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The Role Of HR Technology in the Employee Lifecycle

How HR Tech aids the success of PeopleOps in every stage of the employee life cycle.

Ben Richardson
Director of Acuity Training and an expert in training and development
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In order to stay competitive in today's fast-paced and constantly shifting business environment, among other things, organizations must remain flexible, agile, and "21st-century smart" when handling employee issues.

In recent years, significant disruptions have fundamentally altered the way organizations function, impacting everything from hiring practices and tool usage to operational processes. These changes have also influenced employees' perceptions of their productivity. However, organizations might be slow in addressing these challenges.

According to the 2023 Employee Experience Trends report by Qualtrics, 37% of employees (a 5% increase from 2022) feel that they lack the necessary tools and processes to consistently meet the heightened productivity expectations set by organizations. This deficiency is starting to have a significant negative impact.

In This Article

How HR Tech Supports the Employee Life Cycle

An organization's ability to recruit, keep, and cultivate the experience of its employees is one of the most important factors determining its success. This ultra-important task falls into the hands of the organization's HR department, which oversees most employee-related decisions that can make or break the company.

This is where HR technology can step in as a game-changer for organizations and HR departments, assisting them in managing the various stages of the employee life cycle more effectively and efficiently.

A depiction of stages in the employee lifecycle.

With new tools and platforms emerging to support all stages of the employee life cycle, HR technology is steadily becoming an essential enabler of comprehensive HR strategies. For example, the development of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) has increased the sophistication of various HR processes.

These technology improvements have made it possible for businesses to make decisions based on data and personalize the employee experience to a great extent, making HR technologies a pillar of the industry's foreseeable future.

In that regard, utilizing HR technology allows leaders to obtain more in-depth insights into their workforce and company culture, automate time-consuming administrative tasks, improve communication and collaboration, and produce a work environment that is more engaging and productive.

By learning about the employee life cycle and concentrating on the various stages of the employee life cycle, this article aims to investigate the part that HR technology plays in each stage— thereby enabling business leaders to play a driving role in the organization's overall success.

Recruiting: HR Technologies For Luring In Top Talent

First things first, each organization’s HR department needs to locate candidates who are both an excellent cultural fit and bring the right package of skills and knowledge with them during the initial recruitment stage of the employee life cycle. The process is similar whether you're target people just starting their career, experienced professionals, or returnship hunters.

The employee life cycle starts with the recruiting stage, also considered one of the most critical stages. It is where businesses search for and select the most qualified candidates to join their organizations through talent sourcing and candidate interview process.

This stage can determine whether or not a company is successful, which is why it is essential to have the appropriate technology for human resources to streamline and improve the process.

Incorporating technology into the recruitment process has made it simpler for human resources professionals to locate suitable candidates in a timely and effective manner. The following HR technologies currently have the most significant impact on the initial stage of the employee lifecycle.

Recruiting new employees is easier with an ATS.

Application Tracking Systems (ATS)

An ATS is a software application that assists companies in managing and streamlining their recruitment process. With the help of the proper ATS, recruiters can keep track of applicants, manage resumes, and schedule interviews using this software.

Using applicant tracking systems can help businesses save time and money by automating many of the labor-intensive tasks involved in the recruitment process.

This automation also serves to benefit the candidate experience an organization can offer. Because the best ATS systems on the market allow hiring teams to automate communications, candidates are kept in the loop of their application’s success, so there is no danger of inadvertently ghosting a job seeker and hurting the employer brand.

Recruitment Tools Powered by AI

Tools for recruitment powered by AI analyze resumes using machine learning algorithms to determine which applicants are the most qualified for a position according to the predetermined job description.

These tools can assist businesses in rapidly identifying top talent among potential candidates, and reduce the time it takes to hire new employees. They can also help ensure that all candidates are evaluated fairly and reduce the bias that occurs during the recruitment process.

For more information on this, consult this list of the top AI recruiting solutions.

Onboarding: Setting New Hires up for Success

Onboarding new employees is an organization's best opportunity to make a positive first impression. It is therefore arguably the most important of the employee life cycle stages. The technology used in human resources for the sake of streamlining onboarding ensures that new hires are processed quickly and effectively.

The administrative steps of the onboarding process, such as sending welcome emails, filling out paperwork, and tracking progress, can all be automated using software designed specifically for that purpose.

In addition, video conferencing software has emerged as an essential component of remote onboarding, making it possible for HR professionals to establish virtual connections with new employees.

An HR professional onboarding a new employee.

During the onboarding process, new employees are welcomed into the organization and given an overview of the roles and responsibilities that they will be taking on, as well as an introduction to the company’s values and culture. This stage is essential in ensuring a smooth transition into the company and putting them in the best position possible to achieve their goals.

Onboarding Software

Companies can save time and money by automating and streamlining the onboarding process with the help of onboarding software.

These tools can assist newly hired team members in completing any necessary paperwork, establishing their accounts, and interacting with their coworkers. By doing so, onboarding software assists businesses in developing a welcoming environment for new hires and ensuring that they are productive members of the organization as quickly as possible.

The Learning And Development Stage: Ensuring Employees Have Career Growth

The learning and development stage of the employee life cycle is another essential component of the entire ecosystem. Employees can acquire new skills, improve their performance, and increase their overall productivity as a result of this.

By nature, learning and development are present at the start of the employee life cycle, at the onboarding stage where employees need to “learn the ropes. It is just as important that learning and development are an ongoing part of the life cycle strategy.

Employee development opportunities, acquiring new skills, and access to learning as part of a professional development plan are all essential and recurring parts of a successful employee life cycle model. Access to resources that allow employees to advance their careers and acquire new skills within the company boosts their job satisfaction and improves their career prospects. This is where learning management systems enter the equation for sophisticated companies.

Learning Management System (LMS)

A learning management system, also known as an LMS, is a software application that gives companies a platform to develop, deliver, and monitor online learning and training courses.

It is one of the HR technologies with a tremendous potential to impact at this point in the employee life cycle. An LMS provides its users with several features, including the ability to create and manage courses, monitor the progress and performance of employees, and provide individualized learning opportunities.

An employee doing online training as part of their career development.

Knowing how to properly use a learning management system at this stage of the employee life cycle management can significantly influence individual employee journeys and the overall business's success. Here are just some of the benefits of incorporating an LMS in your career development plans.

Enhancement of Employee Performance

The LMS makes it possible for newly hired and current employees to learn new skills and expand their knowledge base, both of which can lead to enhanced employee performance in their respective roles.

Increased Employee Engagement

An LMS provides personalized learning experiences and empowers employees to take charge of their learning and career development. Because it directly benefits the career path an individual may want to pursue, an LMS positively affects how invested employees are at work. These learning platforms allow employees to freely choose what they’re going to learn next, thus increasing employee engagement and experience.

Cost Savings For Training

A learning management system (LMS) can save money on training by removing the need for classroom-based instruction, travel, and other associated costs.

Enhanced Compliance

Using an LMS gives companies the ability to ensure that their staff members have satisfactorily completed all required training and are in compliance with all applicable regulations. This is also a major benefit to workplaces where systems and safety training are necessary for compliant employee onboarding.

Performance Management Technology

Performance management is an essential step in employee life cycle management because it enables businesses to better align the performance of their employees with their organizational objectives. Software for performance management has evolved to the point where it is now an essential tool for HR professionals to manage the performance of their workforce effectively.

Employees' performances are evaluated and managed as part of the performance management process, which aims to ensure that workers successfully achieve the goals and objectives they have set for themselves. Performance management is essential to the employee life cycle because it enables managers to provide honest feedback and coaching to their employees, identify skill gaps and development needs, and recognize top performers.

A manager and employee having a discussion about performance KPIs.

Setting and tracking goals, providing real-time feedback, providing 360-degree feedback, and conducting performance appraisals are some of the most critical functions included in performance management software. The following are some of the ways that using performance management software at this stage affects the success of a business:

Increased Productivity

As a result of the software's ability to assist managers in establishing crystal clear goals and expectations, monitoring progress, and providing feedback and coaching, overall productivity is increased.

Increased Employee Engagement

Because the software enables regular feedback and recognition, it contributes to an increase in employee engagement, which in turn helps to increase employee morale.

Improved Employee Retention

Employees want to be successful and will more readily stay in a role where they achieve success (and get recognized for it), than one where they don’t. Managers can help improve employee retention by providing the necessary support and guidance to improve performance by identifying and addressing performance issues early on. This helps managers to improve employee retention.

Compensation And Benefits: Ensuring Employees are Remunerated

Compensation and benefits are perhaps the two most essential parts of the employee life cycle management. After all, these stages focus on repaying and rewarding employees for their work, which ultimately drives engagement, productivity, and retention. HR technology has transformed how compensation and benefits are managed, making it easier for companies to provide attractive packages that meet employee needs.

Compensation Management Tools

Compensation is a significant driver of employee motivation and retention. It involves setting salaries, bonuses, and other incentives that reward employees for their performance and contribution to the organization.

Software solutions for payroll management have simplified the process of determining compensation packages by providing access to data and analytics that help organizations understand market trends and set competitive salaries.

Compensation management tools, such as ADP, Paychex, and PayScale, help HR professionals determine compensation structures based on industry benchmarks, company size, and other relevant factors.

These tools provide insights into the latest salary trends, allowing organizations to offer competitive pay packages that attract and retain top talent. These tools also enable HR professionals to perform compensation reviews regularly, ensuring that employees are paid fairly and equitably.

When employees feel they are being paid fairly and competitively, they are more likely to be motivated to work hard and stay with the organization. Moreover, providing competitive compensation packages can also attract top talent and help organizations differentiate themselves from their competitors.

Employees high-fiving on reaching a goal.

Benefits Management Tools

Benefits are a critical component of the employee value proposition, providing employees with non-monetary rewards that meet their needs and preferences. HR technology has transformed how benefits are managed, making it easier for organizations to provide customized packages that meet employees' diverse needs.

Benefits management tools like Zenefits, Gusto and BambooHR allow HR professionals to manage benefits enrollment, administration, and communication more efficiently. These tools provide employees with easy-to-use portals to access and manage their benefits, enabling them to make informed decisions about their health, wellness, and financial security. Additionally, these tools provide insights into employee benefits utilization, allowing HR professionals to tailor benefits packages to meet the needs of their workforce.

Offboarding: When it’s Time for Employees to Move On

The employee life cycle comes to a close with the offboarding stage. When employees leave their position they enter this stage of the process. This may occur for a variety of reasons, including retirement, resignation, termination, or even being laid off from work.

Nevertheless, it is of the utmost importance to work toward an amicable departure where knowledge is transferred to ensure a smooth operational handover. The use of HR technology significantly aids the management of the employee offboarding process.

An HR professional listening attentively to the feedback from an employee during their exit interview.

Offboarding HR Software

Software designed to conduct exit interviews can assist companies in collecting feedback regarding an employee’s departure, determining areas needing improvement, and implementing changes to lower employee turnover.

In addition, offboarding software can automate the administrative tasks associated with the offboarding procedure. These tasks include terminating an employee's access to the company's systems, gathering company assets, and processing final payments.

Offboarding software is the human resources tool that will have the most significant impact at this stage. The organization can collect valuable feedback from employees who are leaving the company thanks to this software, which automates the process of conducting exit interviews.

With the help of information collected in an exit interview, one can determine which aspects of the organization's policies, procedures, and practices could use some fine-tuning.

Second, it can help identify patterns in employee turnover, which in turn can assist the organization in predicting future turnover and taking proactive steps to retain employees.

Last but not least, it can assist the company in establishing a positive employer brand. Gathering and internalizing the reasons employees leave speaks of an employer that places a high value on the feedback provided by former employees, and improving the employee experience.

Final Thoughts

Managing the employee life cycle is an essential component of HR. It assists businesses in effectively managing their workforce by covering the entire journey of an employee, beginning with recruitment and ending with departure.

At every stage of the employee life cycle, human resources professionals can significantly benefit from the assistance provided by HR technology.

Therefore, HR professionals need to remain current on the most recent HR technology trends and tools to perform their jobs effectively. By doing so, you can ensure that you are making use of the tools that are the most effective for managing your workforce and achieving the goals that you have set for your organization.

Ben Richardson
Director of Acuity Training and an expert in training and development
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Ben Richardson is the Director of Acuity Training, a personal development and IT training business located in Guildford.

With extensive experience in investment banking and venture capital, Ben brings a unique blend of financial expertise and business strategy to his current role. He has served in leadership positions, managing large teams, and has a thorough understanding of the importance of training and development, particularly in the areas of office skills and soft skills. He is a visionary leader dedicated to helping clients achieve their objectives, and he is highly regarded for his ability to effectively train and mentor teams and individuals.

Featured in: Techopedia

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