools easier to use for everyone who is using it. Clients want to build a solution that works best for them so that there people can simply do whatever it is they need to do on whatever device they have available at whatever time of day they’re available to do it.”

Talent Management Tech

HR function technology has grown, but talent management technology has outright exploded. As management philosophy continues to evolve toward cultures of resilience, growth, empathy and trust for the people within the organization, the focus of management has shifted toward employee wellness and learning. Organizations are focusing more on community and corporate citizenship, helping individuals thrive in and out of the organization.

Over the next few years, the amount and use of talent focused apps will only increase. The level of competition in this area is already, as Bersin describes it, “brutal”, breaking down into niches along the talent management spectrum such as learning, recruitment, performance management, rewards, engagement, wellbeing and payroll.

Photo Courtesy of Stock Photo Secrets 

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