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Considering that nearly 60% of companies plan to buy a new human resource information system (HRIS) or talent management system within the next 18 months, according to Bersin by Deloitte research, there are going to be plenty of buyers in the HR technology market in the coming year. So what are these buyers looking for?
For one, integration continues to be an important consideration for HR systems decision-makers. According to survey data reviewed by Vice President of Human Capital Management Technology Research Katherine Jones at Bersin by Deloitte's Impact conference in Fort Lauderdale, 35% of buyers would like to move from disparate systems to a more unified, global approach, and 29% are seeking to consolidate around a single vendor.
But this single vendor probably won't be the one they're currently using. Bersin research revealed that of survey respondents planning to replace their HRIS, 26% are doing so due to vendor dissatisfaction, and 67% plan to switch vendors for their new deployment.
In Jones' opinion, integration is a smart goal. "I'm an integration bigot," she said. "I think [systems] should be stuck together -- not with chewing gum, and not with duct tape -- but really integrated." She also noted that integrated systems are easier to manage and can lay the groundwork for better analytics.
Other top buying criteria for both HRIS and talent management systems included improved analytics, better user experience and a Software as a Service deployment model. Jones noted that cloud has jumped in importance since last year -- while it ranked 7th as a buyer criterion for 2013, it took 4th place for 2014.
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Jones also noted features that are "in" and "out" in the world of HR systems.
Desirable aspects included good interfaces, solid analytics, mobile-first design, social as an underlying feature of software, a single view of the employee and core HR systems that are integrated with talent applications.
Features that were called out on the negative side included new on-premises technology deployments, siloed talent management applications, screens that resemble forms or processes that require more than six clicks, and onerous job applications.
To this last point, Jones suggested an exercise to attendees.
"I want every one of you to go to your career center and apply for a job at your company and then tell me how happy you are with that because I suspect you will not be," she said. "Try it, and then think about your candidate experience."
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