What CHROs like and don’t like about their current HR tech system

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  • In the last decade, most HR tech systems have not evolved keeping pace with the advancements in AI and ML.
  • The HRIS landscape has hundreds of applications that basically offer the same limited value proposition.
  • Applicant Tracking Systems still have limited screening accuracy and filter out deserving candidates.
  • There is no reliable tool predicting employee churn pockets.
  • The future HR tech systems should prioritise three key pillars: value creation, risk mitigation and business sustainability

In times of constant technological upgradations, newer HR technologies often come with improved features and functionalities designed to enhance operational efficiency and stay compliant in today’s fast-paced business landscape. But are all the investments in HR tech worth it? The major factors that improve the likeability of HR tech tools are their usability, functionality and integration. And the factors that make the HR tech adoptions worse are their complexity, insufficient support, data integrity concerns and the rift between the cost and the value of the tool.

Most HR tech tools may address the quantitative business metrics. But do they also address the qualitative aspects, including the cultural elements of an organisation? Though the distance to an integrated HRMS system, which could be a single source of truth, seems a long way, how efficient are the existing customised HR tech tools?

Pankaj Phatak, Director and Group HR Head, Central Functions – Global Manufacturing Operations, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, says, “As an HR Business Leader, I have encountered both the challenges and the benefits of using HR technology systems. Moving forward, I believe that future HR tech systems should prioritise three key pillars: value creation, risk mitigation and business sustainability. Following Steve Jobs’ philosophy of starting with customer experience and then building the technology around it, I advocate for a customer-centric approach in HR tech development.”

Pros: The current HR tech system offers robust capabilities such as streamlined applicant tracking and screening in recruitment, powerful analytics that provide valuable insights into workforce trends for data-driven decision-making and strategic planning, and AI-enabled engagement tools. “It efficiently transforms raw data into actionable insights, opening up new business opportunities. I particularly appreciate the smart recruitment tools that include a robust Applicant Tracking System (ATS) with built-in marketing capabilities, increasing recruiter productivity, promoting collaboration within the hiring team, and enhancing the candidate experience,” he says.

Cons: However, one area of concern is the complexity of the user interface, which sometimes hinders user engagement and adoption. Improving the interface to be more intuitive and user-friendly would undoubtedly enhance the effectiveness of our system. “Additionally, I have not yet seen a significant impact on attrition reduction and productivity improvements with AI-enabled bots that fulfil the roles of a companion,” he says.


The aspect that Soma Pandey, CHRO, Tredence, appreciate about their current HR tech system is its user-friendly interface, which facilitates easy access to essential HR information and functionalities. She points out that employees find it intuitive and efficient to navigate, contributing to a smoother overall HR experience.

Mehernosh Mehta, CHRO, Allcargo Gati, says, “The current HR tech system is commendable for its efficient alignment of data, processes and people. The automation feature of the HR tech tools helps to streamline the process from recruitment to employee management, and has significantly reduced administrative burdens, allowing the HR team to focus on more strategic and value-added activities.”

“This has positively impacted our overall productivity and enhanced our ability to make data-driven decisions. My suggestion is that accommodating the new workflow requires integration time and employees have to undergo additional training to understand how to use them effectively,” Mehta adds.

HR tech systems are not keeping pace

Ankur Sharma, CHRO, Aye Finance, says, “In the last decade, HR tech systems have not evolved to keep pace with the advancements in AI (Artificial intelligence) and ML (Machine Learning). The HRIS (Human Resources Information System) landscape has hundreds of applications that basically offer the same limited value proposition. Today, organisations have to adopt multiple platforms due to the lack of one integrated good platform. Applicant Tracking Systems still have limited screening accuracy and filter out deserving candidates. We have still not seen a reliable tool predicting employee churn pockets. HR functions still need to hire analysts and data entry professionals to do jobs that can be automated.”

One key addition is AI-driven tools

If Mehta of Gati were to highlight one key addition to the current HR tech system, that would be AI-driven, what would that be? “AI-driven tools are one of the important elements, and incorporating them is a crucial step that we eagerly desire. This integration has the potential to transform our HR approach, not only enhancing skill development, but also enabling real-time engagement by actively listening to employee feedback,” he says.

“The ability to manage the workforce’s pulse and promptly intervene to prevent attrition is a game-changer. Predicting and preventing attrition through AI is a game-changer, fortifying both employee and customer satisfaction. In summary, integrating AI is the foundation of advancing our HR strategy, ensuring a seamless blend of people and technology,” Mehta adds.

The need for HR automation

According to Pandey of Tredence, an area for improvement is the automation of certain routine tasks. “While our system handles many functions adeptly, automating tasks like scheduling interviews and managing time-off requests could significantly enhance efficiency and free up HR professionals for more strategic endeavours,” she says.

“The AI-powered assistant could handle routine tasks such as scheduling interviews, submitting time-off requests, and accessing training materials, further enhancing efficiency and employee experience. Personalised recommendations based on individual employee needs and preferences drive engagement and retention, ultimately contributing to a more supportive and tailored work environment,” adds Pandey.

In Pandey’s opinion, integrating an AI-powered virtual assistant into the company’s current HR tech system would be a game-changer, as this would revolutionise how employees interact with the HR platform and streamline various HR functions. “This addition would enhance accessibility and efficiency, allowing employees to quickly access information on policies, benefits and procedures by simply interacting with the chatbot. The virtual assistant would significantly improve overall productivity and employee satisfaction by saving time and allowing HR professionals to focus on strategic initiatives,” she says.

“This addition would simplify the user interface and facilitate a two-way flow of information, allowing HR to gain insights into emerging employee experience themes and hot spots. The AI-powered virtual assistant would be pivotal in enhancing our overall HR operations by strengthening our HR capabilities and organisational effectiveness,” she adds.

Phatak of Dr Reddy’s Laboratories reiterates that innovation is key, and technology should harness diverse perspectives and drive a culture of innovation. “Imagine a world where every voice is valued, every idea is welcomed, and every individual feels empowered to contribute their unique insights. Considering this, the new add-on to our HR tech system could be an ‘Integrated Talent Engagement Tool combined with a Learning Platform.’ This add-on would serve as a vital tool, seamlessly integrating various functionalities and facilitating transparent human-to-machine and machine-to-human interactions,” he says.

As a concluding note, Phatak says, “Elon Musk said, ‘Constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself.’ Likewise, optimising our HR tech systems is an ongoing journey. Keep questioning any add-on – how it creates value for the business, how it enables risk mitigation, and how it impacts the business outcomes to drive sustainable organisational success in the digital age.”

Phatak also cites a report published by Dell Technologies, Institute For The Future (IFTF), and a panel of 20 tech, business and academic experts revealing that 85 per cent of the jobs that will exist in 2030 haven’t been invented yet. “The pace of change will be so rapid that people will learn ‘in the moment’ using new technologies such as augmented reality and virtual reality. The report emphasises that the ability to gain new knowledge will be more valuable than the knowledge itself. This underscores the urgent need to equip our workforce with the tools and technologies they need to thrive in this rapidly changing environment,” he points out.

Courtesy: ETHR World

What CHROs like and don’t like about their current HR tech system

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