If you’ve spoken to me in the past few years, I’d be surprised if the topic of HR tech didn’t come up at some point. Long before Sebastian and I started work on HiPeople, I’ve been fascinated about the way technology has been shaping our working lives.
And I don’t mean shaping how we work, with tools to make our day-to-day tasks more efficient. I’m talking about a more fundamental change than that — a change in how we experience work, and the evolution of the employee-employer relationship.
Most of the time, these conversations are confined to our Berlin office, our team Hangouts, and my flat (sorry Victoria and baby Carl!). But in early April, I sat down with Giovanni from Humaans, and Willem at Homerun, to discuss the future of HR in a Clubhouse session hosted by Acelr8.
Below, you’ll find a recording of our conversation in full, alongside this summary. And if you’re interested in learning more about our thoughts on the future of HR — or how HiPeople how we can help you to hire better, faster — contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Design-driven thinking is required to build great employee and candidate experiences
When Willem and team founded Homerun six years ago, they recognised that the majority of HR tools didn’t pay much attention to user experience — so they approached the problem of hiring and onboarding by drawing on their design background. Giovanni and Humaans, and our HiPeople team have taken the same stance with our product development too.
As consumers, we’re used to receiving great experiences from the products and services we use, but as employees, that attention to detail isn’t always there.
When every touchpoint influences how valued we feel as an individual — it’s a huge risk for companies to deliver experiences that haven’t been considered from the perspective of the end-user. Hiring is the perfect example of a situation where these risks have real impact — just one unpleasant or inconvenient interaction could mean your top candidate accepts another offer and you fail to fill an open role.
Because of this, the latest generation of HR tools are capitalising on the importance of great design, and are providing solutions that don’t just function, but are enjoyable to use.
The value of HR technology is moving from ‘time-saving’ to ‘decision-making’
In the last five years we’ve seen investment in HR technology increase dramatically. And this is because the nature of HR technology has turned on its head.
Five to ten years ago, the focus of HR tech was about reducing admin and improving efficiency — keeping employee records in the cloud, automating processes, etc. These days, HR software is about making use of data, not managing it. Now we have a generation of ‘tools that inform decision-making’, whereas before we had ‘tools that save time’.
The impact of this data-focused approach is far-reaching, and able to change workplaces for the better. Objective data, for example, can be used to fight biases in recruitment and people management, and support an organization’s DE&I goals. Giovanni demonstrated this when he explained how Humaans provides gender pay gap reporting to its customers.
Tech will draw the best talent to smaller companies
Typically, access to the best HR solutions has been limited to large organizations, with the budget to buy big, ‘do-everything’, legacy software. But HiPeople, Humaans and Homerun are part of a new wave of HR tools with integration at their core.
It’s now easy for businesses to buy the tech they need, and integrate it with the tools they already have. For example, if your business needs to optimize its onboarding processes, you can get a specialized onboarding platform and integrate it with your HRIS. Or if your hiring has been hit-and-miss, you can find the perfect candidate assessment software that speaks directly to your ATS.
This kind of technology ecosystem is making it easier for smaller businesses, who don’t have the capital to buy the legacy solutions, to go toe-to-toe with the giants in terms of the experience they can offer to employees.
Thanks to tech, smaller companies can provide what matters most to employees — from flexible working, to tailored professional development — without a huge budget and a 50-person HR team.
Let’s keep the conversation going
As I said, it’s not difficult to get me started on these topics — I’m always keen to share my thoughts and learn from others. If you want to keep the conversation going, or hear more about HiPeople, drop me a line.