Human resource software vendors increasingly are developing new products as native applications for smartphones before moving them to laptops and personal computers, providing immediate and 24/7 access to a wide range of HR, talent and learning applications, according to new research from Bersin by Deloitte. Summarized in a WhatWorks® Brief, the research findings appear in "Smartphone Support in Talent and HR Applications 2015." (Bersin by Deloitte will publish a companion study on user preferences in June).
The study found that 93 percent of the 45 human capital management (HCM) solution providers surveyed now support HR and talent applications on smartphones, and many of these develop for mobile devices first. Such native applications typically leverage some of the specific functionality of smartphones. This includes the ability to provide bite-sized, more personalized information in-the-moment. This may explain why learning and talent transactions receive the most mobile support. Seventy-three percent of the vendors surveyed offer mobile applications to support learning-related surveys, quizzes and assessments. The research also shows that providers are focusing on mobile applications for managerial approvals (64 percent), performance management (56 percent), and employee self-service (49 percent).Talent acquisition functions, in particular, emerged as a key focus area.
According to Pew Research Center's October 2014 "Mobile Technology Fact Sheet", 64 percent of all American adults have a smartphone, which is generally defined as a cellular phone that performs many of the functions of a computer. Due to this large percentage, vendors are developing software for this market as they move to the cloud. "The cloud" refers to sharing computing resources and paying for them as they are used, versus buying and using dedicated hardware systems.
The research also found that the percentage of HR and talent providers supporting mobile applications in the many transactional and operational areas varies:
41 percent help managers to approve performance reviews;
35 percent allow managers to approve personnel decisions for salaried works and contractors;
28 percent enable managers to approve time-off requests;
27 percent let managers approve compensation rates, merit pay and bonuses; and
24 percent support employee scheduling requests and shift changes.
In the future, HR professionals are likely to find increasingly sophisticated mobile applications covering all aspects of HR that are now confined to "tethered" platforms, such as desk-bound technology.