HR Tech Conference Highlights for Your 2018 Strategy

This year’s HR Tech was all that I anticipated as a first-time attendee including keynotes, learning sessions, 1:1 conversations, and a huge expo hall; energetic, forward-looking, and packed with many learning opportunities!

Successful HR tech strategies are designed for teams, feedback & highly engaging apps Click To Tweet

Similar to other technology events I’ve attended for customer experience, marketing, and sales functions – #HRTechConf covered three familiar themes:

    1. People we care about are changing and have new unmet needs
    2. Business priorities are changing to empower the people we care about
    3. Next generation technologies and best practices supplement and/or help to reinvent how we create value for people and business outcomes

What’s interesting, regardless of the functional-hat you wear, we’re all becoming more comfortable with advanced technologies at work, home, and on-the-go. And human-centered processes and technologies are helping us to make better decisions and create results faster – in more agile and collaborative ways.

This evolution can be attributed in part to user experience improvements, better integration of cloud technologies, more use of artificial intelligence and machine learning for real-time assistance, and our evolution as we humans embrace new digital behaviors, social norms and tools.

Can you see Steve Austin and Jaime Sommers, from 1970s TV series about bionics, in your mind’s eye? We’re becoming better, faster and stronger with people management processes enabled by technology!  

The 20th Annual HR Systems Survey and Stacey Harris Says …

Stacey Harris, VP of Research and Analytics at Sierra-Cedar, provided an overview of findings on October 12th from the 20th Annual HR Systems Survey. Harris said, “what we found this year, we’re really excited. I think we’re on the cusp of the next generation or HR technology.”

Early in her presentation, Harris shared a timeline of when certain HR initiatives or topics became major elements in the survey over a 20 year period, and how far the industry has come in a relatively short period of time. It’s amazing to see how HR system changes and associations unfolded over the years; the pace of change is picking up. Going forward, we can expect to see innovations in integration, cybersecurity, learning, recruiting, and analytics.

Mobile, Cloud, and Data (Check) Come Together for HR Innovation

With technology developments like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) disrupting best practices across the enterprise, HR leaders are discovering how to leverage these technologies for more self-service across the talent management lifecycle, automation in HR software, and better access to insights from enterprise applications and third party data sources.

Holger Mueller, VP and Principal Analyst at Constellation Research, moderated a panel on October 12th to discuss where AI and ML may take HR in the not-too-distant future. Mueller said, “AI and ML now allows us to look at what has been happening in enterprise applications including HR. If you can anticipate what people have to do, if you can help a manager with their management tasks out of the digital exhaust of the past and out of their best practices – you can serve them with suggestions, deep learning and software automation.”

Performance management has to go into something more longitudinal, tiny and lightweight Click To Tweet

Mueller also has an opinion about how to fix the broken, traditional performance management process. Mueller said, “the deep core problem is humans don’t like to be rated and they don’t like to rate; they don’t want unpleasant conversations. To make it easier, we know performance management has to go into something more longitudinal, it has to go in the direction of something more tiny and lightweight – constant feedback and 360 degree feedback is definitely the right direction to pursue.”

Make Work Better with Digital HR

There’s no question that the world of HR is undergoing significant shifts driven by major trends. Josh Bersin, Principal and Founder of Bersin by Deloitte, delivered HR Tech’s closing keynote on October 13th. Bersin said, “there’s a complete reinvention of the way talent software works including continuous performance management, cognitive recruiting, focusing on the candidate and employee experience – generally speaking, making work better, not automating transactions.” Bersin also said, “digital HR is kind of like making HR go away, and making all the things we used to think as a destination is now just something we do in the flow of work.”

According to Bersin, successful HR technology strategies are designed around teams, feedback and a new breed of highly engaging applications that include AI, cognitive computing, chat and collaboration. HR systems are becoming more intelligent platforms to make HR, talent management, recruiting and employee engagement real-time, productive, agile and data-driven.

Learn More About HR and Employee Experience Strategies

Due to digital trends and capabilities, and accelerating business demands, the role of HR is shifting from a cost center to a strategic business unit. Instead of administering programs for human resources, HR leaders are now bringing resources for humans to the entire organization. Join this Argyle virtual event, featuring HR thought leaders, live on October 19th.

It’s reasonable to say that employee experience is no longer a nice to have. Significant and widespread shifts with digital technologies, demographic and social changes, and a redefined relationship between the employee and employer all bring new challenges to HR. Join Forrester Research and Reflektive for this live webinar on November 7th.