I’m heading out to Las Vegas now for #HRTechConf. It’s always a fascinating and elucidating experience, and a chance to catch up with friends, clients and colleagues and of course – the parties. Technology has been dominating the HR and Talent Management space for the past decade – with more “real serious widespread adoption” happening in the past year. Has it’s application plateaued? Is HR finally taking a more active role in driving user adoption? Are there more exciting developments on the way that help to recruit, retain and engage your talent? Where do things stand and where are they going? These are definitely exciting times.
Here’s My Take On The Top 7 Trends in HR Technology:
1) There Will Be A Move From Quantity To Quality. We’ve been deluged with technological advances, and many Leaders and HR departments have embraced some, or if very innovative, many of them. Only to later find out (after spending money and resources) that some are a terrible match for their organizations. I see much more selectivity in the year ahead. Instead of asking, “Is this amazing technology?”, the question will become, “Is this technology a good match for us?”
2) The Number Of So-Called Breakthrough HR Technologies Will Diminish. We’re now in the second decade of the computer revolution, which has indeed changed the way we live and work. But even something as epic as the computer reaches its limits. What we’re seeing now is a welcome emphasis on refinements of the core technologies. Beware of vendors who try and dazzle you with hype, or are selling wildly complicated products. Look for smart (and often simple) technologies that are user-friendly and deliver targeted results.
3) It’s All About Implementation. Smart people are shutting out all the clutter and asking themselves: “Is this technology going to be easy to implement and will be my employees actually adopt?” Ignore all the bells and whistles, the shiny toys and pretty graphics. In the end it’s about usage, smart data and building stronger teams. Will this product be worth the effort and expense? Deconstruct the technology down its core deliverables. The rest is just a waste of time.
4) Analytics Is The Special Sauce. Software analytics, single stack software and any tool that enables relevant data to be collected and shared between departments with ease and consistency is basically good. It allows everyone to be on the same page, speaking the same language. It’s a fantastic Leadership and HR tool. We can see what’s happening – the good, the weird, the amazing and the stuff that makes us ask better questions — across the organization and respond quickly. We are now seeking numbers to back up what we say. We have the tools – let’s use them.
5) Social Media And Continuous Learning Continues To Grow In Significance. Social media is one area that has lived up to its hype. It’s an amazing talent management, branding and employee engagement tool. For example – by creating a 3-dimensional profile of an applicant (Google the person’s name-Wink), talent simply leaps out. Peoples quirks, interesting detours, offbeat skills all come to life as we learn more about people’s personalities and “real lives”. As do certain negatives like rigid ideology, or a tendency to be snarky or combative. Within an organization, social media, social learning and big data are an unparalleled communication and cohesion tool if understood and utilized correctly.
6) Real Time Talent Management Matters. Tools that allow continuous monitoring of performance are better for everyone. A formal employee review every six months is fast becoming obsolete. What is far more important is software that enables us to stay on top of things in real time. Problems are nipped in the bud and the good stuff like recognition, gamification and rewards are in place to offer more productive employee relationships that can be nurtured. No more playing catch-up. Real time monitoring gives HR and Leaders more power to do more good and weed out the people who are not a good fit.
7) Mobile, Mobile, Mobile. There’s a new generation of talent coming up that views desktops as a relic from the past. The world is growing evermore global and mobile and HR has to be, too. To reach the right talent, you need to be mobile-friendly in design and ease of usage. HR should always go where the talent is – and these days it’s on mobile.
It’s going to be an exciting, if at times overwhelming, week, year. If you see me at the conference, please say hello. I’d love to know what you think of my list. You can find me at the quarter slots (kidding!). Seriously, we live in fascinating times for HR and Leadership and the conference is always interesting. Have a blast. Let’s keep learning and innovating together.