Solutions that streamline and create efficiencies will lead the way in 2013.

By Bill Glenn
From increased adoption of more sophisticated technology to more reliance on the cloud, this year has been a tremendous time for growth and innovation in the HR industry.
As we look ahead to 2013, here are some of the emerging trends we can expect to see as organizations continue to scale in size, become global in nature, and consider cost in the current economy.
Upshot of mergers and acquisitions (M&A). The human capital management (HCM) industry was a hotbed of M&A in 2012, including acquisitions of Taleo by Oracle, SuccessFactors by SAP, and Kenexa by IBM. This M&A activity is proving that HR professionals are looking to have fewer vendors help them manage all elements of their HCM strategy. The technology vendors that will survive and thrive in 2013 are ones that can offer a platform to HR professionals that allows them to manage more HCM processes—like recruiting, hiring and ongoing employee management—from a single solution. Platforms with seamless integration will rise to the top of HR professionals short list in the coming year since these companies will be in the best position to usher HR to streamline their HCM processes, gain access to candidate and employee data faster to make real-time business decisions, and ensure a more compliant workforce.
A recent poll by accounting firm Grant Thornton International found that nearly 60 percent of respondents (143 United States private equity firms) expect M&A activity to increase in 2013. As the HR industry seeks to continue delivering companies with new and improved intelligence on which to capitalize, this upward trend in M&A seems certain in the next year.
Technology boom. Cedar Crestone’s HR Systems Survey whitepaper supports a strong spending outlook for HR technologies in 2013, reporting that more than 50 percent of 1,246 surveyed organizations projected growth within the use of analytics, social, and service delivery technologies in the next year. The industry will see companies investing in process automation, specifically for the hiring process.
Big data will matter more than ever for HR. Industries like healthcare and the military have been transformed by big data. According to contributor Tim Gasper, companies will have spent $4.3 billion on big data technologies by the end of 2012. Now it’s time to bring that approach to HR. HR professionals are in need of metrics around the hiring process, and in 2013 we will see them relying more on platform solution providers to access data quickly in order to make business decisions in real time.
Cloud confidence rising. Deloitte’s research report from 2011, HR in the Cloud: It’s Inevitable, shows that 84 percent of surveyed companies are either transforming or planning to transform how they handle HR functions. In 2012 alone, we’ve seen companies becoming increasingly comfortable with the cloud and beginning to view it as a highly efficient, convenient, and secure way to manage data. As HR professionals look to ways to effectively manage their talent pool—including in remote locations—and scale to meet their companies’ global strategies, more will turn to cloud-based solutions in 2013.
Greater efficiency for the hiring manager. According to Aberdeen Group’s report, Onboarding 2012: The Business of First Impressions, 52 percent of organizations identified the need for a faster new hire process. As HR technology paves the way for more automation in the hiring process, the job of the hiring manager becomes more efficient and effective. This means successful hiring managers can be more proactive, build trust and transparency from the onset, and onboard quicker. It also allows candidates to have more meaningful conversations earlier on in the hiring process, giving companies a competitive advantage when it comes to hiring.
Increase in social media engagement. From using LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to identify job candidates, to promoting job listings and sharing company information more broadly and more efficiently, it’s clear that social media has become an integral part of companies’ recruiting strategies. A 2011 Aberdeen Group study shows 77 percent of HR, staffing, and recruiting professionals use an online career site for talent acquisition. Having a Facebook or Twitter presence is no longer just about touting products and services, it’s about leveraging quality, compelling content to increase customer engagement and loyalty. Over the next year, we will see companies refining their social strategies to be even smarter about how they interact with candidates on social media.
Bill Glenn is vice president of marketing and alliances for TalentWise.

Tags: Benefits, Consultants & Advisors, Enabling Technology, Engaged Workforce, HRO Today Forum APAC, HRO Today Forum Europe, HRO Today Forum North America, HRO Today Global, HRO Today STA, Learning, MSP & Contingent Labor, Multi-Processed HR, Payroll, Performance Management Rewards, Professional Contribution, Relocation, Screening Selection, Shared Services, Sourcing, Talent Acquisition

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