4 surprising stats from the biggest HR event of the year

Alongside running The Adoption Track at the 2019 UNLEASH World event in Paris, AppLearn took the opportunity to survey HR professionals on the challenges and benefits of HR software.

The results not only suggest a general knowledge gap into how HR applications are actually being used, but widespread difficulty when it comes to proving the value of the software.

Here are the headlines:

  • 92% of HR professionals say they have “some” or no visibility on the use and effectiveness of their HR applications, but want more
  • Only 6% believe they have all the data they need
  • 73% find it difficult to demonstrate the ROI of HR applications, with another 8% feeling it is impossible. 
  • And yet, despite 8 in 10 struggling to show a return, only 12% of HR professionals ranked getting a demonstrable ROI as the number one benefit of optimizing their HR applications.

In fact, of the four options including user experience, productivity and data quality, ROI was also ranked the least important by 58% 

So, if visibility and measurement are both undeniable challenges for HR software adoption, why isn’t proving ROI higher up the priority list?

As Peter Hinssen, Co-founder & Partner at nexxworks, said during his day one, 9am slot on the main stage: to connect the dots, you have to collect the dots. 

While delivered in the context of Industry 4.0 and globalization, it is a powerful, universal truth. After all, how can you manage what you can’t measure?

The good news is that 67% of HR professionals said they are planning to implement a digital adoption solution.

While often associated purely with in-app guidance that helps end-users to use new software, this integrated software can also provide behind-the-scenes insights for HR teams to demonstrate user adoption, productivity and process gaps.

In terms of improving visibility and ROI, the two key challenges highlighted in our survey, a digital adoption platform can be transformative.

Through combining usage information with other data sources, the actual business benefit of HR software, such as Cornerstone or Workday, can be measured and optimized accordingly.

But this is only a part of the digital adoption picture—even if it is a challenging one.

From communicating and serving the right support at the right time to ongoing measurement, software change is a layered, cyclical process.

The process of measuring the effective use of technology may appear to be difficult, but it’s essential for true digital adoption.

If you’re with the 67% who are turning to digital adoption solutions, then the ADOPT platform can enable all of these benefits, adding certainty to your software rollout.

And, if you aren’t ready to bring visibility and certainty to your software usage, you should at least listen to the experiences and lessons from the leaders in the market who have been through a digital transformation journey.


Each month we’ll be sharing a new blog and 30-minute talk full of exclusive insights from a HR leader, meaning you can learn from first-hand experiences of software change at market-leading businesses and get advice on key user adoption challenges, from initial engagement to ongoing support.

For more insights from UNLEASH Paris and exclusive access to all the talks, visit the Adoption Track.