2019 Will Be an Amazing — and Bewildering — Year for HR Tech Buyers

2019 Will Be an Amazing — and Bewildering — Year for HR Tech Buyers

The year ahead is going to be amazing for those of you who purchase HR and recruiting tech.

We’re witnessing an unprecedented proliferation of talent platforms, solutions and services — now complete with artificial intelligence and super-smart algorithms — which means our buying options in 2019 will be more plentiful and powerful than ever. But that’s exactly what will make the year so bewildering. Hasn’t 2018 been bewildering already?!?

How can we possibly make sense of all this complex, wonderful, mind-blowing technology?

Fortunately, there is a wide array of HR technology analyst research firms, including Gartner, IDC, Lighthouse Research & Advisory, Aptitude Research Partners, #HRWins by LaRocque and HR Open Source. And then there are all the HR tech buyers’ guides online to help you understand what’s what, like HR.com’s Buyer’s Guide and Capterra’s Top 10 HR Software guide. Workday offers a guide that focuses on choosing the right finance, payroll and HR system, and SHRM’s site has guides on a range of HR services and technologies, along with comparison charts of vendors. And those are just the tip of the iceberg. Google the phrases “HR technology buyer’s guide” and “HR software buyer’s guide” and you’ll find dozens of other useful resources.

But understanding the technologies is only half the battle. Purchasing HR and recruiting tech wisely also means buying the right tools for the right reasons and getting the right results.

Why HR Tech Is More Important Than Ever

When it comes to investing in the right HR technologies, it should always be about attracting, hiring and managing employees (both permanent and contract) and giving time back to your HR and recruiting professionals, who can then redirect that time to building stronger relationships with candidates and employees.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen C-suite research where the No. 1 priority (or one of the top three priorities) is their people — recruiting them, training them and retaining them. According to IBM’s 19th Global C-suite Study, released in 2018:

  • CEOs rank investments in people as the most important driver to accelerate performance.
  • Business leaders need to find new ways to motivate, organize and engage their people.
  • Individuals need to be more adept at working in an environment of continuous process and platform revolution.

And through all of these challenges, progressive business leaders are looking at HR to help transform their organizations today. HR leaders themselves feel that recruiting and talent management are two of the most important areas in helping their companies achieve their business goals, according to the 2018 HR Open Source Future of Work report.

About That Friggin’ Seat at the Table …

I know, I know, we’re sick of hearing it. For years now we’ve been talking about HR stepping up to “a seat at the table” and becoming a more strategic business partner to senior management. Well, I believe HR has stepped up and is expanding its role in order to transform the business — sometimes without the support of the very CEOs who say in annual surveys that they need their CHROs to transform the business. I also believe that HR technology has been a critical component of all of this functional and organizational transformation.

Whether it’s saving time by streamlining processes, boosting profits by enabling better analysis of organizational data, or improving employee development and performance by allowing staff to access the content they need on different platforms, in different mediums or whenever they need it, HR tech is one of our two key enablers. The other, of course, is our ingenuity in selecting, implementing, updating and maintaining HR technologies.

So as you research your HR tech options and begin to formulate your purchasing decisions, there are a few things you should keep in mind — concepts that are essential to selecting the right technology for your organization (i.e., the kind that’ll give you the results you’re looking for without having to be replaced every two years).

I’ll share those ideas in my next several posts. Stay tuned!