Three Broader Business Benefits of Embracing HR Tech

Derek Smith
GM, Xref North America

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Email

The future of HR is exciting, and when it comes to the digital transformation of the industry, it’s no longer a matter of if but when we will see ubiquitous adoption.

Embracing this evolution of HR technology now is key to cementing a competitive position in the future but while our HR and recruitment professionals face daily messages about the value of tech, they’re only useful if we paint a picture of the bigger and broader business benefits it can offer.

Drive change or be changed

Let’s start with the problem - the expectation vs reality divide.

The hype around HR tech, when unsupported by reason, can lead businesses to jump in the deep end and start adopting platforms for all the wrong reasons.

In a 2016-2017 study conducted by Aon, CHROs revealed the potential tipping points they agree they expect to see by 2019. It found:
  • 100% agreed that half of all workplace learning would be video based
  • 57% felt that all HR processes will be done on mobile
  • 51% believed that half of all performance management will be AI driven

These are some lofty predictions, and perhaps hard to image when you consider the broader requirements and impact of implementing these changes.

In reality - a recent KPMG HR Transformation report found that businesses globally are “divided into two camps with different lenses on where the HR function is headed – one half ‘enlightened’ and boldly engaged on the need for strategically managed HR transformation, the other half ‘unenlightened’ and faltering amid uncertainty.”

The key here is the focus on strategy and the KPMG findings highlight this again, revealing 72 percent of those that are leading the way with HR transformation have changed their operating model alongside implementation, while 73 percent have a business case to identify measures for success.

They’ve taken a strategic business-led approach to the implementation of their HR tech.

Broader business benefits of HR tech

To understand how your tech investments can support broader business goals, it’s first important to identify where HR can add strategic value

Here are some expert perspectives on just three of the business benefits HR tech adoption can offer.

1. Hiring assurance

As Josh Bersin noted in an article about AI in HR, “Managers and HR professionals use billions of dollars of assessment, tests, simulations, and games to hire people – yet many tell me they still get 30-40% of their candidates wrong.”

Yes, the decades of experience our HR industries boast globally is a great reason to trust HR experts. But that’s not to say that every hiring decision made is a good one and, frankly, that’s because we’re only human.

According to Bersin, AI is going to be a recruitment game-changer for a number of practical reasons, including “Algorithms based on AI can weed through resumes, find good internal candidates, profile high performers, and even decode video interviews and give us signals about who is likely to succeed.”

2. Bottom line impact

In a recent addition to her brilliant blog, Laurie Ruettimann talked about trends in HR technology and the reality that many come and go, but she highlights the fact that those that matter - or “the things that are things” as she puts it - are ultimately the ones that will impact the bottom line of your business.

As Ruettimann points out:

“If things are truly important, they’ll get a line-item on a budget, and you’ll see them become part of your standard operating procedure. What’s important? What ‘things are things’ in HR and work? What deserves your attention?”

HR technology might seem like a challenge to introduce but no one can argue with improved financial performance and, by finding the solutions that generate revenue or save on budget, you become not just an HR hero but a business booster too.

3. Augmented human performance

The rise of tech isn’t all about robots threatening to take over the roles of our people. On the contrary, technology will augment the performance of talented teams.

A Forbes article written at the beginning of 2018 by Meghan M. Biro, talked about how to build a workforce that “drives itself”.

“Change will come...directly, with robots replacing some segments of the human workforce, and indirectly, by giving us the tools and means to do better work, and augmenting existing processes.”

Simply put, by embracing the efficiency and productivity benefits technology can offer, we are in a better position to improve our own human performance. Acknowledging this as an HR department and allowing it to successfully filter into the rest of the business, will have a huge impact on commercial success.

There’s no doubt that new ways of working can seem scary and confusing, but by focusing on the benefits; we can help our HR industry reap the rewards of taking the plunge and adopting smart new solutions.

Is your organization looking for an affordable and easy-to-use solution to capture employee suggestions? DirectSuggest, the suggestion box reimagined, connects your decision makers directly to your employees and makes it simple for an employee to make suggestions with the assurance that they arrive where needed. For more information please click here.

This article was originally published at

Derek Smith joined Xref in January 2018 as General Manager for Xref North America, with responsibility for the company’s operations across Canada and the United States. Derek’s knowledge of the North American HR market, specifically in relation to candidate screening, coupled with his extensive background in sales, marketing and leadership roles in high profile, technology companies, make him the perfect addition to the team in a market that poses significant growth potential for the platform.

Prior to joining Xref, Derek Smith held the role of SVP at Sterling Talent Solutions, where he managed the Canadian Sales team, before which he was the Managing Director of Apple Canada. At Apple, he was responsible for the sales, marketing and distribution of the Apple iPhone, iPad, and Mac products for the Canadian market. Before joining Apple, Derek was the Vice President and General Manager of HP’s Canadian Personal Systems Group. While in this position he led the $1.5 Billion desktop and notebook business for HP Canada and was also responsible for all SMB sales, as well as the Channel function for all business units at HP Canada.