While HR tech utilization trends upward, cohesiveness remains a challenge

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HR departments are increasingly relying on data to make more strategic decisions in the workplace. That’s according to a new survey of 300 HR professionals from payroll services provider Paychex. The survey found that 87% of HR executives say tech has allowed them to better contribute to their organization, up from 75% in 2018.

So how are HR pros using tech? Leah Machado, senior director of HR services at Paychex, says one way is by reducing time spent on manual and administrative tasks.

“The strategic contributions HR leaders make are bolstered by innovative technology solutions that not only dramatically reduce [the] time spent on administrative tasks but can also provide valuable insights on their workforce and the business overall,” Machado says.

See also: The HR tech disconnect: Are there too many digital tools?

All HR executives in the survey say they rely on analytics in some capacity at work — but the most common uses include making more informed decisions (90%), defending decisions to corporate (89%) and understanding how to communicate with employees (89%). HR departments are also spending more money on tech, and those with budget increases responded that they would be the most likely to use additional funds to purchase new tools, Paychex finds.

“With more time, information and resources, HR professionals are better positioned to successfully address the evolving, complex HR needs of both employees and the organization,” Machado adds.

While HR departments’ utilization of technology is increasing, many are still struggling to find tools that work well together, industry experts say. Michael McGowan, who leads consulting firm BPI group’s leadership and talent practice told Employee Benefit News that this lack of integration is a recurring pain point for HR teams.

“Something that continues to come up in my work is the importance of one-stop shop for the integration of technology,” he says. “So many companies have different technologies for different HR processes now — learning management, succession, recruiting. The reality is, all of these different HR processes need to be aligned and integrated.”

See also: HR, benefits tech finds a home in the cloud

A survey from Reward Gateway found that a fifth of companies use 10 or more different systems and applications at work, while roughly 60% are using more than five systems everyday. HR pros do want more integration and about 87% of respondents say that having tools that integrate into existing systems is key, Reward Gateway found.

But despite this disconnect, Paychex found that many HR teams continue to look for tools that will give them a competitive edge. A full 72% of respondents say they will continue to use technology to reach high-quality candidates and to foster collaboration in the workforce with tools including Slack, Chatter and Jive (69%).

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