HR Technology or HRIS is a catchall term for tools and platform to automate and manage HR related processes and information ranging from payroll, benefits, compensation, sourcing, hiring, training assessments and have a range of international software providers from the enterprise platforms like Oracle, SAS to specialized tools like Taleo, Kenexa, emerging social tools like LinkedIn, and indigenous software providers like HireCraft, MyParichay, Ramco.
The three big trends and evolutions in the technology space over the last 5 years have been a) the emergence of Software as a Service (SaaS)/Cloud based delivery model b) growth of social technologies and c) especially in India the growth of mobile as the primary way to access the internet.
SaaS allows companies to procure and use software like buying a utility service – they pay a monthly fee based on their usage. HR departments can take advantage of such software without investing in costly hardware, servers and expensive IT resources. Most, if not all quality softwares, are now available in a SaaS model.
Social technologies are all about connecting people with other people and reducing friction in sharing of information and are the most transformational technology in the area of talent sourcing, hiring and employer branding. HR managers have led the charge by utilizing the social network of employees to hire people and generate immediate business value. Facebook has become the dominant social platform with over 800 million worldwide. It is an open platform and thousands of software developers are writing business software that will allow companies to find talent, conduct reference checks, people to find and buy products, connect people who want to be trained with people who can provide training.
In India, more people access the internet via a mobile device than a computer. The shift is happening where people (especially 18-30 years segment) no longer spend time browsing but use Facebook as their primary interface to connect with people, email, message, find people and places, listen to music and increasingly access Facebook and social applications using their mobile devices. Leading technologies in HR especially in talent acquisition and management will be mobile and/or on Facebook. Employees will be able to access their paycheck, benefits, vacation information using their mobile device.
Entrepreneurs and software developers have recognized the opportunity to develop software for the HR industry in India that is culturally relevant, supports local languages, works with the bandwidth constraints and is delivered at a price point to justify ROI for the client. There are now various players in India that have developed indigenous softwares that cater to a) back office HR technology designed to keep track of people, salaries, benefits, vacations, etc. b) the middle office functions which come into place once a person enters the organization like training, assessment, their performance evaluation and feedback and c) front-end efforts of talent sourcing, tracking and hiring.
Companies looking to procure software and technology need to ensure the following:
A) Does the vendor have local sales support and software development and customization capabilities?
B) Can the software be accessed by mobile device? Most people in India access the Internet using their cell phones and in do not have dedicated high bandwidth access at home and remote offices like their counterparts in the West.
C) Is the software, especially in the area of assessment and performance evaluation, culturally relevant and has baseline and reference data and metrics that are validated within country information?
D) Is the product priced for the Indian market? The vendor must price its product in line with the CTC of the users to justify ROI and productivity gains. For example, a recruiter in the US makes $70,000 per annum and companies can justify paying $3,500 per annum (5% of CTC) for each recruiter software license. The same software needs to be priced in line with CTC of a recruiter in India. i.e. 5% of Rs 3 lakh is Rs 15,000 ($300) per annum.