Performance management, employee engagement and learning are top priorities this year for Human Resources executives, finds new research from The Starr Conspirancy Intelligence Unit and Human Resource Executive.

Summed up in the infographic, Hottest HR Technology Solutions in 2015, the survey reveals what HR executives find most important when considering investing in new technology solutions.

Managing the Workforce

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Lance Haun, principal analyst and practice leader for thought leadership and industry at The Starr Conspiracy Intelligence Unit, shared his insights with CMSWire about what the research means for the HCM (human capital management) space.

"HCM is changing, and it’s becoming closer to what its mission should have been initially – really, truly managing the workforce in the way it needs to be managed,” he said.

“Companies are also starting to understand more about how their financials are impacted by poor workforce management, or poor learning management practices.”

According to the research, 57 percent of those surveyed intend on purchasing some type of HR technology solution in the next 12 months. Their top objectives:

  1. Performance management
  2. Employee engagement measurement
  3. Learning
  4. Leadership development
  5. HR analytics

These results coincide with a recent Deloitte Report showing that leadership development, and employee retention and engagement are two of the top urgent trends facing HR professionals today.

You’ll notice that recruiting solutions are nowhere to be found in the Top HR Technologies list above. Haun told us why.

“We were surprised that recruiting has fallen off as a priority buy,” he said. “Two to three years ago, recruiting was much higher.

“Back then, lots of people looked at updating their recruiting technology,” he continued. “But now that we’re coming out of the recession, they can staff up.”

Concerns Change with Size

Although the survey shows that performance management ranks high regardless of company size, the results show significant differences in the objectives of small, mid-sized and large companies.

For large companies, learning, compensation, workforce planning and HR analytics are at the top of the list.

Mid-sized companies are focusing on wellness, Core HR/HRIS, leadership development and HR analytics.

For small companies, employee engagement ranks high, along with onboarding, workforce planning and Core HR/HRIS.

Why the differences?

“Larger companies have a lot of legacy software they’re trying to upgrade,” said Haun. “If you look across all five areas, Fortune 500 to Fortune 1000 companies are still using on-premise and legacy solutions that may be a decade or older. Lots of them want to modernize, and are looking to the cloud for solutions.”

He added that, since smaller companies are more agile, they are more likely to have already adopted these cloud-based solutions, so they can focus on other areas.

“These companies say, ‘We have people, we have our core system. How can we get more from our employees?’ So they are focusing on things like employee engagement,” he said.

Not that larger companies don’t want to focus on engagement or wellness, he continued.

“Many large organizations are global and are locked into solutions,” he said. “They see a lot of core issues to face internally.”

As the next wave of priorities hit for 2017 – 2018, Haun predicted that wellness and employee engagement would move up the ladder.

Focus Changes with Leadership Level

The survey reveals that data-driven decision-making is tops with high-level leaders, as they focus most on measurement of employee engagement and HR analytics.

On the other hand, directors and managers focusing on learning solutions are more interested in developing their current employees to help them better achieve strategic business goals.

What’s Ahead?

Look for more research from the The Starr Conspiracy Intelligence Unit around executive buy-in and new technologies in HR.

“We see lots of new companies with interesting technologies taking on traditional, stodgy HRIS processes, and getting a lot of traction and funding,” said Haun. “How much of this is being driven by the executive suite?”

Before we see the research results, we welcome your thoughts on this question. Please add your comments below the infographic.

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Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License   Title image by  Gawler History.