HR Tech Europe: HR’s Top Challenges and the Tech That Can Help

Elearnity and HR Tech Europe recently named the top five challenges facing HR departments today, including talent recruitment, employee engagement, and the need to find technological solutions.

Maintaining up-to-date technology virtually guarantees a better performing HR department in any sizeable organisation. Luckily, the HR Tech Europe conference has given us some insights into how HR technology can be kept relevant.

Recruiting the right talent is the primary objective of any and every HR practitioner today, and now is the time to ask how technology can help them find this talent as efficiently as possible. Current recruiting methods already consist of face-to-face meetings, reviewing achievements and references, and, more generally, understanding a candidate’s personality quickly and thoroughly.

So where does tech come in? The right programs and methods can augment the practice’s existing cornerstones, speeding up and fine-tuning the interview process by helping companies meet more and better candidates in a shorter period of time.

These newer, more specialised methods also make candidates feel more valued, especially when compared to the traditional conveyor belt model that most applicants are used to being churned through.

European HR Concerns

Information on the European HR sector is in such short supply that it’s quite the event when a new study is released. Such was the case when a study based on data collected in 2014 recently revealed the primary technological goals as well as the major shortcomings prevalent across many European industries.

The study, entitled The Critical Realities of HR Tech in Europe, was co-authored by Elearnity and HRN Europe (the organiser of HR Tech Europe) ahead of the event happening this week and sheds some light on the state of HR technology and the sector as a whole.

Takeaway Points

The study revealed that the highest-level goals of HR practitioners – goals that they generally struggle to meet – were increased organisational performance and higher profitability.

What the study referred to as “managing talent” was another high-priority area – one of the most critical measures of an HR strategy’s success, but also one of the things that most organisations seemed to struggle with. To drive home that point, the study makes it clear that a majority of HR practitioners felt that their company’s management was unsatisfied with their work in this regard.

According to another study by Brandon Hall, it’s surprisingly rare for organisations to even convey high hopes or expectations for the talent acquisition process.

Several statistics from the report highlight the disconnect in the recruitment pipeline:

  • 64% of organisations operate with a casual or undeveloped talent acquisition process, and have no high-level strategy to guide their hiring initiatives and decisions.
  • 60% of organisations do not plan for talent needs more than six months in advance. 
  • Roughly 25% do not plan for their talent needs at all.
  • Over 60% of organisations take over four weeks to hire an employee, from application to offer acceptance, TWEET and 20% take more than eight weeks to do this.

Key Tech Needs

Relying on outdated technology will get companies virtually nowhere in today’s world. The following facts about modern recruitment strategy were analysed and confirmed by HRN Europe’s research:

  • A growing emphasis is being placed on cloud systems and SaaS, but data privacy, expertise, and existing systems must be considered for a good organisational match.
  • Quality analytics and the expertise to decode their meaning and applicability are becoming essential.
  • Poor usability is a key motivator for an organisation to switch their HR technology.
  • From these results, it’s clear that archaic, inappropriate technology is a major and unnecessary hindrance.

Varying HR Models

Centralised, decentralised, and federated HR departments (a mix of centralised and decentralised) have hugely varying needs when it comes to technology. As a result, HR technologies and methods must be selected on an individual basis – according to a given organisation’s standards and needs.

Decentralised or federated HR departments make it difficult to identify a perfect HR solution. In Europe, the HRN study referred to above revealed that 55% of organisations use a federated HR model, 33% use a centralised model, and 12% use a decentralised model. Each prototype requires a specifically crafted HR process and strategy to match.