Kicking the Tires at HR Technology

Three IHRIM members were challenged to “kick the tires” at the 2014 HR Technology® Conference and Exposition and here are the results!

IHRIM has long believed that the expo hall at the IHRIM annual conference is a natural extension of the education program. Through the demos and conversations with the various system and service providers, conference attendees are provided with a better understanding of the solutions available now and in the future to help them manage HR information. A constant reminder to attendee goers is – even if you are not looking to buy today, you never know what may happen in the next 3, 6 or 12 months. So you need to walk the trade show floor to see what is offered.

As I was working with the IHRIM Education Committee in planning our October 29, 2014 webinar, I thought what better place to continue the systems and solutions learning begun at the IHRIM Conference than at the 2014 HR Technology® Conference and Exposition. While I did not personally attend HR Technology this year, my three panelists did and were given the directive to “kick the tires” in the expo hall in preparation for today’s webinar. Joining me on the webinar and providing me the information for this posting were Jeremy Ames, President, Hive Tech HR; Nov Omana, HRIP, CEO/Founder, Collective HR Solutions; and Steve Secora, HRIP, Sr. HRIS Manager, International Game Technology. The focus of the questions posed to the panelists was on the trends they saw or heard about – the buzz coming from both the attendees and the exhibitors.

What are the top technology trends based on audience buzz?

  • Talent acquisition remains strong, perhaps indicative of the improving economy as hiring continues to be a large part of HR, especially social recruiting.
  • Performance management showed a greater presence on the trade show, including social performance management (SPM).
  • The number of learning applications highlight the importance of corporate learning and employee development.
  • Move toward integrated systems – prompting buyers to ask “how much do you have – how many modules are available in your application?”
  • The softer side of HR – applications supporting employee recognition and rewards and employee engagement.
  • Looking at the distribution of exhibitors by category – as interpreted by Steve – the top applications were Recruiting, Talent Solutions, and HRIS/Talent Suites. Of note was the rise in Surveys/Engagement solutions and the continuing presence of Benefits & Wellness (a hot trend coming into 2014).

What are people looking to buy over the next 18 months?

  • For those with a core HRMS: many not necessarily looking for a new total solution but rather applications that can be integrated into an existing core HRMS; others with a core HRMS are looking to replace an antiquated product.
  • For those without an HRMS – especially smaller organizations – they are looking for a new system or automating manual processes via point solutions.

What are the top technology trends based on the buzz from the vendors?

  • HR analytics and metrics as part of a dashboard are becoming commonplace.
  • Onboarding is trending now and the ability to engage employees once they accept an offer. Onboarding encompasses cultural and job orientation and is being done sooner than before, thus ensuring a fully engaged employee on start day.
  • The integration of survey and engagement applications into the various core applications.
  • Mobile and applications that run on multi-devices are now the norm.
  • Wellness, lots of offerings around wearables and socialization in a portal.

If you could compile your HR technology wish list for 2015, what would be on it?

  • An integrated system that does not sacrifice the performance of the modules – everything is done well.
  • Workforce analytics that come with a person (as the missing ingredient to success seems to be lack of skilled staff members).
  • Learning applications on a mobile platform.
  • A more intuitive, frequent, career/self-improvement directed performance management system.
  • True technology to manage the contingent workforce.
  • Socialization of talent management – applications that leverage employees’ LinkedIn profiles for recognition, performance, or succession planning.

If you missed the live broadcast, you may listen to the full recording (complimentary to all) by registering at

Lynne Mealy
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Lynne Mealy, HRIP has over 30 years experience in HR and HRMS, including technology strategy, product selection and implementation. A published author and presenter on HR technology issues, Lynne served on the IHRIM Education Committee and is the CFO of the HRIM Foundation.

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