I’ve been watching HR technology innovation get taken over by the requirements of the SMB since 2012.
I was interviewed by Namely, an emerging HCM technology player, about why the SMB loves HR technology so much. You can read the article here. You’ll see that I talk about a perfect storm of macro tech and workforce trends that make this segment ripe for both disruption of the existing HR technology landscape and the adoption of new HR technologies.
The fact is that I think the most successful future HR technology brands will be named by the SMB segment. The sheer size of the segment alone will build bigger and stronger brands than the enterprise segment. This will have large enterprise segment HR technology following their lead.
But, the size of the opportunity isn’t the only story. It’s classically been hard to demonstrate value for HR technology in the large enterprise. That’s where compliance with regulations for HR and rules for internal IT can trump usability, function, and value. The SMB – firms with less than 5,000 employees – are less concerned with these things and as a result can focus on the ultimate goal – doing right by their employees where it matters most – in the business line functions.
The SMB is where 96%+ of employment happens in the U.S. It’s where HR isn’t just for HR’s sake – HR is the business of getting work done. It’s where HR technology is B2B technology. A formal HR function doesn’t exist in a large part of this segment. While we can fit it in the HR space, it’s really about helping businesses and employees get things done without friction.
The SMB will redefine the HR technology leading brands in the next 36 months. The SMB will redefine classic HR processes and supporting technologies, like employee engagement, talent acquisition, talent management and more. It’s going to be quite a ride.
In 2012 when I started explaining this perfect storm many thought I was off. Exaggerating. Now that the storm is starting to hit shore, I’m thinking about the re-building of the HR technology landscape. I’ll be mapping it out for you here.
Thoughts? Opinions? Hit me in the comments or send me a message here.