Tag Archives: HR Tech Trends

The Optimal Technical HR Stack

data point tuesday_500I’ve written previously about the new research coming out of KeyInterval Research here and here. The third report from the dynamic duo that is Tincup and Sumser is out now and it’s a blockbuster! Determining the optimal technical HR stack is big. It’s big and expensive. It’s big and expensive and can make or break an HR leader’s career.

But first, you have to know what a technical stack is. I don’t assume that the majority of HR professionals know what this is, so here’s what Wikipedia says:

“A technology stack comprises the layers of components or services that are used to provide a software solution or application. Traditional examples include the OSI seven-layer model, the TCP/IP model, and the W3C technology stack. Technology stacks are often articulated as a list lof technologies, such as “J2EE with Java Server Faces running against a SQL Server database” or as a diagram.”

So a Technical HR Stack would be the collection of technologies/solutions that HR uses to manage all the people processes across an organization. It’s the payroll, recruiting, performance management, total rewards/recognition, learning management systems – all of these and more. And an Optimal Technical HR Stack would be the best collection of technologies/solutions that HR would use to manage the people processes across an organization.

I read some research 3 or 4 years ago that reported that organizations deploy, on average, 18 separate HR technology solutions – many of which are unable to connect with each other. These days the average may well be higher as HR professionals (and their IT partners) turn to technology to provide more efficient outcomes and the HR vendor community continues to innovate the use of SaaS, analytics, mobile and video.

So how can an HR leader or department make sense of the opportunities to apply technology, much less identify the “optimal” vendors and solutions? Well, the first step would be to buy this report. The analyses are practical. The insights are remarkable. This is a sea change in showing how HR technology is working – or not working – and what is actually happening in terms of finding solutions in an existing suite, looking for new providers or developing home grown solutions. The realities will surprise you.

The report delves into thirteen major areas of HR Technology and reveals 8 separate metrics in each area. The metrics include some of these:

  • Market Penetration
  • Net Promoter Score®
  • How long companies keep their software
  • Whether companies outsource, develop internally or use a tool that is part of an existing suite

The areas covered are:

KIR Optimal HR Stack July 14 2015It’s interesting to note that as a result of their research, nine other areas of adoption will be added to their research agenda for 2016. Some of those are Engagement, Collaboration Tools, Video Interviewing, and Assessment.

Without giving away the groceries here, some of the interesting findings include the following;

  • The components (see above) with the highest and lowest NPS® scores are not what you think
  • The replacement cycle (the amount of time between purchases) might be exactly what you would predict
  • The frequency of developing homegrown solutions is pretty low
  • The market penetration of the components is less than you would have predicted
  • The likelihood that a component is outsourced is surprising
  • Vendor brand recall is pretty high

Let’s look at just one of the thirteen solution components:  Recruiting Systems. The analysts at KeyInterval believe that “Recruiting is where innovation happens most frequently in HR.”

“With between 12 and 20 sub-processes, recruiting operations rarely use all of the same tools in the same sequence. Unlike other HR functions recruiting techniques vary by job, industry, region, corporate culture and, business model.” Because of this, the analysis shows that practitioners don’t much like their recruiting systems. The conflict between the required fast action of identifying, recruiting and hiring the right kind of talent, and the legal requirements to collect and retain hiring data often collide. Indeed, the KeyInterval research shows that no other tool in the HR Tech Stack is so conflicted. HR professionals “routinely expect innovative results and performance from a system that is designed to mitigate legal risk.”

If you’re thinking about going to the market for a new HR technology solution, or you’ve finally decided to replace an existing solution, this report should be your first stop. It will help you see what other organizations your size are doing – buying, building or outsourcing. It will provide a road map for how to begin.

Here’s the thing:  it will make you smarter than you already are. You can order it here.

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Filed under #HRTechTrends, China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, HR Data, HR Technology, KeyInterval Research, Recruiting

Required Reading for HR: Internet Trends 2015

data point tuesday_500Really. I’m not kidding. You may think from the title that Internet Trends 2015 is a report that has nothing to do with Human Resources. You couldn’t be more wrong. It’s ALL about HR. And how nearly everything about business, work and the employer/employee relationship is changing because of what the internet enables.

The report, prepared by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers’ Mary Meeker for this year’s Code Conference, presents the 2015 Internet Trends report, 20 years after the first The Internet Report was published in 1995. You’ve probably heard about this year’s report because every journalist in the world was agog at one piece of data: how Millennials relate to their smartphones. Everyone now knows that 87% of Millennials in the U.S. report that “my smartphone never leaves my side, night or day.” That’s one of several data points on one page of a 196 page report. And while interesting, it is among the least interesting data points in the report. I promise.

But first. You need to know some definitions to get the full value of the report. Here are a few terms and acronyms you should – and probably already – know:

  • MAU = Monthly Active Users (how many users are on an application at least once a month)
  • DAU = Daily Active Users (how many users are on an application at least once a day)
  • Y/Y = Year over Year (compares results from two consecutive years)
  • API = Application Programming Interface (how programs/apps connect to each other)
  • GDP = Gross Domestic Product (total value of goods and services produced by a nation)
  • GMV = Gross Merchandise Value (total sales value of merchandise sold through an internet channel)
  • VoIP = Voice over Internet Protocol (Skype would be a good example)

This report hits on all of HR’s buttons with high impact data: the nature of work, the job market, benefits, age demographics in the workplace, freelancers, government benefits, union participation, employer retirement plans, healthcare, the impact of drones on work, what’s happening in China and India and more. All in a report about internet trends. And almost every page is a data-rich picture of how things are changing. This might be my favorite page because it is the continuous thread of everything else discussed in the report:

KPCB 2015 Trends 2

And this might be my favorite chart because the impact of the data here fuels most everything else mentioned in the report. The connections between economic growth/decline, demographic changes, the internet and business impact every HR person everywhere, every day. Everywhere. Every day. This report shows these connections clearly.

KPCB 2015 Trends 1I’d like to make this report mandatory reading for all HR professionals. If you’re having a hard time grasping what the opportunity really is for HR to keep ahead of the profound changes happening all around us, this report will help you understand. Read it. Discuss some of the findings (pay particular attention to the section at the end, Ran Outta Time Thoughts) in staff meetings and with other leaders in your organization. Develop a point of view about how internet trends are impacting your organization and your people, and begin to strategize responses that will work for your business and your people. You must.

And oh yes, read this report.

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Filed under #HRTechTrends, China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Employee Demographics, GDP, Human Resources, Internet Trends, KPCB, Mary Meeker