Future of HR
Here are some thoughts from some HR leaders on preparing for next year.
It looks like all are saying that HR technology for finding, training, and retaining talents will be at the forefront of HR leadership in 23.
What are HR’s top technology priorities for the year ahead?
After a year of addressing the skills gap, quiet quitting, and the spread of hybrid work models, HR leaders need to remain focused on HR technology trends and employee demands in the coming year. After all, innovation and the demand for new policies and solutions never stops, even as HR professionals continue to address the challenges around talent acquisition and retention, employee experience, DEI, and the ethical use of AI-powered tools, among other issues.
HRE asked HR technology analysts and industry observers for their take on what will be the top HR technology priorities for 2023 and what it will mean for the people who select, purchase, implement and rely on cutting-edge HR technology in a potentially softening economy. Here is what they had to say.
HR Tech Conference chair,  Steve Boese
For 2023, HR organizations should evaluate their current set of HR tools and technologies for continuing “fit” for purpose and user focus. Because workplaces, organizations, and even the nature of work have undergone so much change and disruption in the pandemic
era, it makes sense to ensure that legacy HR technologies remain effective for the new ways of working and can meet heightened employee expectations.
Additionally, after three years of survival mode for many organizations, 2023 should be the time to re-engage with the HR technology market and landscape and to catch up with the innovation and opportunities that the HR tech market can deliver. Lastly, in 2023, I would look to adopt only those technologies that put employees first—in their accessibility, their ease of use, and their direct relevance to making employees’ work and personal lives easier.
After all, HR technology is not really for HR. It is for everyone in the organization.
Co-founder and principal analyst, Red Thread Research, Stacia Garr
We see three primary priorities for 2023. First, career support: Even as organizations tighten their belts, they still need to retain their high-value employees and help them be successful. To that end, we expect technologies that support career growth, such as internal talent marketplaces and coaching tech, to continue to be strong technology investments for companies in 2023.
Second, people analytics: With all the significant changes in the last few years, leaders have realized the power of people analytics. We continue to see orgs make sizeable investments in people analytics technology as well as tech that has meaningful analytics built within their systems. The intention of these systems is both to better understand what is happening with employees but also to share data more broadly across the enterprise.
And third, skills: As leaders dig into skills, they realize that there is a significant data and technology component to executing their strategy. For that reason, we are seeing organizations invest in skills technologies to better identify, map, and integrate skills insights throughout talent systems. The data from these skills technologies are being integrated into some of the people analytics technologies and into other talent systems, such as learning and talent acquisition.
Author and analyst, The Josh Bersin Company, Josh Bersin
HR leaders will have to focus on a number of emerging challenges in the coming year. First, they need to rethink rewards around inflation and pay equity. Second, they must revisit their leadership model and focus on supporting leaders, creating energy, and improving productivity and well-being. Third, HR leaders and their teams must ensure that they have a 3-year roadmap for AI-enabled talent systems. Fourth, they will need to focus their skills efforts on strategic areas of growth. And finally, HR leaders and their teams need to invest in building an integrated HR operating model and invest in upskilling every HR professional.
Chief research officer and managing partner, Sapient Insights Group, Stacey Harris
Based on our data, the top HR technology priorities for spending will be:
Upgrading and updating payroll applications: This will entail moving away from on-premises applications and looking for more innovative tools that reduce the workload of Payroll, Finance and HR.
Workforce Planning and offboarding solutions: Organizations know they may have to make cuts in the near future if the economy continues to soften, so we are seeing interest in technology that will help them do a better job assessing and reviewing their employee population from skills to job roles. But once the decision is made, organizations want to ensure they maintain a brand and relationship with employees that they may need to hire back in the future so offboarding tools that add more structure, humanity, and benefits for employees they are letting go have become a topic of conversation. This includes financial wellness tools, exit interviewing solutions, etc.
Recruiting is still a top area for investment based on our survey, but we see more investment in candidate relationship management for long-term hiring campaigns, compensation assessment tools, and talent intelligence tools focused on finding the needle in the haystack.
Finally, we are in the first rounds of a replacement cycle for analytics applications—and we are seeing more focus on HR-specific, embedded, and full business intelligence solutions that bring together the need for data mapping and visualization.
Founder, Aptitude Research, Madeline Laurano
The top HR tech priority for 2023 will include improved experiences for employees, candidates, managers, and recruiters. Experience impacts every trend in HR today, including integration, transparency, skills, and internal mobility. In order to improve the experience, companies must rethink their strategies and technology options. They must break traditional views and build a new framework for empowering their workforce through a better experience. This requires investing in solutions that benefit the individual rather than the employer. A few examples include:
  • Manager Experience: Technology that will give managers the tools they need to better communicate with employees, provide feedback in real-time,
  •  and approve everything from recruitment to compensation to development in a matter of minutes.
  • Recruiter Experience: Solutions that fit within the recruiter workflow that provide simple experiences and consistency.
  • Employee Experience: Solutions to empower employees throughout their career development. These tools will allow employees to build skills, connect with other employees, and access learning and development opportunities.
Candidate Experience: Every candidate deserves a fair, consistent, and human hiring process. Tools need to give candidates the information they