What CHROs want from HR tools

There are several products available in the market— the most advanced and the latest. But not all advanced technology is useful. You have to make the right choice on some basis. What will that be for HR?

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Recently, a lot of marketing surveys and researches have revealed that the human resources (HR) technology and outsourcing services market has grown wider and bigger in India, over the years. There is no dearth of big and small players, who have entered this segment with various HR tech products.

All these products are meant to automate the mundane and repetitive tasks, which HR personnel are burdened with. With the constant growth in technology, HR now talks about the power of data, predictive analysis and AI-based hiring.

Innumerable HR tech solutions are available in the market to support HR with various functions, such as hiring, rewards, learning, diversity, onboarding, employee experience, and so on.

Given the huge pool of vendors with multiple services and products to offer, it is very difficult for HR to decide upon the one most suitable product.

Abhay Srivastava

I would say that automating mundane work would be the most important aspect for any organisation right now. Because many of them have already done it, enhancing employee experience would be the second most priority.”

It is just like entering a big supermarket and wondering what to buy. Actually, all HRMS, e-learning and employee-engagement products are designed on the same lines. It is the HR that has to decide which product is suitable for the organisation and workforce.

By talking to various HR heads and digging into their minds, HRKatha attempted to understand the key things, which make an HR leader choose one HR tech product over the other.

So what is it that HR is looking for?

While analysing how HR technology can really help the HR function, we discovered the following:

First and foremost, it is the automation of mundane work that really makes a difference. This allows the HR managers to focus more on strategic and business development of the organisation.

The second most important thing is the enhancement of employee experience. Employee experience is a crucial aspect in today’s world. It helps to keep the organisation’s culture alive and employees engaged.

The third thing is the growth of the business. Adoption of technology will naturally help cut costs and human labour, which will eventually reflect in profits.

Our interaction with some HR leaders revealed that automating mundane work is the first priority for them, while adopting any HR product. Though many of the organisations have already adopted technologies, such as payroll, HRMS and ATS, the power of artificial intelligence (AI) has not been harnessed in all areas. There are other AI- based technologies, such as predictive analysis during recruitment, which remain to be explored by many organisations.

Reena Tyagi

“I would prefer one single window where I can get multiple services from the HR tech vendor. But, if someone is specialised in a particular function and has a great name in the market, it can make me consider them too.”

Second on their list is employee experience. After all, HR knows that employees are their biggest assets.

“I would say that automating mundane work would be the most important aspect for any organisation right now. Because many of them have already done it, enhancing employee experience would be the second most priority,” says Abhay Srivastava, chief talent officer, Cipla.

With the emergence of small HR tech start-ups, that provide very niche HR products, focussing on supporting one particular aspect of an HR function, it becomes difficult for HR heads to make a decision. Having different vendors for supporting different functions in HR creates a lot of gaps.

“I would prefer one single window where I can get multiple services from the HR tech vendor. But, if someone is specialised in a particular function and has a great name in the market, it can make me consider them too,” shares Reena Tyagi, CHRO, Manipal Cigna Health Insurance.

“I would say one single window is better. But for me, the thing that would mater the most is compatibility. If two platforms or products complement each other and are flexible, it would make things easy for us,” adds Srivastava.

At the end, what will be that one thing that will make HR choose one product over the other?

In any organisation, HR has a visionary approach in this case. As many things are getting outdated due to advancing technology, HR seeks a technology that is so robust that it stays relevant in the future as well.

“It should be user-friendly and simple. Updating technology and then getting used to it takes a long time. We should not be required to re-skill our managers frequently to use such technology. It should be simple and stay relevant for a longer duration,” opines Srivastava.

The features of the product are an important aspect. The product should be engaging and exciting for the employees.

“It should be simple, easy, user friendly and exciting. But at the same time, the basics should be covered. It has to be aligned with the business so that it adds value,” opines Tyagi.

Clearly, price does not worry HR. The focus is on automating mundane tasks, enhancing employee experience and at the same time readying for the future.

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