What is a HR tech ecosystem?
In the natural environment, an ecosystem refers to a community of interacting organisms, which also pretty aptly describes a HR tech ecosystem, where all of the software applications that make up your people management processes interact together in harmony. Or do they? Similar to a natural ecosystem, in a HR tech ecosystem, one out-of-kilter element can create imbalances in the rest of the system.
Whether you’ve already got an ecosystem or you’re just getting started, in this post we’ll help you assess what your current tech stack looks like and show you how to build an ecosystem that thrives.
Step 1. Evaluate your current setup
Heard the saying “to fail to plan is to plan to fail”? Well, it’s a pretty good mantra for working on your HR tech ecosystem.
Before making any big decisions, we recommend first developing a HR tech roadmap that takes stock of where you’re at right now, where you plan to go (software tools to add/upgrade), and roughly, when. Ask the following questions to evaluate your current setup:
- Which existing tools are meeting expectations, which aren’t?
- What are the pain points?
- How do we currently share data between systems?
- Should any legacy on-premise software systems be moved to the cloud?
- What contracts are we locked into? What are the end dates?
- What’s our budget?
A HR tech ecosystem might include any or all of the following components:
- Core HR software: e.g. HR process management, employee administration self service, onboarding and offboarding, compensation, compliance.
- Talent management: e.g. talent pipeline, recruitment, applicant tracking, contracting/offer tools.
- Workforce management: e.g. time and attendance, leave management.
- Learning and development: e.g. training, learning management system (LMS), career development, certifications.
- Employee performance: e.g. goals, feedback, performance reviews, performance management and improvement (PIP), leadership development.
- Productivity and collaboration e.g. messaging platforms, task/project management, document management.
- Employee engagement: e.g. wellbeing, eNPS, culture, rewards and recognition.
- Analytics: e.g. People and HR analytics, AI insights and recommendations, reporting, benchmarking.
intelliHR is a specialist HR platform that includes performance, engagement, compliance, and core HR tools. Find out how it could be a part of your HR ecosystem now.
Step 2. Assess your needs
Take some time to identify the key stakeholders from whom you need buy-in or involvement in the software assessment or procurement process. For example:
- HR team (obviously)!
- Line managers if they could use any of the tools for their team e.g. employee profiles, performance, leave tracking.
- C-suite for budget approvals, but who also could benefit from the analytics insights and workforce planning tools.
- Employees as the end users.
- IT manager who may need to assist with any set-up needs.
Consider creating a working group to obtain input from different roles, deparatments and teams on their needs and requirements for whichever HR system it is. These employees can also be a valuable group to user test and obtain feedback on the software roll-out, to ensure adoption and optimal use of the platform.
Next, with the help of any relevant stakeholders, evaluate each of the products in your current HR tech setup, using the following guiding questions:
- How can we align our software with our HR strategy to achieve overall business goals? e.g. if performance is a priority, then a strong employee performance tool would be a requirement.
- What processes can be improved/streamlined through integrations between software applications in my ecosystem?
- What are my HR integration must-haves (i.e. core HR and payroll). What are the nice-to-haves?
Step 3. Build your HR ecosystem
Once you’ve completed the first two steps, you’re now ready to build (or refine) your HR ecosystem.
You’ll also need to decide whether an all-in-one or best-of-breed approach will best align with your HR strategy. Using multiple specialised (best-of-breed) tools in your ecosystem allows you to address specific pain points, solve problems, and capitalize on opportunities with tools that are designed specifically to do so. In a way that’s tailored to your unique organization, goals and people.
As long as you can effectively stitch together different systems, there’s a lot of value to be gained from deploying multiple solutions that perform their individual functions better than an all-in-one platform could.
Benefits of a best-of-breed ecosystem
- Single source of truth: you can still create a unified source of truth even when using multiple different HR technology tools, because data can be shared seamlessly through integrations. Take a look at intelliHR’s best-of-breed integration partners.
- Eliminate double-handling: save time because you’re not copying employee information and data between tools. Eliminate the risk of mistakes and inaccuracies that can come from this and/or having multiple versions stored across systems.
- Make data-driven decisions with enhanced reporting: collect more data points when you share data acros systems which produces stronger, more accurate analytics and insights. intelliHR’s powerful analytics engine uses AI and machine learning to analyze your people data and provide intelligent insights to leaders to better understand their people, pinpoint issues and improve people processes.
- Scalability: tailor your ecosystem to your current needs and environment, with the confidence that it has the flexibility to adapt to challenges, change, and grow as your organization does.
- Make changes easily when things aren’t working: A HR ecosystem isn’t set and forget, it’s a living, evolving, and constantly growing hub; if one product no longer meets your needs, it’s easy to sub out, upgrade, and add new products to ensure your ecosystem thrives. For example, property company MICM built an efficient ecosystem using intelliHR for core HR, Keypal for Payroll, JobAdder for recruitment, and Pandadoc for contracts. Check out their HR ecosystem map below!
- Create an excellent employee experience: smart HR leaders are now leveraging their HR tech ecosystem to innovate, improve and streamline the employee experience.
- Specialized support: because the vendors of each product have the best knowledge of their system, they can provide expert support and understand and fix issues quickly.. For example, many of intelliHR’s customer success specialists have backgrounds in HR and can provide advice, tips and strategies to get the most of the system and to do best-practice HR.