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10 Human Resources Statistics Demonstrating Technology’s Role in HR

Industry Advice Management

When it comes to recruitment, it is important for businesses to keep in mind the associated costs beyond that of a new hire’s salary and benefits. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the average cost to hire a new employee is well over $4,000, while the average time to fill a given position takes an average of nearly two months. 

In order to reduce these costs and better utilize their time, human resources departments and teams have begun turning toward new technologies and data to streamline their processes and realize efficiencies. Below, we have gathered ten statistics that highlight the increasing importance of technology in HR. 

Making the Case for Digital HR & HR Analytics

1. 50 percent of experienced hiring professionals—which includes HR personnel, hiring managers, talent acquisition professionals—say that data is the top trend impacting their hiring practices. (Source)

Just as it has impacted nearly every other industry, data is changing the way that HR professionals go about the hiring process. More complete datasets and advanced analytical processes and tools are allowing hiring managers to use data for a range of practices, including to increase retention, evaluate skills gaps, build better offers, forecast hiring demands, and more.

Learn More: Human Resource Analytics: What It Is & Why It’s Important

2. 36 percent of HR professionals blame insufficient technology for their inability to automate and better organize onboarding programs. (Source)

The onboarding process is one of the most important components in an HR professional’s career. A successful onboarding process not only helps a new employee begin in their role, but introduces the individual to an organization’s culture and practices. A well-designed onboarding process can increase employee retention rates and reduce churn. 

Unfortunately, more than three-fourths of hiring professionals have reported that onboarding best practices are underutilized in their companies. While technology can help to automate redundant tasks and free up an HR professional’s time to focus on those tasks that add greater value to the onboarding process, a full 36 percent of companies have not yet embraced these technologies in the workplace.


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3. Of companies that do not use an applicant tracking system, 57 percent cited cost as the main reason. (Source)

An applicant tracking system (ATS), helps human resource managers conduct and manage most if not all steps of the hiring process from within a single application. While these tools are incredibly helpful, there are still companies (largely on the smaller side) who have not yet adopted such tools in their hiring processes, primarily because of the costs involved. HR professionals looking to convince company leadership to implement such systems within their organizations can increase their chances of success by embracing data and tying the costs back to the overall return on investment. 

Learn More: 7 Top Careers in Human Resource Management

4. Only 9 percent of recruitment decision-makers say they have strong screening technology at their disposal. (Source)

Very few human resources professionals believe that their organizations have exceptionally strong recruitment processes. In fact, approximately 81 percent of those surveyed believe that their processes are either standard or below standard compared to others in the industry. 

Some of this underperformance is very likely tied to how applicants are screened to move further along in the hiring process. Most companies have not transitioned to a fully integrated HR program, meaning that certain technological elements such as AI and chatbots—which have been developed to streamline these processes—are not readily available. As a result, the vast majority of HR professionals feel that their screening technology does not perform as well as it could.

5. The market for talent management tools is forecasted to grow at a rate of 13 percent. (Source)

The talent management software industry is expected to experience a compound annualized growth rate (CAGR) of 13.5 percent by 2025 as companies embrace technologies that offer increasingly advanced features. It is estimated that future software will involve more mobile use, with applications allowing employees and employers to access important HR information all from their personal devices. This, in turn, may fuel the rise of remote HR for many companies.

Learn More: How Technology Is Defining the HR Field

6. 86 percent of active candidates use their smartphones to begin a job search. (Source)

Over the last decade, the rise in smartphone use has made an immense impact on the job application process. With 86 percent of job applicants using their smartphone to begin the job search process, HR professionals need to ensure that their processes are tailored to this reality. Job postings and applications need to be designed in such a way that they can be completed and viewed easily and quickly, whether someone is using their smartphone or desktop computer.

7. 60 percent of job seekers quit in the middle of filling out online job applications because of their length or complexity. (Source)

As more than half of job seekers indicate that they have quit a job application due to its length or complexity, HR teams need to start thinking critically about their processes and making adjustments to reduce that rate. The shift to smartphone use for completing job applications, for example, is a likely contributor to this trend. Companies that are able to streamline their processes and make it easier for applicants to share their information digitally have the potential to reduce this metric substantially. 

8. As it relates to employee engagement, 80 percent of HR professionals believe that incorporating  HR technologies into their processes improved employee attitude toward the company. (Source)

Recruitment is a very important piece of HR, but it is still only a single piece. The human resources department is also responsible for monitoring and improving employee engagement and retention. 

The vast majority of HR professionals believe that incorporating various HR technologies into these processes have had a positive effect on employee attitudes and engagement. Employee engagement software specifically has enabled HR professionals to receive and track feedback from employees, which is often used to craft benefits and company policies that drive engagement.

9. Of the 1 in 3 employers who have applied to a job at their own company as a way of experiencing the process, less than half (46 percent) said that process was “very good.” (Source)

That number drops even further for actual applicants: Only 32 percent of job seekers indicate that their most recent experience was “very good.” Armed with this knowledge, it is important for HR professionals to understand the pain points felt by potential applicants so that they can craft better processes and attract top-tier applicants. Surveys and other simple tools can be incredibly insightful when leveraged in this regard. 

Did You Know: Candidates and employers are also more likely to rate their experiences as positive when higher levels of automation are utilized throughout the application process itself.

10. 54 percent of HR professionals do not see the next wave of technological innovation as a threat to the industry or their roles. (Source)

While many professionals across industries fear that automation and technology might negatively impact their careers by making their roles redundant, HR professionals have thus far proven the opposite. More than half of surveyed professionals believe that technologies such as AI and machine learning will make it easier to automate redundant tasks, allowing them to better utilize their time completing those tasks that add greater value to their organizations.

Preparing for the Digital Transformation of HR

Moving forward, technological innovation will continue to shape the way modern companies conduct business. As a result, it’s critical that human resources managers learn how to properly navigate future trends in order to promote company-wide growth.

Earning a master’s degree in human resources management is an excellent way to better understand how your role impacts overall success. Such a degree will enable you to learn about the critical trends reshaping the human resources field and the resulting impact felt by an organization’s strategy and its people.

Learn More: Advance Your Career With a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management

If you are considering advancing your career with a graduate degree, consider a program at a top school like Northeastern. This program leverages industry-sourced faculty, expertly-crafted curriculum, and extensive experiential learning opportunities so that students can explore the groundbreaking areas of HR management and stay ahead of the curve. Northeastern’s students also have the chance to tailor their education to best fit their interests, including the declaration of a concentration in Digital HR, Artificial Intelligence, Organizational Communication, and more. 

Learn how a Master’s in Human Resources Management at Northeastern can prepare you to advance your career today.


human resource statistics