Category: HR Technology
I had the opportunity to attend the HR Technology Conference for the first time last week. It took place at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas from October 7 – 9, and for thousands who are active and influential in the HR technology space, it’s an annual pilgrimage anxiously awaited for the opportunity to see, hear about, discuss, and promote all that is the latest, greatest, and yet to come related to technology solutions for HR professionals. But for the average HR practitioner, this conference may not even be on the radar; until recently, it wasn’t for me. If you are that typical trench HR practitioner like me, you may ask yourself why you should be interested in such a specific, targeted HR conference when there are so many others from which to choose. And until recently, I asked myself the same question. After all, in my day to day job, I don’t really focus on the HR systems side of the business. I don’t oversee payroll or HRIS, I focus more on talent management and learning & development. But you see, that’s where I was misinformed. The HR Technology Conference is not just for “systems” HR folks, it’s for everyone. Or at least for everyone who is interested in keeping up with what’s next for HR and the tools to make themselves and their companies more efficient and competitive.
It only took a quick glance at the agenda to realize that there was so much more to this conference than just talking about systems. It was an opportunity to learn from experts in the field about existing technologies, new technologies, and how these technologies can help you, as an HR practitioner, to do your job more effectively and efficiently. Not everything discussed is right for every company, but it’s certainly worth learning about what other companies are doing and what’s available.
The Expo Hall was filled with a bigger assortment of HR technology solutions than one could ever imagine if you’ve never been there. Everything from core HR, to time & attendance, to applicant tracking, talent management, learning management, assessment tools, and social recruiting & sourcing solutions. It’s hard to believe that one of those areas doesn’t touch on something that every HR practitioner handles in some aspect of their job. Again, not everything is for everyone, but it’s worth knowing what’s available. You may not need it now, but you never know what you may need in the future.
Attending the NextGen Influencer panel provided valuable insight from several “up and coming” (though they were all already very established in their careers) HR professionals on how they’ve positioned themselves as the next influencers in the HR technology space. Their real life examples and advice of how they got to where they are now would be useful to any HR practitioners looking to give themselves an edge and make be just that much more informed and competitive than the next person.
The Awesome New Technologies for HR session offered the opportunity to listen to several companies discuss some truly cutting edge technologies. Everything from recruiting analytics, to virtual onboarding, to predictive analytics that help you cull through previous candidates already in your ATS to identify those who may be looking again…the abilities these new technologies give us can be almost mind-boggling, yet fascinating to the everyday HR practitioner.
But perhaps the biggest value I received from attending this conference was the opportunity to be around some of the brightest minds in this space. To just listen to them talk. To hear the terminology and trends. Because even though I may not be using any of it in my day to day job now, that doesn’t mean I may not need it down the line, and it doesn’t mean the companies we compete with aren’t using it now. It may be easy to argue that fancy HR tech is just for the “big guys” or for more high tech companies; but then again, there was a time that could have been said about PCs, email, or smart phones. Technology has infiltrated every aspect of our lives, creating efficiencies we couldn’t have previously imagined. Why shouldn’t that be the case in HR as well? And if I’m going to give myself just a little bit of an edge by attending HR Tech and keeping up with those trends, well, I’ll be sure to be back at Mandalay Bay in October 2014!
About the Author: Jennifer Payne, SPHR has 15 years of HR experience in employee relations, talent acquisition, and learning & development, and currently works in talent management in the retail grocery industry. She is one of the co-founders of Women of HR, and is currently the Editor of the site. You can connect with her on Twitter as @JennyJensHR and on LinkedIn.
With social media, what you don’t know can seriously hurt your organization. One 2010 survey found that employees estimate spending roughly four hours every day checking multiple email accounts, with up to two hours spent on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. A 2012 Salary.com survey found that 64 percent of employees visit non-work related websites daily. And don’t think blocking employee access to social media on company networks is the answer; personal smartphones and tablets are ubiquitous, and easily fill the gap.
The rub for today’s organizations is that while social media use at work has definite risks, it also is one of the best ways to empower and engage employees. Increasingly, in our connected 24/7 businesses, the line between work and personal time is blurring. This is especially true for Generation Y employees; as long as they meet deadlines and deliver, these employees don’t feel that it’s particularly useful to distinguish between time spent updating Twitter or engaged in team meetings. Organizations may beg to differ, especially when an offensive or inappropriate blog post or tweet can damage their brand, lower employee morale, and even lead to workplace lawsuits.
Yet, most organizations don’t really know how their employees are using social media, either personally or professionally, let alone what impact it’s having on employees’ overall levels of productivity.
That’s why it’s so important, before you set policy, to know how your managers currently handle social media use at work, as well as how its use by employees is effecting their management. Get at these fundamental issues by asking managers five key questions:
- Have your employees’ use of social media ever triggered a workplace lawsuit or regulatory investigation?
- What impact have your employees’ personal use of social media during work hours had, if any, on their productivity?
- How do you use social media, if at all, to help manage your projects and employees?
- Have you reviewed all applicable federal and state laws governing electronic data content, usage, monitoring, privacy, e-discovery, data encryption, business records and other legal issues in all jurisdictions in which you operate, have employees or serve customers?
- Could you comply with a court-ordered “social media audit”, by producing legally compliant business blog posts, email messages, text messages and other electronically stored information (ESI) within 990 days?
Social media can speed innovation and collaboration, but ONLY if your employees know how to both use it as well as steer clear of its many pitfalls. Start by asking managers these simple questions; they often surface extremely important information that, especially in larger organizations, you may not have been aware of. Finally, remember that for reasons of both confidentiality and fear, getting access to this sort of information is not always easy. It’s therefore important that organizations create mechanisms by which examples of social media use (and abuse!) can be regularly shared with the broader employee base.
Photo credit iStockphoto
About the author: Steve Miranda is Managing Director of Cornell University’s Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies (CAHRS), a leading partnership between industry and academia devoted to the field of global human resource management. He is also a faculty author of the new eCornell certificate program,Social Media in HR: From Policy to Practice. Prior to CAHRS, Miranda was Chief Human Resource and Strategic Planning Officer for the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the world’s largest professional HR association, serving over 260,000 members in over 100 countries.
Good morning and welcome to “Inside the Actor's Studio.” I'm your host, James Lipton… nah, not really. I couldn't help myself though.
I am honored though to be heading up the latest Women of HR Series wherein I get to interview some amazing women that we
think know you want to get to know better.
I've always felt that one of the true value of this site was the ability to learn from our awesome contributors and the rest of our amazing community. I hope you all feel the same.
First up, please meet Lexy Martin, Vice President, Research and Analytics for CedarCrestone. Lexy is responsible for CedarCrestone’s annual HR Systems Survey, now in its 15th year. She also provides strategy, business case, metrics and analytics services and deep dive benchmarking in all industries.Working with many of the leading HCM vendors, Lexi has helped develop their value propositions and conducted numerous surveys of their customer bases. Few researchers in HR technology can match the experience that Lexy has accumulated during her career in introducing emerging technologies.
Ok, what do you really do? I’m a wife, step-mother of two grown kids, natural grandmother, gardener, golfer, quilter, reader, lover of all things beautiful and peaceful.
So what does CedarCrestone do? CedarCrestone, headquartered in Alpharetta, GA, is an organization of 800 people focused on implementation, hosting, and management consulting around “enterprise systems.”
How did you get started? I’ve had three careers. I started as a systems developer in lots of areas including payroll, medical records, and financial systems. Using that experience, I got into consulting at Stanford Research Institute (SRI) and then tried my hand in a start-up developing some of the early employee/manager self service solutions. Picking the wrong partner (who eventually saw that self service was the wave of the future), it rolled on us and I returned to research and consulting with The Hunter Group – which has morphed into CedarCrestone. Truly, research and consulting is what I love and do best and this is what I’ve done for the past 15+ years.
So Lexy, please finish the following thoughts for me:
My best advice is … for anyone in IT or anyone in HR to partner with your counterparts. Too many HR people view IT as their nemesis when partnering might be best for them or their organization. Too many don’t partner with the business around HR technologies. I happen to think that IT people, as geeky as they are, are really great people. If HR just reached out, everyone could work for the good of the organization and themselves. And same goes for IT people – love your HR partners!
I challenge …
anyone in HR or IT to pick a technology because they like the company without doing due diligence against your business needs. Vendors are not, or should not be, cults to follow.
I encourage … Years ago, I met Claire Gianini Hoffman, the daughter of A.P. Gianini, the founder of the Bank of America. She had a luncheon for a bunch of us that were bank officers. As a programmer back in 1967, I was considered an officer of the bank. She asked each of us what we did and when I said, “I work with computers,” she said (remember this was in 1967), “I know computers are the wave of the future, but I prefer to work with people.” It changed my view of technology to the point that I emphatically understand and encourage all to remember that technology must serve people not just be implemented because it’s a cool technology.
Not every program … to introduce new technologies will succeed without change management. And deep change management that addresses the WIIFM – the what’s in it for me – of everyone to be impacted by the new technology. Change management is not just about training – technology has become too easy to use for training. It’s about helping everyone impacted to understand why the technology matters and what it’s value is to them and to the organization. It’s about communication and collaboration. I view technology as just a catalyst for change – change for the better.
People like … to have their input reflected in just about anything an organization does. So, seek out representatives from throughout the organization to get their feedback when you get ready to make a change.
One of the best resources … that I’m personally proud of is the annual CedarCrestone HR Systems Survey white paper available for free. If you are getting ready to implement any new HR technology, please take a look. The HCM Application Blueprint is something that lots of organizations use to guide their HR technology road map.
I lose it … when someone responds to a question of mine with, “I have no idea.” Sheesh. I ask you a serious question that I think you have the capacity to answer and you respond that way. Think better of yourself. If there is a thought you wished I would have included, let me know.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with the Women of HR? If you work in an organization of 300+ employees, please respond to the 15th annual HR Systems Survey available here.
Lexy, thank you so much for your time!