A couple weeks ago TrustRadius released their software that is based on the analysis of 250+ reviews by real users. During their research they found two important trends in HR software, so here are my thoughts on them:
1. Usability Trumps Features
HR software buyers are showing a shift in requests from features to usability. More and more users are looking for a better user experience, so a lot of HR Software companies are focusing on improving the usability of their software over adding more features. So what has changed?
Usability has always been a major reason why companies have replaced their existing systems with new ones. However, usability has become even more of a focus due to the consumerization impact from the likes of Facebook and Twitter which are typically used without any instructions or training. HR systems are generally a lot more complex than Twitter, but the desire for simplicity and ease of use is not waning and will continue to challenge the HR Tech vendors to step up their game.
Reviews on the TrustRadius site show a growing importance of UX in purchasing decisions in the HR space. In reviews of core HR products, end-users commonly mention intuitiveness and ease of use as strengths or areas needing improvement.
2. Point Solutions Expand to Suites
A lot of HR tools are evolving from being specialized to becoming talent management suites by adding broader functionalities from other adjacent HR categories. They’re looking to become a one stop shop so customers don’t have to deal with the hassle of multiple tools. But how are they doing that?
As the HR Tech industry continues to mature, the vendor’s product managers & executives are constantly looking at the build vs. buy vs. partner scenarios when considering market opportunities and overall growth strategies. Although some of the vendors continue to expand their offerings by building out suites, I’m seeing a huge shift towards partnering to meet customer and market needs. This path is becoming easier thanks to better standards and connectivity via APIs and data interchange hubs, with additional “alliance building” resources coming soon to support this need for collaboration. For those that insist on building or buying, they will face an uphill battle of maintaining depth of functionality as their code base grows along with the diverse needs of their clients.
This is evident with lot of vendors who are struggling to sync data between various in-house products and modules. Some of the vendors featured in the report have also seen this depth of functionality issue in their support department. Some have therefore segmented support among different products, so the clients receive more focused customer support. It will be interesting to see how this scales.