As technology revolutionises industries across the world—companies large and small, startups and established organisations—have had to adjust to new ways of doing business. The tech revolution is not just external, as companies can also utilise the latest technology internally. This is where human resource or HR tech comes in.

HR tech focuses on the experience of employees rather than the experience of customers and consumers. Also known as employee engagement software, it can assist management in recognising exemplary performances, as well as stay abreast of any concerns  causing employee dissatisfaction and it performs both functions faster and more efficiently than ever before. 

We explore 5 HR technologies changing the industry in Southeast Asia

Ironically, removing some of the human element from human resources can help organisations make better decisions. Employee-centric tools help C-suite, and other senior executives keep their fingers on the pulse of the internal workings of their company. An advantage of this technology is that it can scale as the company does.

Why is HR tech needed?

Human Resources has often been low on the list of priorities for companies, especially when considering data. HR data is not easily quantifiable in comparison to other business metrics such as page clicks, downloads, or sales, so until recently, it has been difficult to collect. Many HR tech companies have strategized  to change this, as work-life balance becomes a top priority for employees and employers alike.

Jay Huang, CEO and Co-Founder, Pulsifi

The founder and CEO of Pulsifi, Jay Huang, said in an interview with Adrian Tan that during his career in business, he learned, “finding and developing great people was difficult, and these great people are the key to bringing an organisation to greater success.” As competition grows and talent become difficult to retain, companies must be more focused on keeping their best people satisfied.

HR tech can also assist companies in making better choices when hiring, using intangible qualities that are not easily gleaned from a CV, cover letter, or even an interview. These data-driven technologies can help predict how a potential hire will fit into the company culture, and make talent management decisions that would have been impossible just a few years ago. AI and other technological developments can assist with psychological profiles that are useful for both hiring and retention. Using that analysis also helps organisations to hold onto valuable employees long-term.

International companies expanding into Southeast Asia

As tech startups continue to flourish in Southeast Asia, international companies sense the opportunity and are establishing regional offices. PeopleStrong, an Indian company founded in 2006—the only HR Tech company from India to be ranked in the Top 100 by AppsRunTheWorld—opened a Singapore office in early 2019. Co-founder and Chief Business Officer of PeopleStrong, Shelley Singh said, “Our many firsts with large enterprise customers and a user-focused approach have been the hallmark of PeopleStrong’s growth, and we look forward to powering the enterprises in Asia Pacific as they redefine the digital experiences at work.”

In Southeast Asia, talent recruitment, acquisition, and management are top priorities in HR. Since the tech startup scene in Southeast Asia is relatively new, there is room for growth and change at a precedent that would be difficult  to accomplish in already established markets. This potential for innovation is attractive for HR tech, as the only limits for their expansion are the limits of the companies themselves.

HR tech partnerships

Indonesian tech giant Tokopedia, founded in 2009 by William Tanuwijaya and his best friend Leontinus Alpha Edison, is a C2C (customer to customer) e-commerce platform. In only a decade, Tokopedia has grown to be worth billions of dollars with almost 4,000 employees.

Tokopedia renewed its partnership with the leading employee engagement software provider in Asia, EngageRocket, as they realised the continued growth of their company is reliant upon the satisfaction of their employees. Not only do they need a USP (unique selling proposition) for their customers, but also for their employees. Working with EngageRocket will provide exactly that.

HR experts share their predictions for 2019

Another notable innovation is the JobTech Employer platform, launched in 2018 in Singapore. The AI component automates job postings, verifies jobseekers, and sends the best candidates to the hiring staff. As AI technology improves, it will be able to select the best matches and make perfect pairings between employee and employer. 

Startups are especially reliant on hiring the right types of people, and the industry is growing exponentially as priorities in workplace cultures shift. With executives more concerned with keeping up with the inner workings of their companies in real-time—HR tech offers opportunities for this like never before. As HR tech becomes more mainstream, expect to see more companies adopt similar partnerships.