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5 Ways to Make the Most of Your HR Tech

Employee using an HR tech application on a desktop computer.

Quick look: HR technology can help businesses streamline operations, obtain actionable data, and more. However, large segments of business leaders claim they aren’t satisfied with their tech or lack the talent to take full advantage of their solutions. Let’s explore five ways HR leaders can make the most of their tech, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Human Resources Technology Survey.

The human resource (HR) industry is constantly in flux – and so is its technology. When carefully chosen and fully adopted, HR technology can surpass business leaders’ expectations and create value for the entire organization.

To determine what’s working – and what’s not – in terms of HR tech, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) conducted its Human Resources Technology Survey, which asked nearly 700 HR leaders in the U.S. about their technological accomplishments, aspirations, and challenges.

In its research, PwC determined the top challenges for HR professionals are as follows:

  • HR insights and data analytics (39%)
  • Recruiting and hiring (39%)
  • Cloud transformation and modernization of HR systems (36%)
  • Learning and development and employee upskilling (28%)
  • Retaining top talent (27%)

The right HR tech can play an important role in helping to solve all these pain points. However, to drive maximum value, well-thought-out strategies should back the applications. Let’s explore the five tactics PwC found most effective in producing HR tech success.

1. Get creative with tech adoption

It doesn’t matter what technology you have if people aren’t using it. Thus, the first best practice PwC explores is how to get employees to embrace and effectively utilize new tools.

Thanks to the rise in remote and hybrid work, employees desire and expect a suite of tools they can use anywhere and at any time. But for businesses to achieve streamlined operations and maximized ROI, they must properly encourage the adoption of these solutions.

PwC found that incentivization works, whether business leaders reward employee adoption with bonuses, extra time off, company swag, or professional development opportunities. In its research, the firm found that the following incentives were most effective:

  • 85% effective: incentives for usage, mobile access, and training
  • 82% effective: gamification and leadership communication
  • 79% effective: penalties for non-usage

2. Leverage HR tech to streamline remote work

The COVID-19 pandemic produced an unexpected surge in remote work. A few years later, business leaders are still determining the best way to adjust business operations to accommodate this uptick.

According to the PwC survey, 95% of HR leaders have either established new ways to track and report on remote employees’ productivity and performance, intend to do so, or are developing a plan now. Specifically, the firm found that:

  • 37% have already implemented methods
  • 35% are considering or developing a plan
  • 22% have a plan in place but have not yet implemented it

So, what should these plans look like? PwC states that ideally, employers should give staff the flexibility to do their jobs when and where they want while gauging employee engagement and results. Additionally, the firm suggests measuring the quantity and quality of output versus the number of hours an employee logs. Business leaders may also evaluate how often employees interact with colleagues via conference calls or online collaboration tools. If certain employees are not very engaged, management can check in with them more often and perhaps use this data to guide remote work policy changes.

3. Proactively address challenges

Many organizations that transition to cloud-based HR applications are very satisfied with the outcome – but that doesn’t mean they don’t hit speedbumps along the way. PwC discovered that the first and third biggest human capital challenges for HR leaders are data analytics and cloud transformation, respectively. The report also found that approximately one-in-five HR leaders claim that data security concerns are a top challenge, and over 40% of chief human resource officers say it’s difficult to attract and retain cloud talent and upskill existing employees to fill this skill gap.

Whether addressing security concerns or finding the required talent, overcoming technology challenges early on is important. After all, when properly implemented, HR tech can nearly instantly put the right data in leaders’ hands. According to the PwC report, the top five positive outcomes from HR cloud applications are:

  • More employees use the tech (91%)
  • Greater HR control (89%)
  • Improved data security (88%)
  • More managers use the tech (87%)
  • Improved user experience (UX) (87%)

4. Choose vendors carefully

HR tech solutions are not a dime a dozen. And just because business leaders should be cautious when choosing their vendors, not all are. PwC found that over one-third of HR leaders say it’s somewhat or very likely that they’ll switch vendors at the end of their current subscription term, while only one-fifth say it’s very unlikely.

Why the dissatisfaction? PwC states that the top reasons are budget (28%) and integration with other tech solutions (27%), respectively. The report suggests that to weed out unsatisfactory vendors when choosing a solution, business leaders should focus on a couple of critical capabilities, like self-service processes. PwC also recommends comparing each vendor’s cost, ROI, UX, client satisfaction, and more.

5. Build your case

The top three reasons HR professionals cannot implement the latest HR tech? Implementation costs, lack of a compelling use case, and cybersecurity concerns.

Buy-in from senior leadership is key, and to achieve that, you should audit current operations to identify opportunities for efficiency, quality, and productivity improvements. These findings can help you develop a proof of concept, as can developing a method to track and measure results that can build a case for subsequent investments.

To vet a solution’s security practices, verifying vendors’ security and privacy measures and developing a framework for enforcing these procedures may be helpful. To achieve this, you may need to upskill current staff (many organizations lack the existing internal resources or independent partners).

Is your HR tech making the cut?

The right HR tech can streamline operations, quickly provide actionable data, save organizations time and money, and simplify scaling your business.

ExtensisHR’s mobile-first Work Anywhere® platform is an example of one such application. It’s designed for today’s distributed workforce and allows business leaders to securely manage critical HR tasks like payroll, benefits, recruiting, compliance, and more. Better yet, the platform is paired with personalized customer service and access to HR, benefits, and risk and compliance experts.

Watch the below video to learn more about how Work Anywhere® puts the power of HR at your fingertips:

Ready to learn more about how ExtensisHR’s tech and world-class customer service can give your business a competitive edge? Contact us today.

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