Important to understanding how best to leverage your HR technology systems of today, it’s equally important to see how HR technology has been instrumental in transforming the field of HR, and how changes on the horizon have the potential for an even greater impact in the future. Some of the most important tech trends to follow are listed below.
1. Growth of social networking
One of the next challenges for HR executives is learning to integrate information from social networking sites. Potential benefits exist alongside problems of privacy and data accuracy. Challenges are evolving as new legislation and applications develop. German politicians have already proposed to outlaw the use of social networking information in employment decision-making.
2. Expansion of compliance and reporting requirements
Organizations will increasingly need to adapt their HRIS in order to remain compliant with state and federal requirements. Pending changes in tax codes, financial reports, EEO compliance and health care all suggest that compliance and reporting demands will increase. For example, the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will significantly increase the amount of corporate reporting required by the federal government. It is hard to imagine organizations without strong HRIS effectively navigating this new environment.
3. More renting, less buying of services
The use of hosted approaches, in which organizations rent services and software from vendors, is booming. The growth of the Internet and web-based systems has enabled organizations to consider approaches such as cloud computing and software-as-a-service (SaaS). Such approaches can provide benefits, especially for smaller organizations that would like to access the capabilities of complex HR systems but are unable to afford a large system. Cloud computing and SaaS are likely to grow in market share and will provide added flexibility to organizations’ HRIS strategies.
4. Greater use of business intelligence (BI) and dashboards
One of the key challenges for HR professionals is how to turn HR data into a form that managers can use to measure HR’s contributions to organizational profitability. To address this problem, organizations will begin to use more sophisticated BI applications to analyze the large amount of data available through HRIS. HR dashboards, which present high-level, realtime, graphically formatted data to managers, will become an integral part of the human capital management. In addition, firms will adopt more sophisticated web-based workforce analytic tools and will push data farther out to managers. This will enable managers to use the organization’s personnel policies and practices to make better employee-related decisions.
5. Increasing HR data transparency, increasing privacy concerns
As noted above, HRIS can make increasing amounts of HR data more accessible to employees, along with more transparent policies and procedures. But with greater transparency come greater concerns about privacy. News reports of data compromises and identity theft surface almost daily, and few entities manage more personal information than employers. As employers make data easier to access, risks of jeopardizing employees’ privacy increase. Managing this risk is becoming even more complex as HR applications often link to systems outside the organization (e.g., benefits vendors, online job search sites, distance learning providers, etc.).
Human resource information systems have dramatically altered how HR services are delivered and managed by organizations. Used effectively, these systems make the HR function more efficient, better informed and better able to accurately communicate how it adds value to the organization. However, to reap the full benefits of implementation, HR executives must combine the best of HR technology with effective HR management processes, and they must be ready to manage the challenges created.
Source: Leveraging HR Technology for Competitive Advantage, SHRM Foundation