Human resources (HR) departments are responsible for a wide range of tasks related to employees and their well-being, from recruitment and hiring to compensation, benefits, training and performance management. These job functions can overwhelm HR departments, especially if they don’t have the tools and resources to perform their daily tasks efficiently. In many HR departments, you’ll find HR technology that staff regularly uses to streamline operations, such as onboarding and offboarding.
Whether you’re a large corporation or a growing startup, HR technology is essential for any well-run business. In this guide, we’ll walk through everything you need to know about HR technology, from how it can help increase efficiency to emerging trends.
HR technology is an umbrella term that refers to the software and hardware human resources departments use to streamline operations and enhance HR processes and functions. The software, tools and systems that make up these technology solutions help automate repetitive tasks, improve efficiency and compliance, and provide essential data that HR departments can use to make informed decisions.
Some of the common HR areas where technology is applied include:
- Performance management: Innovative HR technology can help with employee performance management by offering teams tools to set goals, receive feedback and track performance and evaluations to ensure employees progress in their careers.
- Learning and development: Many HR technology solutions offer learning management systems, which are platforms employees can access to build their skill sets and knowledge through online courses and virtual classrooms.
- Employee management: HR technology like Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) enables HR departments to manage employees by accessing employee data, automating workflows and generating reports.
- Compensation and benefits management: HR technology can also help automate compensation and benefits tasks, such as payroll, benefits enrollment and time tracking, which can help reduce errors, improve employee engagement and ensure compliance.
These are just some of the many areas where HR technology can be instrumental in the success of a business’s operations and employee engagement. To see how HR technology can help your organization, keep reading to learn how HR technology can increase efficiency.
How the Right Technology Can Increase Efficiency
One of the primary benefits of HR technology is its ability to increase efficiency in a variety of ways. From boosting productivity to automating time-consuming tasks, there are several ways HR technology can streamline processes, automate workflows and boost your bottom line.
The employee onboarding process can be lengthy and expensive. Fortunately, HR technology can cut costs and speed up onboarding to fill roles quickly with qualified employees. Some of the ways HR technology can streamline onboarding include:
- Verification fulfillment: It’s important to ensure job applicants are who they say they are. With verification fulfillment services, you can easily verify an applicant’s employment and income with consent.
- I-9 administration: One part of the onboarding process is ensuring workers are authorized to work in the United States. HR technology can streamline the I-9 administration process to verify new hires’ identities and employment authorization.
- Onboarding portal: In many cases, HR technology provides a centralized onboarding portal where new hires can easily access all the necessary documents, information and forms needed to start their new roles, such as company policies, training materials and additional resources.
- E-signatures: Rather than waiting days or weeks for important onboarding forms and documents to be signed by a new hire, you can easily collect authorized e-signatures that eliminate physical paperwork and securely store digitized documents like tax forms, employment contracts and benefit enrollment forms.
In addition to streamlining employee onboarding, HR technology can streamline offboarding by automating tasks and ensuring compliance. With HR technology, you can help employees transition smoothly as they depart. Some ways HR technology can streamline offboarding include:
- Unemployment management: For employees let go from their positions, unemployment management solutions can help HR departments remain compliant with changing federal and state regulations, recover unemployment insurance overpayments and receive hearings representation, among other benefits.
- Compliance management: In certain scenarios, offboarding can lead to legal risks if the necessary steps aren’t taken. HR technology can help companies access compliant documents, follow the proper exit interview procedures and manage documentation.
- Receive feedback: It’s important to understand why employees may depart from your organization, and solutions can help you conduct exit interviews and receive feedback that can be used to gain valuable insights that can be used to improve your organization.
Organizations need to focus on employee retention because the employee onboarding and offboarding processes can be costly and time-consuming. HR technology can help improve the employee lifecycle by increasing engagement and job satisfaction. Some ways an efficient HR department can improve retention with the right technology include:
- Tax withholding compliance solutions: Tax seasons can be stressful for employers and employees. HR technology, like tax withholding compliance solutions, can create a stress-free payroll process that ensures employees complete all required federal, state and local tax forms that improve accuracy and compliance.
- Year-end tax statements: Year-end payroll can be intense for HR departments. HR technology can help streamline year-end payroll reports and tax statements that allow HR teams to manage reissues and corrections with ease, deliver multiple tax statements on one form and increase the productivity of your HR department, all of which can increase employee satisfaction come tax time.
- Payroll tax services: Organizations with poor payroll tax services can drive employees away, especially if they’re experiencing issues like noncompliance or security issues. HR technology can offer payroll tax services that follow high-level security protocols, automate tasks and more.
- ACA reporting: With HR technology like ACA reporting services, you can ensure the timely delivery of ACA forms to employees to increase compliance and employee satisfaction.
These are just some of the ways to improve employee retention. Other methods include performance management, learning and development platforms that enable employees to progress in their careers, employee recognition platforms that increase engagement and more.
HR technology can also increase efficiency by enabling HR departments to maximize tax credit opportunities. With solutions like tax credit management services, HR departments can quickly identify, apply and comply with tax credit requirements, such as the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, Employee Retention Tax Credit, Disaster Zone Tax Credit and Family Medical Leave Act Tax Credit.
As a business, staying up-to-date on current trends is always important to ensure you’re optimizing workflow and ensuring employees are satisfied. This is especially true in the post-pandemic world, where the landscape of many working environments has changed drastically, such as the rise in remote and hybrid work.
One of the top trends of HR technology is increasing transparency. With remote and hybrid work becoming the norm in many industries, employees can feel removed from their colleagues and culture. To prevent this, HR technology focuses on transparency by offering portals for feedback, performance evaluations and increasing employee privacy.
Remote and hybrid work is rising in the post-pandemic world, and technology must keep up. Recent trends show HR technology adapting to these needs by offering flexible work arrangements with access to mobile apps and platforms that allow employees to access HR services, performance tools, training materials and collaboration platforms anywhere they have a stable internet connection.
With the work landscape changing, so are employee attitudes about loyalty and commitment. Some trends show an increase in job-hopping, where employees move jobs within a few years or less compared to older generations who may have stayed at an organization for decades. To retain workers, HR technology will continue to focus on hiring and retention strategies, such as offering diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) tools to create a more inclusive workplace environment, learning experience platforms that help employees build their skills and more.
While artificial intelligence and machine learning have been around for decades, the past several years have seen a sharp increase in the accessibility of AI and cloud-based technology in all aspects of life, including HR. One of the top trends here to stay is AI and cloud-based technology, as AI can easily automate mundane tasks and boost efficiency, while cloud-based platforms can help increase accessibility and efficiency. AI and cloud-based solutions can also offer a more personalized employee experience, help leaders make informed decisions and make data more digestible.
In order to attract and retain top talent, employee wellness needs to be top of mind. HR technology can help organizations address employee engagement and well-being with features like surveys, social recognition platforms, well-being programs and mental health support to promote a positive workplace environment.
With Experian Employer Services, your HR team can gain access to workforce management solutions that can improve the employee life cycle and your bottom line.