Ahead for 2017 is likely more disruption and change in the UK market for HR systems as I pointed to in our key Insights from 2016. But change, and adoption rates, for new people technology is more cloud than blue sky. Few ideas come totally out of that blue and we can therefore find some pretty good clues about what is about to happen.
@phase3c @KateWadiaP3C have featured recently a series of twitter-friendly tips as to the HR headlines we expect to be researching and posting about in the year ahead. For those that liked the English grammar lesson of the recent article this is presumably the modern-day equivalent of educated dinner party conversation.
Read on for a compilation of trends to aspire to for your HR systems and what to look out for:
As HR will start to assume that HCM software is cloud-based, we’ll ask instead whether applications are truly built for mobile and focus on a design that offers the true app experience for our employees. This means stuff as simple as, for example, what you’ve got to do with your fingers to use the mobile screens.
The options for your HR systems are increasing and you are becoming the hot property of system vendors, because the applications themselves offer opportunity for both bigger and smaller solutions to fit your bill. Smaller employers can also start to invest in HR tech – because you won’t need to invest much!
With a plethora of choice and decreasing life-cycles for HR systems within an organisation, we should appropriately wake up to the importance of investing time and resource in those systems choices. To date, this isn’t something we’ve been too good at in HR and it is worth some “lessons learned” exercises from implementation projects past. [Read more about system selection here and here].
Traditionally, payroll systems have had an even longer life-span in our teams than core HR solutions, but not any more with the cloud! Built-for-cloud payroll systems – some of which will now venture into true self-service cloud-based pay for the end user employee – are not only cheap as chips, but proving that keeping compliant on the new platforms doesn’t take what it used to.
Core HR systems may not make up for lost ground in the recruiting market. With more that is DIY in recruiting and increasingly “gig” will there be a revisit to bolt-on solutions for recruitment being the right thing? Perhaps watch out for new products and employer services from Linked In, Glassdooretc?
Already we need to qualify our definitions of an ATS, an LMS, an engagement tool. As linear performance management is eroded, in 2017 I think the top disruptors and industry thinkers will coin for us new categories where performance and talent touch people management or recruiting meets feedback. Pulse source, social profiler, team gamer, networker, brand builder as HR tools? (I made these up but thankfully I don’t have to develop the technology that delivers them.)
In 2017 the average implementation times should come down within HR systems projects. And this should not be because of business-pack style pre-configuration work (or a shoddy job) but of newly built product bases that allow for speedier configuration and customisation due to the layering of the technology behind it. HR will have to start asking more questions about this from potential suppliers, as …..
Which is “platform as a service” as opposed to “software as a service”. I’m no techie to fully grasp this concept, but suffice to appreciate that the why question for HR is answered in the ease with which products can be scaled up, integrated with other solutions and configured or customised. PaaS could offer the benefits of cloud, combined with why some of us still rather like the idea of on premise.
Surely it is in the ways in which our employees wish to learn that we in HR have the most to learn ourselves about how to use technology. The same blurring of modular boundaries and HR silo splits, together with the mobile experiences possible – and frankly what is out there on YouTube – offers vast potential for the blended learning of 2017 and beyond for the LMS to reinvent itself.
As HR turn to vendors to ask about partnering, income-generation and alternative service solutions, those vendors may need to find new answers to questions about what happens when the license purchase is limiting on employee numbers or authorised agents and re-sellers. As IT leaders have done, HR will gain confidence in looking for innovation not just in tech but in terms.
Whilst largely my view is that Brexit will for HR systems development in the UK lead to a temporary paralysis (whilst we wait!) rather than huge disruption, one question that may return to our system selection is the old-fashioned “where are you based?” question. This for professional service centres, yes, but for data centres and clouds too.
2017 is too early to take on the robots, but HR may start to forge real-life new roles within the core team for those with a specialism in HR and people data and BI. You may have little choice about the moments when you can choose to remodel a team skill-set, so be ready for this one. We won’t simply second those guys in from Finance or IT, but we’ll want our own. The reporting options themselves will open up and we’ll want a slice of that action and insight. There are interesting views emerging about the role of HR with the concepts of digital, AI and people data science and this is something I’m on the look-out for within the profession right now.
Fear not for 2017 in HR. This stuff is trendy, but it’s do-able, desirable and doesn’t require a degree in something digital to decipher.
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