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May 28, 2015 — Human resource software vendors increasingly are developing new products as native applications for
smartphones before moving them to laptops and personal computers, providing
immediate and 24/7 access to a wide range of HR, talent and learning
applications, according to new research from Bersin by Deloitte. Summarized in
a WhatWorks® Brief, the research findings appear in “Smartphone Support in Talent and HR Applications 2015.” (Bersin by Deloitte will publish a
companion study on user preferences in June).
The study found
that 93 percent of the 45 human capital management (HCM) solution providers
surveyed now support HR and talent applications on smartphones, and many of
these develop for mobile devices first. Such native applications typically
leverage some of the specific functionality of smartphones. This includes the
ability to provide bite-sized, more personalized information in-the-moment.
This may explain why learning and talent transactions receive the most mobile
support. Seventy-three percent of the vendors surveyed offer mobile
applications to support learning-related surveys, quizzes and assessments. The
research also shows that providers are focusing on mobile applications for
managerial approvals (64 percent), performance management (56 percent), and
employee self-service (49 percent).Talent acquisition functions, in particular,
emerged as a key focus area.
acquisition applications have been among the most desired mobile function
sought by end-users, and vendors are responding to that demand,” said Katherine
Jones, Ph.D., vice president, HCM Technology research, Bersin by Deloitte,
Deloitte Consulting LLP. This was an important finding in a previous Bersin
report, “Managing Talent through Technology: HCM Buying Trends in 2013.” Such talent acquisition applications might include submitting job applications, uploading supporting information such as a resume, and requesting hiring manager approval. These enhancements can help an
approver make a more informed hiring decision. “In fact, 42 percent of the 45
vendors studied said that they support talent acquisition on smartphones. And
increasingly, vendors are focusing on related functions. This year, onboarding
joined hiring management as a key area of interest for smartphone application
According to Pew
Research Center’s October 2014 “Mobile Technology Fact Sheet”, 64 percent of
all American adults have a smartphone, which is generally defined as a cellular
phone that performs many of the functions of a computer. Due to this large
percentage, vendors are developing software for this market as they move to the
cloud. “The cloud” refers to sharing computing resources and paying for them as
they are used, versus buying and using dedicated hardware systems.
Bersin by Deloitte research found that little process innovation exists in
smartphone applications. “Smartphone applications tend to be created to do what
was done on computers and in much the same way,” Jones said. “While the
portability and increased accessibility are important, today’s technology often
just makes existing and familiar computing applications easier to use.”
The research also
found that the percentage of HR and talent providers supporting mobile
applications in the many transactional and operational areas varies:
In the future,
Jones said, HR professionals are likely to find increasingly sophisticated
mobile applications covering all aspects of HR that are now confined to
“tethered” platforms, such as desk-bound technology.
“As the market
becomes inundated with smaller, different devices, such as smartwatches and
other wearables,” she said, “smartphone use for human capital management is
likely to be just the first step to more portable, accessible and lower-cost
To learn more,
register to join Katherine Jones for her online webinar, “Getting Smart with Smartphones: Solutions for Human Capital Management,” June 16, 2 p.m. EDT/
in learning more about Bersin by Deloitte or its WhatWorks® membership may
email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +1 510 251 4400.
About Bersin by
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their organizations in their efforts to deliver exceptional business
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HR, talent and learning strategies. For more information, please visit
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