The vast majority of midsized business owners believe their talent management technologies aren't sufficient, and according to ADP, 2015 Midsized Business Owners Study only 18 percent are "completely confident" in their workforce management tools. Some 84 percent are concerned about their tool's ability to "keep and grow" talent, while 85 percent are worried about their recruitment technology.

A Focus on Improving Technology

For HR leaders at midsized organizations, the coming year is likely to be one where there's a strong organizational focus on evaluating, improving and implementing technologies for human capital management (HCM).

Dube Consulting reports that, at organizations of any size, some top areas of HR risk in 2016 will include

  • Talent management and leadership development
  • Culture development
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Total compensation
  • Training and development

The right technologies can help your midsized organization scale seamlessly, but could also introduce risk in key areas of concern, such as compliance or talent retention.

Here are five critical questions to consider when assessing your HR technology needs and possible technology acquisitions for human capital management.

1. Is It Comprehensive?

Modern human resources is complex, and it isn't becoming any simpler. Inside HR recommends considering "HR's periodic table" when evaluating your existing technologies and needed acquisitions. So at a minimum, tools for HCM should address each of the following:

  • Business strategy goals
  • Industry challenges
  • Target maturity levels

2. Is It Compliant — and Secure?

Over one-third of midsized organizations have faced fines for non-compliance to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and other regulations. CSO reports that small and midsized organizations are now "the preferred targets for cyber criminals," because of lower security protection. Mitigating risks of non-compliance should be a key focus of HR tools and technologies, though HR leaders should be mindful their tools for talent management do not increase the risk of data breach.

3. Does It Support Analytics?

Midsized organizations have a particular need for talent management tools that can both carry a heavy quantitative load and ensure sufficient data quality to benchmark compensation trends, employee performance and other critical measures.

Smart data has the ability to help HR leaders at midsized organizations make better decisions about a number of pain point issues, including talent, recruitment, employee engagement and compensation. As Entrepreneur highlights, the goal of HR analytics should be to "use [smart data] in conjunction with employee feedback, to make the best decisions possible."

4. Is It Flexible?

The U.S. mobile workforce has increased four-fold over the past two decades, with Gallup reporting that 37 percent of employees now telecommute on an occasional or consistent basis. Implementing a flexible workplace policy can increase employee engagement for many midsized organizations, but can also present new challenges for HCM. Talent Culture recommends assessing HR tools for their capability to improve communications and collaboration among flexible teams, which should "motivate employees and attract the right talent."

5. Can It Go Global?

IBM notes that a global approach to talent recruitment could be a necessity for midsized businesses. While technology is no longer a barrier to global competition, looking to international markets can still be a key challenge for midsized organizations. If your HR team has goals to begin recruiting internationally, selecting HR tools that scale globally should be a critical mode of preparation. From HR and payroll compliance to worldwide communication platforms, your HR management tools should enhance your global reach, not hinder it.

If your HR tools and technologies are diminishing your chances of meeting goals for business strategy and industry challenges, they may be more of a risk than a benefit. But by taking a comprehensive approach to evaluating the available tools, HR leaders at midsized organizations can employ these tools to position their organizations for success now and in the future.

Tags: HCM Strategy Talent