Glossary of HR Terms

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HR Technology Strategy

Creating an HR Technology Strategy

What Is An HR Technology Strategy?

The booming HR technology space offers endless options for companies, so you need a clear plan for what you need and how you’ll use it. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you need an HR technology strategy to help you understand your needs and guide your decisions.

Adding technology requires a huge investment of time, money, and resources, along with disrupting your daily workflows. An HR technology strategy helps you make sure that the juice is worth the squeeze.

Find out what an HR technology strategy is, why you need one to guide your HR tech decisions, and how to implement it in your organization.

Defining Your HR Technology Strategy

An HR technology strategy is the plan for how an organization will use HR technology to support its goals and objectives. A comprehensive HR technology strategy guides you across the decision-making spectrum. It helps you optimize existing software use, determine the tools you need, and achieve the highest possible return on investment.

Like any good strategy, an effective HR tech strategy takes its cue from business priorities. Business objectives have a big impact on where you invest your limited resources, including the tech that supports HR functions across the organization.

Say one of your business goals is to improve customer service, for example. As part of your HR tech strategy to help the business achieve this goal, you would:

  • Identify existing tech.
  • Experiment with optimizing your current tech stack to meet the goal.
  • Run a cost-benefit analysis on potential new tech to implement.

One example is if you want to improve learning and development among your customer service team. With your existing workflow management tool, you might update daily workflows to include microlearning lessons. You might realize you need to integrate a learning management system into workflows to get customer service agents engaged with learning.

A comprehensive HR technology systems strategy helps you prioritize what’s most important to the business and identify the right tools and processes to help you achieve those goals.

Benefits of a HR Technology Strategy

Every organization uses HR technology in some form or another. When guided by a clear strategy, you can use those tools to their fullest potential, driving up your HR technology ROI.

A purposeful approach to HR technology saves time and money. Being intentional about which HR processes will benefit most from automation, for example, produces better results than adding automation just because everyone else is doing it.

Intentionality and thoughtfulness also affect employee engagement and retention. For example, HR tech can enable workflows that customize the employee journey and give employees self-service access to their HR information. Those features empower employees and contribute to higher employee satisfaction.

At a strategic level, HR tech helps you make better people decisions. A deliberately designed ecosystem of HR tech tools will feed data into a central dashboard. When you can visualize larger workforce trends, your leadership can make better decisions based on data-driven insights.

5 Types of Workforce Management Technology for Your HR Tech Stack

The HR technology market has no shortage of products, broad platforms, and niche tools that solve specific workplace challenges. Check out these five common types of workforce management software to include in your HR tech stack.

Applicant Tracking Systems

An applicant tracking system (ATS) is software used by HR and talent acquisition staff to filter job applications. Recruiters are the primary users, commonly using the system to post job openings and collect and store applicant information.

The modern ATS is more advanced in its ability to automate administrative tasks and support high-level decision-making. Some ATS offerings can schedule interviews and contact applicants directly. Such software can screen resumes to identify keywords related to the open position and rank candidates based on their relevance.

Time-Tracking, Payroll, and Benefits Software

Workforce management systems can help your HR team keep track of employee time and attendance, as well as manage payroll and benefits. These are some of the most basic features found in a standard HR information system (HRIS).

Time-tracking software helps you calculate employee hours, schedule shifts, and track time-off requests. Payroll and benefits software automates payroll processing, calculates taxes, and manages employee benefits.

Most HR teams use these features transactionally to manage day-to-day operations and reduce compliance risks, but they can add strategic value, too. Data generated by your time-tracking software helps you with staffing decisions, for example, while benefits utilization provides a window into what employees need most from you.

Performance Management Systems

Performance management systems help you track employee performance and goal progression, but that’s not all. A good performance management system facilitates ongoing conversations between employees and managers, surfaces training and development needs, and provides data for succession planning.

With the right prompts at the right points in the employee journey, you can encourage a culture of feedback and trust. A performance management workflow tool allows you to automate conversation prompts based on task achievement, for example. These prompts nudge managers to check in with employees during or immediately after completing a task.

Learning Management Systems

A learning management system (LMS) is a software application that helps your HR and learning and development teams plan, deliver, and track employee training. Your LMS can help you brainstorm, create, and analyze training and courses — all in one place.

An LMS saves time and money by automating content delivery. When integrated with your performance management system, you can automate course suggestions based on an employee’s past performance and interests.

Employee Experience Software

People-first management is an emerging trend that requires employers to curate a positive workplace experience. Employee experience software helps you improve employees’ daily lives by fostering communication, connecting colleagues across the business, and driving purpose.

Employee experience solutions come with a focus on engagement, employee satisfaction, and retention. They may include features such as social networking and collaboration tools. You might use employee experience software to promote healthy lifestyles, for example, by nudging employees to participate in your well-being program.

Good employee experience software lets you generate and distribute engagement surveys, too. Most solutions also offer analytics capabilities, allowing your team to track employee engagement and performance data in real time.

What to Look for in a Workforce Management Solution

To guard against feature fatigue, your HR technology strategy should be the starting point for what’s most important in an HR tech product. Look for these basic elements in your next HR tech investment.


An intuitive and user-friendly interface is key to a successful workforce management solution. The solution should be easy to learn and use, with a minimal learning curve.

Be mindful of product bells and whistles, which can be overwhelming to casual users. You want to optimize software for your organization’s needs, but too much customization and too many features can confuse users and hamper productivity.

Look for solutions that are simple and streamlined, with a clear purpose and obvious benefits for your users.


Your workforce management solution should be flexible and customizable so it can be adapted to each user’s needs while still providing consistent data. Users should be able to easily and quickly configure the system without the need for IT intervention.

Look for systems that let you change configurations without compromising stability or performance. Drag-and-drop capabilities are great for the user experience because you can design and reorder HR workflows instantly.

You may want to configure two different workflows for hiring externally vs. internally, for example. If you’re onboarding an internal hire who’s moving into a new role, you won’t need to spend as much time on the company’s mission, vision, and values. Instead, you can reconfigure the workflow to hone in on role-specific learning, increasing the employee’s time to productivity.


Workforce management solutions should integrate with major HRIS platforms, such as a Workday integration. Your solution should offer an open application programming interface to allow for custom integrations. Integrating focused solutions into your broader HR tech stack adds functionality and reduces the likelihood of data silos.

HR tech integrations must be bi-directional so data entered into the workforce management solution is reflected in the HRIS — and vice versa.

For example, an effective SAP integration automatically pulls in new-hire data from your human capital management (HCM) software into your onboarding software. Similarly, you’ll want to integrate your performance management system with your HCM so performance data flows into a unified dashboard for tracking.

Integrations should include real-time updates so every user has a single source of truth regardless of which system they’re using.

5 Steps to Building Your HR Technology Strategy

Your HR technology strategy provides a road map for how tech tools are used within your people processes. Take these five steps to begin developing your strategy.

Establish Clear Objectives

The first step in developing an HR technology strategy is to understand the organization’s business goals and objectives. Meet with key stakeholders to agree upon the organization’s technology objectives.
Questions to consider during this discussion include:

  • What are our pain points with our HR processes?
  • What do we hope to gain by implementing new HR technology?
  • What type of financial constraints are we working under?
  • When do we need to see results from implementing new HR tech tools?

Answering these questions gives you a starting point for drafting your HR technology strategy. If one of your business objectives is to increase revenue from a new product offering, for example, you’ll need modules to train your sales and marketing teams on what that product is and how to sell it.

Create a road map that outlines the steps you need to take to achieve your HR technology objectives. Doing so keeps you on track and shows whether you’re making progress toward your goals.

Identify Primary Users

The next step is to identify the primary users of new technology or programs. These are the people using the tools every day.

Generally, the primary users of HR technology are the HR team, your managers, and front-line employees. Consider each group’s needs when selecting workforce management software. HR teams require more in-depth capabilities, such as data tracking on the back end. Meanwhile, managers and employees enjoy a simpler, intuitive user interface.

Consider Existing HR Processes

In this step, you’re looking internally to identify the HR processes supported by technology. Ask yourself: What small changes to daily processes will create a big impact?

Map your current HR processes and identify areas where they could be improved. (These should align with your strategic objectives outlined earlier.) It’s important not to significantly change successful processes to fit the features of new HR technology solutions. Instead, look for tech that supports what you already do well.

Document how any new HR applications will be integrated with existing systems to support the organization’s HR processes.

Select Workforce Management Software

As you research workforce management software programs, make sure you’re checking for alignment with overall business objectives.

Connect with stakeholders from across the business to get their input on the tools that affect them. Among the ways to get this feedback are focus groups with representative samples or employee pulse surveys.

Track Your Progress

Because HR technology adoption requires change, you need to keep track of what’s changing and where you’re making (or not making) progress. From there, you can make changes as needed.

Periodically review your HR technology strategy to ensure alignment with business objectives. HR technology procurement is an ongoing process, especially if you want to get the most from these systems without wasting money.

Power Your Processes With an HR Technology Strategy

As an HR professional and leader, you play an important role in driving your organization’s people processes. A thoughtful and purpose-driven HR technology strategy empowers you to optimize ‌processes and drive business outcomes by putting people first.