The Covid-19 pandemic may have slowed some industries, but the need for human capital management has never been higher. According to Fortune Business Insights, the size of the global HCM market is projected at $25.53 billion in 2022. It’s grown at an annual rate of 8.1% since 2019 and has a CAGR of 9.1% through 2029 when it’s estimated at $46.85 billion.
Asure Software (NASDAQ: ASUR) is positioning itself to ride that wave. On August 31st, they announced an expansion of their 401(k) direct integration network. They now connect to over eighty providers in that space, creating new opportunities for SMBs that have encountered time and expense barriers on traditional employer-sponsored retirement plans.
The new integrations give employers additional opportunities to sync the Asure payroll system to a 401(k) provider. This allows them to better streamline enrollment, eliminate the errors that come from dual entries, and stay compliant with state and federal regulations. It also provides additional data points for analysis in the human capital management process.
What’s Driving Growth in the HCM Space?
Human capital management has been described as the “not-identical twin” to human resource management. In HCM, employees are viewed as capital assets, the same as cash or inventory. Managing those assets requires recruiting, hiring, training, setting goals, and compensation. Each of those activities is tracked as a data point to measure profitability.
Part of the fallout from the pandemic, which is being felt in every sector, is the ability to find qualified workers to fill open positions. Distributed and remote workforces have become the norm. Employee turnover is higher than normal. Applicants are looking for more than just a decent salary. Compensation means better benefits, not just take-home pay.
HCM employs SaaS systems, like Asure, that track the effects of specific benefit packages on employee retention, production, and recruiting. By analyzing and acting on these data points, a company can cut costs and increase profitability. This is particularly important in businesses that are still feeling the effects of supply chain disruptions and mandated Covid lockdowns.
Another driver in HCM growth is inflation. Rising prices are compressing profit margins and causing small business owners to pay closer attention to their bottom line. Human capital management is a more scientific approach to workforce management than the traditional role of human resources. HR still exists. HCM enhances it. That’s why it’s in demand.
Industry Trends to Keep an Eye On
Remote and hybrid workforces have been dictating the direction of HCM development for several years. Businesses that once had onsite HR departments have been forced to streamline their operations or even outsource human resources. This has exposed a need for robotic process automation (RPA) to handle manual and repetitive tasks.
Cloud-based human resources software is also on the rise. It provides more bandwidth for handling the documentation required for recruitment, training, benefits, and wages. Server-based software doesn’t offer the same level of security that many cloud providers do. That and the convenience of online access from anywhere make the cloud the place to be in HCM.
Combining cloud-based software with AI capabilities allows firms with distributed workforces to manage employees with smaller teams working remotely. Businesses and employees experienced the benefits of working from home firsthand during 2020. Many have chosen to stay in that mode. Some firms never reopened their physical locations after the pandemic.
The Addressable Market for HCM Software
Cowen and Company, an investment banking service in New York, recently surveyed 1000 human resources professionals to determine the addressable market for cloud-based/SaaS payroll software, a key element in human capital management. The results suggest that 40% of existing organizations are candidates for conversion to a new product.
That 40% is roughly 510,000 businesses. Cowen attributes the high number to the current fragmentation of the payroll provider market. Many companies are using general-purpose software, on-premises (server-based) software, or local payroll providers they’ve found by referral. The need for full HCM systems is also driving the need for transition.
Addressable market size is one of the key metrics in assessing the sustainability of a company. Another is the quality of the product offering. Does the technology meet the needs of modern business? Asure’s cloud-based HCM software seems to check all the right boxes. Their recent 401(k) provider expansion shows they have confidence in their path going forward.
Momentum Indicator for Asure Just Turned Positive
Trading signals aren’t the best way to evaluate a company’s potential investment value, but in this volatile market, the slightest indicators could be a sign of a turnaround. Asure Software, like most tech companies this year, is showing a significant loss if you look at the YTD numbers. A shorter-term perspective shows something else entirely.
ASUR is up 3% this week and the trading platform Tickeron is reporting that their momentum indicator just turned positive. In layman’s terms, that means the stock price may soon be going up again. They’ve had several peaks in September already and Q4 looks promising. Tickeron predicts the odds of an uptrend at 77% right now. You can do what you like with that.
Volatility, inflation, and multiple interest rate hikes by the Fed this year have made it difficult to determine which companies will be profitable in 2023. Asure has an addressable market, advanced technology, and positioning in a growing HCM market space to be one of those companies. It’s certainly worth keeping an eye on these next few months.
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