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User Experience Gets Attention in 2021, Diversity Hiring Features Expand & More HR Tech News

January 06, 2021 Digital Workplace
Mark Feffer
By Mark Feffer

It may be that 2021 is the year of the pipes.

For some time, integrations have been a critical factor in putting together the package of HR technology solutions that serves an employer’s workforce-related needs, from time-tracking and scheduling to performance management and learning. For all the power offered by brand-name suites that include all manner of tools, the ability to combine core products with third-party offerings has become an expected feature of any package a CHRO might consider.

That’s why even the biggest vendors — companies like Workday, UKG, SAP SuccessFactors, ADP, Oracle and Ceridian — all offer extensive partner networks that include specialized solutions for areas like background checks, payroll, talent acquisition, analytics and employee recognition.

Early on, creating these networks was about increasing a platform’s breadth. More recently, vendors came to believe that for interconnected approaches to work, user experience had to be given as much attention as technical challenges. SAP SuccessFactors, with its human experience management (HXM) approach, and Oracle HCM Cloud spotlight their work to streamline both the UI and workflows of tools for HR teams and worker-driven self-service tools. Phenom’s TXM platform (for “talent experience management”) is intended to improve the candidate experience while increasing productivity for recruiters through a unified platform.

At a time when so many workers are isolated and working remotely because of the coronavirus, user experience becomes especially important to the wider employee experience. “Digital’s the only game in town because people are not going to be doing high-value, face-to-face interactions,” said David Wilson, CEO of the Fosway Group, an HR technology analyst based in the UK.

During 2021, Wilson expects that dynamic to be a driver of vendor roadmaps as well as customer spending. “That’s not a very sexy answer, but I think in reality it’s quite important,” he said.

Something else that will be important but not sexy this year is HR service delivery, Wilson said. With service delivery, “you’re trying to deal with employees, particularly remote employees — being able to provide a very effective service to them and engage with them in the moments that matter to them. That will continue to rise in importance,” he said.

Because of the need to provide a streamlined, engaging and useful multiplatform solution, “connecting the user experience layer and making that more seamless is a big deal,” Wilson said. UX has become a driver of product roadmaps in part because experience has become one of the most important components of employers’ purchasing decisions.

At the same time, he suggested vendors also want to “control the real estate of being the UX layer.” That will be a tall order. “It’s really difficult to do even if you’re Workday or SuccessFactors or Oracle, let alone if you’re a niche vendor that’s only part of the portfolio,” Wilson said.

Which brings us back to pipes. As employers expand their ecosystem of HR technology solutions — tackling learning with products from one vendor, talent acquisition with products from another and benefits with a third — seamless integrations, where users can access multiple capabilities through a single sign on or from a common platform, are sure to become more common among products and more expected by customers.

Diversity, Security Features Added to Recruiting Products

Hiretual launched new diversity hiring features for sourcing, workforce planning and recruitment performance reporting. The tools allow recruiters to conduct detailed searches for candidates from underrepresented groups when they access the company’s AI Sourcing, Market Insights, Reports and Search ATS features. Hiretual also released a Diversity Analytics dashboard to give teams visibility of diverse representation in their existing talent pipelines.

Separately, Hiretual launched AI sourcing updates to help improve accuracy when identifying candidates with security clearances on professional websites. The platform added a Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) filter to its clearance sourcing suite, and refined the quality of searches with a Security Clearance Inference feature to build confidence in search results through the identification of government agencies and employers within profiles.

In separate news, sourcing software provider Beeline and The Mom Project, a talent marketplace focused on women and diversity, launched a platform intended to accelerate diversity within Fortune 2000 contingent workforces. Beeline CEO Doug Leeby said the product provides an “effective, plug-and-play answer” to employers that want to expand their D&I efforts to external workers.

Learning Integrations and Pathways Extended

Enterprise learning platform NovoEd launched a new integration with Degreed. The integration will allow shared customers to provide a seamless learning experience within both platforms. The companies said that linking their platforms will facilitate a wide variety of learning activities that can be tailored to an enterprise’s or learner’s specific needs.

Users can also launch NovoEd programs through Degreed’s learning experience platform, while administrators can push learning from NovoEd to Degreed and synchronize course changes between systems.

In other enterprise learning news, learning platform Develop now recommends related next courses when users complete a current course. The recommendations will follow paths that guide learners from the introduction of new skills to course completion certificates, allowing them to branch off to related topics.

News Briefs

Ceridian announced a partnership with RedZone Group Purchasing to become its exclusive HCM partner. Ceridian will provide RedZone’s members with access to Dayforce. RedZone offers professional sports franchises, arenas, stadiums, convention centers and performing arts centers access to a nationwide group purchase program.

Paychex rolled out an integrated app for Fiserv’s Clover product, providing small and medium-sized businesses with payroll and time and attendance within a single application. Employees can use the app to punch in and out from Clover point-of-sale devices to Paychex Flex, providing merchants with information on employee status board and absences.

Appcast launched a premium managed service for enterprise customers to improve results of employers’ online job advertising programs. Appcast Premium combines programmatic technology with a team of recruitment advertising specialists to provide coverage across all leading job sites.

Randstad RiseSmart announced two products that connect employers with qualified internal and external talent. The first, FirstLook Recruiter Edition, offers talent acquisition teams free searching and sourcing across RiseSmart’s network and aggregates talent across the company’s customer-branded talent directories. The second, FirstLook Enterprise Edition, allows RiseSmart customers to match people to jobs to improve internal mobility and outsourcing.

BambooHR announced features for its mobile users. The additions include a new hire packet, document signature capabilities, company announcements and access to benefits information such as elections, coverage dates and employee/employer contributions.

SilkRoad Technology released an interview scheduling tool within SilkRoad Recruiting. The feature helps automate interview scheduling to speed up time to hire and improve the candidate experience.

TraLaMa, the Trade Labor Marketplace, launched an online resource to help businesses and skilled trade laborers connect for either full-time employments or short-term work. Using either TraLaMa.com or a mobile app, laborers can create an account, build a profile and browse and respond to job openings. Businesses can post full-time or one-time openings, choose from available laborers and hire one or more workers. TraLaMa contains 28 trade skills categories and 36 business types.

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