Ventana Research recently announced its 2020 research agenda for human capital management, continuing the guidance we’ve offered for nearly two decades to help organizations derive optimal value from business technology and improve outcomes. A major consideration in crafting this HCM research agenda is balance. HR and business leaders must achieve a meaningful balance in supporting the needs, interests and goals of the enterprise and its workforce. And HR and HCM managers require research to enable them to balance investments in operational excellence with investments that deliver strategic value. To help, we craft our research agenda using our analysts’ expertise on business trends and related systems requirements as well as our knowledge of technology vendors and products.
Through our continuous market research, we offer insights and best practices for both the lines of business and IT as well as across industry verticals to help any organization reach its maximum potential.
Human capital management focuses on maximizing the value of the workforce and related investments by engaging workers with applications, processes and programs that improve the employee experience, create value and sharpen organizational agility. HCM technology platforms typically are designed to offer an integrated set of HR processes and automated workflows. Our HCM research agenda includes six focus areas that address those processes: candidate engagement; employee experience; learning management; total compensation and rewards management; continuous payroll; and workforce management.
Candidate engagement is the set of processes and technologies employers use to meaningfully engage job candidates. Today that’s occurring in the context of a tight labor market and heightened demand for digital-age skills. Successfully recruiting candidates increasingly requires organizations to ascertain what’s important to a candidate in order to personalize recruiting-related interactions; AI and machine learning technologies enable organizations to do this in a way that scales. This year we will continue to research how organizations are using technology to effectively engage top talent in our ongoing Dynamic Insights research on candidate engagement.
Continuous payroll refers to the new era of on-demand payroll, made possible by the replacement of many labor-intensive, error-prone payroll tasks with digital technologies. This frees up time that payroll teams can then use to focus on enhancing the employee experience and providing better decision support. We published a Value Index and are conducting ongoing benchmark research on this topic in 2020 to identify best practices and assess technology vendors’ potential to help meet evolving payroll needs.
The employee experience (EX) has taken its place among the most pressing issues for HR and business leaders. Similar to the customer experience, a high-quality EX results in better engagement, which drives retention and other positive business outcomes. This year with our ongoing Dynamic Insights research on the employee experience we will continue to research how organizations are taking advantage of technology that can help them provide a superior employee experience.
Learning management is the process of ensuring the workforce develops the skills and competencies needed to maximize productivity and effectiveness. An increasing number of organizations are adopting technology platforms that enhance the learning experience and improve results by personalizing content, delivery medium and pace. This year we will continue to investigate the role learning management plays in onboarding, defining and emphasizing company culture and helping employees explore potential career paths. We will be watching to see the extent to which organizations are including these additional benefits in business cases for these tools. We are conducting ongoing benchmark research and will published a value index on this topic in 2020 to identify best practices and assess technology vendors’ potential to help meet evolving learning needs.
Total Compensation and Rewards Management
Total compensation and rewards management is the practice of focusing processes, information and technologies on an integrated and more comprehensive approach to rewarding and recognizing workers. We see an increasing emphasis on rewards that maximize cost and outcome ratios, including nonmonetary rewards. Also, organizations have more tools than ever at their disposal with which to personalize rewards and optimize pay. This year we will investigate the impact these tools are having on business outcomes such as productivity, retention and ROI on compensation spend. We plan to begin ongoing benchmark research and will publish a value index on this topic in 2020 to identify best practices and assess technology vendors’ potential to help meet evolving payroll needs.
Workforce management (WFM) is the broad range of activities used to manage non-exempt or hourly workers with respect to time and attendance, forecasting and scheduling, time off and payroll. Workforce forecasting has become much more dynamic and accurate with AI-infused systems, and scheduling optimization capabilities now enable organizations to factor in employee preferences to mitigate the typically high turnover in hourly jobs. Leading WFM systems now take into account employee career goals, the need to avoid onerous schedules and even team composition, and intelligent virtual agents can process leave or shift requests in minutes. We have continuous benchmark research on this topic and this year we will continue to examine how these technology advances are paying off for customers in terms of profitability and in reducing employee turnover as well as compliance and safety issues.
This is an exciting and rewarding time for the HR function. Every organization, regardless of size or revenue, should be focused on enriching and personalizing the employee experience and mining value and insights from a treasure trove of people data. Our 2020 HCM research will explore these themes in depth and we will deliver insights on how software is supporting these activities. I anticipate the deployment of AI-infused tools will deliver a wide range of HCM benefits related to the three Ps: personalize, predict and prescribe. I’m eager to see the high-impact use cases vendors and customers are supporting this year.
Subscribe to our community to keep up to date on our research efforts in 2020 and check out our human capital management topic and focus pages to see a detailed agenda and continuously updated 90-day calendar as well as more research facts and best practices.