More companies are incorporating Web 2.0 technologies such as social networking tools, blogs and webcasts for internal communications and as part of their overall technology mix, according to Watson Wyatt’s 2009 HR Technology Trends Survey.
Some key findings:
- Since the economic downturn began, 72% of employers have increased their use of an intranet and 61% have increased their use of email to communicate with employees.
- Newer technologies have made a strong entrance, finding that 32% of companies increased their use of webcasts, 13% have increased their use of social netowrking tools and 12% have increased their use of blogs for communication.
- Many organizations continue to use manual processes for talent management, including succession planning (53%), career development (48%) and workforce planning (55%).
- More than half (56%) of organizations are planning to increase their use of talent management technology over the next two years.
- Companies are most rapidly adopting role-based employee portals (personalized to the user). Survey results show 41% of companies have already deployed or are piloting role-based employee portals and 24% are planning to adopt them in the next 24 months.
“Web 2.0 technologies work well, in most instances, for targeting specific employee and manager groups, and companies are using them in appropriate situations,” said Jon Osborne, senior technology consultant at Watson Wyatt.
“Using tools such as role-based portals, internal blogs and webcasts ensures that both managers and employees can send and receive tailored messages in an engaging format. This is useful for improving productivity and maintaining employee morale and engagement, particularly in this difficult economic time.”
White papers … they’ve still got it going on, if you know what I mean.
A recent study by TechTarget revealed that white papers are still king among buyers. Their Media Consumption Benchmark Report dispelled any questions surrounding white papers and if they still have any pull as a marketing tool.
While TechTarget serves the high-tech market and the results should be examined in that context, many of the main points can be helpful in other markets including the HR technology industry.
Michael Stelzner, author of Writing White Papers, recently highlighted the key findings of the 47-page report on his blog. Here’s how buyers view white papers:
- To evaluate a solution, people turn to white papers first. More than half of respondents rely on white papers more than newsletters (51%), trials (46%), product literature (41%), articles (38%), webcasts (48%), case studies (26%), podcasts (9%) and virtual trade shows (8%).
- Buyers frequently read white papers: 52% of buyers read an average of 5 or more white papers in a three month period. Buyers consume more white papers than any other type of media available.
- What buyers don’t like about white papers: that they’re too product focused or too long.
- The majority (80%) of buyers view white papers as an effective source in the decision making process, more than any other marketing tool.
- White papers come in above all other marketing forms for gaining awareness and consideration among buyers. Almost half of buyers (47%) use white papers to gain awareness and 36% use them when considering a solution.
- Buyers like to share white papers. White papers are the most forwarded material among buyers, as 42% either frequently or very frequently forward white papers to colleagues and friends.
The report is hard evidence that buyers value content that helps them solve problems and are more inclined to engage with your brand when they find that content helpful.
For more information on the power of white papers and content marketing, read these related posts:
Though other markets may be suffering this year, recent surveys show that the HR technology market is steady and will remain steady through 2009.
Companies planning software investments will spend the most on onboarding tools and benefits management products, according to a recent survey from the International Association for Human Resources Information Management.
According to the survey:
- 42% of nearly 210 survey respondents reported that their HR technology budgets will remain the same as this year in 2009.
- 21% of respondents said their budgets will increase by an average of 23%.
- 37% reported that their budgets will decrease by a median of 15%.
From a recent Workforce Management article:
“For companies in a good financial and cash position, they should take this opportunity to extend their market share and make long-term investments,” John Greer, senior vice president for HR and Development at Smart Financial Credit Union and incoming chair of IHRIM, said during a Web conference event Nov. 19. “Those without as much cash are waiting to see what happens. There is still a lot of uncertainty right now.”
The HR software market has been among the fastest-growing corners of the business software world as organizations seek to maximize the value of their people and prepare for any labor shortages. Talent management applications—which refer to tools for key HR tasks such as recruiting and employee performance management—have been particularly hot.
Steady is much better than reporting that the “bottom is falling out,” right? For everyone in the HR technology market, take this as good news and give yourself a break over the weekend.
From all of us at Training Marketer, have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Spending on HR technology is predicted to keep growing this year, according to two new studies on the state of the HR software market, as reported in a recent Workforce Management article.
The reports from Towers Perrin and AMR Research show that even during a slowing economy, sales of applications for tracking employee data, recruiting new workers and managing compensation are still growing.
Only 15% of the organizations surveyed expect to reduce spending on HR technology, down three percent from last year.
“In recent years, HR applications have been one of the fastest-growing fields of business software. AMR Research says that in 2007, the market grew a faster-than-expected 13 percent, to $7.2 billion.”
The research firm expects the HR software to grow another 13% again during 2008.