Early Look: Finch Survey Finds Many Opportunities to Improve the Employment Tech Stack

September 20, 2023
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Finch surveyed 1,000+ HR professionals regarding their employment tech stack. Here is a sneak peek at the findings. The full report will be published in October 2023.

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Recently, Finch commissioned a survey exploring the relationship human resources (HR) professionals have with their tech stacks, specifically the employment systems they use to manage employee data. To get a clear picture of the industry, the survey polled 1,004 HR professionals throughout the United States. The full report will be published in October but, in the meantime, here’s a sneak peek into some of the findings. 

Note: Our team defines employment systems as tools that store data centered around the employee lifecycle. Examples of employment systems include but are not limited to Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS), payroll, benefits, business finance, tax, compliance, and insurance applications.

The Growing Tech Stack: Making the Case for More Connected Systems

In the survey, we found that 49% of HR professionals say they leverage seven or more employment systems of record, inclusive of their HRIS, ATS, benefits administration, payroll, and time-tracking systems. This becomes more complex with larger organizations: 38% of HR professionals whose organizations have more than 1,000 employees report having ten or more employment systems in their tech stack.

While nearly all respondents (97%) say it's important for their employment systems of record to integrate with other tools in their tech stacks, 84% say this connectivity is very or extremely important. Yet, 55% of HR professionals say that between one and six of their tools automatically sync employment data from their systems of record. 

With so many disparate and siloed tools to manage, there’s a strong need for greater connectivity throughout the employment ecosystem. For HR professionals, better system integrations will be the key to boosting efficiency, enabling them to do their jobs more effectively and with more ease.

Wasted Time and Errors Found

Our survey found that 58% of HR professionals spend more than seven hours in employment systems each week. 68% say they regularly or constantly switch between different employment systems throughout the day. 51% of those who toggle between different employment systems admit doing so leaves them feeling overwhelmed, stressed, annoyed, frustrated, or angry.

Interestingly, HR executives spend more time in their employment systems than their workers. Whereas 72% of VP- and C-level leaders say they spend seven or more hours logged in, just 46% of individual contributors say the same. Surprisingly, executives also report spending more time manually entering employment data and toggling between different systems than the individual contributors who work for them.

Not as surprising, 64% of HR professionals say they spend between four to nine hours manually entering data per week. This is somewhat expected and unfortunately accepted in the HR industry given the highly-sensitive nature of information that needs to be inserted into these employment systems. However, these manual processes clearly aren’t meeting the mark when it comes to accuracy: 56% of HR professionals say their team finds incorrect or outdated information in employee data at least once a week.

This data tells us that there’s a huge opportunity to improve the many employment systems that HR professionals have to manually enter data into. 

Security Issues Come From the Top

On the topic of entering data into employment systems, we decided to see how securely HR professionals gather and manage sensitive employment data. We found that the top two channels HR professionals currently use to communicate sensitive employment data are email (65%) and video conferencing tools, such as Zoom or Google Meet (51%).

Shockingly, 41% of HR professionals admit they communicate sensitive employment data via text message or SMS. Findings further reveal the biggest offenders are those who should know better: 50% of HR professionals with Chief Human Resource Officer, VP of HR or Head of HR titles admit to communicating sensitive employment data through text message or SMS. 

While most respondents (68%) admit they’re worried about employment data breaches, a greater percentage (76%) is concerned about complying with data security regulations, with 57% of HR professionals saying they are very or extremely concerned. 70% of those in executive roles such as CHRO, VP or Head of HR say they’re very or extremely concerned about complying with employment data security regulations. In comparison, fewer of those in individual contributor HR roles (39%) express the same high levels of concern about complying with employment data security regulations.

The takeaway is clear: HR professionals need to find a more secure way to share employment data. 

Conflicting Views on AI

With nearly three in five HR professionals already utilizing generative AI technologies, there is a decidedly large awareness of AI’s potential within the human resources field. Yet, notably, there’s a significant disconnect between HR executives and individual contributors when it comes to whether AI technology is actually being used on a regular basis: The vast majority (84%) of HR executives at the VP level or higher (e.g., Head of HR, CHRO, etc.) believe their teams are using generative AI, yet only 34% of individual contributors report doing so.

Meanwhile, views around the impact and implications of AI tools continue to be mixed. While a majority of HR professionals rate artificial intelligence as being both relatively powerful and a competitive advantage, many still perceive AI as being relatively expensive, exclusive, and risky to use. There is also a great deal of fear about the potential of the human resources occupation being outsourced to AI, as indicated in numerous open-ended responses. Yet, where AI takes the HR field going forward remains to be seen.

What’s To Come?

Finch will be announcing the full results of this survey in October, which will include in-depth breakouts of the above data. Interested in seeing the full report once it’s published? Sign up below to be notified.

This survey was conducted online within the United States from June 21 - 30, 2023 among 1,004 human resources professionals, all of whom were employed full-time. 

The vast majority (78%) were team leaders in director, vice president, or c-level executive roles. The other 22% were individual contributors, many of whom specialized in a specific domain within human resources, such as people operations, talent acquisition, or DEI. 

Surprisingly, 63% of respondents were neither remote nor hybrid workers, instead being required to come into the office five days per week.

97% of HR professionals say it’s important for your app to integrate with their employment systems

Learn more in our State of Employment Technology report ->

97% of HR professionals say it’s important for your app to integrate with their employment systems

Download the report to learn more

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