HR Tech Concept According to a recent study, “urgent shortfalls exist in HR’s ability to support critical goals, including developing executives who can lead in volatile environments and enabling business strategy execution.” (Photo: Shutterstock)

HR tech is a growing industry. According to analytics firm Larocque Inc., more than $1 billion was invested in HR tech companies last year. As a result, adoption is on the rise. More brokers are implementing benefits platforms that streamline the enrollment process and reduce the inefficiency of benefits administration.

Some of these are standalone solutions, while others provide advanced HR functionality, such as applicant tracking, onboarding, document storage of personnel files, and time and attendance.

But some brokers may be wondering, what’s the benefit of integrating HR into benefits software? For those looking to streamline benefits enrollment, other features may seem purely ancillary, but that isn’t the case.

Here are three reasons why brokers should integrate HR into benefits tech.

Comprehensive advising

Adopting a benefits point solution will solve the administrative headaches that brokers and HR share when it comes to open enrollment and managing changes year round.

However, it won’t address the many other issues the HR department faces, including those that intersect with benefits. From onboarding to compliance, HR consistently runs up against issues intersecting with or impacted by benefits, which is why adopting a comprehensive solution has advantages.

Further, most employers are looking to their brokers to solve more than just benefits challenges. With so many rapid changes in health care, competing on quotes alone just isn’t enough.

Adopting an all-in-one tool gives brokers a competitive differentiator, and more tools in the toolbox when it comes to solving the scope of administrative challenges for clients and prospects.

Create a seamless experience

By integrating HR and benefits, employees have a streamlined, consistent experience beginning with their first touch with the company.

An all-in-one system allows a recruit to move through applicant tracking, to onboarding, to benefits enrollment and time tracking in one system. There

are no multiple accounts or customer service numbers to keep track of, but one single, comprehensive point of contact for all benefits and HR needs.

The result is eliminated redundancies in data entry and reduced errors, freeing up both brokers and HR teams to operate more strategically.

Strategy as a differentiator

Paycor’s recent HR Trendcast reported that 48 percent of HR leaders believe many core HR functions will be fully automated by 2022. This is good news—technology is giving HR the room to focus more on people and skills.

This also presents an opportunity for brokers to be on the cutting edge of this online migration. Offering a software solution to employers allows both brokers and HR to add more strategic value to their organizations.

Brokers can focus more on developing sustainable benefit plans for their clients, taking advantage of evolving funding strategies and plan designs, as well as winning new prospects and retaining current clients.

HR can spend their time conducting high performance activities that improve recruitment and retention, including training and culture building.

Integrating benefits and HR allows organizations to operate more efficiently and strategically. For both brokers and their clients, this means more time on business-building, and less time on administration.

Rebekah Michel, PHR-SHRMCP, leads BernieHR, an on-demand HR consulting service for small and mid-sized employers, at benefits brokerage Bernard Health.