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Humareso Blog

Moneytalks: What the Tech We're Buying in HR Tells Us

Humareso Blog Posts-28-money talks

The Antiques Roadshow is a revelation. Each episode highlights people with “finds” from Grandma’s attic, or similar place, as they wait in line to meet with a value expert from a particular field of antiquity. The go-to-auction prices knock me off my chair at times. Who would pay such a price? The antique experts say there are those people out there. I believe them since it’s their business. But the basic business concept still rings true: People will pay what they believe it’s worth, not what someone tells them it’s worth.

In the world of human resources products – SaaS products and the like – that concept still works. Tools like employee engagement software may not be a must-have in a recession-fearful economy, and we’re seeing some pricing reductions happening as a result, but companies are paying for what they believe has value right now.

So, what’s the focus in HR technology? Ask any expert and they’ll point to about fifteen items, but it seems as if there are two main areas of spend happening. Those areas are artificial intelligence (AI) tools and pay transparency software.

AI, specifically generative AI, which can quickly generate diverse content formats – text, images, audio, or video—upon user prompts, is rapidly gaining traction. The rub now is adoption. As quickly as companies can get it bought and implemented, they are then pushing for robust usage. In a world of talent shortage, by the numbers, AI seemingly fills a need, and companies are willing to spend for it.

Companies will need to be proactive in establishing infrastructure to handle the process of AI usage as well as how people will integrate their work with this newer “Tech Colleague.” Remember, the goal of the buyer is to streamline operations, both internal and external, for both a better workplace experience as well as competitive advantages in delivery and responsiveness.

And unless you’ve been asleep at the wheel, there has been a paradigm shift towards increased transparency in pay practices. Besides navigating pay transparency regulations (see AI support integration above!), there is, also, the push for valid and reliable pay equity analysis.

While compliance remains a cornerstone, pay equity analyses and compensation benchmarking work supported through robust technology will foster a more inclusive and equitable workplace culture. Having technology that will support compliance and value-based decision-making is a must in the competitive landscape of work today.

Employee well-being and satisfaction are by-products of such an approach to pay transparency which aligns, also, with a potential spend on employee experience software. Companies may be looking for more than just a survey or an annual snapshot in time as to how things are going; they hunger for more relevant and consistent knowledge of their teams.

We want meaningful interactions, a commitment to recognition, and an opportunity to express it. Data-driven insights researched, stored, and tracked through robust experiential technology will drive long-term success. The juice will be worth the squeeze when committed to tech spend like this, though it is not a current priority for the small to lower mid-market organizations, by employee size.

Listen, not every painting in the attic will be worth $250,000 at auction, but you may find that bringing a few items valued at a lesser amount each will still get you to that magic number. These technology categories won’t work as a plug-and-play, but rather as integrated components to a workplace strategy. And the ROI (return on investment) of using these HR tech tools will be tracked, measured, and validated through their usage, company performance metrics, and employee satisfaction sentiment sharing.

The spend tells us what is worth it, at least as of today. Follow it and see if it would work for your organization.