All Your HR Technology Questions Answered

But not here. Though I’m sure such places do exist. Rather, six questions that I would like to answer and for which I actually have a response. Let me explain….

Last week, I participated in a webinar roundtable hosted by IHRIM entitled “HR Technology Trends: Myths, Surprises, and Forecasts“. Joining me were facilitator Jim Pettit (Halyard Health) and fellow panelists Nov Omana (Collective HR Solutions), and Steve Secora (IGT).

To increase the likelihood that I could keep up with these HR technology experts, I wrote the panel questions myself. Smart move, Mick. Below, you’ll find the questions and my brief responses.

1. Myths: What technology trends did you expect in 2015…and did they materialize?

  • Gamification: Written about in a Forbes March 2015 blog as likely to “migrate from a few isolated pilots to a new way to engage and recognize high-performing employees” I personally haven’t heard much about the topic, beyond games posted on career websites (to provide a preview of the role) and to help with training adoption.

2. Myths: What HR technology topics are bucking the trend, or disrupting HR?

  • Intelligent Systems: The ability for HR systems to be smarter in how they connect, or forecast, transactions thus reducing the burden on employees to anticipate the downstream effects of an action. In full disclosure, this is something that SAP SuccessFactors has covered extensively in the latter part of the year.

3. Surprises: What HR technology topics have surprised you by becoming more popular than expected?

  • Analytics: Possibly the most exciting topic on the strategic HR agenda, but one that also causes tremendous concern, not least about how much data can/should be shared, and with whom. Reminds me of the old adage “Great strategy…but can you execute?“.

4. Surprises: What hypotheses about the current state of HR technology are being dispelled?

  • HR Functions Are Slow-Adopters: The rapid turnover of systems continues (Bersin had some data on the % of organizations looking to replace their core systems; I also saw a stat that firms change Recruiting technologies every 3 years). Judging by the number of start-up vendors at HR Tech and the IHRIM National Conference, the HR technology market is in a period of meteoric growth. Ramifications include placing HR in a constant state of deployment – selecting, implementing, and embedding new systems all while maintaining legacy tools.

5. Forecasts: What factors will shape the role of the HR Technologist in 2016? What are concerns/opportunities they will face?

  • Data Strategy: Beyond data privacy (an issue in itself grabbing the headlines with the European Court of Justice’s declaration of Safe Harbor to be invalid), HR must play the role of data strategist. Of particular importance, I believe, is governing the flow of data from systems to a myriad of end-users, especially individual employees. Speaking of which…

6. Forecasts: What’s the Wall Street Journal headline for HR technology trends in 2016?

  • Big Data of the People, by the People, for the People: We currently hold massive amounts of data on our employees (of the People). Firms are increasingly encouraging staff to submit their own data – surveys, etc. – or use wearables (by the People). So what do we, as the employee, get back (for the People)? What data can we use, to help with building productive careers?

For more examples of how Nov and Steve responded to the six questions, search Twitter for #IHRIMTechTrends.

Mick Collins

Mick Collins is a Global Vice President at SAP SuccessFactors, leading Go-To-Market programs for the Business Technology Platform (BTP), Qualtrics, and People Analytics solutions. In this capacity, he oversees pre-sales strategy and execution, with specific responsibilities including go-to-market messaging, commercialization strategy, sales enablement, prospect & customer engagement, alliance management, and product thought leadership. With 12+ years of experience in analytics & planning, Mick has delivered hundreds of presentations and workshops to public- and private-sector organizations on how to build their capabilities for data-driven decision-making in HR. Mick has a master’s degree in political science from Virginia Tech and a BA (Hons) in Economics & Politics from the University of Leeds, England.

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