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Why Integrating HR Tech Delivers the Greatest Value: Q&A with Lexy Martin

Cornerstone Editors

Employers want to stay current with the newest technologies out there, and the HR Systems Survey from consulting firm CedarCrestone reveals what the hottest HR tech tools are. We spoke with the brains behind the survey, Lexy Martin, vice president of research and analytics at CedarCrestone, to get an insider look at what the results reveal about the future of HR tech. Here, Martin shares the importance of integration and giving employees and managers direct access to online services.

What are some important trends you noticed from the survey?

The trends that we saw this year are the major adoption of SaaS (software as a service) cloud solutions and that while talent management is already in the cloud, the core system of records in more organizations is being moved to the cloud. Innovative technologies like social, mobile and analytics are being adopted very rapidly, but from a very small base. Yet those are the areas that organizations get the greatest value.

Another key trend is integration. What our data shows is that it’s the unified solutions that give customers real integration. Integration is at such nascent adoption at this point, and even if an organization has a great solution, they’re not using it yet.

What results from the survey were most surprising to you?

Adoption of so much of the technology that we track is really still not very far along in many cases. I look at employee direct access or manager direct access to services, and you’d think that by this time 100 percent of all employees at the size of organization that we sell to would have automation, but they don’t. In some ways I’m shocked by that.

What is hindering employees from having automation and direct access?

The technology itself that’s in place at many organizations isn’t very good, so that’s a hindrance. The makeup of the workforce itself is a hindrance. Not all of us grew up with technology, so we have part of the workforce that will resist it until they retire. I also think organizations don’t do a very good job of implementing technology and making it clear to all employees what the value of the technology is.

Do you think it’s the responsibility of vendors or companies to encourage integration?

I think it’s two-pronged. Vendors need to help organizations understand why you want to integrate between the performance review and your learning management solution. On the other hand, there’s something that goes on at large organizations that mitigates against integration. The functional heads of recruiting or learning don’t collaborate with each other. They don’t have the knowledge of why they should be integrating. Management needs to encourage those people to collaborate with one another.

What’s a key takeaway from the survey?

Put the intelligence into the hands of managers. Of all the areas of HR technology that we track, organizations that have been able to do that get the greatest value out of their technology. There are so many value propositions for that. Organizations achieve competitive advantage, improve revenue per employee, we see all the great financial outcomes that an organization wants to see.

Photo credit: Creative Commons

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