The recent buying of LinkedIn by Microsoft inspired a very relevant post by Frederic Charles [In French] on the spin happening to CRM. What was a front office solution at its beginning is becoming a back-office IT solution and must find relays to fulfill its role.
That’s a result of a key trend that is not limited to CRM and we can wonder of other sectors won’t follow a similar path. HRIS for instance.
HRIS to serve the final client
The first visible trend imposed by the unavoidable consumerization of enterprise practices and tools is that the HRIS has new clients. Until then it was aimed at serving HR people themselves serving the employee. In fact..not exactly.
It was fully designed to serve the people who designed HR processes, much less to serve HR employees in their mission of serving employees and not serving the employee at all. The advent of some self-service HR solution did not improve thing that much. It only showed that they were not seen as the clients of the system. These applications were designed to make the end client (aka the employee) fit into a process without any consideration of the context, needs, not caring about his experience and not to deliver any kind of service. The only service being delivered was to the employer : a one size fits all process to avoid being annoyed by employees.
The unavoidable yet painful transformation of HR towards useful and client-oriented HR will have two consequences.
The first is an improved employee experience that will have consequences both on interfaces and the flexibility and personalization of services. A revolution on the form (interface, experience) and the content (individualization of the HR offering, flexibility, context awareness).
The second is a service driven approach that will force the HRIS to move out of its protecting shell. Both to capture data and propose new services through new channels.
HRIS towards en employee relationship management solution
We we need to understand before we go further is the deep ongoing transformation of HR. It’s a given that businesses will succeed or die because of customer experience and that there is no customer experience without employee experience. Adding consumerization to that leads to the following conclusion : is there anything like employee service or employee relationship when customer service and relationship are major matters ? Not at all.
The future of the HRIS is an employee driven CRM approach. Starting with employee knowledge and understanding, which is overlooked by most businesses.
As a matter of fact it’s all about employee relationship : a long term relationship in which each part must bring something to the other to ensure a mutual benefit and development. We’re very far from that.
What do employee bring to their employer ? Their work capability, ideas, the ability to do is work and help build the future ? All CHROs would say so but in fact it’s all about the work capability and yet without putting employees in the best context to be successful. They would like to further but they can’t. Even when employees want to engage, give more, businesses don’t know how to deal with it.
What do businesses bring to employees. A salary. Ok. But we all know that it’s what make people come to the office, not go the extra mile. Means to develop themselves, work efficiently, keep the pace with an fast changing world without becoming obsolete ? They would like to but execution is terrible, irrelevant, unpersonalized, and lacks speed and scale.
The point with relationship is to reconcile and align. The HRIS…herr…ERM (Employee relationship management) is only a part of a wider issue but a large one. Most of all when it comes to employee knowledge and understanding.
HR Bots are coming
I make the same analysis about HRIS that Frederic has about CRM. Chat Bots are going to invade the customer relationship field and I have no doubt the same will happen in employee relationship. Most of all in HR where there are lots of processes and which is a complex matter for employees who, most of time, need assistance.
It’s, of course, going to be slower than in the customer world. A basic HR Bot like those we see flourishing in the customer relationship field, most of all on Facebook, won’t be good at HR. And the risk will be much higher in terms of dysfunction. But advanced HR Assistant Bots based on cognitive technologies, allowing HR to reallocate its often undersized resources to matters when their value is higher, will play a big role in the future. HR Bots will deal with time consuming tasks with the added value of humans is poor to refocus on fields where they can have a big impact.
So the role of HR employees will change but bridges will also have to be built. The HRIS will be a collection of processes, rules, legal information that will be accessible to third part systems. Interoperable.
The HRIS will be operable by a wide range of services, through many channels (web, apps, bots..). It will cease being a front office application to become a service oriented platform supporting employee relation through third part players.