Technology in HR — is it helping you focus on work or asking for your attention?
Technology should help you focus on people by handling the administrative work for you.
The HR Tech industry has grown a lot over the past years. The changes we’re seeing now had their beginning in the 60’s, when the world of HR only automated payroll and administration. People management applications that support the processes of assessments, evaluations, competency management, KPIs, and bonuses followed only in 2011, with the start of the HR Tech revolution. Having concentrated on the digitisation of process automation since, this revolution is now progressively transforming the HR services industry.
In contrast to HR Tech as a whole, the talent assessment industry didn’t see much of a rise in new technologies. Testing companies started embracing technology only in 2000, with the move from their pen-and-paper approach into more diversified online solutions. More recently, we have witnessed a transition to the cloud and an introduction of gamification and AI. And although those are valuable additions to our work within HR, they do come with a drawback that we shouldn’t ignore. They are built in a way that forces HR professionals to spend more time interacting with software than with the people they are assessing. Where those tools should help you build meaningful relationships with people, they actually require a lot of attention themselves. This is a design flaw.
How have we got it so wrong?
It might seem surprising that despite the revolution, the technology is still not programmed in a way to unburden HR professionals. But looking back at assessments in the mid 90’s and comparing them to today’s, one can see that the way HR service providers operate hasn't changed all that much. CVs might be digital now, and platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook allow us to screen people, but besides digital communication, the way assessments are organised is still rather analog. A recent survey by the leading assessment-providing consultancies in Europe shows that assessors still manage their work in an administration-heavy, time-consuming manner.
In the new, post-COVID-19 reality, however, this way of doing things won’t be sustainable anymore. Before the pandemic turned the world upside down, we have witnessed more and more HR professionals go freelance — and this tendency is here to stay. (See HR says talent is crucial for performance—and the pandemic proves it by Bryan Hancock and Bill Schaninger for McKinsey & Company.) There is no doubt it will have a significant impact on the HR industry in general, and particularly on the HR Service providers. Just like with any economic crisis, the restarting of business will take time, but due to the number of new opportunities, a shift towards an army of professional gig workers is inevitable.
The decision to go freelance might be an obvious one to many HR professionals, but it does come with its own set of challenges. Enter: the freelancer’s dilemma. While focussing on performing the actual assessments, the sales side of the business often gets neglected. And although the sales process is a big part of any freelancer’s metier, it should not be the gross of time they spend on their business. This inefficiency can lead to a feeling of unpredictability, which makes for yet another barrier to overcome. Add to that the limitation of one’s finite network, and the fear of insufficient income becomes dangerously real.
Every HR freelancer should have tools at their disposal that will unburden them, rather than create more administrative work for them — so that they can finally focus on the core of their business: people. The lack of such tools is the challenge we are facing today.
So how do we solve it?
The steep rise in the number of HR professionals going freelance should be a force to be reckoned with, but this transition must take place in an organised manner. And let’s be honest — the available HR technology is not tailored to a one-person company. The investment into said technology may be too high to handle for those who are less tech-savvy, while the functionalities of the applications are simply not responding to the freelancers’ needs. Let’s not forget: the money. As freelancers tend to service relatively small customers, the fees for these applications can be too costly for some to afford.
Today’s business reality is still a strange balancing act between HR managers and HR service providers, one that often results in clients calling upon their same network, over and over again, just to play safe. This is not exactly surprising — there is no way for HR managers to reach out to HR freelancers, other than the ones in their immediate circle of reference because there simply is no meeting place for both parties. Why would HR managers take the risk of hiring freelancers they have no knowledge of or no references for?
We can no longer ignore the need for a new platform, one that will bring together both clients and HR freelancers. The sheer creation of a transparent, full-service online marketplace, where HR freelancers providing validated services and organisations in need of those services will meet, will lead to a true market shift.
Providing a place for HR freelancers to network and learn from each other, and offer their services to organisations around the globe, will transform the industry from the inside out. The direct interaction between stakeholders will restructure pricing, resulting in lower costs for organisations as well as fairer fees for the freelancers. A transparent and secure marketplace will enhance business exchange and speed up the delivery of assessments.
The best news yet? This platform already exists.
Eazy is an automated marketplace for people assessments. It makes the hiring process more efficient for clients, and enables assessors to show their expertise and find new assessment projects. Eazy makes assessments more accessible, easy to organise, and efficient to perform — all in one app. Powered by intuitive software, its AI matching engine provides a secure environment where companies and freelance assessors can engage and work together.
Eazy stands up for transparency. We don’t hide assessment prices or our fees, so that both companies and HR freelancers know exactly how much they’re paying. By redistributing the value, we achieve fair pricing for all parties, both in the cost and in the revenue. As no relationship can function without trust, we treat confidential information seriously. Data can be securely exchanged between the assessor and the client, ensuring that it is only accessible to those who have permission to access it. Our marketplace is fast and interactive, which means all parties stay informed in real time.
The people behind Eazy are a team of seasoned assessment experts and entrepreneurs — from our founders and advisory board, to our shareholders. Our ambition is to be the marketplace that values and matches the expertise of freelance assessors with the expectations of companies.
We believe technology should help HR professionals focus on people by handling the administrative work for them. If you share this opinion, we’d love for you to try Eazy and let us know what you think.