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We're Bringing Techy Back!

    By Nancy Nelson

    It's Tuesday at SHRM 2015, and today I'm focusing on HR technology. I geared myself up to spend quality time in Expo hall, visiting with Namely, ADP, Paychex, Paylocity, Answers, Fitbit and many others. My personal favorite was the massaging recliner chair company - would it be cheating to call this HR tech?

    Getting back to serious business --  one of my favorite concurrent sessions was We're Bringing Techy Back" with Tim Sackett and Kris Dunn, who blog daily on Fistful of Talent and the HR Capitalist. The pre-session was an informal demo of a Twitter app called Periscope, which allows anyone with a smartphone to create a live broadcast for their followers. Since I've downloaded the app, I've noticed all kinds of interesting (some strange) broadcasts out there.

    Tim and Kris are advocates for HR tech skills - our skills in HR tech matter because everywhere you look, solutions are being proposed for us. Why do we need a solution? What is it adding to the business and to those we support? Sometimes, a tech solution makes a problem bigger than it is. How can we avoid falling into this trap? By remembering, first and foremost, that HR tech isn't for's for the people.

    If' you're looking to bring HR tech to your company, it's important to start with the basics. Don't have a core system of record? Start there and build your system. The new must-haves are performance management, talent management, and robust reporting capabilities. Don't get distracted by what Tim and Kris call the "shiny objects" promoted by sales reps:

    • All the cool companies are using this!
    • Going with a solution just because it has mobile capabilities
    • Speaking of "functionality" in general terms
    • Social recognition
    • Aggressive ROI claims
    • Special deals - only for today or next week

    Other tips when considering a technology solution:

    • Ask the solution provider who they have APIs with. If they say they have open API, ask them specifically for names.
    • Consider using texting capabilities for your talent acquisition system - texts generate 20% candidate responses than emails.
    • Ask them for details about the last customization they did.
    • When checking references with HR pros, consider sharing pricing information.
    • Do you go with a suite, or best of breed? A suite's components are generally not as robust as best of breed, but if you get 80 - 85% of your needs met, may be a good way to go.

    With this information in hand, it's time to go back to the Expo hall and ask some more questions!


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