Most Valuable IT Projects for HR in the Next 12 Months

In Argosight’s most recent Snap Survey, we asked approximately one hundred HR professionals from our Human Resources (HR) & Talent Management Executive and HRIS & Payroll Professional Network groups on LinkedIn: If you are NOT limited by resources (people and budget), which HR technology projects would you tackle this year, and when?

Since leveraging technology is a huge component to HR becoming less administrative and more strategic, we were curious about the types of projects HR departments would like to take on to garner strategic value for the organization. Based on this group of respondents, the top IT projects in HR are below.

If budget and resources were not constraints in their organizations, 89% of the respondents say HR analytics is the most important project to invest in over the next twelve months. In fact, over 50% say they would invest in HR analytics immediately since this is a high need. HR analytics allow HR professionals to identify current capabilities and competencies within the organization, detect any gaps, and be proactive in the supply and demand of talent to support business needs. Since this is a core value that HR provides to the business, it is reassuring to see it at the top of the list.

Aside from leveraging analytics to understand current employee competencies, 82% of HR professionals would like to utilize performance management technology to assess employee performance and identify employees who need additional training to reach their potential. At a time when there’s a shortage of skilled-talent, focusing on developing internal talent is key to winning the “talent war”. Also, retaining an employee is more cost effective than hiring a new one. In terms of importance, 43% say this is an immediate need, which makes sense since performance management goes hand-in-hand with analytics.

Rounding out the top three IT projects for HR professionals is extending user experience capabilities with 81% of respondents citing that this project would bring needed value to the organization. Users in this case encompass recruiters, hiring managers, and candidates. Although only 37% of respondents say this project is an immediate need, improving user experience is an essential tactical project to accomplish because it’s the backbone of recruiting. Recruiting, after all, is an integral service provided by HR.

Of the nine technology projects on the list, the top three identified by this group of respondents fall in line with recommendations from industry analysts. In my opinion, they are the most strategic projects to invest in over the next 12 months. Unfortunately, this is not a true picture of the state of technology in HR departments currently due to limitations and constraints within organizations (this is a list of technology projects HR professionals would like to tackle, but cannot do so).

What this snap survey tells me is that HR professionals are thinking strategically for their company, as illustrated by the order of technology projects on this list. Unfortunately, thinking strategically in an ideal world, a world free of limitations, does not bring about needed change. While the results of the survey reassure me in the intent of HR professionals, they also make me question the desire of management to empower their HR departments to invest in technology projects that will evolve the services of HR.

I’m constantly reading about how the C-suite wants to invest in their employees. I’m hearing business leaders say they want their HR to provide valuable insights. But, are these leaders taking away the constraints that are holding HR back? What resources, if any, are they providing the department to allow them to improve their services? The responses to those questions would give us a better lens to interpret the results of this survey further.