By Vicki Arnstein and Robert Jeffery

But Towards Maturity research finds 55 per cent of learning is still face-to-face

Nearly every part of HR, from recruitment to performance management, is being transformed by rapid changes in HR technology, according to a report.

Josh Bersin, principal at Bersin by Deloitte and report author, said that the HR technology market has "rapidly shifted" from systems to help HR professionals do their jobs to tools for employees to learn and develop, set goals, manage others and steer their careers.

In the report HR Technology for 2016: 10 Big Disruptions on the Horizon, Bersin said many companies were "ripping out decades of investment in last-generation resource planning systems and replacing them with tools that can directly empower managers and employees".

As companies replace and upgrade HR technologies they should look for tools that offer a consumer-like experience, he added. “The HR technology market is bursting with new applications that shift the focus toward more consumer-like experience and away from tools created to streamline the work of HR administration,” said Bersin.

"Imagine an employee application suite that runs on your phone, knows your location, and recommends people to network with. It provides continuous on-boarding and transition assistance, evaluates time-management aptitude to help improve productivity, automatically assesses work behaviours and offers feedback on improving work-life balance, delivers on-the-job skills training, and even shares exercise and healthy eating tips at the point of need. This is likely where HR technology is going, and we’re getting there a lot faster than you might think," he added.

Bersin’s report highlighted 10 trends forecast to disrupt HR technology in 2016, including predictions that Apps will become a new HR platform with breakthrough areas likely to include engagement and feedback systems, and increasing access to predictive analytics, such as attaching sensors to employees to assess whether a new office layout is working or not.

However, figures from the 2015-16 Towards Maturity Industry Benchmark Report, show that more than half of learning is still delivered face to face.

The report, which polled 600 L&D leaders from 55 countries to explore trends in learning and for which the CIPD is the strategic partner, suggests almost a fifth (19 per cent) of L&D budget is now being spent on learning technologies, but take up of new platforms and techniques has been relatively slow.

Survey figures suggest take-up of e-learning, live online learning and learning management systems has become widespread, and enthusiasm among both learners and L&D professionals for new ways of collaborating and sharing knowledge has never been higher.

But at a preview event for the Towards Maturity report, which will be fully launched on November 5, Laura Overton, managing director of Towards Maturity, suggested that the skills mix among L&D teams was part of the issue. "People are using new technology and trying out new models, which is encouraging. But with the things that we as L&D professionals have the ability to change – things like skills, which are real people issues – we're struggling. There are some real issues at the moment," she said.

And in his report Bersin said that companies should evaluate the success of their HR technologies by employees’ engagement. "Buying software that is hard to use, that requires lots of training, or is not fully integrated with the existing environment is a mistake. Utilisation and engagement with technology is an important measure of success," he said.

Ksenia Zheltoukhova, research adviser at the CIPD, added: “Technological advancements in the workplace are inevitable, and are often a welcome change from outdated ways of working. But it’s crucial to remember that true innovation happens when you start by asking questions about purpose rather than process. Modernisation in HR requires a much deeper understanding of people through the science of human and organisation behaviour, including an awareness of how people interact with technology.”

The HR Technology for 2016: 10 Big Disruptions on the Horizon report was unveiled at the HR Technology Conference and Expo in Las Vegas and a full copy can be downloaded from the Bersin by Deloitte website