Why HR Needs More Tech Budget

Technology has muscled its way into all aspects of our lives and in many cases—regardless of profession, is fundamentally changing the way we do our work. Since HR plays a pivotal role in helping to attract, develop and retain the right people to drive organizations forward, it’s essential that HR use technology to do their work better. The good news is there are lots of choices on the market today when it comes to human resources technology. The not-so-good news is that all those choices cost money. Here are three reasons HR should spend more on HR tech.

Increases HR’s Productivity

Imagine trying to manage HR without some kind of technology, be it an in-house system with licensed software or an online SaaS platform. Fortunately, many of us don’t have to. As organizations have modernized their operations, HR has gotten a piece of the pie too, often starting with payroll systems and growing to encompass HRMS and HRIS tools. But when you consider the breadth and depth of HR’s world, along with the increasingly complex regulatory environment they must help their organizations navigate, it is more important than ever that HR function efficiently. Investing in technology to administer talent management, compensation, performance management, and other programs can help. For example:

  • Make it easy for candidates to find and apply to job postings with an applicant tracking system (ATS) set up to best align qualifications to job requirements
  • Reduce HR data entry time and cut down on paper pushing by utilizing an employee self-service portal
  • Engage new hires and existing employees with onboarding, training, and development modules accessible online
  • Effectively manage comp spend by using web-based salary data and compensation analytics

Technology, especially when optimized for mobile at a time when we’re never far from our phones and tablets, can help streamline administrative tasks, improve business processes, and facilitate planning and analysis, all of which should lead to increased productivity in the HR office—music to the CFO’s ears!

Improves HR’s Ability to be a Strategic Partner

One of the biggest expense items for many organizations is employee pay. Add to that expenditures in other areas like benefits, recruiting, and learning and development, and it’s clear that maximizing an organization’s investment in people is key to the bottom line. Josh Bersin rightly asks, “If we want to improve profitability, customer service, revenue generation, or product quality, shouldn’t we carefully analyze the biggest expenses we have?”

In organizations large and small, HR should be a strategic partner, expanding beyond day-to-day administrative functions into participation in long-range planning efforts to support organizational success. By combining solid business knowledge with the information management and real-time analytics offered by tech products on the market today, HR can increase their understanding of the capabilities of current employees, identify talent gaps and training opportunities, and make data-driven recommendations about current and future workforce needs to achieve results.

The Competition is Doing It

It’s safe to say that HR tech has gone from optional to must-have as a growing number of organizations increasingly recognize the importance of modernizing their HR capabilities through investments in technology. Consider SHRM’s report on HR tech trends for 2016:

  • 46% of organizations expect to spend more on HR technology in 2016, as compared to 2015
  • 43% are involved in a major HR systems strategy initiative
  • 39% are doing some level of HR analytics
  • There’s been a 70% increase over the last three years in organizations investing in mobile-enabled technologies for HR.

And as organizations increase their tech budgets, they can check out Human Resource Executive Magazine’s annual HR Technology Conference Expo (widely known as “HR Tech”) to get a first-hand look at HR technology offerings while networking with others doing the same.

Technology is being used to increase productivity, support strategic planning, and solve business problems throughout organizations; it’s critical that HR not be left behind.

Do you plan to increase your investment in HR tech in the near future? If so, what is your top priority?

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