In a video interview with HR Executive, global HR industry analyst Josh Bersin said, “Technology has become an essential element in optimizing the practice of human resources.” Truth be told, it’s hard to overstate the transformative impact of HR tech on global businesses.

From cars to computers, we’ve been adopting and adapting to new technology across every facet of our lives—and HR in modern-day business is no different. Bersin calls the current era the “Post-Industrial Age.” To succeed today and in the future, he stresses that businesses require “continuous investment in skills development, training, and professional development at all levels of the company.”

HR technology is critical to surviving and thriving in the modern world.

Just think of all the work that goes into a team’s day-to-day: collecting data, analyzing that data, speaking to your people—from managers and C-suite executives to peers and individual contributors—devising people strategy, and executing plans quickly and effectively. The growing list of HR responsibilities gets more overwhelming every day and can quickly burn people out. 

Luckily, HR tech tools are here to save the day. 

Leverage them to help with the heavy lifting of data collection and people analytics, and even employee engagement and workforce planning programs. They’re there to help you stay on track, speed up processes, and (most of all) give you the time and headspace you need to put your energy where it’s needed most: keeping the people who propel your business forward happy and fulfilled.

Having the right tools and a truly modern tech stack to support your HR programs is paramount to succeeding and advancing in the modern business world. And it’s essential that Core HR is at the heart of it.

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What is Core HR?

Core human resources—or Core HR—is the backbone of HR operations.

Unlike traditional HR systems, Core HR technology goes beyond basic record-keeping. Instead, it offers a holistic solution that integrates seamlessly with various HR processes. The best Core HR technologies also provide organizations with a single source of truth to collect and view data in a centralized platform.

For instance, it manages fundamental personal team data. It helps businesses handle everyday HR tasks and operations, such as payroll and benefits administration, recruiting and hiring, skills and competencies tracking, workforce planning, and training and development.

At its most basic, Core HR software includes people engagement tools, people analytics to track trends, and workflow automation to streamline everyday tasks like onboarding.

With all these functions in a centralized platform, it’s easier to ensure accuracy, efficiency, and compliance across all HR processes—forming a solid foundation for strategic decision-making within organizations.

But it’s important to recognize that Core HR isn’t just about data management—it’s about drawing on centralized information to create a strategic HR framework that aligns HR goals with overarching business objectives. 

The best Core HR tech puts functionality first

When it comes to Core HR tech, future-ready functionality is key: Flexible, modern, and easy-to-use (and maintain) platforms are what modern companies need to pivot quickly and meet unforeseen market demands.

Great Core HR also puts automation front and center alongside data collection, global reporting capabilities, and a focus on improving the employee experience. It leverages AI and machine learning to enhance predictive people analytics, helping organizations anticipate workforce trends, identify potential issues—like falling engagement, pay equity discrepancies, or rising attrition rates—and proactively address each one of these challenges. 

But, the best Core HR tech platforms also prioritize accessibility. 

Accessibility, self-service, and easy usability for everyone in your company, no matter their role, department, or level of seniority—from individual contributors and line managers to IT, HR, and the board—is more critical than ever. 

Let’s dive into the three key elements of great Core HR tech, built to help modern organizations succeed now and in the future: ease of use, ease of configuration, and HR empowerment.

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The best Core HR tech is easy to use

Fundamentally, effective Core HR software is so intuitive and straightforward that anyone can use it—whether that’s HR administrators and people managers, C-level executives, the IT team, or individual team members.

This helps everyone across the organization navigate the system efficiently in the way that serves them best, saving time and reducing the learning curve for new users. The best Core HR tech prioritizes simplicity without compromising on functionality, incorporating powerful tools like:

  • Intuitive dashboards
  • Drag-and-drop functionality
  • Clear navigation menus

Many Core HR tools now also include mobile accessibility. In a time when remote work and flexible schedules are increasingly common, HR professionals and other team members need the ability to access and manage people systems from anywhere.

As a result, mobile-friendly Core HR tools help HR teams to stay connected and responsive, promoting a more agile and adaptive work environment.

The best modern HR platforms create a welcoming environment for everyone who uses them. They include things like integrated tutorials and professional training, step-by-step demos, and fun user interfaces that inspire people to engage with the platform and interact with their colleagues.

This creates a great user experience and promotes a self-service culture where people can easily update their personal details (like address, marital status, or other information), take certification courses through a built-in or integrated LMS, request PTO, and check on upcoming paychecks or pay history—all without interacting directly with anyone on the HR team.

Ultimately, user-friendly Core HR is a huge win for everyone, especially HR and managers: It saves invaluable time on low-level admin tasks, enhances adoption, and empowers HR teams to leverage the full potential of the HR platform, freeing up time and energy for people strategy and programs that improve company culture, boost engagement, and increase retention. 

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The best Core HR tech is easy to configure

As anyone familiar with the modern world of work will tell you, no organization is ever the same, and a one-size-fits-all approach won’t meet your unique business needs. That makes flexibility and customization crucial when implementing Core HR technology.

The best Core HR systems are highly configurable, allowing organizations to tailor the system to align with their specific workflows, processes, and structures.

For example, having easily configurable workflows, custom forms, and customized people data reporting capabilities allows HR admins to adapt the Core HR system to their evolving requirements, removing the need for time-consuming, expensive support from IT or other professional services. 

Great HR platforms enable you to automate these processes and workflows once they’re set up, ultimately saving hours—sometimes days or weeks—of time. 

This gives HR professionals the time and headspace to focus on the more essential parts of the job, like building and executing an agile, data-driven, and people-focused business strategy. 

Usually, with a simple click of a button, they provide a wealth of powerful people data and simplify generating accurate reports on everything from workforce planning to engagement and performance. 

The best Core HR is also great at integrating with your existing tech stack (think payroll software, talent management systems, and enterprise resource planning solutions, for example), making it easy for organizations to keep things running smoothly without missing a beat.  

Easily configurable Core HR is key to enhancing your business’s future readiness and ability to adapt quickly to market or economic climate changes. The best Core HR platforms provide you with tools to boost your business, improve engagement, and manage day-to-day admin—from onboarding, compensation, and workforce management to attendance and performance. 

It’s what allows businesses to scale up successfully, realign headcount plans to meet evolving market demands, expand internationally, and focus on nurturing an exceptional company culture.

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The best Core HR tech boosts HR empowerment

In Welcome to the Post-Industrial Age, Bersin talks about how empowering HR is essential to business growth. He says organizations must become more dynamic to succeed in today’s world.  

At its heart, this entails empowering HR teams with the support and tools they need to demonstrate that HR is a revenue-generator vs. cost center. The tools provided by Core HR tech are essential to successfully empowering HR professionals and helping them make a significant and lasting impact on their organization. Most of all, Core HR tools also help HR professionals prove the ROI of intelligent and well-executed people strategy, making gaining buy-in from other business leaders easier. But how?

Core HR tools help reduce the energy HR teams spend on time-consuming admin tasks and redirect it to programs dedicated to improving employee satisfaction, retention, and overall organizational growth initiatives.

According to Bersin, you can use Core HR to achieve five of today’s top people strategies.

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1. Work-centric organizational design 

Work-centric structures simplify things, focusing less on specific job functions and more on combining the right set of skills to deliver a project.

Great Core HR provides HR teams with the tools, hard people data, and automation that enable them to be more independent and proactive about people strategy—building stronger teams and driving organizational success.

Its automation also frees up hours to weeks of time HR teams can use to focus on structuring teams to create the biggest impact. They can also spend time on developing culture and engagement programs, boosting retention, productivity, and employee satisfaction—and, ultimately, the company’s bottom line.

2. Transparency and clear communication

Transparency within projects and between teams is crucial in the modern world of work, just like knowledge-sharing, innovation, and collaboration.

Great Core HR systems do the heavy administrative lifting that makes knowledge-sharing simple: They automate processes and centralize data in easy-to-read dashboards. That makes it easy to share information, aiding clear communication when it comes to executing tasks and finishing projects, as well as recruitment, onboarding, workforce management, and performance tracking.

3. Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEI&B)

Encouraging high levels of inclusion and diversity allows leaders to operate in a “skills meritocracy.” This means they focus on skills rather than hiring individuals based on popularity, education, or political favoritism.

Core HR makes it easy to track your organization’s hiring practices and measure how equitable your recruitment truly is. The best software goes even further, with features that boost inclusion and belonging by allowing HR professionals to establish remote and in-person cross-team meetups and to gather anonymous feedback via surveys. 

Another bonus of automation is reducing the risk of human error, improving data accuracy, and ensuring compliance with DE&I regulatory requirements.

4. Talent mobility

Today, leaders and staff can explore different roles within a company, moving laterally into new areas as well as seeking promotions. This allows individuals to try new things, move around, and gain a range of skills, developing a comprehensive set of “full stack” skills through hands-on experience.

Great Core HR tech gives HR the tools to effectively “break down barriers and move people around from team to team, and project to project, based on skills, ambition, and growth,” as Bersin says. That means you can quickly understand the career trajectory of each team member, assess their skill sets, and help arrange the people power business leaders need to reach organizational goals.

5. Skills development and training

The skills needed at work today are radically different from just a few years ago. By consistently investing in skills development, training, and professional growth at every level, companies ensure that their teams receive support for continuous learning and advancement throughout their careers.

Core HR helps you stay on top of evolving needs by creating a continuous learning environment powered by training programs, courses, and mentorships. By tracking the development of your people, you can keep them motivated and engaged, keep skill gaps filled, and carry out workforce planning with accurate information.

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Modern business success relies on great Core HR tech

In today’s hyper-competitive business environment, leveraging Core HR technology is fundamental to sustainable success. As HR leaders become ever more critical to shaping company strategy, Core HR technology is a game changer for businesses striving for success in the modern world.

As Josh Bersin says, “In the last 20 or so years, it’s gone from people worrying if HR is going to have a seat at the table to HR being asked to be very strategic business consultants. Of course, the technology’s been instrumental in doing that.”

It puts all your data in one place so it’s easy to access for everyone (no matter where they are in the world. It’s easy to use no matter who’s using it: HR, manager, C-level, or individual contributor. And it’s easy to change according to evolving business and people needs.

Core HR tech is the engine that helps HR leaders propel businesses forward. It’s the key to supporting dynamic, future-ready organizations fit to excel in today’s rapidly evolving world.

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Meet Bob

At HiBob, we’ve built a modern HR platform designed for modern business needs—today and beyond.

An HR platform such as Bob offers a one-stop shop for all things HR. It sits at the center of your HR ecosystem, is fully customizable, and grows with your organization. 

For HR, it delivers automation of many common processes, allows greater oversight and visibility of the business, and centralizes all people data in a secure, user-friendly environment.

For managers, it provides access to data and insights to help them lead more effectively and streamline processes.

For employees, it’s the tools and information they need to connect, develop, and grow throughout their journey.  

In a short time, Bob can be deployed to enable communication, collaboration, and connectivity that drives stronger engagement, productivity, and business outcomes.