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Ten Top Disruptive HR Technology-related Trends Highlight a Wave of Innovation Focused on Engaging Employees

Innovative human resource applications designed to help employees learn and collaborate, share feedback, set goals and manage teams are among the disruptive trends for 2016

LAS VEGAS, Nev., Oct. 19, 2015 — Imagine software that runs on your phone, delivers on-the-job skills training via video, and integrates with a learning management system that shows a manager how well you have mastered new skills. This is just one example of the innovations emerging to help employees improve their productivity at work, according to new observations from Josh Bersin, principal, Bersin by Deloitte, Deloitte Consulting LLP. It also is among the technology-related trends that appear in “HR Technology for 2016: 10 Big Disruptions on the Horizon,” a report written by Bersin and unveiled today at the HR Technology Conference and Expo in Las Vegas.   

Human resources software applications are becoming tools designed for employees first, enabling them to learn and collaborate, share feedback, set goals, steer their own careers and even manage other people more effectively, according to Bersin. By contrast, only a decade ago HR systems were designed primarily to help HR professionals do their jobs. In the report, Bersin underscores other key new trends, including the emergence of enterprise resource planning (ERP) providers as end-to-end HR technology providers. He also points to the development of the new HR software categories of feedback, engagement and culture management.

“The HR technology market is bursting with new applications that shift the focus toward more consumer-like experience and away from tools created to streamline the work of HR administration,” said Bersin. “Imagine an employee application suite that runs on your phone, knows your location, and recommends people with whom to network. It also evaluates time-management aptitude to help improve productivity, automatically assesses work behaviors and offers feedback on improving work-life balance. It even shares exercise and healthy eating tips at the point of need. This is where HR technology is going, and we’re getting there a lot faster than you might think.”

Bersin added that new technologies are transforming nearly every part of HR – from sourcing to recruiting to talent and performance management to learning. In addition to a focus on technology tools built primarily for engaging employees, disruptive trends include the following:

  • Mobile apps are a new HR platform. Breakthrough areas of mobile applications in the coming year will likely include engagement and feedback systems.
  • ERP providers emerge in the expanding talent management segment. ERP vendors are now catching up as credible, effective providers of comprehensive talent management technologies to support recruiting, learning, and a range of people management tools including those for work-life balance, engagement and culture assessment.
  • Built-for-the-cloud providers redefine HR functions. A new and disruptive “third wave” of talent solution providers is emerging with products that are consumer-like in ease of use, very inexpensive to buy, and built for mobile and the cloud. These providers are having a profound effect on several areas including payroll, learning technology, and employee engagement. 
  • Feedback and culture management emerge as new software categories. Several providers are bringing together the world of performance management with feedback, employee check-ins and development planning. One vendor is expected to release a feedback app that could make meetings and conference calls more useful and productive.
  • Reinventing performance and goal management with feedback and check-ins. As many organizations do away with ratings and simplify their approaches to performance management, many startups are emerging to fill the gap left by performance management software that generally is behind user needs.
  • Learning experience middleware strives to integrate content from everywhere. Fed by the growing need for skills development, the training marketplace continues to grow, with the evolution of expert-led and new content providers and platforms. Look for new middleware companies to bring all this content together into an integrated learning experience. 
  • Emergence of new predictive analytics vendors and solutions. A range of new vendors are emerging that offer everything from identifying employee flight risks to startups that can attach sensors on employees to help determine whether a new office layout is working or not. 
  • Demand for technology services continues, despite the growth of cloud computing. Despite the common fallacy that cloud computing will make customization, consulting and management services obsolete, our experience shows that organizations that buy new cloud-based HR systems experience challenges during the transition. These organizations should select vendors that deliver high levels of service, have open-programming interfaces, experience in the buyer’s particular industry, and fit the business culture.
  • As pace of innovation accelerates, employee engagement is critical. As the market moves from licensed software to cloud-based systems to mobile technologies, this new wave is all about engaging employees in a simple, compelling way. Companies should evaluate the success of their HR technologies by their employees’ engagement with these systems.

To learn more about these trends, download a complimentary copy of the report by visiting “HR Technology for 2016: 10 Big Disruptions on the Horizon.”

Register to join Josh Bersin for his online webinar, “HR Technology 2016: 10 Disruptive Trends,” at 2 p.m. EST/19:00 GMT on Dec. 1, 2015.

hose interested in learning more about a Bersin by Deloitte membership may email or call +1 510 251 4400.  

About Bersin by Deloitte

Bersin by Deloitte delivers research-based people strategies designed to help leaders and their organizations deliver exceptional business performance. The Bersin by Deloitte membership gives FORTUNE 1000, Global 2000 HR professionals and managers in organizations of all sizes around the world  the information, action-focused tools and performance support materials they need to prioritize, design and implement leading practice solutions, benchmark against others, develop their staff, and select and implement systems. A piece of Bersin by Deloitte research is downloaded on average approximately every minute during the business day. More than 5,000 organizations worldwide use our research and consulting to guide their HR, talent, and learning strategies. For more information, please visit

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Laura Evenson

Marketing and Communications

Bersin by Deloitte

Deloitte Consulting LLP

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