Whether you work at the executive, managerial, or employee level, it's essential to keep a keen interest in human resources (HR).
HR departments manage the “life cycle” of employees. That includes everything from recruiting employees to running background checks on them, hiring, onboarding and training employees, and managing everything related to infractions, promotions, and firing.
The most successful companies recognize their HR departments are a resource for, well, human interaction. But beyond the underrated staff who make up HR teams, there is another critical element to their work: HR technology.
HR might be one of the most important departments at your workplace, and HR technology is an invaluable asset in getting the job done. Here we cover the ten most important types of HR technology to look out for in 2021 so that you can ensure the success of your team and business.
What is HR Technology?
HR isn't easy work. At companies with 50, 100, 1,000, or even 10s of thousands of employees, managing life cycles is virtually impossible without technological assistance. Fortunately, we live in a time of rapid technological advances in both software and hardware.
HR technology has advanced rapidly in even the last five years. And experts in this space don't expect the pace to slow down any time soon. Indeed, experts project more forthcoming developments in remote work management, service delivery, and learning tech for the near future.
All HR processes listed above, from hiring to firing and everything else, have their requisite technologies. These technologies ease the burden of the work and make HR departments more productive and cost-efficient.
Some types of HR technology, like workforce management and applicant tracking systems, have become so popular that you're unlikely to find an HR department that doesn't use them. Other technologies, like succession planning and recruitment marketing, vary wildly from workplace to workplace, if these companies use them at all.
If you want to be the best executive, manager, or employee at your workplace, whether or not you're a part of the HR department, keep up with trends in the HR technology space. Below are 10 of the essential types of HR technology for 2021.
Most Important Types of HR Technology
1. Workforce Management
Also known as WFM (HR professionals love their acronyms), workforce management is one of the most widely used tools of HR technology in the workforce today.
Most of the technologies listed below assist with processes related to workforce management. These systems can be programmed to track processes as varied as travel itineraries, logged hours for payroll, and company-wide expenses.
Investing in a sound workforce management system is investing in your own company. It's about deciding to spend less time looking at spreadsheets and searching through email chains and more time interacting with the company's employees.
2. Applicant Tracking System
At what point do employers become aware of prospective employees? Is it when they get referred to hiring managers by HR professionals, submit applications, or sometime before that?
If you decide to use any of the most modern applicant tracking systems, the answer is the latter. Modern Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are so sophisticated that they can keep tabs on prospective hires from as early as when they click onto the job posting page.
Candidate relationship management systems step in where applicant tracking systems leave off, keeping tabs on prospective employees who entered the applicant pool but missed out on being hired. But an efficient ATS can be instrumental in streamlining the hiring process.
3. Performance Analytics
Performance analytics systems are similar to workforce management systems, but their primary function is somewhat more tailored. These systems assist with monitoring one primary metric of performance: compliance.
Compliance refers to how employees assimilate into and work with the regulations and expectations that executives and managers set for them. Those managing executives, too, by the way, are under the purview of HR professionals who monitor their performance via analytics software.
The applicant tracking system is the mainframe for employees and executive team members. The software helps to pool users into designated roles, assigns tasks, monitors, and guides employees up the ladder.
4. Benefits Administration
Research suggests that a good benefits plan boosts overall job satisfaction and employee retention. In today’s historically competitive hiring market, benefits ranked just behind salary as the most important factor for job seekers. Benefits administration technologies facilitate the management and dispensation of employee benefits.
When candidates get hired to be a part of a company, they don’t just receive a package of benefits during onboarding that remains static and requires no maintenance throughout their tenure. It's quite the opposite.
These benefits change and evolve. HR professionals must stay on top of the allocation, transfer, negotiation, and administration of benefits for all employees' lifespans. With benefits administration systems, HR teams can update the system and streamline explaining benefits to the employee.
5. Succession Planning
Succession planning isn't just crucial for highly valued Fortune 500 companies. Even if you operate a business that employs just 25 people, that's 25 people who live, work, and eat by the decisions you make.
When CEOs, executives, and managers choose to step down or rotate to other positions in the company, succession planning software comes in handy. It's a process that identifies critical sites within a company organization that could see potential vacancies. With early detection comes better succession planning.
Using this data, you can plan for professional development, business strategy continuity, and institutional knowledge. Succession planning software ensures that vacancies, especially at the executive level, don’t disrupt business as usual.
6. Recruitment Marketing
Recruitment marketing software also called “sourcing technology” goes hand in hand with applicant tracking software, candidate relationship management, and other tools that HR professionals utilize in the hiring process.
To attract the highest quality candidates, you need to get your company values, message, and mission out there. And you need them to be delivered clearly and powerfully.
We're living in an employees' market, not an employers' market. That means HR professionals and hiring managers need to turn to HR technology like recruitment marketing tools. Considerations of brand identity, campaign rollout, and social presence all fold into the recruitment marketing process.
7. Travel and Expense Management
Companies of all sizes require travel and expenses. Back in the day, employees would manually keep track of their expenses and write up an expense report, typically on a monthly basis.
But as technology has advanced, HR professionals have become able to track the actual cost of travel and expenses such as food and accommodations.
Travel and expense management tools like Concur and Expensify have customizable, live-updating mainframes. They allow employees to book flights, manage tickets, contact accommodations, and order rides.
These systems make it easier for the HR team and accounting departments back at the office to verify everything inside one easy-to-use portal.
8. Candidate Relationship Management
Studies are beginning to show that hiring is an expensive endeavor. Hiring a single candidate at a company of 0-500 people costs an average of $7,645.
If you work at a company that employs somewhere in the ballpark of 500 people, do the math. You’re looking at $7,000 per head, which is not a pretty figure.
That's why candidate relationship management is so important. CRM tracks former applicants in the same way applicant tracking systems track current applicants. CRMs identify potential vacancies before they materialize and begin to scout suitable replacements. All you have to do is input the information, sit back, and watch.
9. Compensation Management Software
The simpler term for compensation management software is “payroll.” There's no need to wax poetic on the importance of payroll. Despite the odes to “company culture” and “work family,” people show up to work to get paid. It's that simple.
Don't let down your employees by having a faulty payroll system. Modernize your process by adopting a compensation management system, which keeps track of hours, overtime, benefits, bonuses, and all the infractions resulting from these.
10. Organizational Charting
The best, as they say, should be saved for last. Optimizing the flow of everyday processes like hiring, payroll, and benefits administration are fine. Necessary even. But what about a month ahead, a year ahead, ten years ahead?
Where is the company going? Take control of the reins with organization charting software. This sophisticated software lets you understand how your current roster will get you where you want to be to a degree of diagrammatic precision.
Generate charts, pictorials, and graphic projections of company goals and desired outcomes. Share with your coworkers and project onto smart boards and into the Google Suite of apps.
Optimize Your Workflow
For more information on how you can optimize your hiring process, get in touch with ScoutLogic. ScoutLogic's dedicated “Scout” service model cuts through the competition to deliver you the most comprehensive, accurate, and actionable background checks on your applicant pool.
Our Scouts blend seamlessly with your workforce, offering you personalized, around-the-clock support. Don't settle for second best. Try ScoutLogic today.