The HR tech landscape has evolved significantly in recent years. An ever-growing number of companies are under the process of digital transformation and the HR function has begun playing an ever more critical role in ensuring that companies have access to the right talent base. This has resulted in companies further invest in improving talent management capabilities.
As companies begin investing in bolstering their HR function, different companies, even within a similar context, would find themselves at varying stages of such tech implementation. One of the defining features of HR tech has been that it remains in a stage of evolution and thus fits every organization in its way.
In fact, according to the last year study by Aligh Solutions, HR Services and Technology are critical for future readiness in program design, execution and governance. This year, Alight in association with People Matters is conducting a comprehensive study on how the HR function is gearing up for changing business expectations and getting ready to deliver outcomes in an era that is dominated by employee experience, rapid business model changes, effective adoption of digital and maturing data science.
The study, The HR Transformation Study 2019 to 2020 will get into the nuts and bolts of how the HR function is getting ready to pave the way on helping businesses, talent and leaders to be more adaptable.
Building on the last year study findings, here is an HR Tech maturity model that will enable organziations towards a more "Adaptable HR":
Today the shift in HR tech adoption levels are defined by two major types of problems that it tackles.
The “transactional” issues at work: The application of HR tech here is mainly across more transactional work of HR professionals. These involve activities like getting people screened and hired, running the payroll, benefits administration. They add little value in the larger scheme of things but it's imperative to have them run smoothly
The “people-centric” challenges at work: Includes more impactful of HR activities which are aimed towards adding value to employee lifecycle with a focus on employee experience. Activities like making sure performance management is done holistically, training new managers to be effective, building leadership and executive pipeline, assessing and strengthening culture. Such activities often find themselves much lower on the list of focus areas for HR tech at the beginning as more transactional HR problems get addressed first.
The three stages of maturity
To further understand how to effectively adopt HR tech and realize the steps that remain in a company’s HR tech journey, we look at how the use HR tech matures over the course of time and the scope of employee management issues they tackle.
Advent and experimentation
The initial stages of adopting HR tech is marked with a period of experimentation in attempts to address HR issues. Often as a response to specific symptoms, this stage has HR tech being used across transactional activities to improve the overall working of the HR functioning. Cases here involve primarily used to address issues around payroll, staff attendance, and aims to make administrative work easier. This is the stage where HR tech is adopted to meet a direct set of objectives, mostly as response to transactional challenges
Assimilation and creating linkages
Once the need of addressing structural issues like properly collecting employee data to improve functioning, using newer learning tech etc reaches a certain level of maturity, organizations shift towards a more holistic use of HR tech. This period marks the increased use of nuanced software programs like analytics, AI, and automation to maximize the efficiency of the HR function. This stage is where companies pay close attention to their tech investments and hope to build an overall HR tech architecture. Most companies across APAC today find themselves at this stage, albeit at varying degrees. An Alight solutions report finds that adoption of automation and AI is to rise in the coming 18 to 24 months. This phase also promotes more collaboration for problem solving with aim of improving HR activities and making them more ‘employee centric’
Addressing strategic business needs
With a well-defined HR tech architecture in place, the next of maturity is in their use across the talent management practice. Here companies begin addressing their more strategic business needs. This stage also marks the shift in HR’s role as it continues to gain importance as a key facilitator of change.
Agility for example has become an important business consideration, one that requires its talent to be trained and mobilised more efficiently. At this stage HR tech architecture is responsive to such dynamic business needs. It also begins to play a major role in the future readiness in program design, execution of HR initiatives and improving governance.
The mature HR technology ecosystem provides strategic leverage to the business. As companies move through the different stages of maturity, they become more effective at driving value from their tech investments. But the journey isn’t always linear. HR tech architecture has to be dynamic and responsive to external changes. In addition, it takes time and effort to find and create the right system of HR tech that addresses the companies talent issues. But the benefits of undertaking this journey remain clear and can be summarised as improvement in the following four parameters: speed, efficiency, clarity, and insight.
To know more about Adaptable HR, take the survey HR Transformation 2019 to 2020. Participating in this survey will help you to take a good look at your current HR strategy and craft a holistic approach towards adaptive HR.