5 Areas Your Tech Stack Can Improve the Employee Experience in 2020

February 25, 2020 Marc Shumaker

Employee experience software is at the top of the stack for HR professionals looking for resources to help improve how employees feel about their job and their workplace.

These employee experience platforms help companies attract top-tier talent, onboard new hires quickly and efficiently, increase retention rates by reducing friction in HR-related initiatives, and increase employee satisfaction scores.

How is the employee experience impacted by a company’s HR and recruiting technology stack?

Consider this snapshot of a new employee’s interaction with a company: A job-seeker on their path to fulfilling employment begins by applying at a company with an engaging and intuitive applicant tracking system: It keeps them in the loop, and makes it easy for recruiters to follow up quickly on interviews and the offer process. 

This individual, now an employee, can look forward to the onboarding process and learning about their sweet benefits and time-off allowances. Benefits administration software makes this a painless process by laying out options in plain language, using interactive media like videos and questionnaires. 

Our new employee now gets to learn workplace do’s and don'ts with compliance and training videos, compliments of the learning management system (LMS). Even better, they are able to grab their career by the horns with additional training and learning paths offered through the LMS.

By now, our employee is working with their new team, and making connections using employee-centered collaboration and communication tools. These tools help connect our employee to peers and managers, graduating them from “new employee” to “just one of the team.” 

At last, the employee reaches the interactive payroll portal where they can see just how much they earned in their first few weeks, how much vacation time they have, and other benefits. Our employee has adapted to company culture - thanks in no small part to the technology tools that provide a stellar experience for employees!

Read on to see how these 5 technology categories can create a positive employee experience, plus top performers in each category:

  1. Applicant tracking systems
  2. Benefits Administration Systems
  3. Learning Management Systems (LMS)
  4. Communication and Collaboration Tools
  5. Payroll Applications

Below are several software categories that impact an employee’s experience - from recruiting, to hiring, to onboarding - plus a few top performers that excel at keeping it positive.

1. Applicant Tracking Systems for a Great Employee Experience

Quick Tech User Breakdown

  • Buyer or Decision Maker: Head of Human Resources, CHRO
  • Which Department Administers: Human Resources & Recruiting
  • Who are the Stakeholders: Hiring managers, interview panelists, employee referrals

Starting with applicant tracking systems (ATS) is fitting, as this is a would-be employee’s first interaction with the software landscape at a company. Applicant-tracking software helps recruiters find and screen job applicants, schedule interviews, conduct screening tests, check references, and complete new-hire paperwork in a consistent and timely way. Using an ATS also ensures consistency when interacting with candidates and can help avoid bias in the hiring process.

These employee-friendly solutions allow a company to put their best foot forward as a well-oiled, professional organization that respects applicants’ time, and promote a positive experience that sets the tone for future employment. 

Greenhouse

Greenhouse is a top contender in the fiercely competitive applicant tracking space, perhaps due to their dogged dedication to end-user experience and mitigating hiring biases in order to create a more culturally diverse team. 

Greenhouse comes with all the standard features a recruiter might expect of an ATS, including job board listings, candidate scoring systems, and metrics to assist hiring decisions. 

However, the extra, non-traditional goodies are what set Greenhouse apart from the crowd. These include customizable templates for job board listings and company emails, the ability to send automated surveys to gauge future employee feedback on the hiring process, and a mobile optimized process to accommodate the modern applicant. 

iCIMS Applicant Tracking

iCIMS Recruit, the applicant tracking module of iCIMS’ hiring suite, enables speedy hiring of top candidates, while maximizing user experience with features to reduce friction in the application process. 

A few modern features help this system create a positive employee experience from the start - especially for younger, tech-savvy applicants. iCIMS allows candidates to apply via text, and social media recruiting tools help to transform a business’ social presence into a funnel for talent

A partnership with Google enables iCIMS to connect with candidates in the place they are likely conducting all of their searches, for a seamless, natural application process right from their search engine.

Benefits at-a-glance: Applicant Tracking 

  • The first interaction new hires have with a company
  • Easy to screen, filter, and select new candidates
  • Speeds hiring and increases visibility and transparency

2. Benefits Administration Systems boost employe engagement

Quick Tech User Breakdown:

  • Buyer or Decision-maker: Head of Human Resources, CHRO
  • Which Department Administers: Human Resources
  • Who are the Stakeholders: Benefits administrators, employee experience personnel

Benefits administration systems enable workers to navigate financial benefits, understand costs, and compare healthcare plans. Most benefit administration systems include information about sick and vacation time, 401(k) contributions, health and other insurance plans, as well as any additional perks the company might offer. 

Besides easing the pain of onboarding, these solutions also provide tangible benefits to the employer, including increased compliance, higher retention rates, and time savings in the administration of benefits plans.

Benefitfocus

Benefitfocus aims to simplify the benefits administration process and demystify industry jargon, so everyone can make informed decisions about their benefits. 

Benefitfocus streamlines the benefits selection process using artificial intelligence to drive enrollment recommendations. This feature allows employees to make well-informed decisions based on things like member eligibility and past medical claims. 

Through robust video offerings, Benefitfocus also breaks down common insurance terms and enrollment questions in an accessible format for employees to view at their convenience.  

bswift

bswift tackles administrative complexity and employee confusion during the benefits enrollment process with a mobile-friendly platform available from either a mobile app or website with built-in language translation functionality. Other helpful features include single sign-on, and integrations with insurance carriers and benefits vendors.

bswift has their own approach to AI-augmented enrollment assistance, which takes the form of an interactive virtual assistant named Emma. The “ask Emma” feature allows employees to get simple plan recommendations based on the answers to a few questions, as well as cost comparisons and definitions of industry terms.

Benefits at a glance: Benefits Administration System 

  • Simplifies benefits choices
  • Personalized, self-serve benefit options
  • Increase engagement with visibility for all offerings

3. Learning Management Systems (LMS) for Employee Onboarding

Quick Tech User Breakdown:

  • Buyer or Decision Maker: Human Resources
  • Which Department Administers It: Learning & Development
  • Who are the Stakeholders: Recruiters, L&D personnel, Trainers

A learning management system (LMS) is a great way for companies to engage with employees after they’re hired and onboarded. Training and compliance are the primary objectives of an LMS, through interactive online courses that can help employees advance their careers, earn certifications, and get caught up on legal or compliance training. An on-demand LMS is also a great way to foster a positive employee experience.   

SAP Litmos

SAP’s Litmos is a well established LMS that prides itself on ease of use and robust features. Litmos improves the employee experience by taking a non-traditional approach to training, with features that  include interactive courses, video, and audio. It also gamifies the learning experience with badges, points, and achievements. 

Trainers can personalize learning paths for employees to increase engagement.

Sumtotal

Sumtotal also adds a personalized approach to learning management, focusing on the individual needs of the employee. The company aims to replicate a unique, “Netflix-style” user experience feel, making it immediately familiar to employees. This approach, combined with social tools, enables group collaboration, knowledge sharing, and feedback about course material. Sumtotal tops off these engagement features with gamification to further drive adoption rates.

Benefits at a glance: Learning management system 

  • Facilitates ongoing employee coaching
  • Builds new skills and key concepts in a fun and engaging way
  • Strengthens experience, autonomy, and career skills 

4. Tools for Effective Internal Communication and Collaboration

Quick Tech User Breakdown:

  • Buyer or Decision Maker: Operations
  • Which Department Administers It: Operations & IT
  • Who are the Stakeholders: IT, Human Resources, Cross-departmental management staff

Team collaboration software, in many ways, forms the backbone of the employee experience. It allows employees to communicate with other employees at the company, and form teams and even friendships.

Collaboration software is increasingly important as remote work becomes more commonplace, and teams may be physically located across the country, or even around the world. Most team collaboration software offers a central location for communication, file-sharing, and project management.

Slack

Slack positions itself as an alternative to company email systems, via private or group communication channels where users can type chat or video chat. 

Employees can share files easily from a drag-and-drop interface directly within the chat window. This helps empower employees to form work groups where ideas and files can be shared instantly, fostering a collaborative environment. Slack also has integrations including Google Drive, Outlook, Github, Jira, Trello, and other software.

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is made for teams of all sizes to collaborate through chat, video, voice, and even live event hosting for large numbers of participants in different locations. Teams integrates with other Microsoft software, including the Office 365 suite, allowing groups to work on PowerPoint, Excel, SharePoint, and more. Microsoft Teams also offers a variety of professionally and community built “add-ins,” including integrations like Zoom video conferencing or Translator, for a seamless employee experience. 

Have you used Slack, Greenhouse, SAP, or any technologies on our list? Click on an individual technology and give them a review!

Benefits at a glance: Employee Collaboration

5. Payroll Applications for Increased Employee Engagement

Quick Tech User Breakdown:

Payroll solutions are often packaged as a part of employee benefits administration software or larger human capital management (HCM) suites - although these software tools are a bit late to the employee experience game as a whole. Payroll systems typically don't include employee-friendly features, as they tend to be heavily administrator-focused, leaving employee experience as a secondary concern.

Below are two examples of payroll systems that have incorporated employee-centered features within their product to great effect. 

Gusto

Gusto maintains that, in 2020, it’s about time that companies modernize their payroll processes. To create a positive employee experience, Gusto lets employees onboard themselves into the online system, then access pay stubs, W2s, and other tax forms at their convenience.  

Paychex

Paychex has long been a major player in the payroll software industry. The company keeps employee experience top-of-mind through a variety of self-service payroll options. (Many of these features  overlap with benefits administration software.) Employees can check time-off balances, change personal information, view direct deposits, and access other payroll-related information online. 

Payroll benefits at-a-glance

  • Sometimes packaged with larger HCM bundles, accessible online
  • Easy to check payment and time-off information any time
  • Requests can be made directly through the platform

Through the use of these systems, any company can transform their old, slow, outdated employee management processes into a slick, efficient, culture-building machine. 

From onboarding A-list talent in record time to giving them the proper autonomy to collaborate with peers, track projects, and participate in the benefits selection process, new employees are more likely to stay longer and be great additions to a diverse and productive team!

Want to know who's using complementary technologies? Head over to ZoomInfo to learn more!

About the Author

Marc Shumaker

Marc Shumaker is a senior content specialist at ZoomInfo, specializing in written content for Datanyze. Previously, he held a management role in the technographics division of research at DiscoverOrg, allowing him to gain a well-rounded view of technology trends and their functions within the enterprise.

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