Strategic HR

Report: Is Your Workforce Utilizing HR Technology?

Automated HR functions are a great way to free up HR professionals to focus on the human aspect of Human Resources, but are these functions benefiting your workforce? A new report, released by Paychex, highlights just how important your HR technology is to your workforce.


The report, “There’s an App for That: HR Goes High-Tech,” consisted of responses from a comprehensive survey of more than 1,500 workers. The goal of the survey was to find out how workers felt about self-service HR software. (If you currently do not offer automated HR services to your workers, these results may change your mind!)

Respondents were asked how often they used the features of their companies’ HR software; each feature was given two points for an “often” response, one point for “sometimes,” and no points for “never.”

The top reason why respondents “often” use the software is to view his or her paycheck and pay history, followed by seeing how much vacation or sick leave they have available, and to log in and out of work. According to the report, employees “sometimes” use HR software to request time off, change profile information, and to view tax documents. Employees also reported that they “never” use HR technology for flexible spending account management, business expense management, or to view company news.

How are these employees accessing the software? According to the survey, a large majority of respondents use their computers to access HR software. However, the smaller the business, the smaller the device is being used to access this software.

For employees who access this technology from a computer, 94.3% are from large businesses, while 88.2% are from small businesses. When accessing the technology from a tablet or smartphone, 11.8% of employees are from small businesses, while only 5.7% of employees use these devices from large businesses.

The report also highlights which functions employees prefer to do in person or over the phone, and which they prefer to do through the software. A vast majority of respondents prefer to use HR software for basic functions like:

  • Changing personal information (90.5% use technology vs. 9.5% use HR professionals)
  • Checking accrued time (90.4% vs. 9.7%)
  • Obtaining W-2 forms and copies (89.0% vs. 11.1%)
  • Changing direct deposit information (88.5% vs 11.5%)
  • Changing retirement plan options (81.7% vs. 18.2%)
  • Changing insurance coverage (81.1% vs. 18.9%)
  • Requesting time off (78.9% vs. 21.1%)
  • Reporting qualifying events, i.e. marriage, birth, etc. (75.5% vs. 24.5%)

Does this mean that soon HR professionals will no longer need to perform the transactional aspects of their job? It’s highly unlikely! According to the report, while HR technology saves employees’ lots of time, it also has its downfalls. Respondents cite slow and buggy systems, privacy concerns, and lack of other features as to why they’ll still use a live, human HR professional to assist them with these types of services. For more information on this report, click here.

Melissa BlazejakMelissa Blazejak is a Senior Web Content Editor at BLR. She has written articles for and the HR Daily Advisor websites and is responsible for the day-to-day management of and She has been at BLR since 2014. She graduated with a BA of Science, specializing in Communication, from Eastern Connecticut State University in 2008. Most recently, she graduated in 2014 with a MS of Educational Technology.