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        Ventana Research Analyst Perspectives

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        HiBob Setting a New Standard for HCM Platforms

        The past five years have witnessed unprecedented innovation and investment in HCM technology. As quickly as the world of work has changed, so too have new technologies emerged to support those changes to optimize human engagement and business outcomes. Point solutions and platform providers alike have made headlines with advances in talent intelligence, personalization within the flow of work, pay equity analysis, skills gap identification and AI-powered career pathing, to name a few. But one thing that people often overlook is that all this new data and information still needs a central repository; a single source of truth for each worker that provides a complete picture of an individual from hire to exit, and that is found in an organization’s core HCM platform. These platforms have historically been focused on process and workflow automation and compliance, a digital replacement for the personnel folder in a file cabinet and the in-and-out box on the corner of a desk. But in order to support the influx of new data and information from adjacent systems, core HCM technology providers have been evolving as well. The result is a new breed of HCM platform, as accessible and valuable to employees and managers as they are to human resources teams, engineered with user experience as an equal priority to workflow automation and compliance.

        Bob is an HCM platform by HiBob, that has offices and customers around the world. The core HCM module includes tools to support communications, people directory,Ventana_Research_2023_Assertion_HCM_RFP_MS_46_S workflow automation, document management with e-signature and people analytics. Bob also has solutions for onboarding, performance management, time and attendance tracking, employee engagement and more. It also provides direct integration to a variety of applicant tracking system (ATS), payroll, learning management system (LMS), and other technology providers, extending its usability in an organization. The modular approach is particularly useful for the fast-growing global companies that HiBob targets, allowing for expansion as business needs and bandwidth necessitate. It also allows organizations to customize their HCM platform to their specific needs and avoid paying for features they don't need. Ventana Research refers to a product’s ability to be configured and customized to meet the needs of a given business and its users as adaptability, and it is a critically important component for HCM software. In fact, we assert that by 2024, three-quarters of organizations will weight adaptability equally with existing features and functionality in the RFP scoring process as a key point of differentiation between vendors.

        One primary differentiator for Bob is that it was developed with people engagement and community creation as core design principles, as important as any feature or function of the software. Those principles are immediately evident in the consumer-grade user interface (UI) and user experience (UI), with a home page that encourages engagement, like a favorite social media platform, while still providing easy and obvious access to the payroll hub, performance evaluation or other HR processes. It allows users to give public kudos to their colleagues, find communities to join based on shared interests, and even offers the opportunity to upload a video introduction or an audio recording of the pronunciation of one’s name to their profile, underscoring an organization’s commitment to inclusion and belonging in its workforce. That features like these were baked into the platform from its inception show HiBob’s commitment to creating an HCM platform for the entire workforce, not just for HR teams.

        Bob brings a wealth of features and functionality and a community-based design that is unique in the space. Still, there are some important considerations when evaluating new core HCM software. While Bob is a powerful platform with a deep ecosystem of partners, and is architected for easy integration, buyers will still need to look to other systems for recruiting, payroll and learning. Additionally, some of the modules may lack the depth of complex functionality offered by larger platforms or point solutions. But what sets Bob apart from other HCM platforms is its accessibility and usability for everyone in an organization, creating community and driving engagement as core functionality, where other platforms in the space may require additional point solutions to effectively support these activities.

        The core HCM technology space is mature and crowded, making it a challenge for organizations to choose the right platform. As a relatively new player in this field, it is refreshing to see an HCM software platform with people engagement at its core. Customers tout the ease of use, high degree of configurability to adapt to a growing organization, and features that address modern workforce imperatives beyond the nuts and bolts of core HR operations. I recommend that fast-growing global organizations that require sophisticated and agile technology to support business operations and employee engagement include Bob in their evaluation of core HCM platforms.


        Mark Smith


        Mark Smith
        Partner, Head of Software Research

        Mark Smith is the Partner, Head of Software Research at ISG and Ventana Research leading the global market agenda as a subject matter expert in digital business and enterprise software. Mark is a digital technology enthusiast using market research and insights to educate and inspire enterprises, software and service providers.


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