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Why the Right HR Tech Puts Employees First

In a December 2023 updated report, Ernst & Young (EY) found the average cost per manual data entry made by an HR professional increased to $4.78. Read about EY’s latest findings for more information.


When talking about Field of Dreams, the 1989 Oscar-nominated film starring Kevin Costner, one quote will inevitably come up: “If you build it, he will come.”

The quote endures because it’s as memorable as it is inspiring. But does it apply to businesses? Maybe you’ve heard an alluring voice, too, a promise that if you give employees HR tech, they will use it.

Unfortunately, what worked for a fictional Iowa farmer won’t for today’s top talent. That last few years may have nudged businesses into the digital reality, but that doesn’t mean all the tech they purchased was right.

After all, if HR tech isn’t as easy to use as consumer-grade apps, employees aren’t going to use it at all.

Are you sure your HR tech makes the cut, or if what you provide is truly HR tech at all? To find out, let’s take a deep dive into:

  • what makes HR tech tick
  • why employees love or hate it
  • how the C-suite views it
  • what makes it right for you

Why HR tech is important

Today, HR tech is more than just a spreadsheet to track hours or email templates for requesting time off. When done right, HR tech empowers employees to easily manage their entire HR life cycle anytime, anywhere. It also automates manual processes — from onboarding to performance reviews — to help HR professionals focus on more impactful, higher-reaching strategies.Frustrated business woman with paperwork

But when HR tech misses the mark, it hurts engagement and shatters the employee experience. Disjointed tools, too many separate logins and an unfriendly interface are just a few of lackluster HR tech’s issues.

What are employees saying about HR tech?

At the end of the day, HR tech should place employees’ needs first. But this is far from the truth for many workers.

In a OnePoll survey commissioned by Paycom, 77% of employees said they’re frustrated with outdated tech at work. Plus, 67% are so fed up, they’re willing to take a pay cut for tech that’s twice as good as what they have!

The need for HR tech that exceeds expectations isn’t going anywhere. In fact, digital convenience is second nature for the newest generation of employees.

And their voice is getting louder. According to Forbes, Generation Z will make up 27% of the workforce by 2025. HR tech has to adapt as they continue to influence the workplace not just for their sake, but that of every employee.

Outdated and ineffective HR tech is synonymous with the most painful employee headaches. “Too many logins and passwords” tops the list for more than 1 in 5 workers in the OnePoll survey. Backing this up, employees are also frustrated by:

  • using multiple systems
  • searching for benefits data
  • retaining important information
  • disorganization

Employees use HR tech every day, and even what seem like small annoyances snowball into engagement-breaking issues over time.

What is the C-suite saying about HR tech?

If outdated HR tech is this painful for employees, do their leaders paint a similar picture?Frustrated man on computer

In a separate 2022 OnePoll survey commissioned by Paycom of 500 C-level executives and HR professionals, most hear their employees, but that doesn’t mean they’re listening. According to the data:

  • 54% say their employees are frustrated with outdated workplace tech
  • 61% claim the tech they’ve purchased isn’t being used to the fullest
  • an overwhelming 80% agree quality HR tech should be a priority

Why should the C-suite care about HR tech?

The right HR tech isn’t just giving employees what they want; it’s bigger than that.

Entire businesses move forward when employees are engaged by their HR tech. In fact, 4 in 5 employers in the 2022 survey believe it helps drive efficiency. With the right HR tech, employees spend less time consulting HR to access their own data and more time focusing on the work they care about.

And each time HR professionals manually enter data adds up. Ernst & Young places the average estimated cost of a single manual data entry task at $4.70. Outdated processes create a pricey pitfall for businesses at every level!

HR tech even has the potential to enhance accuracy, compliance and retention and empower HR to serve as a true strategic partner to the C-suite. Those objectives aren’t just whispers from a disembodied voice; they’re measurable goals.

What do I look for in HR tech?

By now, you understand where HR tech goes wrong. Let’s take a look at what makes it right.

The specific needs of your workforce might vary, but all HR tech needs to:

Paycom meets all of these must-haves and more! Our easy-to-use app uses one login and one architecture to give employees the experience they need.

Explore Paycom’s single software to see how it launches businesses and their workforces into the digital reality.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided herein does not constitute the provision of legal advice, tax advice, accounting services or professional consulting of any kind. The information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional legal, tax, accounting or other professional advisers. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult a professional adviser who has been provided with all pertinent facts relevant to your particular situation and for your particular state(s) of operation.