Last week, the RiseSmart team set out for Las Vegas to meet with fellow HR and technology enthusiasts at the 2015 HR Technology Conference and Expo, giving us a unique chance to see what is most important to HR teams out there. Here are a few topics we saw most discussed at this year's conference:

Employee engagement. Year after year, this one seems to top the most popular HR Tech trends list—and for good reason. Employee engagement is critical to maintaining your workforce and, if neglected, can lead topainful and costly turnover. Thankfully, there are ways to address this through technology, such as culture management software, virtual communication applications, and recognition and appreciation solutions. Vendors are also increasingly in agreement on flattening the organization and giving employees more responsibility and power to drive deeper levels of engagement. In this respect, HR functions as the central workplace engagement system and has the ability to significantly impact talent management commitment and enthusiasm among your employees.

Recruitment. HR Tech attendees and vendors alike are eager to explore a critical recruiting question: How do you attract the best talent while keeping your recruiting process for efficient? Recroup and mRoads contributed valuable insight into recruiting efficiency while the established platforms—JobVite, Monster, Indeed, etc.—continue to streamline and advance their job searching capabilities. Semantic matching—a capability that RiseSmart has mastered—also seems to be catching on among other vendors who realize the demand for a more refined job search.

Analytics. Vendors can't stop talking about the "datafication" of HR. Almost all human resource information systems (HRIS) we saw at HR Tech this year have an analytics dashboard to help companies gauge if their HR efforts are yielding results. HR is increasingly focused on data to help provide actionable insight into performance management. Predictive capabilities, too, are gaining ground. In fact, IBM's Watson even made an appearance as the big data analytics power behind its talent suite. From recruiting to performance management, it's clear that analytics is becoming a game changer.

Mobile. Mobile solutions popped up everywhere at HR Tech this year. Want to create and upload a video resume on the spot? There's an app for that. Do you want to reward a coworker but don't have your laptop handy? There's an app for that, too. Video resumes, social recognition, and employee feedback are just some of the use cases for mobile applications introduced this year. Vendors recognize that mobile access to key HR functions can be a great advantage. Most people are glued to their phone these days and will check it repeatedly every hour. Mobile interaction with HR and peers opens up a new, responsive and immediate method of communication.

All in all, these trends—engagement, recruitment, analytics and mobile—speak to promising changes in the HR sphere, but we couldn't help but notice a topic that was conspicuously absent at HR Tech.

Offboarding. With outplacement always on our minds, we noticed the lack of discussion around the topic at this year's conference—though this isn't news to us. The vendors who even mentioned offboarding in general were few and far between, and it speaks to a persistent attitude in HR that suggests offboarding isn't as important as other HR functions. And that's something with which we disagree. At RiseSmart, we know first-hand the impact that offboarding practices can have on a business's employee morale, reputation, recruiting efforts, and bottom line. We think it’s time that offboarding—including outplacement—receives a greater focus in the HR world. Where does your company stand on offboarding best practices?

Most organizations realize the importance of an effective onboarding experience for new employees, but what about employee offboarding? Watch our recent webinar, "Offboarding: Why it's More Important Than Onboarding" to learn how offboarding should be used to ensure employee departures are happening on good terms.

26 October 2015

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