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Revisiting Your HR Tech Stack End-to-end

Jen Dewar
Apr 22, 2021 6:00:00 AM

A lot has changed over the past year, and the “future of work” is here with new opportunities and challenges. Will your HR tech stack—or all-in-one solution—support the new world of work? If not, now is the time to consider changing things up. As companies return to work and the economy re-opens, the right tools and solutions can provide a stronger foundation from which to address imminent changes.

Here’s are some key areas to focus on as your revisit your HR tech stack:

Diversity, equity, and inclusion

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are top of mind for many company leaders and HR practitioners this year. Technology alone isn’t an elixir to solve your DEI challenges, but it can support you in your journey.

For example:

  • Candidate sourcing solutions with diversity filters can help you find more candidates from underrepresented groups.
  • A gender decoder, like Textio, can help you write more inclusive job descriptions.
  • A modern compensation management solution can help you continuously measure, and make adjustments for, pay equity.

In some cases, however, technology could actually be hurting your DEI efforts. For example:

  • A machine learning algorithm may be learning human biases and disqualifying great candidates from underrepresented groups. For instance, an AI sourcing tool may learn which schools you tend to hire from, and leave out candidates who attended college elsewhere—or not at all.
  • A legacy applicant tracking system (ATS) may be difficult to navigate on a phone, and thus exclude people from different socioeconomic backgrounds. Not everyone has access to a personal computer and word processing software.
  • A background check platform may return information that’s irrelevant to the job, leading to bias in the hiring decision. This could be due to poor results filtering—or user error, if the platform hasn’t been properly configured.
  • The compensation module in an all-in-one platform may not allow you to see how a raise cycle will affect pay equity, until after changes have been submitted and it’s too late to change anything.

Re-evaluate your HR technology stack to ensure your tools aren’t hurting your diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. Then, consider whether switching things up might better support your efforts. In some cases, you may be able to better utilize the features in your existing tech stack— by turning on blind resume screening in your ATS, for example. But there may also be cases where you could benefit from replacing a component of your HR tech stack, or supplementing your all-in-one platform with a best-of-breed solution.

Remote work

Remote work is here to stay for many, but your HR tech stack was likely developed to support a co-located workforce. If you will offer either fully remote work options or a hybrid model going forward, consider whether your current HR tech stack supports that. 

For example:

  • Do you have solutions, like project management software, that enable asynchronous communication?
  • Does your payroll system support team members across multiple states and countries?
  • Does your compensation management system help you understand pay equity when team members have countless local market rates?
  • Do you have tools that contribute to team building and help remote workers feel less isolated from their colleagues?

With the hybrid model, in particular, co-located and remote employees may have very different experiences than their co-located colleagues. It’s important to consider how your technology can help you address that. For instance, remote team members are often less likely to be promoted. A performance management system may enable you to track promotion rates and time to promotion, so you can address that challenge. 

Employee experience

Over a quarter (26 percent) of workers plan to look for a new job once the threat of the pandemic subsides. That may be higher for companies that don’t offer remote work options long term—42 percent of remote workers say they will look for a job at a company that does. If you want to retain your team, focusing on the employee experience will be key.

There are many ways technology can help enhance the employee experience:

  • Ask for feedback. If you want to improve your employee experience, the best place to start is with anonymous employee feedback gathered via an online survey. You may want to request demographic information to understand how the employee experience differs among groups. For example, one in four tech workers say they have experienced more gender-based harassment while working remotely since the pandemic. But 39 percent of Asian women and nonbinary people; 38 percent of Latinx women and nonbinary people; and 42 percent of transgender people have experienced more harrassment. Understanding the employee experience at a more granular level allows you to make more impactful changes.
  • Online learning and development. More than nine in 10 (93 percent) workers say they would stay at a company longer if it invested in their careers. Online learning and development opportunities may appeal to team members more than in-person learning, especially as the threat of the pandemic looms. And this investment in your team will lead to happier, more engaged team members—while providing you with skilled workers to promote into more senior roles. 
  • Employee recognition. One in five employees report feeling underappreciated for their contributions, and say it’s hindering their engagement at work. Employee recognition software can encourage managers to regularly recognize their team members, and create a culture of recognition among peers.

Conversely, some HR tech may be leading to a poor employee experience. For instance, if your time off calendar is difficult to use for team members or their managers, people may not be taking the time they need to recharge. Or if remote employees can’t find the information they need, when they need it, they will likely become frustrated and, eventually, disengaged.

As the employee experience continues to be a priority, consumer-grade, best-of-breed technology is quickly replacing the clunky legacy systems of the past. 

Hiring in a competitive talent landscape 

As people start changing jobs and companies get back into the rhythm of growth, the talent landscape will become increasingly competitive. Consider whether your HR tech stack is set up to help you reach your hiring goals. This will be particularly important if you lost HR headcount during the pandemic, and if you’re going to be affected by the post-pandemic turnover surge.

Here are some questions to consider as you re-evaluate your current solutions:

  • Do your systems integrate? As hiring heats up, you won’t want to waste time on manual processes and data entry. It’s helpful if your sourcing tools and background check provider integrate with your ATS, and that your HRIS integrates with your ATS, payroll provider, performance management system, and other HR solutions. If not, reach out to your vendors to encourage them to integrate, or look for a solution that does.
  • What can you automate? Automation capabilities are one of the best things about modern HR technology because it allows you to be more efficient and strategic. For instance, a candidate relationship management platform can automate follow-up messages when busy candidates don’t respond to your initial outreach. Look for opportunities to automate within your current tools, or consider alternate options.
  • Is your recruitment tech stack compatible with remote hiring? If your recruitment process changed to accommodate remote hiring, your recruitment tech stack may need to be updated as well. Online assessment tools, like Codility, can replace onsite assignments, for example.
  • Do your recruitment tech solutions provide a strong candidate experience? When candidates have many choices around where to work, the candidate experience will be paramount to engaging and closing your top-choice candidates. Make sure your recruitment technology enhances, rather than detracts from, their end-to-end experience.

With a competitive talent landscape, you may also find that candidates are able to negotiate higher offers. A modern compensation management tool can offer continuous compensation analysis, so you can see when increasing cost-of-market rates might be leading to salary compression or pay inequities.

Does your HR Tech stack still meet your needs? 

Every company, and every HR tech stack, will be different. It’s up to you to determine if you need to make changes to meet the opportunities and challenges a post-pandemic world will bring. So much has already changed in the past year, making now the ideal time to take a hard look at everything—including technology, processes, and policies—to ensure they support your organization in the way you need.

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