Re-evaluate your HR tech stack in the time of coronavirus to keep up with scaling demands and unknown surprises
A tech stack is a critical part of developing a mobile or web application — such as your HR recruitment tool. It’s usually a combination of software and/or programming language specific to a project. With massive unemployment throughout the country at this time, a tech stack is especially crucial to assist companies with navigating the possible flood of applications they are receiving.
In the world of HR, a tech stack refers to combined software in order to achieve HR goals such as:
- Recruitment and onboarding (including remotely)
- Scheduling virtual interviews
- Communication with potential and current employees
- Performance management
- Employee engagement
However, it’s not necessarily easy to select the perfect combination of software and development tools, especially for businesses that are undergoing big changes or growth (and that includes just about everyone in the middle of a pandemic!).
Some larger companies might hire a “cloud architect” to help design their various tech stacks. These architects know how to select the right frameworks, products, and languages that can scale along with your unique business and needs, such as applicant tracking and data collection.
One example of a tech stack might be a web application for HR recruitment created with Ruby on Rails (framework and language) that accesses a database created with PostgreSQL. This requires companies to host it on a server like Apache, which will uses Phusion Passenger to make that a realization. All of these are part of a tech stack.
What if those examples made zero sense?
Don’t worry — the vast majority of business owners don’t know in-depth details about software products and programming languages, and you probably don’t need to. What you need to understand is that a lot of different technology is going to be necessary for your HR efforts.
HRIS for your small business
Coronavirus has changed the way businesses operate, including how they recruit and retain employees. Tech stacks can allow for virtual interviews, simplify onboarding by allowing remote integration and training, and provide pre-employment assessment tools for hiring managers. If your small business doesn’t have the means to hire an HR department or professional — or your department needs extra help — making sure you outsource your HR needs to a Human Resources Information System (HRIS) or an HR group that understands your needs is critical.
Any tech stack is based around the idea that you’re using a mobile app, web app, or both to achieve a certain goal. For instance, maybe you want to make it easy for your new employees to access their various benefit options with a mobile app or on a website. This might include searching for benefits, seeing how much vacation time they have, or searching for special perks like discounted gym memberships.
It’s a lot easier to have this information available in a safe, secure, online space rather than constantly updating hard copies of employee benefit handbooks. You or the HR company you work with will need an HR stack to make this happen.
Scaling is key
Scaling, or the likelihood of a business to get bigger or smaller, is an important facet of tech stacks. Ultimately, a quality tech stack will help you scale your projects, and business, faster. That’s why it’s important to have the right tech stack secured before a new position is advertised or a major new project is undertaken. Changing the tech stack in the middle of a project is certainly possible, but it can sometimes be difficult. It can require a lot of work and, in some cases, money. It can also take quite a bit of time, which is a critical item when a company is in the middle of hiring.
Most people, save for experienced developers, don’t know how to choose a tech stack. However, if you’re the one behind a product, you have what you need to work with a company that does know about tech stacks. Something to consider is if you’d prefer a super scalable tech stack or something that’s immediately available. Do you need to work with programs that are familiar, like WordPress, in order to get projects done, or do you work with folks who are very tech-savvy?
Common tech stacks in HR
There are seemingly countless programs, languages, and frameworks available. However, when it comes to your HR, there are also some common types of projects to address.
These may include:
- HR information systems
- Payroll and benefits
- Compensation and equity plan management
- Recruiting, applicant tracking, and data collection
- Talent assessment and selection
- Performance and development
- Employee engagement
Within each of these categories, there are several options for tech stack combinations. Each are also driven by the size of your business.
Unless you’re a major enterprise that wants to build your own tech stacks from scratch, you certainly don’t need to delve deeper than this. Instead, consider this as intel to what you can expect to ask of your HR professional or look into an HRIS system of your own.
HR tech stacks in the time of coronavirus are necessary to keep up with scaling demands and unknown surprises.
Coronavirus has changed everything, including how tech stacks are created and changed and how they can be a huge asset for hiring and training new employees in unprecedented times. A lot more employees and managers are going virtual, and perhaps your old school method of accepting walk-in resumes or interviews or providing paper checks bi-monthly is no longer available or safe. That will require a change to some aspects of your HR tech stack.