New technologies continue to enrich the ease of providing HR and Payroll services to employees, and we predict the following trends will carry on in the months and years ahead.
1. Cloud-Based Payroll & Payroll Services
The Cloud is becoming increasingly integral to almost everyone in everyday life, and this is the same within the workplace. Businesses have become increasingly dependent on big data storage that remains accessible on the move. We have witnessed the cloud revolutionise the way information is stored and accessed within the workplace. Cloud-based apps are providing cost-efficient, real-time flexibility and convenience and with data analytics becoming an ever more important aspect of the modern payroll and HR professional, we can only see Cloud usage increasing. Data tracking analytics from tracking employee hours, managing payroll, monitoring absence, benchmarking data or even making amendments – whatever the requirement, cloud data can be accessed in real time anywhere and at any time. Cloud services provide ultimate convenience and efficiency savings for payroll and HR departments alike, and as such we anticipate this trend will continue as upgrades continue to make it even more efficient.
2. A Growing Focus on Data Security
As businesses usage of cloud-based payroll & HR services increases, one primary concern that often accompanies its usage is security. Confidential employee data information must be protected, and this has led the way for third-party service providers to offer new security systems which are being taken up by HR and payroll departments to ensure they are adequately protected. Fraud, identity theft and corporate hacking is on the increase so protecting employee HR and payroll data has never been more important. Added security provides more assurance that personal employee information stays protected. This investment in HR & Payroll data security is a trend that will continue as hackers become more sophisticated with the way they access and utilise stolen data.
3. Customisation of Payroll & HR Software and Partnering with Multiple Vendors.
Most companies employ a wide-range of employees, from part-time hourly, salaried, and freelance to expats, inpats and globally based staff. More and more businesses are now recruiting an increasingly global workforce. These differences all require a custom approach to ensure that systems can output accurate employee data and payment calculations. The payroll & HR legislation is often complex across different global locations, and no solution can cover all parameters and possibilities across all countries. Subsequently, we are seeing more and more Payroll & HR Systems being customised to cope with unique company employee requirements. More and more businesses are now partnering with multiple vendors in order to ensure that they can accurately deliver sophisticated services to these diverse workforces. The one-system-fits-all approach is outdated. Suppliers are responding by specialising in niches where they can guarantee excellent levels of service and businesses are responding by being more demanding of current providers. Partnering with multiple service providers and customising internal systems is a trend we believe will continue. Employee retention metrics have been linked heavily with a business’s ability to offer accurate, accessible and efficient HR and Payroll services to its employees. Unique, bespoke and customised systems and engaging with multiple partners makes this possible.
4. Focusing on the Team, Not the Individual.
HR departments are focusing more on collaboration and integration now than ever before. Employees are assessed, and recruitment decisions are made based on cultural and behavioural profiling as opposed to just skills based assessments. This is a trend we have seen increase because employers are competing to be the brand of choice in their specialist markets to attract and retain staff. Businesses are subsequently recruiting talent based on team fit and by assessing how an individual may impact on overall team performance rather than just on individual performance alone. Skills based assessments are on the decline, but behavioural assessments are on the rise. With company growth and profits intrinsically linked to team performance, we see this trend continuing.
5. Embracing Data-driven Decisions
Data-driven decision making is a strategic practice within organisations reaching new levels of analysis and deployment. By utilising data, employers can make employment decisions regarding where and how existing employees should be managed and assigned. Based on the interests, personalities and skills of the employee, data-driven decisions can be made on a massive scale that has been proven to improve employee productivity and retention levels. By assigning roles to employees based on interests and personality profiling allows businesses to utilise its workforce more efficiently.
6. Employees Evaluations to Optimise Productivity
Employee evaluations are moving away from score-based systems towards various feedback routes from multiple sources. These are designed to focus more on continual performance, providing employees with specific feedback to help facilitate improvement. Offering frequent feedback fosters an environment which has been proven to increase employee productivity. Higher productivity results in increased profits for businesses so this is one optimisation process we see continuing as competing companies strive to be the brand of choice in their chosen markets.
7. Payroll & HR Robotic Process Automation and Predictive Analytics
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is being utilised by businesses in increasingly smarter ways thanks to the cost savings automating processes can deliver. Many payroll processes can now be automated and virtual assistants and artificial intelligence is being applied to numerous payroll processes. Software is also being developed in a constant stream by developers to help HR & Payroll professionals analyse data in cleverer ways. Businesses are still discovering how best to use these RPA and analytics tools now at their disposal, and this has resulted in a new breed of payroll and HR professional emerging whose sole purpose is to effectively extrapolate, analyse and recommend (based on results) changes that can impact the bottom line.
Predictive analytics, in particular, are being incorporated to examine new and creative trends to help maximise profits. Information gained during payroll analysis can spot things such a fraud, overtime, sick days, and trends in the hours worked. When utilised effectively, the results can allow for HR and Payroll managers to implement significant cost-saving initiatives or spot costly fraudulent activities. The possibilities for how predictive analytics can benefit companies are endless so we see this trending for some time as HR and Payroll departments become smarter with how they can be incorporated and developed to improve efficiency. An increase in the need to hire skilled HR or Payroll Analytic Specialists is likely to follow.
This is by no means an exhaustive list. The HR & Payroll tech landscape changes extremely quickly and it is clear that if these trends are set to stay then payroll & HR professionals need to prepare for a more accessible, cloud-based, robotic and data driven future
I would welcome your views on how you see the market, what you see changing and which trends you think are here to stay (for now)…
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This article was written by Nick Day, Managing Director at JGA Recruitment – the leading Global Payroll and HR Recruitment Specialist Employment Agency.
If you are looking for expert talent in the fields of Payroll, HR or Reward, then please reach out for a 15 minute ignition call and I would be delighted to discuss how we can help.
JGA Payroll & HR Recruitment
Tel: 01727 800 377