Want Insight Into HR Systems and Where They’re Going? This Survey Lets You Know

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Nov 4, 2015

One of the highlights of the HR Technology Conference each fall is the publication of the annual HR Systems Survey White Paper by Sierra-Cedar.

With the retirement of long-time analyst Lexy Martin, Stacey Harris has stepped up magnificently and published a whopper of an analysis of all things HR tech, the 18th since 1997.

Sierra-Cedar encourages the dissemination of this white paper and I encourage you to download it here because it’s full of interesting survey data analysis.

Keys points from the survey

Here are a few high level nuggets from the executive summary:

  • This is the year of the Enterprise HR Systems Strategy: 43 percent of organizations are undertaking a major HR systems strategy initiative.
  • HR organizations achieve higher levels of HR, talent and business outcomes by embracing their organization’s culture.
  • We’ve hit the tipping point: More than 50 percent of purchased core HRMSs are SaaS solutions.
  • More than 50 percent of organizations are using new talent acquisition tools outside of their applicant tracking systems.

As organizations invest more time, attention and financial resources in HR management solutions, Sierra-Cedar sees three primary outcome models for these investments:

  1. Talent-Driven;
  2. Data-Driven; and,
  3. Top Performing.

Outcomes: Talent-driven vs. Data-driven

It’s good to see organization principles for how business spend their money and time. And, these three buckets make good sense.

We could probably all tick off well-known brands in each of those buckets. As a business leader, I find it interesting to see the comparison between talent-driven outcomes vs. data-driven outcomes.

Here’s one of many charts in the report that I found interesting:sierra-cedar-2015-2

It is interesting to note here that the business outcome measures – especially market share and profitability – trend higher across the board. It’s a great reminder that using data and business intelligence to be smart about talent makes the business more successful.

Why this is a must-read survey

I love reading this report each year. It provides a frame of reference for what’s new, what’s old, and what’s coming.

  • If your organization is currently thinking through the effectiveness of any of your suite of HRMS solutions, this is a must read.
  • If your organization is not currently thinking about the availability of HR-related business intelligence, this is a must read.
  • If your current HRMS solutions all live on premise, this is a must read.
  • Come to think of it, if you’re in HR, this is a must read.

You can download the survey here. And then read it — really. And then send Stacey Harris a thank you note.

This originally appeared on China Gorman’s blog at

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