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Employee Benefits

Top 10 HR Technology Fails & Trends

Nataliya Boychenko Stone
Nataliya Boychenko Stone
Senior Vice President - Team Lead, EB

Technology has been a hot topic for the last few years, but it is overwhelming to many employers as they are trying to figure out what they need and how to access what they need. The pattern we usually see is that employers run into some issues with their existing Human Resources Information System (HRIS) and then, by trying to fix the current issues, they may be creating other challenges when selecting a new provider.

Is this you? Are you dealing with this as an employer? I’m hoping to help! In this blog, I want to share some tools you can use and steps you can take to help you in this process to avoid the top technology fails.

On June 7, we hosted an employer roundtable discussing the HR technology trends and the top 10 HR technology fails. Holmes Murphy uses a technology partner, Benefit Technology Resources (BTR), to help us advise clients on finding the right technology solutions for them. Amy Wilson and Carli Meyer with BTR shared a lot of good insights I will summarize here. Please reach out to us if you would like to discuss this any further or action that you can take based on these insights.

Challenges with HR Technology Projects

Employers put in significant time and effort into HRIS implementation projects. In fact, according to Deloitte Human Capital Trends survey data, there are significant challenges with technology projects:

  • 32 percent of HR tech projects are over budget
  • 53 percent missed the deadline for implementation
  • 42 percent stated their HR tech projects were either not fully successful or failed after two years
  • AND a large percentage are not necessarily blaming the platform or the provider, as 40 percent identified they don’t feel like they have enough expertise

Top 10 HR Technology Fails

Knowing this, BTR identified the top 10 fails and offered some guidance on how to fix them:

10. You Set Unrealistic Expectations

Please allow the provider to say, “no, we cannot do that.” We expect a perfect system, but we are here to tell you that does not exist and neither does the perfect spouse or Big Foot.

9. You Skipped Training and Testing

Just buying the gym membership won’t magically transform your body — you have to actually GO to the gym and learn how to make it work for you! The same goes with training and testing on an HR tech tool.

8. You Have Bad Data

Are you implementation ready? Make sure to score your data.

Bad data is bad data no matter what the system you’re working with is. Data is the key to trigger workflows. What goes into your analytics and reporting is distributed to many other locations (i.e. your 401k provider, insurance carriers, etc.). “Data is like garbage. You better know what you are going to do with it before you collect it.”

7. You Rushed Your Decision

Don’t treat your HR technology like your Amazon cart! Have you ever been around someone with a great point but bad timing? Or have you ever met the right person at the wrong time? It is like that!

It takes less time to do something right than to explain why it was done wrong or, better yet, the time it takes to undo it. Establish a realistic timeline and stick to it.

6. You Are Not Ready for This Change

Simply said, you don’t have buy-in from key stakeholders, employees, and external partners, and you do not have a plan to manage the change. If the change is complicated to you, then it is definitely complicated to them.

5. You Do NOT Have the Right Team

Have you ever been put on a team you did not pick or want to be on? Look around to see who the weak link was? This is a big fail.

4. You Are Focused “Only” on Price

If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys. Consider soft cost (time) savings, etc. By the way, it goes both ways. You can spend a lot of money and still not get what you want, because you bought more than you can handle.

3. You Have “No” HR Tech Strategy

Hindsight or hope is not a strategy. An HR technology strategy should support the overall strategic objectives of both HR and the business as a whole.

2. You Did Not Have the Right Requirements

By this, we mean must-haves, nice to haves, etc. Never underestimate the power of the discover process when vetting technology. “If it isn’t documented, then it didn’t happen.”


It is your buying process, do not let it be a sales process. All vendors will have the best solutions, so you need to be careful and clear about your goals and expectations.

HR Technology Trends

Next, I want to touch on some of the HR technology trends BTR has brought to our attention:

  • The technology landscape continues to change as significant investments are committed to the space. Just in 2021, there was a $12 billion investment in Human Capital Management (HCM) technology!
  • We saw a significant acquisition market in 2022 and predict the investment to slow but still continue.
  • The players are evolving as the big players continue to get bigger as they expand their services and solutions.
  • Employees are overwhelmed with too many systems, and employers are trying to find ways to consolidate and simplify their offerings and solutions.
  • Work-life integration trends to make it easier for multiple systems to communicate.
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) has entered into the picture. You can expect an average increase in budget between 21-25 percent! AI will continue to be used in recruitment, skilling up, and learning leverage. In fact, according to an IBM study, 35 percent of companies adopted some form of AI in 2022.

My final message is to align yourself with a partner who can help guide you and keep you up to date on all emerging trends! We’d be happy to be that partner. Just reach out to us, and let’s chat!


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