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HR Technology Trends to Expect In 2016

Posted by Steve L. Adams on 12.17.2015


Year end is always an opportune time to look toward the future. As such, we wanted to share our perspective on 2016 technology trends in HR technology.Based on feedback from customers and partners, the rise of millennials in the workplace, and a shrinking labor pool, we expect employee engagement and retention to continue to be the #1 priority for HR. Market sentiment seems to agree. A CareerBuilder survey conducted earlier this year found that 60 percent of CEOs believe that their companies have not been able to reach their full potential because they don’t have enough qualified talent on board. The same survey also revealed that a growing talent gap has top executives increasingly relying on HR leaders for innovative business strategies rooted in data.

In our opinion, all of these factors will significantly impact HR technology, resulting in 2016 being a year of “technology firsts.”

  1. Employee First: Many organizations are running on HR technologies implemented five to 10 years ago, with the focus on systems of record for company use. But today’s competitive labor market means that employees are the most important consumers of HR technologies, and that means employees’ needs will come first with the focus now on systems of engagement. Solutions that emphasize the needs of employees as much as the needs of the employer are already being introduced into market.
  2. Millennial First: As baby-boomers retire, millennials will soon make up the majority of the workforce. Comprised of Americans aged between 18 and 34 in 2015, millennials already represent one-third of the current workforce. As a result, the needs of tech savvy millennials will need to be at the forefront of HR’s agenda. Expect HR to demand technologies and services to help them better understand and meet the needs of this core talent pool.
  3. Consumer Experience First: Driven by the need to attract and to retain talent, many of whom are millennials, HR will need to change the way they engage with current and prospective employees. Born and raised in the age of the Internet, millennials expect contemporary consumer experiences from technology. The result will be a growing number of HR technology solutions that present consumer-like experiences with immediate feedback mechanisms and quick and easy ways to get information or to complete simple transactions.
  4. Mobile First: With the explosive growth of smartphone usage, the movement towards mobile (versus the desktop alone) is inevitable for HR technologies. According to a recent Bersin by Deloitte report, mobile is poised to become the primary HR technology platform of the future. With more than 2.1 billion smartphone users, mobile Internet growth of 69 percent in 2014, and 51 percent of Internet access being done via mobile phones, this trend is inevitable.
  5. Real Time, Data-Driven Decision Making First: The previously mentioned CareerBuilder survey also found that an overwhelming 90 percent of CEOs say it’s important that HR leaders be proficient in workforce analytics, with 35 percent saying it’s “absolutely essential.” Current methods such as annual HR surveys, direct feedback, or word of mouth will either be melded with or replaced by technology-enabled solutions that provide real-time insight into what employees want most.
Human Resources Today