Ask These 8 Questions to Map Out Your HR Tech Strategy in 2018

2018 HR Tech Strategy RoadmapTechnology advancements like AI and machine learning are hot topics for 2018, but it’s easy to get carried away with the novelty and forget why they matter. The truth is, of course, that they don’t matter—unless they help you achieve your business goals.

As you map out your HR Tech strategy for the new year, here are 8 questions you should be asking:

What business outcomes do we want to achieve?

This is the foundational question that must drive any and all software purchases, HR or otherwise. New tech won’t make you more money simply by virtue of being innovative. So, if your business objective is a more productive workforce, your HR tech needs to support that goal in specific, measurable ways.

How can HR help achieve those outcomes?

It’s not always immediately clear how the HR department can add value to your organization. But as HR increasingly shifts its focus toward people rather than tasks, it can contribute more directly to positive business outcomes. We’ve written about a few of those opportunities in this post on how your HR technology adds business value. In addition to those, however, HR can also help you achieve your goals this year by promoting:

Employee engagement

Collaborative culture

Better peer-to-peer and employee-to-manager relationships

Reporting and workforce data management

What technology do we need to support those goals?

To get the best results, you need software that can store, manage, and retrieve data efficiently, while also creating better experiences for employees and managers. This is the time to take stock of your current technology capabilities and ask how your platform has performed for you in the past. It’s also time to start thinking about whether it will continue to meet your needs in the future.

Can our current software meet the needs of our workforce?

Maybe you have recently scaled your business and need a more robust HR software platform. Maybe you have been piecemealing your software together and storing data in separate databases, and now you’re ready for a single-record solution. Or maybe you need a better recruiting and onboarding solution to handle an increase in hiring needs. Can your current software meet those needs, or do you need to upgrade?

Where are the holes in our current HR technology platform?

Once you know where the gaps in your technology are, you’ll be ready to decide what new technology you need to fill those gaps. Identify those gaps by talking with end-users about their frustrations and processes. Reach out to both HR practitioners and employees to get feedback from both sides of the equation. Ask questions like:

What problems do you encounter regularly?

What frustrates you the most about the current software?

What do you like about the current software?

How could new technology make your job easier?

What new functionalities would make your job faster or more efficient?

How can we supplement or replace to address those holes?

You may not need to replace your entire HCMS right away. It may be enough to purchase a new module or app to fill a gap. However, if your HCMS isn’t meeting basic needs like data management, reporting, payroll efficiency, and benefits administration, then it's time to consider a new system. 

What trends are we interested in pursuing?

Basic functionalities should take top priority when you’re choosing new software, but it’s also worth exploring the new trends that could give you a competitive edge when it comes to attracting and retaining the best people. Artificial intelligence, mobile recruiting, and talent analytics are just a few of the new technologies you may want to consider for your workforce in 2018.

How can we make our technology platform more agile?

Your technology strategy needs to respond quickly to both internal and external changes. Talent Culture recommends building agility into your strategy by creating a 5-10 year plan with annual assessments and by selecting software that is scalable and flexible.

As Jason Averbook reminded us at the HR Technology Conference in Las Vegas, purchasing shiny new tech and applying it over a faulty foundation is like putting frosting on a moldy cake. Build the right foundation first—then have fun with the many new applications and capabilities on the market.

Best wishes for a tech savvy New Year in HR!


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