2013 HRMS Trends So Far: Mobile HRMS

Is this the year when HR is finally going mobile? The technological fortune-tellers predicted that 2013 would see HR professionals embrace mobile apps for recruitment, timekeeping, payroll and more. The belief is that the business case for mobile has been accepted and now it’s just a question of which HRMS mobile apps and platforms to use and how best to use them. But then, when it comes to predicting the future (and boldly stepping it into it) HR can be a typical Taurus; stubborn.

In fact, look a little more closely at the forecasts, and they start to seem somewhat less impressive. CedarCrestone’s annual HR Systems Survey for 2012-2013 suggests that the number of HR professionals and recruiters using mobile apps in their work will more than double in 2013. But when the actual figure turns out to be a shift from 6% to 13% it’s a little less earth-shaking; significant but hardly seismic.

Are We Going Mobile or Not?

Well, however incremental the growth may actually be, there is no doubt whatsoever that mobile HRMS is on the rise; slow maybe but steady. Recruitment seems to be the most popular use, including allowing candidates to access and answer pre-selection questions and tests, effectively submitting a short video interview for selectors to assess at their convenience. Timekeeping and scheduling apps are also on the rise allowing employee self-service and access on functions such as booking annual leave and shift-swapping. In fact, ADP have been supplying their payroll RUN app to small businesses for some time now.

Just to balance the “HR as reluctant Taurus” perspective, there is a viewpoint that the slow growth of mobile HRMS is actually down to HRMS vendors rather than practitioners. The suggestion being that the big vendors have been so focused on bringing their cloud-based offerings up to scratch that they have put mobile development on the back burner. Even if that’s true, it’s beginning to change. Both Kronos and Workday offer apps for time and attendance, and allow managers access to basic analytics, tapping into HRMS data. ADP, in addition to the RUN app, offers time tracking, employee access to benefits data and retirement plan information and offers corporate news and updates on the move.

Of course, it’s not all downloadable apps. Some vendors provide a ‘half-way’ option of a mobile-optimized website, allowing the smartphone or tablet user to access a version of the HRMS portal used by their deskbound brethren.

Will 2013 Be the Year of Mobile?

Obviously, right now it’s hard to say for sure but the apps (and website options) are there and they cover a range of HRMS software functions, including learning, recruiting, collaboration, and employee management. Add to that the fact that pretty much half the global population now has a smartphone in its pocket and there are no real cultural barriers to overcome. So come the end of the year, the likelihood is that HR may finally be on the move.

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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