HR Technology Tracks User Demands

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What users want from technology is constantly evolving. So, when it comes to adopting tools to manage workers or provide them with self-service capabilities, HR chases a continually moving target. 

Today’s workforce includes four generations: Gen Z, the Millennials, Gen X and the Baby Boomers. To effectively address each one’s needs, HR must identify a platform that can tailor its messages and tools to each types of user. A solution that relies on text messages may turn off Baby Boomers. A solution that relies on email may be a challenge for Gen Z.

Understanding the needs of end-users is half the battle of developing front-facing technology. And users’ needs will always be changing, especially at a time when employees use their own technical tools every day – tools like Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s iPhone or Google’s Nest. Today, the most powerful, easy-to-use technology are often products offered outside of work.

Advancing Technology

Nowadays, HR technology handles everything from time punches to reviews. It offers sophisticated analytics that help assess the performance of individuals and teams. It conducts automated background checks that sync themselves with the data in a company’s ATS. It facilitates video interviews and provides platforms for managing the remote workforce.

All of these things were developed in response to user demand. It’s a cycle: As users demand some type of feature, the feature’s baked into more products. As more products offer new capabilities, more users take advantage of them and learn to want the next level of capabilities.

In other words, technology’s power is directly tied to the evolving preferences and habits of employees. In turn, HR must always explore and implement new approaches supported by the tools it provides to the workforce.

Earned Wage Access

For example, consider earned wage access. The great majority of American workers – 72% of them – say they live paycheck to paycheck and would suffer financial hardship if their pay was delayed for more than a week, according to the American Payroll Association. Meanwhile, 60% want their organization to offer immediate access to their earned wages, says CPA Practice Advisor.

EWA helps ease the financial pressure on employees by providing ready access to the money they’ve earned without having to wait for a pre-scheduled payday. It connects payroll and banking systems to provide employees with their wages on the same day they’ve earned them, providing the timely, convenient access they’re looking for.

Advanced AI 

The notion of artificial intelligence has been around for years, to the point where some companies  view the technology as a vendor-marketing tool as much as anything else. In a relatively short time, AI went from being a future-looking concept to something HR functions simply expect their solutions to incorporate. As more than one HR tech executive puts it, AI has become “table stakes” in the conversation between vendor and customer.

Now another round of change may be on the horizon. In a breathtakingly short amount of time, Open AI’s ChatGPT generated a tsunami of interest from both end users and potential customers. One side effect of that: A number of other companies have begun promoting their solutions as players in the same space.  Where will all these efforts lead? No one knows. But organizations throughout the HR and HR technology communities will be watching to find out.

Cloud Adoption

Over the last several years, the Cloud has become an essential part of HR strategy. Cloud solutions have transformed the way HR does its job in everything from payroll to performance reviews, talent acquisition to learning. More recently, the cloud served another problem: keeping employees and HR operations up and running during the Covid-spurred growth in remote and hybrid work. Even without that, end users today expect the benefits of centralized information, remote access and the convenience of self-service tools.

As the workforce continues to evolve and employee needs change, HR teams must adapt to continue recruiting, hiring and managing employees effectively. HR teams must stay on top of emerging trends to remain competitive and provide the robust user experience employees need.

Image: iStock

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