Two Lessons from Day One at HR Tech

Posted by Matthew Shannon on September 12, 2018.

The end of summer marks the beginning of fall conference season for HR professionals. This week brings one of the largest annual gatherings of HR professionals and solution providers: the HR Technology Conference1 in Las Vegas (HR Tech, as it is commonly known). This year’s event takes place in a conference center the size of seven football fields! With that amount of experience and exciting new technology in one place, there is certainly a lot to learn over the course of the week. As such, the Bersin team is on hand to gather and share insights with those in attendance and those still at home. Below are two lessons about the evolving vendor landscape I took away from day one at HR Tech.

Lesson 1: There Are More Vendors, with More Similarities among Them

Just as this year’s count of attendees is one of the largest ever for the conference, so too is the number of solution providers on the expo floor. From the big-name session sponsors to the new companies in the start-up pavilion2, the sheer number of vendors in attendance is overwhelming. In a way, the increased number of vendors at the conference mirrors a similar trend for HR organizations. A keynote address from analyst Josh Bersin on day one noted an increase in the average number of systems and tools used in HR organizations today.

In addition to there being more vendors to consider, solutions are also becoming more alike. Overall, you can still distinguish, say, a niche rewards vendor from a company that provides a suite of talent management solutions. But you also see that performance management solutions now include content for learning and development, and that talent acquisition is connecting further with workforce management. Today’s HR professional needs help navigating the increasingly large and overlapped vendor landscape—and vendors recognize this fact.

Lesson 2: Vendors Are Placing an Increased Focus on User Experience

As a result of the increased number of systems and tools in use within HR organizations today, the vendor market is placing an increased focus on user experience. One example includes ease of use for specific solutions—think digitally reactive application portals that limit the number of times applicants have to reenter their information (if at all!). A more advanced example includes the application of cognitive capabilities to help navigate the network of HR systems and provide employees with exact information when they need it.

That focus on user experience also includes simplicity. Vendors know they are being compared to competitors, and as such recognize the importance of a relatively simple user interface. According to many, enterprise buyers often request trial access of a vendor’s solution for more users, as they want to make sure employees will use the solution before making a long-term investment in it. A simple user interface provides a powerful first impression.

These are just two lessons from day one at HR Tech, with many more to come. The Bersin team is here to help keep HR professionals and their teams up-to-date with the latest insights from the conference. Stay tuned to this blog for additional posts on learnings and takeaways.

Additionally, vendors with sourcing solution offerings can participate in our new Sourcing Solution Landscape Research Survey. Surveys on additional segments of the HR technology landscape will be available in the coming months.

Matthew ShannonMatthew Shannon is the lead senior analyst for solution provider market research at Bersin, Deloitte Consulting LLP. He has a keen ability to spot patterns in emerging technology offerings and explain the complex landscape of solutions to busy corporate executives. Matthew developed his market research skills as a former analyst for CEB and Gartner, where he partnered with solution providers and early adopters of robotics process automation (RPA). Matthew has a bachelor of arts in psychology from The University of South Carolina – Columbia and a master of science in psychology from Loyola University Maryland.



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