Key trends evolving in 2016 for HR technology • Avature

On the eve of the HR Tech MENA Summit QNA International interviews Dimitri Boylan, Founder & CEO, Avature


What are the 5 key trends you see evolving in 2016 for HR technology? As one of the leading experts in technology solutions worldwide, what do you see emerging as the key focus for MENA region in terms of HR technology? 

Dimitri Boylan press release image
Dimitri Boylan, Founder & CEO at Avature

The challenges and opportunities faced by HR leaders today increasingly resemble those of marketing leaders. Technology and the Internet have fundamentally reshaped the way we live, particularly the way we shop, select travel destinations, how we bank, communicate, commute, and socialize.

In response to this change, sales and marketing leaders have adopted an ever-expanding array of tools that use social media, mobile, and cloud technologies to engage their audiences and influence their behavior for competitive advantage. Recruiting has followed this trend and leading recruiting organizations operate very much like a sales and marketing function. The use of CRM (candidate relationship management) methodology in recruiting will be the biggest change that companies in the MENA region should expect.

We will also see HR leaders abandon previous stand-alone solutions that were deployed with limited organizational impact, like succession planning systems that were deployed for, and only leveraged by, a small percentage of the company. Similarly with performance management software, until now it was only used for recording annual reviews. Over time we will see these products expand into much broader solutions prioritizing internal mobility, which impacts the entire organization by making it more transparent, motivational and agile.

Social and mobile will continue to grow and provide value through increased adoption and improved direct-access user experiences. This will enable HR to leverage real time data to recommend location-based learning, optimize productivity and achieve greater efficiency by offering scheduling and task management suggestions – not to mention networking and knowledge sharing opportunities with team members. 

In learning and development, we’ll see a radical change from tracking solutions to in-system training, with a strong emphasis in social learning and organic knowledge distribution.

Employee engagement technologies will most probably be based on a social model not too dissimilar to what is seen in the consumer Internet. They will move from being systems of record to platforms for engagement. In the end, the suite is being replaced with a social platform that everybody is part of, and of course, accessibility from any device will be the norm.

Big data will play an increasing role within future talent management strategies. The mounting pressure for human resources to play a more strategic role in the business will mean having the right technology to engage employee communities, the data to understand what drives them, and the insight to make smarter decisions. All these factors will be paramount to HRs success.

With today’s changing markets, competitive pressures and evolving needs, there is increasing pressure on technology to deliver greater flexibility, scalability and configurability to the business. The region can no longer rely upon on-premise solutions. They need to move to cloud based solutions that allow multiple processes to be set up for different countries, business lines, in multiple languages, with the right data segmentation and security to comply with the various regulatory requirements.

In order to stay competitive and grow, what are the recent advancements in HR software that companies need to be aware of in the MENA region? 

To remain competitive, HR should leverage the tools that SaaS delivers, particularly real-time talent analytics and social engagement tools to demonstrate how the HR strategy is driving revenue, lowering costs and reducing people risk by creating a productive and engaged workforce.

The consumer grade technology of 2nd generation SaaS solutions are now giving HR leaders the ability to deliver on their HR strategy by allowing them to create innovative and engaging programs, removing the limitations and rigidity that legacy on-premise and first generation SaaS products provided. The constant high frequency and non-disruptive upgrades SaaS delivers creates a steady flow of new functionality for the HR organizations to work with. Imagine creating an experience where your employees have access to a mobile optimized portal or a mobile app, which has built in chat functionality and a HRBP on the other end to assist them with their questions. Now compare that experience to your current legacy HR Self Service Portal. In the minds of your users, you have a 15-year-old HR system competing against the modern usability of consumer websites they use daily, like Amazon, Google and Facebook. SaaS lets you level the playing field – it gives HR the tools to get the engagement and adoption that your talent management programs need.

On a global level do you see companies investment in HR technology shifting towards people centric solutions from process centric solutions? What kind of advancements do you foresee being used on the mid and large enterprise level?

Hiring and retaining the right talent continues to be HR’s biggest challenge. As a consequence, companies are now investing in the tools to source and proactively manage relationships with passive talent, using CRM tactics. These tools enable recruiters to segment, profile, and execute highly personalized campaigns to both internal and external talent. HR now has access to this data early in the lifecycle, which also helps them figure out why people leave, what drives them to stay, and gain the insight to make quicker and smarter decisions.

As employee engagement rises higher on the agenda, the future will be all about having people on a social platform. Platforms that allow companies to get their hands around the DNA of their people, to get into the subtler aspects of how employees engage with each other and participate in the business. These systems have started to contribute important information to the Big Data story. Because Big Data is not your payroll, your financial information, or your inventory – it’s the insight and intelligence that companies get from the interactions that their employees have with customers and with each other.

The real benefit here is businesses will be able to achieve greater value out of their workforce. Leading 2nd generation SaaS solutions bring agility, flexibility and configurability to the end business user, which will allow businesses to quickly respond to change and market demands and will help better engage talented people and reduce unwanted turnover.

As most of the upcoming workforce in the MENA region is the millennial generation, how would you see social and digital engagements and mobile communications work towards developing and attracting the right talent pool? Is it the right time for these kind of investments?

Absolutely. The upcoming workforce demands a very different type of candidate experience. Millennials, described as digital natives, pose new challenges for recruiters to move beyond traditional approaches. Avid mobile users, connected 24-7, and tech savvy, they expect a more digital, mobile, and rapid experience. They also want to connect with real people, experience the authenticity of a brand, and delve into company culture – all before they even consider applying. Gone are the days where all you do is post a job on a job board and expect the perfect candidate to show up on your doorstep.

Millennials pursue organizations that have beliefs and goals similar to their own, seek greater fulfillment and work-life balance, and ultimately choose organizations in which they can grow. This means that companies need to develop the right message (Employment Value Proposition), which is communicated via the right online channels in order to catch their attention. With over 300 million employment- related Google searches and 45% of job seekers using their mobile phone once a day to search for jobs, it’s no longer a question of the right time – it’s how fast you can implement these strategies.

As a Gold sponsor for the HR Tech MENA initiative, what are the key reasons that have prompted you to associate yourself with this event? What is the message you would like to convey through this partnership? 

Avature’s leadership has a history of enabling and supporting innovation and change. In 1997, we began focusing on talent with the advent of Internet, which was on Netscape 1.0, where we developed one of the first web native applicant tracking systems, subsequently introducing the concept of CRM to the recruiting function in 2008.

With over 400 customers across a wide range of industries and markets, 65 of which are Fortune 500 and 58 having over 75,000 employees, Avature brings a global perspective to this event along with insight into best practices that we see within our customer base.

Through highly agile cloud technology that is easily configurable for unique processes, our customers are leveraging Avature and enabling change within developing markets such as MENA. This approach has been successful in Asia-Pacific, and we see MENA following a similar path given the importance of the region.

About Avature

Avature is a highly configurable enterprise SaaS platform for Talent Acquisition and Talent Management, and the leading provider of CRM technology for recruiting globally. Founded by Dimitri Boylan, co-founder and former CEO of, Avature brings consumer-web technology and innovation to the HCM software market. Avature solutions include shared services sourcing, applicant tracking, campus & events recruiting, employee referrals, social onboarding, branded employee engagement, internal mobility, and performance management. Avature has 63 of the Fortune 500 as customers and is used in 67 countries and 14 languages. Avature delivers its services from data centers in the US, Europe, and Asia, and has offices in Buenos Aires, London, Madrid, Melbourne, New York, Paris and Shenzhen.

Media Contacts:

Maria Lorenzo Brisco press release image
Maria Lorenzo Brisco, Marketing Director at Avature

Maria Lorenzo Brisco



Twitter: @Avature