HR Tech is Not Sexy Tech, But It’s Actually the One Blueprinting the Future
Yes, the (ro)bots are ascending (you can almost hear the yawn).
But bots aren’t the primary technology fueling how the future world will organize itself.
Bots may be a tool, but it’s not the biggest, societal shaper.
The world population currently hovers around a cool 7.7 billion. According to a 2011 report by the International Labour Organization (ILO), 3 billion people were employed. 2011 was 7 years ago. However the ILO’s 2017 World Employment and Social Outlook trend report shows that unemployed persons globally “stands at just over 201 million — with an additional rise of 2.7 million expected in 2018 — as the pace of labour force growth outstrips job creation”.
In short, billions of people are employed and millions of people searching for employment.
In an era of global companies, growing labor force in number and diversity, and governments placing stricter business regulations, organizing people has become a globalized, ginormous knot.
It’s only accelerating force, becoming tighter and more tangled with added government guidelines, global social movements, and advancing technology.
Organizing people has become messy, to say the least.
Cue HR tech.
While it’s not a panacea for this knot-largesse, tech is already fundamentally smoothing out processes for companies. This is fundamental since they employ people, billions of people around the world. Better run companies means smoother sailing for employees, yes, but the it means that the processes behind these companies will shape how we process and organize ourselves.
“Automated payroll reveals how we’re organizing ourself in the 21st century…really?”
No, but yes.
A company figuring out to automate their monthly payout doesn’t seem all that revolutionary.
A singular cotton gin may not have looked transformative to a generation, but it allowed people to work outside of farms and move to cities, leading to urbanization. Or having a “Buy Now” button in the right place on a website could be the difference between a lost customer or a sell.
HR tech is the phantom working its the magic within the machine. It’s the lynchpin governing how companies internally manage billions of people and externally adheres to governmental legislation.
A 2015 report from The Society for Human Resource Management and Globoforce, found the major challenges in managing human capital:
- employee engagement (how useful and in-tune people feel in their jobs)
- talent retention (how long they stay at a company),
- competitive compensation (being able to recruit the best talent on their budget)
- developing leaders within companies.
Begin thinking of companies as forces of nature, not an inky-dinky Mom and Pop shop. Companies today possess more resources than ever before. Access to assistants in Sri Lanka, developers in Romania, researchers in Switzerland, partnerships with similar brands or Influencers in their chosen market…companies possess more diversity within the workforce, the board, and shareholders.
Companies are resourced spheres of people management, floating in the ocean of local, national, and global legislation. How information is exchanged and treated inside these spheres and with legislation can make the difference in how employees feel about the individual company. Globalization has brought information, products, people, and places closer together. But it’s also brought considerable uncertainty: Most people don’t stay their job for more than 4 years; nearly half of the work force will be freelancing by 2027; robots will automate and/or replace more jobs, and government legislation can rapidly change, becoming more convoluted (hey, GDPR). Companies need to start synchronizing to the shifts and waves of changing workforces and legislation.
We’re a changing society, which means, to extent, it’s disorganized. Some parts evolve faster than others; changes do not happen simultaneously. This kind of uneven growth leads to plenty of uncertainty and fear.
Billions of people count on their jobs to provide stability in their lives. They need to know they’ll receive their monthly payment on time, or that their families will be under company insurance plans, or there is room to ascend through the company’s ranks.
Companies need to know who they can employ in their offices abroad, how to adhere to local tax and labor laws, and to securely track an employee’s success in a role. Technology is the biggest enabler in smoothing out the logistical and human challenges of these micro-systems within macro states.
If technology solutions do not take a holistic, that is to say, global approach, more disorganization will occur. Silo-ed tech tools will causes some areas to accelerate in growth, while other areas will be left lagging behind, creating serious instability, frustration, and inefficiency.
One HR tech company I found that is demonstrating serious forethought in people-company management is Papaya Global. The Tel Aviv-based company addresses the global context international companies are immersed in; they enact “global payroll” for their clients that have international offices, employees, or affiliations. However, they’re building something much greater than automated payout — remember it’s all in the details.
GDPR Compliance | Papaya Global
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Papaya Global has created what they call, their “Global Workforce Management Platform You Can Grow With”. This company understands the future of work: creating a flexible, automated system that melds to local legislation but remain connected with corporate’s processes.
Papaya was the first HRIS to be compliant with GDPR — which reveals their system gets the forefront of how quickly — and drastically — the macro state context can radically upend companies’ micro-systems.
Like every detail, HR tech doesn’t seem very sexy.
HR tech would be the kid at the science fair, equipped with a board no one glances at — except those sympathetic parents, “Oh, acid and bases. Fascinating, sweetheart”…
But even astronauts need to be paid.