The landscape for HR software has changed significantly over the past couple of years. This has been coming for some time, but the recent rate of change has been pretty amazing. While technology for HR functions has continued to evolve at a rapid pace, the biggest change I’ve seen is how quickly the demand for HR and hiring technology has moved down in the market.
As recently as just a few years ago, the thought of a small business having the ability to automate tasks such as applicant tracking, new hire onboarding, performance reviews, benefit enrollment, etc. was a pipe dream. These types of solutions were leveraged almost exclusively by larger organizations.
Why Is The Hiring Process Going Paperless?
There are different theories about why hiring technology has been adopted so quickly by small businesses, but here’s mine:
- The recession was a blow to everyone. Companies both large and small had to layoff staff, cut budgets and do everything possible just to stay in business. As things started to rebound over the last 3 years or so, much of the resurgence has been in the small business space. These organizations have been the only reliable growth driver for the economy in that period of time.
- Smaller technology companies have also seen growth over that same period of time, as they’ve been able to spot opportunities that the larger providers have missed. In many cases, those opportunities are…small businesses.
Changing a product offering to make it more affordable and usable for smaller customers isn’t nearly the challenge for a nimble technology provider as it is for a larger one. These smaller providers have seen the growth in the small market space and the resulting demand for more automation across those organizations. The result is an increasing demand for paperless HR options in the small business markets.
For small businesses, I see the transition to HR and hiring technology today as being very similar to what the adoption of accounting software might have looked 15 years ago. There is a rapid shift occurring, where leveraging solutions to streamline and improve efficiency in the HR area of smaller companies is becoming the norm. This corresponds to the same transition that took place with automating accounting functions.
Once smaller organizations realize how much these solutions can help, and how affordable they typically are, going back to the “old way” of doing things (spreadsheets, email folders, etc.) will no longer be considered viable. As long as this segment of the economy continues to grow and succeed, this trend will likely continue.