For many years, there have been solution providers in the HR space that have provided technology – such as talent management solutions, payroll systems, recruiting solutions, and others up and down the continuum from hire-to-retire. And there have been solution providers that provide content to support assessments, background checks, compensation and rewards planning, and other needs.

In the Salesforce Analytics Cloud these components can be brought together, combined with other business or personal data and mined for insights. The platform serves as the hub for different types of data from multiple sources that can then be analyzed in context. As an example, if the context is recruiting and the challenge is to find the talent pool with the highest concentration of qualified candidates at the lowest projected cost to recruit, the platform makes that possible. This ability to contextually integrate multiple data types—salary ranges, time-to-hire, concentration of skills, relocation costs, etc—and analyze them at machine speed fuels data-driven innovation and is our vision for the future. It is what enables a radically different mission for HR professionals as insights-driven consultants to the business.

We see two major themes playing out over the next few years, bringing with them an ability to quickly discover insights in data integrated from multiple sources. This is the enabler for HR professionals to take a much more strategic seat at the management table.

  • Machine-speed workforce optimization. The departure of baby boomers from the workforce will have a significant impact on companies across all industries. A skills shortage exists and HR organizations that can move the quickest with the most relevant insights about candidates, existing employees and ex-employees will make a strategic contribution to the business. They will anticipate need, analyze alternatives to satisfy that need and make informed recommendations to the business. Those that can do it at machine speed and streamline execution processes to take advantage of opportunity will raise business performance.
  • Creating a cohesive culture from increasingly diverse talent. The diversity in the workforce, with multiple generations, cultures, behaviors and work styles all present, presents a challenge in creating the optimal mix and culture. Over the next 5-6 years, we will find talent with widely different needs and demands. Applying a one-size-fits-all strategy to meet dynamic business requirements and creating a winning culture is difficult-to-impossible without analytic tools and processes. The cloud makes it economically feasible for companies of nearly any size to tap analytics, data and applications that help objectively assess need, balance skills with diversity targets, weigh economic and other quantifiable impacts and create an optimal pool for that final subjective decision by hiring managers.

Technology has HR on the move in a very exciting and fresh way, and as a result we will see both an evolution of HR’s role in the organization and revolution in the processes we employ to develop competitive advantage in the coming years.