Technology is still HR’s Achilles heel

8 Jun 2018 By Anton Riolo

Finding the right solution remains a time-consuming process, says Anton Riolo, as he previews the CIPD HR Software and Recruitment Show

According to the HR Outlooksurvey report published by the CIPD last year, HR professionals are divided in their satisfaction with how well technology enables them to do their job effectively. They are even less positive regarding the ability of their current HR technology to flex to the changing needs of their business, with 55 per cent of respondents indicating that they are not very or not at all confident. 

Yet more than three-quarters of those surveyed believe that HR technology is very important in driving employee engagement. Anyone who’s ever worked in recruitment will also know how critical good software and technology is to attract, select and onboard new talent.

Why is it that despite the wide universe of technology and software solutions available, we can’t seem to find the right systems that will solve business-critical issues like engagement, retention, productivity and talent acquisition? 

According to CIPD members, the most important attributes of good HR technology are the user interface, the ability to scale a single system for all HR requirements and the flexibility to adapt to changing needs – different sectors, industries or sizes of organisation will obviously prioritise different elements according to the needs of their specific workforce. 

But finding the right fit is easier said than done. With the ever-shrinking time that professionals have at their disposal, it’s no longer feasible to meet and explore providers and solutions one by one. More and more professionals now attend trade shows and exhibitions multiple times per year, to condense all the scoping and exploration work that would normally be done across dozens of meetings and come out with a good idea of what is available. 

The increasing amount of content and learning that is now dotted around exhibitions to complement the showcasing of services and providers is one the most effective ways to understand the wider offering, what different technology and solutions can do, and what will likely ease the burden on HR and recruitment professionals.

Emerging or innovative technologies are those that have the capability to alter business models. However, no technology will ever be able to be everything for everyone; for any tech solution to have a positive and long-lasting impact within organisations, they need to align it to the way people work, not vice versa. Otherwise, we end up with new systems that have a very short organisational shelf life – and that’s the ultimate waste of both time and resources.

Anton Riolo is conference production manager at Haymarket Media Group. The CIPD HR Software and Recruitment Show will take place at Olympia on 13-14 June

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