There are big changes happening in the world of HR tech, and if you’re an industry insider it’s in your best interest to stay on top of everything that’s going on. As they say, knowledge is power, and in today’s ultra-competitive work world, which is rapidly becoming even more volatile in the midst of a global pandemic that’s destabilizing global economies and making the future of work and hiring more uncertain than ever before, HR pros are going to have to leverage every tool available to help them hit their key target performance metrics and stay viable in an ever-changing landscape.
The big news that’s hitting the HR tech sector right now is mergers—several key industry players are joining forces as news of significant deals continues to sweep across the field. A few major deals include the recent mergers of Ultimate Software and Kronos Inc. to create a multi-billion-dollar, leading-edge human capital and workforce management cloud-based solutions company, as well as the acquisition of Saba Software by Cornerstone OnDemand to create a significant player in the enterprise learning management space—one with deep resources at its disposal.
These are just a few examples of the trend towards consolidation taking place in the HR tech market. So what does this mean for the industry overall and for those employed in the field?
Some industry experts point to the notion that these mergers represent a general sense of optimism in the inherent value of HR technology services and what they offer companies to help power and support their infrastructure—at least before recent global events have shifted priority, resources, and focus towards fighting the pandemic and have made employment forecasts decidedly less rosy for the near future. That said, assuming that most companies and industries weather the current storm and survive, the benefits that HR tech offers—both today’s systems management services and tomorrow’s cutting-edge tools—are an attractive and compelling value proposition that is helping to justify the creation of corporate behemoths to service potential need.
Available data seems to support this notion. According to HRWins, an industry resource for HR tech information, aggregate investment in companies in this sector in 2019 was approximately $5.3 billion dollars, up from $4 billion the prior year. Furthermore, newly merged companies with increased scale, resources, and capacity will be better positioned to expand, innovate, and push the HR tech field forward with bold new products and services to meet the needs of companies across industries. Expect to see these companies continue to refine and redefine the market with bundled and standalone human capital management (HCM) and workforce management (WFM) services that push the boundaries of creative HR solutions—which could feasibly disrupt the sector for the foreseeable future.
Although mergers in the HR tech industry can often mean a decrease in employment opportunities, they can also translate over time to a growing need for qualified and capable industry professionals within the fewer but larger companies that survive the contraction—and new opportunities for those who work in the field or are looking to enter it, provided they keep their skill sets current.
Although the HR tech needs of companies vary over time—and unanticipated events like a global pandemic can completely shift the needs of wide swaths of the work world for an unpredictable length of time—companies that survive and persist with a commitment to meet their immediate and long-term goals will always need to meet their core HR requirements. The companies and professionals who best position themselves to meet these needs with the most innovative tools will lead the pack, so stay knowledgable and know your place within the industry.