Future Friday: Go Mobile or Go Home

by Michael Haberman on October 23, 2015 · 3 comments

Companies need to prepare for employees to have a mobile experience for their entire lifecycle.

Companies need to prepare for employees to have a mobile experience for their entire lifecycle.

Next week at am participating at IBM Insight on an influencer panel. One of the areas we will be addressing is the future of mobile and its importance to HR. In preparation for that I happened to come across a paper from Bersin by Deloitte on 10 big disruptions on the horizon for HR. One of these areas is in HR’s use of mobile applications.

Mobile as the new platform

According to Josh Bersin the “applification” of HR will be one of the most disruptive areas of HR in the near future. He says that mobile will become the dominant technology platform for HR. Statistics he cites include:

  • There are now more than 2.1 billion smartphone users on the planet.
  • Mobile Internet growth increased by 69 percent in 2014, and 55 percent of that mobile traffic is now video.
  • Mobile technology has become nearly ubiquitous, and many consumers are looking for video, not just text, in their mobile experience.
  • Most people are spending 5.6 hours per day on the Internet and 51 percent of that time is spent on mobile phones.

He said the obvious conclusion is that to reach most employees companies will have to “applify” their HR technology.

More than just your website on a phone

Bersin points out that the use of mobile technology is more than just making your website mobile friendly, the use of mobile technology requires a different dynamic. As he says “Mobile apps should be simple and easy to use—users can swipe and flip, rather than tab and scroll. Effective mobile apps should be social, use location data, and take advantage of different services.”

Bersin cites the use of a custom built application called Sidekick by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia which manages the entire employee experience for its more than 10,000 employees. It handles onboarding through time recording, including pay. It has reduced time consuming transactional requests considerably.

Most likely areas for mobile

Although Bersin says almost all areas of HR are candidates for mobilization the most likely areas to transition first will be:

  • Engagement and feedback
  • Learning
  • Time and attendance
  • Employee directories
  • Recruitment and candidate marketing
  • Video interviewing

Unfortunately the one bottleneck in this transition will be the lack of knowledge and capability of HR professionals.

The typical HR professional needs to become much more tech savvy to be able to best utilize this transition. Most HR departments of any size would be well served by hiring an HR technologist to help guide them in this journey.

Source: HR Technology for 2016:10 Big Disruptions on the Horizon by Josh Bersin

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Jason Cavness October 23, 2015 at 9:59 pm

Soon all employees in the workforce will expect all HR related functions to be conducted via a mobile app. HR departments that are tech savvy will be able to provide additional value to their organizations.


Kyle October 26, 2015 at 4:20 pm

I fully agree with you on the direction that HR departments need to go in regards to technology. Have you written any posts on HR software that you recommend for small to medium sized businesses?


Michael Haberman November 18, 2015 at 3:07 pm

Sorry for the tardy response. The only one I have really any knowledge of is Bamboo.


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