Is mobile HRMS now essential?

This could be the shortest article on HRMS World.

The answer to the question is: yes.

In a world of BYOD, increasingly mobile workforces (almost three-quarters of the US workforce by 2020), and smartphone ownership between 60-75% in the US and the EU how could it be anything else? After all, when you’re connected to everything else in the world, why not your HRMS?

By now, most of the larger (and many of the smaller) HRMS vendors offer some sort of free-to-download mobile app for both Android and iOS, that links your roaming employees with the mothership. Even if they’re not full-featured, such apps provide the basics of employee self-service: personal data access, company directory, and time and attendance.

Why are vendors investing in mobile development? Because they know that’s what people want. Why?

Connect with your workforce wherever they are

Field workers, mobile workforces, home workers… an increasing proportion of the workforce is not to be found in an office with their colleagues. For remote workers, mobile communications are essential tools of the job, keeping them in touch with customers, the team and the organization. Similarly, GPS-related apps help the organization keep in touch with them (and  know where they are). As social collaboration tools emerge into common usage, mobile access is a critical enabling factor for today’s workforce, and that includes access to HR functions.

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The employees of tomorrow expect it

If you don’t believe me, look at how they’re being recruited. Talent pools and pipelines, job applications, gamified assessment tests, more and more of the hiring process is happening online and at a distance. Even the traditional face to face interview is slowly giving way to a video-chat equivalent. And once the lucky recruit is chosen, their first onboarding experience is likely to be via the same web portal. And it’s all run by HR.

Employee engagement is never going away and the rules are changing

Despite employers engaging more and more with their workforces, the actual engagement figures reported by surveys seem to stay broadly the same, oscillating around the same narrow band of percentages. The reality seems to be that employee engagement is like running on a treadmill – a great deal of effort to stay in the same place. But if you stop, the treadmill will throw you off. As the workforce ‘goes mobile’, people’s technological expectations rise – HR (and HRMS) cannot afford to be left behind.

Anytime-anywhere HR

Which brings us finally to the delivery of HR services. With a mobile app equipped with even the most basic of employee self-service features, employees no longer need to ‘speak to HR’ – for basic, daily enquiries, at least – the answers are online and on-screen.


The world of cubicle-bound Dilberts is receding. Workers (and the work) are mobile. For HRMS to be anything else is just so 20th century, no?

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Dave Foxall

About the author…

Dave has worked as HR Manager for the Ministry of Justice for a number of years, he now writes on a broad range of topics including jazz music, and, of course, the HRMS software market.

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Dave Foxall