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HR technology: Shaping the present and future of HR functions


Managing technology is becoming a fundamental HR skill. Already, more than eight out of ten HR leaders use artificial intelligence (AI) to boost efficiency in their organizations.[1]

But with so many types of HR technology out there, how do you know what’s relevant to your organization and how to use it to meet your top objectives? 

This article discusses different HR technologies and their uses to help you discover the best HR technology for your business. We also cover the current HR technology landscape and the HR tech outlook for the future.

If you’re already familiar with technology in HR, we suggest you skip straight to the actionable tips.

What is HR technology?

HR technology is a blanket term used to describe any software or hardware that facilitates human resource management.

Thanks to technological innovation, most HR management tasks now have associated tech solutions, including:

  • Compensation and payroll

  • Talent acquisition and talent management

  • Employee performance management 

  • Training and development 

  • Administration of employee benefits

The evolution of technology in HR

What do the past, present, and future of HR technology look like? 

To start with, here’s a brief history of human capital management (HCM) technologies used by HR departments, from 1950 to the present.


  • In 1959, IBM replaced the punch-card system for data storage with a new mainframe computer, the IBM 1401 Data Processing System

  • The new model automated payroll and saved on physical space. For example, the company Time-Life converted 40 million pages of punch-card subscriber records into only a few hundred magnetic tapes


  • In response to increased legal reporting requirements, IBM developed IBM/360 and other large-scale HR systems to track costs and turnover

  • The “SAP” (systems, applications, and processes) R/2 systems were released, laying the foundation of today’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) software


  • Central servers, local area networks, and “microcomputers” gave users access to HR data from their personal workstations

  • Ken Morris and David Duffield founded the human resource management software company PeopleSoft in 1987

  • Engineers developed the first decision support systems


  • Through the 90s, the use of ERP systems became more widespread

  • Intranets – private networks owned by organizations – made employee data accessible to people outside the HR function

2010-present day

  • The establishment of Amazon Web Services and Google Drive made cloud-based technology more widely available and proved to be useful for HR technology

  • We saw the rise of big data analytics for human resource management

  • Software companies increasingly developed mobile human resources information systems (HRIS)[2] 

  • The Covid-19 Pandemic pushed for the development of human resources technology more compatible with remote-first companies

Why is HR technology so important for HR leaders and their organizations?

The purpose of HCM technologies is not to replace humans but to maximize their impact.

On average, HR workers spend just 17% of their day on strategic or long-term projects. Emails, however, take up almost double that – time that could be spent on raising your retention rate, boosting employee productivity, or supporting employee wellness.[3]

How hr workers spend their day pie chart

Here’s how HR technology can make your team more efficient.

Optimizes hiring

HR technology, like skills testing, makes hiring quicker and more accurate.

Our State of Skills-Based Hiring 2023 report found that 88% of employers reduced mis-hires after switching to skills-based hiring.

It also improves diversity. In a study of more than 2,000 successful job applications, employers that used skills-based hiring increased the number of women hired into senior roles by 70%.

This, in turn, attracts more hires. Around one in three employees and candidates would not apply to an organization that lacks diversity in its workforce.[4]

Supercharges training

Using tools like learning management systems (LMS) to manage employee training can ensure wider access to learning and development initiatives.

They also help you improve them. More than a quarter of learning and development professionals already use surveys and other integrated feedback tools to measure the effectiveness of employee learning.[5]

Strengthens culture 

Finally, HR tech increases productivity and retention. Employees who use tech to boost their productivity are more than 158% more engaged and 61% more likely to stay with their employers.

The 31 uses for HR tech you need to know about

When building your HR technology roadmap, you need to know what types of HR technology are out there and what you can use them for. 

In this section, we detail our extensive breakdown of uses for HR technology and how to apply them in your workforce to improve your people processes.

31 uses for HR technology: Summary table

In a hurry? 

Here is a summary of the 31 uses for HR technology, broken down by the area of your operations they apply to.

Uses for HR technology


In day-to-day processes

1. Automating time-consuming processes with HR automation

Reduces time spent on administrative or low-impact tasks so HR reps can spend more time on strategic work

2. Collating up-to-date information into one HR dashboard

Saves up to four hours a week in toggling between different software 

3. Fielding basic inquiries with an HR chatbot

Human HR reps have more time for more complex or sensitive queries 

4. Managing payment with payroll software

Reduces the likelihood of a late salary payment impacting an employee’s satisfaction with their employer 

5. Storing and accessing employee data with HRIS systems

Secures employee data in one system, lowering the chances of a data breach

6. Spotting trends and generating insights with HR analytics software

Enables you to identify potential employee flight risks and future high performers 

7. Giving employees access to their own information with employee self-service

Cuts out administrative tasks for all employees – for example, when requesting PTO through an automated portal instead of by email

8. Centralizing vendor management with vendor management systems

Ensures vendors are paid accurately and on time, encouraging them to prioritize and stick with your business

In hiring

9. Automating hiring workflows with recruitment automation software

Skills testing shortlists candidates automatically based on their skills instead of bias

10. Creating compensation packages with compensation management software

Draws directly from industry benchmarks and ensures legal compliance 

11. Sourcing applications through recruitment platforms

Enlarges your talent pool

12. Placing job ads widely with programmatic job advertising

Enables you to test and improve your job ads based on their performance across platforms

13. Managing candidate experience with applicant tracking systems

Stops talented candidates from falling through the cracks by managing them all in one system 

14. Gauging candidates’ skills with talent assessment software

Reduces bias in the hiring process by prioritizing candidates directly on key skills rather than identity

15. Evaluating resumes when necessary with resume screening software

Streamlines the resume screening process by screening out resumes without the required qualifications 

16. Onboarding new recruits with employee onboarding software

Frees you up to personalize onboarding, for example, by planning team bonding events

In training

17. Planning, implementing, and assessing employee training with LMS software

Provides pre-made learning modules you can put together into custom-made courses to assign to relevant teams 

18. Making training more enjoyable for employees with gamification

Incentivizes employees to complete training 

19. Creating fruitful mentorship relationships with mentoring software

Relieves the administrative burden of mentorship programs and maximizes their effectiveness 

20. Simulating real scenarios through VR training

Gives employees the freedom and safety to make mistakes as they learn – for example, pilots using VR flight simulators

In creating a positive company culture

21. Improving employee retention with employee experience software

Gives you oversight of multiple employee experience initiatives and improves employee loyalty

22. Support employee wellness with an employee wellness platform

Improves outcomes for customers by supporting the employees who look after them

23. Listening to employees with employee pulse surveys

Gathers employee feedback so you can choose only the best HR technology providers for training, benefits, and other initiatives

24. Monitoring worker output with performance management systems

Gives you insight into remote workers’ performance without needing to micromanage them

25. Rewarding employees’ achievements with employee recognition software

Boosts overall employee performance by more than 11%

26. Making working from home more efficient with remote working technology 

Improves productivity by as much as 22%

27. Connecting hybrid teams with hybrid work technology 

Facilitates collaboration between diverse workers and improves retention 

28. Offboarding employees effectively with offboarding software

Leaves a positive impression of your organization, preserving your employer brand

In pushing innovation

29. Making more informed decisions with AI

Flags bias in AI analytics using a bias dashboard

30. Predicting patterns in hiring, retention, and performance with machine learning

Saves you money, for instance, on recruitment ad spending and retention costs

31. Securing business data with blockchain

Preserves employees’ privacy and protects you from legal complaints 

1. Automating time-consuming processes with HR automation

Various tools offer HR automation features to help you:

  • Manage the talent onboarding process for new hires

  • Process employee timesheets and payroll

  • Calculate annual leave entitlement, process leave requests, and manage your leave calendar

  • Undertake performance management processes, from annual appraisals and performance reviews to disciplinary and other negative performance challenges

  • Conduct exit interviews when employees leave your business

HR tech companies like Kissflow and Personio offer fantastic all-in-one HR tools that automate all these functions for you.

2. Collating up-to-date information in one HR dashboard

An HR dashboard is a tool that combines different sources of HR data into one screen so that you can see instant insights into the performance of your HR function at a glance.

This could include data like:

  • Number of overall employees

  • Number of new hires 

  • Employee satisfaction rates

  • Training participation or completion 

Here’s an example from Qlik:[6]

HR dashboard example graphic

Seeing this information on a single screen saves you more time than you think. Studies show workers spend roughly 9% of their time at work toggling between screens – that’s just less than four hours each week that could be saved by centralizing data in one dashboard.

3. Fielding basic inquiries with an HR chatbot

HR chatbots answer frequently asked questions for you so you can spend your time on higher-impact tasks.

Basic chatbots can handle common queries with simple answers – for example, if an employee asks what date salaries will be paid this month or which HR rep to contact to discuss skills training. 

Candidates can also use chatbots to ask questions during the recruitment process, like what format to submit work samples in.

For simple chatbots, you might input this information manually when setting up the bot. However, more complex chatbots are now becoming more flexible. 

For example, Tesco’s HR chatbot, “Tess,” takes note of recurring questions it can’t answer so that the developers can continuously add more responses, gradually decreasing the number of inquiries HR professionals must tackle even further.[7]

We recommend jumping on this trend: Gartner predicts that chatbots and other conversational AI will take more than three-quarters of HR inquiries in the coming years.[8]

4. Managing payment with payroll software

Payroll is one area where you cannot afford to mess up – yet, too many employers do.

A study of 4,000 European employees found that 44% had been paid late by their employers. Of those workers, 44% had been paid incorrectly, and 79% had to raise the issue themselves. Nearly half of employees said this slip-up would cause them to consider quitting.[9]

Payroll software automates the process to drastically reduce human error, not only to ensure employees are paid on time but to:

  • Ensure legal compliance

  • File taxes

  • Track time for hourly employees

  • Provide reporting

5. Storing and accessing employee data with HRIS systems

As a reminder, “HRIS” stands for human resources information systems (yes, that means when you say “HRIS systems” you’re saying “systems” twice, but we don’t mind). 

HRIS systems are the software through which you manage most of the tech functions we discuss here. They’re where you store and manage employee data and execute many other tasks, including payroll and benefits administration.

Accessing employee data through one platform, and using it to complete key tasks, can make your initiatives more efficient – for example, your efforts at turnover reduction.

Implementing an HRIS has been shown to reduce turnover rates by 5% to 15%.[10]

6. Spotting trends and generating insights with HR analytics software

Collecting and collating employee data is just the beginning. You also need to draw insights from it. This is where HR analytics software comes in.

Although specific HR analytics tools are available in the marketplace, the best HR technology tools include a rich suite of analytics features. These should help you visualize your data and identify where you can make improvements in your processes, both retrospectively and in real-time.

The most common ways HR leaders use analytics are:

Identifying talent at risk of attrition 

  • Predicting high-performing recruits 

  • Sourcing the best-fit candidates for open roles[11]

HR tech companies like Lattice and MarkLogic are great for HR analytics.

7. Giving employees access to their own information with employee self-service

Some of the most time-consuming HR tasks are the ones in which HR reps are essentially middlemen, fielding requests and chasing approvals. They have a wide margin for human error, and you quickly become buried in paperwork.

Employee self service software cuts out this running around. These portals authorize employees to access their data or log requests without an HR rep intervening.

An example is self-service portals in leave management systems. Employees simply request their desired dates, which are then approved and logged in the team calendar with just a few clicks from stakeholders.[12]

example of self service portals in leave management systems screenshot

8. Centralizing vendor management with vendor management systems

Managing your external workforce can be tough. Potential vendors include: 

Instead of manually tracking vendors’ work and payments in a spreadsheet or calendar, use a vendor management system (VMS). A good vendor management system gives you:

  • Visibility over your flexible workforce

  • Accurate reporting

  • Compliance with internal and external guidelines

Nearly three-quarters of freelancers say they are not paid on time by clients, and 16% say they often don’t get paid for two months or more.[13]

Paying promptly through a VMS contributes positively to your reputation and incentivizes the best workers to prioritize your business.

9. Automating hiring workflows with recruitment automation software

One of the biggest parts of any HR rep’s job is recruiting top talent. Recruitment management software streamlines this process, automating processes like:

  • Posting to job boards (more on this below) 

  • Uploading job ads to social media

  • Scheduling interviews with candidates

It can even help evaluate applications. Skills-based hiring techniques automate many parts of the recruitment process, such as by shortlisting candidates based on skills test data.

Our State of Skills-Based Hiring 2023 report found that after switching to skills testing, 82% of organizations reduced their time-to-hire. Almost one-fifth of employers reduced it by at least 51%.

Automating time-consuming recruitment tasks frees you up for higher-impact tasks like crafting good job ads, building relationships with candidates, and easing them into your workforce.

10. Creating compensation packages with compensation management software

We all know compensation is the deciding factor for many candidates when choosing whether to work for you. It’s also a deciding factor in why many leave. 

More than a third of workers quit due to inadequate total compensation.

To build compensation packages that are fair and competitive to incentivize new hires and retain employees long-term, use compensation management software.

Compensation management software helps you by:

  • Drawing data from similar organizations as benchmarks

  • Applying your company’s payment policies fairly across your workforce 

  • Ensuring legal compliance 

  • Giving employees access to the right benefits for their compensation level

11. Sourcing applications through recruitment platforms

Once, we had physical job boards and ads in the paper. Today, we have online recruiting platforms where you can market your roles to a tailored audience, who can then apply directly through their portal.

These recruiting platforms provide better matches for your roles because they enable candidates to search for open roles with their specific skills in mind.

You can also pay to advertise your roles to the site’s users to reach even bigger and more tailored audiences.

Examples of common recruiting platforms include LinkedIn, Jobvite, and SmartRecruiters.

There are also many job sites tailored to specific niches and regions – for example, Medi Jobs, which caters to the medical sector in Germany.

12. Placing job ads widely with programmatic job advertising

Not only do we now have platforms for advertising roles, but we also have tools for posting more easily to those platforms.

Programmatic job advertising automates the process of placing job ads on different platforms, especially when it comes to boosting these ads by paying for them to be shown to more people.

Using machine learning and AI, programmatic job advertising software places your job ads on the most appropriate platforms and shows them to users whose interests match them.

It also enables you to manage recruitment marketing like any other marketing campaign, creating and testing audiences to produce the most effective ad.

13. Managing candidate experience with applicant tracking systems

Juggling separate recruitment software – for example, email marketing software and LinkedIn – risks letting great candidates fall through the cracks as you switch between systems. 

Applicant tracking systems (ATS) enable you to manage your relationship with candidates from start to finish in one place.

An ATS gives you the ability to search and sort applicant data, set notifications for key deadlines and touchpoints, and even automate messaging.

This is key to the candidate experience: 62% of candidates lose interest in a job if they don’t hear back within 10 business days after an interview. This jumps to 77% after three weeks.[14]

14. Gauging employees’ skills with talent assessment software

We’ve mentioned the benefits of candidate assessment software already in this article. Testing applicants for the skills they need for the role makes hiring quicker, more efficient, and more accurate than traditional methods.

In fact, we recommend ditching resumes altogether. Pre-hire work experience has been proven to be a poor indicator of job performance and retention.[15]

By contrast, TestGorilla offers multi-measure tests, which research shows are more predictive of job performance. These assessments can be implemented at the top of the hiring funnel to ensure that you’re spending your time on quality candidates.

Additionally, the ability to remove identifying information for test-takers reduces the impact of conscious and unconscious bias in the hiring process.

Don’t believe us? Deloitte research shows that skills-based organizations are almost twice as likely to retain high-performing employees and more than twice as likely to innovate.

15. Evaluating resumes when necessary with resume screening software

As we say above, resumes aren’t necessary in the majority of hiring cases, mainly because most jobs don’t truly require degrees, and this is one of the main uses for resumes.

However, in specialized roles that do require degrees and resume evaluation – such as medical professionals and economists – resume screening software can streamline the process.

For example, if you require a highly specific qualification to legally perform this role, resume screening software can filter out resumes that don’t include it.

However, it’s important to choose your tools wisely. Whereas skills testing increases equality of opportunity, the predictive capabilities of some resume screening tools could entrench bias in your hiring process.

For example, Amazon had to remove its AI resume screening tool because it was biased against women due to making predictions based on a sample of resumes dominated by men.[16]

16. Onboarding new recruits with employee onboarding software

Exchanging contracts with a promising hire might feel like a relief in itself, but it’s important to stick the landing when they arrive. New hires are twice as likely to plan to leave if their onboarding experience is bad.[17]

Employee onboarding software saves you time when planning onboarding by automating tasks like:

  • Scheduling team meetings and one-on-ones

  • Creating a checklist of introductory materials, such as health and safety videos

  • Setting tasks and training for employees’ first days

This leaves you free to tailor employees’ onboarding thoughtfully, for example, by filming a personalized welcome video from their team to send to them before their first day or planning a team bonding event.

17. Planning, implementing, and assessing employee training with learning management software

Learning management systems simplify implementing your employee training strategy by helping you: 

  1. Design training programs, for example, assemble pre-made eLearning modules into custom-made courses

  2. Assign those courses to relevant individuals or teams 

  3. Monitor the uptake and completion of these courses 

To supercharge your learning and development efforts, use insights from skills testing your employees to assign training – for example, giving employees with budding leadership skills a people management course.

Companies that align their HR processes with the skills needs of employees boost engagement by 50%, productivity by 40%, and halve their training and development costs.[18]

18. Making training more enjoyable for employees with gamification

One way to make training modules themselves more fun is by using gamification in HR. Gamification applies concepts from games to incentivize employee learning, for example:

  • Point scoring

  • Competing for positions on a leaderboard 

  • Collecting badges or awards 

Research shows gamification has a positive impact on learning compared with traditional methods.

Again, skills testing can help you optimize this process. Use personality tests to identify candidates for gamified learning, especially at the onboarding stage.

For example, research shows that employees who demonstrate agreeableness and openness on the OCEAN (“Big Five”) personality test tend to prefer gamified onboarding.[19]

19. Creating fruitful mentorship relationships with mentoring software

Good mentoring programs can have a transformative effect on employees and the organizations they work for, nurturing diverse workers and giving senior leaders perspective on the employee experience.

It can also impact retention: Employees involved in mentoring programs are 49% less likely to leave imminently than employees who aren’t.[20]

However, mentoring programs can be hard to set up, with mentor matching, scheduling, and progress tracking posing particular issues when done manually.

Mentoring software alleviates this administrative strain by automating these processes, for example, by auto-scheduling meetings.

It also makes mentoring relationships more effective by monitoring progress toward goals and matching employees to compatible leaders.

20. Simulating real scenarios through VR training

We all know hands-on training is one of the best ways to learn. However, it is often not appropriate or hard to come by – for example, when training individuals to handle racist or sexist microaggressions at work.

In these situations, VR training (or “virtual reality” training) can bridge the gap, simulating real-life situations that otherwise might be harmful, difficult, or expensive to orchestrate.

Professors say that in the case of dealing with microaggressions, VR is effective in putting learners into the shoes of someone from a different race or gender, helping them understand and identify microaggressions more effectively.[21]

Another well-known example of VR training is flight simulation, giving pilots the freedom and safety to make mistakes as they learn.

21. Improving employee retention with employee experience software

Creating a good employee experience is key to hiring, retention, and performance, and employee experience software refers to the HR tech tools built to facilitate it.

These include many different tools, for instance: 

  • Recognition software 

  • Benefit administration programs 

  • Employee engagement tools 

  • Bonus and reward management software

These bring many of the benefits we’ve already discussed for other tools, including automation and the opportunity for employees to serve themselves.

For example, you might use a benefits portal to help employees access their benefits and provide feedback on your benefits programs, giving them power over their experience and increasing their loyalty to you as an employer.

22. Support employees’ health with an employee wellness platform

Employee wellness platforms support your teams’ health, both physically and mentally. For example, you might give employees access to:

  • Mindfulness or therapy apps 

  • Apps that run company challenges for physical activities like swimming or running

  • Health monitoring apps connected to your health insurance provider

This is important because supporting employee wellbeing leads to better outcomes for customers, too. 

A Glassdoor study found that each one-star improvement in a company’s rating for employee satisfaction corresponds to a 1.3-point out of 100 improvement in customer satisfaction scores.[22]

23. Listening to employees with employee pulse surveys

We discussed above the benefits that automated employee feedback can bring to your learning programs, with employees feeding back on the quality of training and helping you choose only the best HR technology providers.

One of the most effective ways to solicit this feedback is through employee pulse surveys. These are short, regular surveys designed to take a snapshot of employees’ opinions on a given topic. 

They should take no more than five minutes to complete, usually comprising around 10-15 questions.

You might automatically administer a survey at the completion of a course, or monthly regardless of whether the employee has completed any training recently.

24. Monitoring workers’ output with performance management systems

Thinking about the data sources that go into assessing an employee’s performance could make you dizzy. They range from qualitative metrics like creativity and innovation to role-specific performance indicators like the number or value of sales or ad impressions generated.

Managing these in a spreadsheet is clunky and prone to error; performance management systems synthesize this data and generate insights you can use to enhance employee performance.

All employees can benefit from performance management systems, but they’re especially useful for illuminating your blind spots, such as remote workers.

Just 37% of employers are monitoring the performance of remote workers.[23]

Performance management software can give you objective data on remote employees’ key outputs without you needing to micromanage them. This means you get the most from them without impacting their work-life balance. 

25. Rewarding employees’ achievements with employee recognition software

When you see good performance, you should reward it to ensure it becomes a trend. A study by Gartner showed that a recognition and rewards program can drive an 11.1% increase in employee performance.[24]

Employee recognition programs help you do this. They include: 

Recognition type



Spot bonuses


Peer-to-peer shout-outs on Slack


“Employee of the Month” awards

Employee recognition software facilitates these programs by automating many of their processes, such as: 

  • Objectively identifying high performers to management 

  • Purchasing rewards

  • Writing thank-you messages

This leaves you free to design more thoughtful recognition programs and develop a long-term HR strategy to improve performance.

26. Making working from home more efficient with remote working technology 

Remote working technology like video conferencing platforms, instant messaging, and project management software enable workers to collaborate efficiently, even from opposite sides of the world.

Some top tips for using HR tech to manage remote employees:

  1. Outline a clear remote work policy, particularly around where employees can work from. It may affect your taxes if they work abroad for too long.

  2. Provide home office supplies to make working from home easy and comfortable. That could mean a second screen or ergonomic chairs.

  3. Ensure all remote networks are entirely secure. In an OpenVPN survey, 36% of businesses had experienced a security breach due to unsecured remote workers.[25]

The benefits for your bottom line could be significant. In one study, giving workers the option to work from home improved productivity by 13%, rising to 22% when adopted company-wide.

27. Connecting hybrid teams with hybrid work technology 

Hybrid work technology overlaps heavily with remote work technology because many remote tools also facilitate hybrid working.

For example, video conferencing enables hybrid teams to meet even if they’re not all in the office. There are HR technologies that tackle hybrid teams’ needs specifically, such as: 

  • Digital whiteboards that enable distributed teams to collaborate 

  • Office space management tools for employees to book desks

  • Visual collaboration tools that facilitate brainstorming

  • Productivity logs to ensure all workers get their tasks done

Facilitating hybrid work makes your employees happy and helps them stick around longer. Nearly three-quarters of office workers would take long-term flexibility over extra money.[26]

28. Offboarding employees effectively with offboarding software

Unlike onboarding, which most HR leaders agree is a critical time in the employee life cycle, HR reps are likely to neglect offboarding. This is a mistake. Employee offboarding is an important chance to:

  • Secure your data as an employee leaves 

  • Gain insight into their decisions for going 

  • Leave a positive impression of your company that could entice them back one day 

Offboarding software helps you do this by taking manual tasks off your plate, leaving you with more time for tasks like: 

  • Providing outplacement services for laid-off employees

  • Crafting useful exit interview questions 

  • Supporting the remaining team during the handover 

29. Making more informed decisions with AI

Many of the tools we discuss above make use of AI in HR. Still, there is much further for AI to go in talent acquisition, retention, and performance management. 

One example is how chatbots could advance using natural language processing capabilities, perhaps eventually taking over tasks such as stay or exit interviews.

However, it’s important not to be starry-eyed about the future of AI. The technology can be biased, as we’ve seen in the Amazon example above.

Use the power of analytics tools critically to evaluate AI-generated insights with a bias dashboard.

A bias dashboard analyzes how people analytics tools perform across different groups, for instance, race, flagging bias before it impacts your decision-making.[27]

30. Predicting patterns in hiring, retention, and performance with machine learning

Machine learning is a subset of artificial intelligence that uses algorithms to make predictions and generate patterns based on specific datasets.

Machine learning applications in HR are numerous, particularly for predicting HR trends such as attrition and identifying weak points in your employee experience.

This can make your efforts for strategic workforce planning more effective. IBM says its AI program can predict with 95% accuracy which employees are about to quit their jobs, saving the company nearly $300m in retention costs.[28]

As machine learning tools and skills become more commonplace, this capability will become more widely available.

Machine learning can also help you make recruitment decisions – for instance, advising which types of ads have the highest conversion rate and helping you optimize your spending.

31. Securing business data with blockchain

Finally, we come to one of the most controversial tech innovations: blockchain. Defined as an immutable public ledger, blockchain technology is most often used to secure data and for financial payments through cryptocurrency.

Many startups pay their employees in cryptocurrency, demonstrating one of the potential uses for blockchain in HR; however, this is widely criticized because of cryptocurrency’s instability.

Perhaps a better use of blockchain in HR is storing employee records. Because blockchain records cannot be changed, this could protect individuals and corporations from lawsuits, for example, on the grounds of unfair dismissal.

Another example of a potential use for blockchain in HR is in experience and background checks, enabling employers to verify candidates’ criminal history and credit scores without accessing the full details. 

Organizations like TransCrypts already provide some of these services.

How to choose the right HR technology for your company

We’ve covered the types of HR technology available – now it’s time to choose which ones you want.

Here are four considerations when building your HR tech stack.

1. Does your business need a specific HR tool?

First, conduct an HR audit to understand how you’re currently performing. Compare performance metrics and retention, turnover, and attrition rates for different groups of workers.

Using this information, identify problem areas to prioritize. It’s easy to find a fully-fledged ATS that can help manage your entire recruitment process, but if you only use one or two of the features, is that good value?

You should also think about the complexity and growth potential of your chosen tool. 

Pay attention to whether tools are labeled as suitable for “enterprise-level” or “small businesses,” and don’t bite off more than you can chew. Nearly one-fifth of organizations hold back from HR tools due to a lack of tech skills: If your staff can’t use it, you can’t access its benefits.[23]

Find a tool that offers several tiers of pricing and features, enabling you to start small.

Factors preventing staff from using technology black graphic

2. All-in-one HR tools vs. tools with integrations

Choosing an all-in-one tool also means you don’t need to build an HR tech “stack” but can rely on one tool for all your needs, with the addition of integrations with other tools if necessary.

If your business is new to using HR tech – and you’ve identified areas for improvement across your HR process – an all-in-one tool might be the best fit. 

3. Focus on the user experience HR tech tools provide

If an HR tech tool doesn’t provide an outstanding user experience, HR team members are unlikely to buy into it.

As a minimum, look out for tools that:

  • Have attractive and intuitive dashboards

  • Don’t require hours of training or tutorials

  • Your teams enjoy using them because their effectiveness is clear

The best way to achieve buy-in with HR tools is to involve your teams in choosing them. When it’s time for demos, get as many people as possible on the call. The questions they ask may open your eyes further to their needs.

4. What support do providers offer?

As part of your search for HR technology, place a premium on the support functions and ongoing training providers offer. Visit review sites like Software Advice and PC Mag to read real-world reviews from users.

How can you stay on top of future developments in HR technology?

Having an up-to-date HR tech outlook is important to ensure your business takes full advantage of cutting-edge HR technology. 

Here’s how to stay on top of the fast-paced HR technology landscape.

Keep tabs on the latest HR and technology trends

Ensure your HR technology roadmap remains competitive by following trends in HR. These include:

  1. Organizations hiring hidden workers with skills-based hiring. Despite having many skills and being able and willing to learn with the right investment from an employer, a massive 60% of American workers aged over 25 do not hold a four-year degree and are excluded from the white-collar workforce as a result.

  2. Adapting to climate change. Extreme weather events and natural disasters are causing disruption around the world. Employers will not only prioritize sustainable initiatives but also take steps to insulate their workforce from the negative effects with remote working technology.

  3. “Work without jobs.” With the focus shifting to skills-based organizations, employers will embrace automation, defining work by tasks rather than existing job descriptions, enabling a more fluid movement of talent. Software like internal talent marketplaces facilitates this change.

There are many places you can go to keep up, such as the Future of HR podcast and the Academy to Innovate HR.

You should also check out our in-depth guide to HR technology trends.

Attend HR tech conferences

Finally, HR conferences are a rich source of insight into HR tech trends, not only because of the speakers and demos they offer but also the opportunities they provide to network with other HR professionals. You can discuss the HR technologies they use and how they implement them.

Examples of upcoming HR tech summits include:

Get started with HR technology by using skills assessments

In this article, we’ve covered:

  1. What HR technology is

  2. The history of technology in HR

  3. The benefits of HR technology for your business

  4. Uses for different types of HR technology

  5. How to keep your HR tech outlook up-to-date

We believe the best HR technology for businesses to start with is pre-employment skills testing. It helps you hire better candidates and understand your workforce.

If you’re considering hiring new HR reps to manage the initiatives we suggest above, check out our blog post about how to use pre-employment testing for HR candidates.

Find a candidate who can interpret rich sources of HR data by hiring with our Critical Thinking test.


1. “AI in HR: The Ultimate Guide to Implementing AI in Your HR Organization”. (June 2023). Gartner. Retrieved December 18, 2023. https://www.gartner.com/en/human-resources/topics/artificial-intelligence-in-hr

2. Johnson, Richard D.; Lukaszewski, Kimberly M.; Stone, Dianna L. (2016). “The Evolution of the Field of Human Resource Information Systems: Co-Evolution of Technology and HR Processes”. Communications of the Association for Information Systems. Retrieved December 18, 2023. https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/301373665.pdf

3. “HR Satisfaction Survey 2018”. (2018). CIPD. Retrieved December 18, 2023. https://www.cipd.org/globalassets/media/zzzz-interim-document-depository/pm/hr-survey-condensed_tcm18-42730.pdf

4. “What Job Seekers Really Think About Your Diversity and Inclusion Stats”. (July 12, 2021). Glassdoor. Retrieved December 18, 2023. https://www.glassdoor.com/employers/blog/diversity/

5. “Skill Building in the New World of Work”. (2021). LinkedIn Learning. Retrieved December 18, 2023. https://learning.linkedin.com/content/dam/me/business/en-us/amp/learning-solutions/images/wlr21/pdf/LinkedIn-Learning_Workplace-Learning-Report-2021-EN-1.pdf

6. “HR Dashboard”. Qlik. Retrieved December 18, 2023. https://www.qlik.com/us/dashboard-examples/hr-dashboard

7. “Tesco: Tess Bot”. EBM. Retrieved December 23, 2023. https://ebm.ai/tesco/

8. “Chatbots in HR”. (October 23, 2019). Gartner. Retrieved December 18, 2023. https://www.gartner.com/en/documents/3970704

9. “The Risks of Poor Payroll for Businesses”. (November 13, 2017). SDWorx. Retrieved December 18, 2023. https://www.sdworx.com/en-en/resources/payroll-benefits/risks-poor-payroll-businesses

10. Lança, Morgane. (May 29, 2023). “Return on Investment on HR Software: What You Need to Know”. Folks. Retrieved December 18, 2023. https://folksrh.com/en/return-on-investment-hr-software/

11. Davenport, Thomas H. (April 18, 2019). “Is HR the Most Analytics-Driven Function?”. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved December 18, 2023. https://hbr.org/2019/04/is-hr-the-most-analytics-driven-function

12. “Get insights to make data-driven people decisions”. Lattice. Retrieved December 18, 2023. https://lattice.com/analytics

13. “Getting Paid in the Independent Economy: Insights From 400+ 1099 Workers”. (February 16, 2021). Independent Economy. Retrieved December 18, 2023. https://www.independenteconomy.org/our-blog/getting-paid-in-the-independent-economy

14. Half, Robert. (February 10, 2021). “How To Lose A Candidate In 10 (Business) Days”. PR Newswire. Retrieved December 18, 2023. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/how-to-lose-a-candidate-in-10-business-days-301225756.html

15. “Previous work experience is not a good predictor of how people will perform in a new job”. (June 21, 2019). London School of Economics Blog. Retrieved December 18, 2023. https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/previous-work-experience-is-not-a-good-predictor-of-how-people-will-perform-in-a-new-job/

16. Dastin, Jeffrey. (October 11, 2018). “Insight - Amazon scraps secret AI recruiting tool that showed bias against women”. Reuters. Retrieved December 18, 2023. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-amazon-com-jobs-automation-insight/amazon-scraps-secret-ai-recruiting-tool-that-showed-bias-against-women-idUSKCN1MK08G/

17. Bolden-Barrett, Valerie. (May 3, 2018). “New hires are twice as likely to leave employers that mishandle the onboarding process”. HR Dive. Retrieved December 18, 2023. https://www.hrdive.com/news/new-hires-are-twice-as-likely-to-leave-employers-that-mishandle-the-onboard/522384/

18. Jost, Gregor, et al. (May 23, 2022). “Using skill gap assessments to help future-proof your organization”. McKinsey & Company. Retrieved December 18, 2023. https://www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/people-and-organizational-performance/our-insights/the-organization-blog/using-skill-gap-assessments-to-help-future-proof-your-organization

19. Heimburger, Louisa, et al. (June 2019). “Gamifying Onboarding: How to Increase Both Engagement and Integration of New Employees”. Advances in Social and Occupational Ergonomics, Proceedings of the AHFE 2019 International Conference on Social and Occupational Ergonomics. Retrieved December 18, 2023. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/333655639_Gamifying_Onboarding_How_to_Increase_Both_Engagement_and_Integration_of_New_Employees

20. “Skyrocketing retention rates by connecting employees with mentors”. Together. Retrieved December 18, 2023. https://www.togetherplatform.com/case-studies/randstad

21. Cunningham, Mary. (October 14, 2022). “Can virtual reality simulation help address racism, discrimination, and microaggressions in teaching?”. George Mason University College of Public Health. Retrieved December 18, 2023. https://publichealth.gmu.edu/news/2022-10/can-virtual-reality-simulation-help-address-racism-discrimination-and-microaggressions

22. Chamberlain, Andrew; Zhao, Daniel. (August 19, 2019). “The Key to Happy Customers? Happy Employees”. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved December 18, 2023. https://hbr.org/2019/08/the-key-to-happy-customers-happy-employees

23. “PwC HR Tech Survey 2022”. (2022). PwC. Retrieved December 18, 2023. https://www.pwc.com/us/en/tech-effect/cloud/hr-tech-survey.html

24. “4 Recognition and Rewards Program Levers for Driving Performance and Engagement”. (March 24, 2020). Gartner. Retrieved December 18, 2023. https://www.gartner.com/en/documents/3982467

25. “OpenVPN Quick Poll Remote Workforce Cybersecurity”. OpenVPN. Retrieved December 18, 2023. https://openvpn.net/blog/remote-workforce-cybersecurity-quick-poll/

26. “Why Employees Prefer Hybrid Working To A 10% Pay Rise – And What It Means For Business”. (September 13, 2021). International Workplace Group. Retrieved December 18, 2023. https://old.iwgplc.com/MediaCentre/Article/why-employees-prefer-hybrid-working-to-pay-rise

27. Anderson, David; Bjarnadóttir, Margrét V.; Gaddis Ross, David. (January 27, 2022). “Using People Analytics to Build an Equitable Workplace”. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved December 18, 2023. https://hbr.org/2022/01/using-people-analytics-to-build-an-equitable-workplace

28. Rosenbaum, Eric. (April 3, 2019). “IBM artificial intelligence can predict with 95% accuracy which workers are about to quit their jobs”. CNBC. Retrieved December 18, 2023. https://www.cnbc.com/2019/04/03/ibm-ai-can-predict-with-95-percent-accuracy-which-employees-will-quit.html


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