6 Things Technology can do for HR in 2014

TechnologyIt will take small business* more than a year to figure out the Patient Protection and Affordable
Care Act (ACA) and how it will affect their future. The task will consume time and energy. But, aside from that major distraction, small business Human Resources will also find exciting changes in tech applications.

*For the sake of this analysis, small business refers to companies with 100 to 500 employees.

1. Technology can support the ACA and Obamacare requirements

The ACA’s disastrous rollout has created an employee-relations problem. Smart small businesses will
need to step up to fill in gaps in communication and methodology. As the ACA delivery technology improves, employers will put more options in front of their employees. Business owners will improve relations and regain credibility by using technology to communicate and educate.

2.  HR tech customers are positioned to make demands.

As the economy recovers, employee retention, assessment, and talent development will become strong proprietary interests. HR users want more than operational efficiency out of their HRIS products. Software – in-house and out – is becoming an employee experience as well as the employer’s. Business owners will call for more in terms of employee interface.

3.  Everyone wants mobile.

Everyone, from floor workers to senior management, from the back to the front of the house, wants access and speed. Both virtues boost productivity and efficiency in all the functions that HR touches. The executive suite wants reports in real time, and HR needs to manage Big Data.  While line managers and workers want to easily submit time and expenses from anywhere. 

4.  Competitive HRIS innovations continue to erode the legacy HR functions.

HR’s legacy of paperwork and administrative operations is rapidly becoming “old school.”  Managers want and need more time to spend on workplace issues they value more. To the extent that technology can release them from the clerical mastery, HR wants even more freedom to develop and manage talent.  We have spoken about this in the past and it seems to be a never ending goal.

5.  Innovators and Early adopters remain the laboratory for HRIS innovation.

Whether it’s the continuous movement to all things cloud, to social HR or even better, onboarding new employees before they even start, these new changes began with an idea, and someone willing to try the 'beta' version of those ideas.  Pay attention, even if your company is a laggard the best ideas stay out there and you can take advantage of them when you are ready.

6.  Cloud-based systems facilitate the management of Big Data.

Businesses are coming to appreciate the potential value in big data. Big data is a universe heretofore closed to legacy HR. SaaS technology challenges HR management to integrate the data, discover and design new metrics, and develop strategies that align HR abilities with corporate and operational goals. Think about it: When you can view HR information, Sales Information, Customer Service Information, along with performance reviews - you truly have insight into that employee. Numbers with subjective feedback equals Talent Management nirvana.
2014 is the opportunity for all businesses and HR professionals to write their own ticket, invigorate their career, and determine their career path. New services and systems for HR Technology are always evolving and you'll want to evolve along with them.  Check out the 2014 HR Technology Conference & Expo for ideas…

Carolyn Sokol is a frequent contributer to compareHRIS.com and writes about small business and HR issues.