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Top 10 Trends and Observations in HR Technology

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With $2.1 billion invested in the human capital management technology and services space in 2015 and $600 million in the first quarter of 2016, it’s important to know how this will change the landscape for your business and your employees. Just like Uber is changing how we think about transportation and Open Table is changing the restaurant business, we think the next big area of change will be with employee benefits and employee engagement. We are already seeing the Uberfication of the medical profession. After recently attending an HR Technology Advisory Board meeting, we thought we would share with you The Top 10 Trends and Observations that were discussed.

  1. There is no one vendor that is able to be all things to all companies. There tends to be a couple that are good in each market segment:  Under 200 employees, 200-1,000, 1,000+ employees.
  1. There is a trend towards benefits admin platforms that have user friendly methods for getting data in and out of the system for more seamless data integration with third-party payroll systems.
  1. Many vendors struggled with their ACA reporting service and outcome, along with the IRS. Next year, penalties will be enforced; so the need to have confidence in the solution/vendor for preparing 2016 forms is a top priority.
  1. Payroll and benefits admin vendors have excellent sales people who can sell ice to an Eskimo. Having a technology consultant expert to help you know what you might not know is crucial.  We have seen too many train wrecks where, after unsuccessful implementation, a company goes back to its old outdated system.
  1. HR is wearing more hats than ever and there is a need for them to have technology that saves them and their employees’ time and, in some cases, money so that they can be more strategic and focus on how they can help a company grow and achieve its business goals.
  1. There is a desire to use technology for decision support and employee education during benefit enrollment. What are my choices and what makes sense for me?
  1. Many early adopters to the national consultant’s private exchanges are looking to leave after their three-year commitment and really just want excellent benefits administration so that they can offer multiple products and plans and make their employee experience, along with HR, a good one.
  1. Using good technology partners/vendors to offer a voluntary products platform to employees allows employees to purchase benefits that meet their unique financial security and coverage (i.e., critical illness or accident coverage) needs without the pressure from a salesperson. It allows a company to easily offer more options and choices at no cost to the company.
  1. Certain carriers are more willing than others to help offset or subsidize the cost of a company’s benefits admin system reducing the overall investment in new technology.
  1. There is increasing complexity in HR technology as new functionality and tools come out. There is a desire for the independent evaluation of payroll, benefits admin and ACA reporting technologies.  Working with an independent firm with this expertise and knowing the difference in the 300 different players in this space is essential.