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Dear HR Executive, Here Are Your Top HR Tech Priorities For 2018

HR has spent a little bit longer than let’s say finance or CRM getting up to speed with technology to propel their field of expertise into the era of digitalisation. But over the past couple of years we have seen HR taking giant strides to catch up. What kind of technology will Nordic HR executives pay most attention to in 2018?


If you ask the global technology analysts they will probably tell you that Artificial Intelligence, Predictive Analytics, sexy HR apps, and technology for “gig economy” are currently the hot stuff in the business. My opinion is that most of this is, for the time being, of interest to analysts and tech innovators, while HR executives face a different reality.  Because, albeit you wanting to bring both your company and HR department into the future – you need to prioritise. So, first things first.

Top 5 HR Tech Priorities for the Progressive HR Executive:


1. All new HR tech is going to be cloud based

If any of you are considering new on-premise HR tech, then you are certainly doing things very differently from everybody else.

2. HR master data – Get your house in order!

I just can’t stress the importance of this enough. GDPR will apply from 25th May and everyone knows that proper master data management is the starting point of compliance. If you haven’t implemented a modern Human Capital Management (HCM) system with master data functionality already, you need to hurry up. Do you already have a modern system in place? Great! But you may still need to work on data quality. And even if data quality is OK, you may need to work with your CIO on integrations in order to improve access management to the myriad of IT systems used by your organisation. If all of this is in place, congratulations! But, I am sorry to say that, most probably you will still have work to do on delegation of responsibility and other process improvements.


3. You will explore the promise of new recruitment technology

A major disruption has taken place in the recruitment technology area. There are now several excellent solutions that simplify and improve user experience for the candidate, and make life a lot easier for the recruiter. If you are in a high-volume recruitment business and haven’t updated your recruitment technology the past couple of years (Are you still using applicant tracking systems?), you will probably want to look at systems that go one step further. With the help of technology you can efficiently manage relationships with candidates and identify relevant candidates to engage with. You should check it out.

4. You need to read up on continuous performance management

There has been a lot of confusion over the past five years regarding the concept of performance management. The question has been whether it creates value or not, and the discussion has mainly revolved around ratings. The experts are still debating ratings or no ratings, and it is not obvious anymore that the removal of ratings is the one and only solution. Irrespective of what you choose, there is a major shift going on from annual performance management to continuous performance management. In addition, there is a change from performance assessment to constructive and on-going feedback. In short, continuous performance management moves away from the annual employee appraisals and once-in-a-blue-moon feedback. Modern employees expect continuous and relevant follow-up and feedback, which is not sufficiently supported by the more traditional (or old fashioned, if you will) approach to performance management. If you want to stay up-to-speed on these trends, you definitely want to look at the technology you are using for performance management. Continuous performance management is impossible without modern technology unless you work in a tiny business.

5. AI will probably not be on your shopping list

The next step for those of you who have already invested in HCM technology and gotten your data right, is to start looking at analytics to understand the data better. Very few of you, however, if any, will be working in big enough companies and have big enough data for predictive analytics. According to professor Peter Cappelli, there is no such thing as big data in HR. What about artificial intelligence? Isn’t it time for HR to get on the bandwagon and use such innovative technologies? I suspect that you will only spend time on AI in 2018 if you work for a large organisation and have a large enough technology budget. Everyone else will just wait until there are more useful and easily accessible applications available.

To summarise, I don’t expect 2018 to bring revolutionary new developments, but rather represent the continuation of what we have seen in 2017. HR executives will spend more time and money on technology than ever before to support data quality, data security, and employee engagement. And you will experience that it has never been easier to get budget approval for HR tech investments. The digitalisation of economy in general, combined with GDPR requirements will see to that.

Good luck!

Would you like to learn how you can improve the quality of your HR processes, starting from onboarding new employees? The answer is HR master data. Download our free e-book to learn more!

Avtar S. Jasser

Avtar S. Jasser, 23 January 2018

Avtar er administrerende direktør i CatalystOne og har jobbet med HR- og ledelsesprosesser i over 25 år. Han er en av Nordens nestorer innenfor Performance Management og deler generøst av sin kunnskap til både ansatte og kunder. Avtars ledelsesfilosofi er "Leading with a warm heart, a cool mind, and a desire to make a difference for colleagues & customers."

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