Today, a good employee experience is critical to increase employee engagement and retention. For that reason, many leaders are turning to HR technology to streamline processes and transform the way they do their work for the better.

HR technology should improve HR efficiency, which means reducing manual work so that professionals have more time for high-value tasks, providing a better view of where each process is along the path to completion, scaling in a way that doesn’t simply multiply their workload, and significantly improving their own user experience. With the entire experience transformed, a company builds its most powerful assets: happy employees.

In my previous blog posts, I shared how a successful employee onboarding process should look like and the benefits of onboarding automation. Now let’s take a look at how HR technology can help you achieve exactly that while surpassing the most common HR issues.

Top 5 Drivers of HR Inefficiencies

There are multiple causes of inefficiencies in HR organizations, but they all come down to five foundational drivers:

  1. Lack of a proper, well aligned tech stack due to generic enterprise systems that fail to provide sufficient functionality, personalization, and connectivity. This can lead to a proliferation of disconnected point solutions in an attempt to increase functionality and automation, but it only creates greater complexity.
  2. Persistence of manual processes. Another way that HR teams try to get around the shortcomings of their current solutions is to fall back on spreadsheet — or even paper-based processes. It’s easy to see where this goes off the rails: data entry errors, information that quickly becomes outdated, and the information that is locked in multiple separate files.
  3. Recruitment challenges. In a highly competitive labor market, talent gravitates to digitally mature employers offering a unique, state-of-the-art experience. Inadequate technology or cumbersome processes don’t just harm an employer’s brand. They also make it difficult to keep up with recruiting demands on an enterprise scale.
  4. Lack of alignment among relevant stakeholders. New employee onboarding, like many HR processes, involves multiple stakeholders across the organization, all of whom require relevant and timely information, not to mention reviews and approvals. Add to that the need to track all of these disparate workflows, and it's easy to see how HR professionals can become overwhelmed.
  5. Compliance challenges. The need to maintain strict regulatory compliance and proper governance of core HR data is complicated by the number of disparate systems holding this information. Worse still, non-compliance can be costly financially and reputationally.

How Technology Helps Resolve HR Inefficiencies

The best way to make your HR organization more efficient is to relentlessly hunt down inefficient processes and resolve them with a fresh approach to application development.

Example of an HR application.

  1. Look for the telltale signs of inefficiency. There are plenty of red flags to alert you to inefficiency. Slow, tedious, and error-prone, manual processes are the enemy of HR efficiency. Worse still are those requiring spreadsheets or paper. Does your HR team routinely complain about a lack of organization? Do they wade through piles of paperwork or raw digital data to accomplish everyday tasks? Difficult-to-find data is a big time waster, not to mention a source of employee frustration. Finally, there’s “process drift,” which happens when the organization’s processes continue long past their relevance.
  2. Gather consensus — and ideas. The people in the best position to find better ways to work are the ones who have to do the work in the first place. Make sure that your HR team is involved in the process of finding solutions and streamlining processes, as well as the software development process. Active and close collaboration between departments and IT is not only possible with a modern application development platform, it is highly recommended.
  3. Tailor technology to the need. Off-the-shelf HR applications, whether all-encompassing enterprise-grade HCM solutions or point solutions that solve for one or two functions, are designed to work for any organization. For that reason, they’re often rigid, hard to customize, and they rarely provide an ideal user experience. HR organizations need custom applications that create a single, easy-to-use interface while integrating with the multiple systems of record required by modern businesses. But that presents its own challenges.

Finding the Right Platform to Drive HR Efficiency

While custom applications are the best approach to improving HR efficiency, creating them with traditional development methods can be costly and time-consuming. With HR’s rapid pace of change, this type of development introduces inefficiencies of its own.

The solution is a modern application development platform that facilitates the rapid creation, deployment, and updating of HR applications. Here are just a few of the benefits:

  • Create a unifying layer across multiple systems and processes. A modern application development platform will provide connectors to any data source or application, including your legacy infrastructure and enterprise backbone, which can result in huge efficiencies and eliminate manual processes.
  • Modify or add functionality as needed. A modern application development platform lets you make changes, upgrades, and add more features efficiently, without the complexity that can slow your applications and disappoint users. It can also reduce the accrual of technical debt with AI-powered automation, powerful data governance tools, and a multilayer “building block” application structure.
  • Reduce time to value. Developers work with a straightforward drag-and-drop visual interface that breaks down business processes. Logic and data turn into modules that developers can combine and connect as needed. Development times fall from months to weeks with significantly shortened iterative update cycles.
  • Foster collaboration between developers and business users. When business users can test-drive applications without relying on prototypes, this can significantly improve iterative feedback and testing by the business during build.

HR organizations must address increasing complexity while scaling their operations. A modern application development platform can create a whole new level of collaboration between IT and the business, where incorporating feedback and making adjustments becomes a matter of hours instead of weeks. As a result, you’ll achieve efficiencies and scale that will improve HR productivity and establish your business as an employer of choice.

Learn more about how a modern application development like OutSystems can help you deliver delightful employee experiences in our Employee Onboarding page.