Employers’ tech is out of date. Here’s why they need to update it

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There is a staggering number of new HR and benefits technologies available to employers. But despite this fact, the vast majority of HR teams still feel their systems are outdated.

That’s according to new research from software company SumTotal and Fosway Group — which surveyed HR, talent management and learning and development managers — and found that 70% of employers feel their HR systems were not a fit for the modern workforce. Only 9% say their company’s HR technology met expectations.

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"Employers haven't been able to keep up with the pace of change,” says Brent Colescott, senior director of business strategy and transformation at SumTotal. “Employers are still using outdated tools like excel sheets, so the concept of re-skilling, which means learning [new] systems and platforms, is going to be critical."

Only half of organizations are using up to date solutions specifically designed to support talent management. The other half resort to either using spreadsheets, or have nothing in place at all. Ineffective technology is one of the reasons many HR executives gave their readiness to support the modern workforce a low rating, the report finds.

But it’s not only on employers — workers may not know how to use new tech either. Even if employers update their tools, not all workers have the skills to use them properly. The study found that 67% of employees need to learn faster. Less than 15% of workers have all the skills they need to succeed.

See also: While HR tech utilization trends upward, cohesiveness remains a challenge

Regardless, 80% of employers are looking to increase their investment in HR and talent technology, and not having up-to-date systems can be a big disadvantage in the competition for talent. Employers who wait too long to update and adapt their HR systems, may face issues in the future, Colescott says.

“My hope is that organizations realize they have to embrace this change,” he says. “If they're not doing something to make a change in 2019, or in 2020, they’re going to be behind and it’s going to be very difficult for them.”

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