Most HR technology practitioners and vendors attend the annual HR Technology Conference and Exposition. One of the largest industry gatherings, it provides an indicator of their levels of investment and the hottest trends. This year’s event revealed new technologies and approaches to two key human resources processes – recruitment and retention. They included predictive analytics and big data as well mobile delivery to allow employees easier access to applications. Regarding the first two, these technologies can help managers make better informed and more intelligent decisions from their masses of HR data. It seems that investment in recruiting applications has increased with the growth of the economy. Earlier this year I described how many vendors are investing in recruiting applications. At HR Tech I saw this trend continuing, hearing from vendors that are focused on evolving their recruiting software. Among the new products in recruiting is HireVue Insights, which uses predictive logic and big data to analyze the desirability of candidates. HireVue recently won our 2014 Ventana Research Technology Innovation award for this offering. In addition, talent management vendor Cornerstone OnDemand announced an agreement to acquire Evolv, whose primary product also uses big data and predictive models to match candidates to positions. Our benchmark research on human capital analytics shows that many organizations are considering investments in big data for human capital analytics in almost half of organizations, so these and other products appear to be in step with market demand.
For employee retention several products show the growth of this market. Among them is a newer company called Fuel50, which demonstrated software focused on improving employee engagement by enabling employees to do career development planning. Another newcomer, Qualtrics, offers cloud-based surveys and analytics that measure employee engagement to help improve retention of the workforce.
More established human capital management providers also apply new technology to employee engagement and retention. For example, IBM recently announced an analytics and workforce science offering to improve employee engagement and organizational performance. Oracle features new Work Life Solutions to improve engagement through the use of new social technologies, which I recently wrote about. In addition, PeopleFluent announced at HR Tech predictive and deep analytics technologies applied to talent management system to retain employees and improve organizational performance. Kronos demonstrated its advancements in analytics and accessibility of them across mobile technologies that have been part of its continued growth in workforce management. Saba announced a new compensation management module as part of its suite that uses predictive capabilities to help managers understand better how to reward and retain their people. Ceridian demonstrated how use of wearable computing through smart watches can be used to engage hourly workers from punching in and out to getting access to schedules and notifications critical to their daily work.
As these examples indicate, many long-time HCM vendors are using new technologies to identify, retain and reward key people inside organizations as well as increase overall productivity. This is consistent with findings in our research on human capital analytics, which show that organizations see as the two leading benefits of analytics improving efficiency and productivity and better engaging and retaining their workforce.
I expect the focus by HCM technology companies on using big data and predictive analytics, as well as mobility and collaboration, to benefit organizations by learning more about their candidates and employees and making better decisions to attract and motivate them. In fact the imperative of wellness and looking after employees health was highlighted by Tanner Labs and its Wellbe and Gratzi which brings a new form of engagement and self-motivation through contests using mobile and collaborative approaches through wearable computing. Currently, however, many organizations still rely on relatively basic processes and technologies to recruit, retain and engage the workforce. Our benchmark research on optimizing payroll management shows that only one in six (15%) organizations have an integrated talent management system, which is a precursor to fully using these technologies. We conclude that they have work to do to prepare to take advantage of them. On the other hand, for those starting from scratch leading talent and human capital management system providers are starting to embed advanced technologies into their core product offerings. We encourage businesses to take a fresh look at tools that help them create a more engaged, productive workforce.