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HR Tech 2016: What's on your shopping list?

Posted by Christina Perry on Sep 21, 2016 12:55:54 PM
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If you work in HR, you know that there’s a vast, almost overwhelming array of technology options. It’s an exciting time, because there are so many powerful tools that help streamline  tasks, manage data, and draw business-critical information and insights that we had no access to until recently.

In just a few weeks, all the latest innovations in HR software will be revealed in Chicago at HR Tech. As we wait to find out more about all the new developments, here’s a brief overview of some established categories—and a few newer ones—to be on the lookout for, and some tips to help you be a savvy HR technology shopper.

Human Resource Information System (HRIS)

The HRIS has come a long way in the last few years; HR professionals and employees alike can now manage almost all of their personal and benefits-related information electronically, in an online portal instead of having to fill out and scan, mail, or even fax paperwork.

The top players in the HRIS space include Zenefits, BambooHR, Namely, and Zenpayroll—er, excuse me Gusto. This useful article from SHRM provides 7 Key Tips for evaluating your HRIS options.


Managing payroll has become a lot more complicated than just timekeeping and printing paychecks. Federal, state and local laws have become increasingly intricate, and it’s hard to keep track of everything your business needs to do to stay compliant. (And the penalties are often severe!)

Fortunately, most payroll providers stay on top of the latest legislation and keep your company in compliance, in addition to getting your workforce paid accurately and on time. Understanding all the services they can provide, and which ones are important for your company is key to choosing the right one.

Some of the top payroll providers to consider are Paychex, ADP, Intuit, Paycom, and Paylocity.

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

An ATS is a critical tool for recruiters and hiring managers alike; it’s the way they manage the entire recruiting process, from application to interviewing and hiring.

There are a number of ATS solutions available, and the most notable differences are centered around your company size. Whether your company is SMB or enterprise, this article from ERE Media will help you navigate the selection process.

Some of the primary ATS providers are iCIMS, Jazz, Taleo, Kenexa, JobVite, Greenhouse, and SmartRecruiters.

In addition to these established areas of HR technology, there are several categories that have emerged more recently, and are quickly gaining momentum.

Employee Engagement

As the competition for top talent becomes more and more fierce, employers have started to focus on ways to keep employees happier and more enthusiastic about their jobs, and to make them feel more appreciated and personally connected with the company and its mission.

A number of employee engagement platforms have emerged, including HighGround, PostBeyond, and TINYpulse. They use approaches ranging from employee recognition to creating a feedback channel and strengthening company culture.

Here’s an article with some helpful advice for selecting the right employee engagement solution for your company.

Talent Rediscovery

Another newer category is Talent Rediscovery. Recruiters have tools for finding active candidates (Indeed, Monster), and passive candidate (LinkedIn). But they’ve only recently started to focus on Talent Rediscovery, the strategy for finding the best-matched candidates they already have: those who’ve applied to their company previously.

Candidates who’ve applied previously are 14x more likely to respond to recruiters, and by not having to post a job req and screen candidates all over again for same or similar openings, recruiting organizations can reduce time to hire and save a tremendous amount of money.

And recruiters can spend their time where they’re most valuable: talking to people and determining which ones are truly the best fit for their company, instead of spending hours and hours sifting through resumes just to determine who meets the basic job requirements.

The first company to offer a Talent Rediscovery platform is Restless Bandit.


Many top employers like Apple, General Mills, Google, and Target have mindfulness programs, finding benefits for their employees, and, subsequently, their company as a whole.

Jeannie Meister’s article in Forbes enumerates and explains the many reasons mindfulness programs are gaining momentum among leading companies, including improvements in employees’ ability to think innovatively and their response to stress.

Whil and eMindful are two of the primary players in this category.

While it can be a lot to take in, all of these technology options have the potential to be tremendously useful to you and your company. The upcoming HR Technology Conference will be a great place to learn about the best and latest innovations. If you can’t make it to Chicago, be sure to watch blog articles and other industry coverage for the key takeaways.

Finally, here’s an interesting SHRM Q&A with HR tech blogger and HR Technology Conference co-chair Steve Boese, with his insights on the most important HR technologies of 2016.

Topics: HR Tech, HR technology, talent rediscovery, HRtech, HR software, Chicago

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