Technology is HR’s biggest asset

Last week was a bit of a tech week. Starting in Sydney at the incredible HR Tech Fest and ending in Berlin at a digital “bootcamp” (including a visit to the games developer Wooga) looking at the latest consumer digital developments. Having finally got back to some semblance of normality, there are a number of things buzzing around my mind, causing me to reflect and think about the future of our profession.

1. Our employees are consumers, and as such are increasingly immersed in technology. If my expectation of the world is one where I can do pretty much anything at the tap of a screen, then why would my expectations be any different at work?

2. HR technology has changed and is changing. The future of technology is not the big, sole vendor, enterprise systems (although they are still dominant) that restrain you to one platform and one solution. The future is individual, integrated multiple vendor solutions that are best fit for your organisation.

3. We have the opportunity to excite and engage employees through the use of technology, rather than report on and process them. In the same way we willingly spend our time (and money) on consumer technology, the right solutions will lead the right behaviours and engagement within our organisations.

4. Cloud based and SaaS (software as a solution) technologies improve our ability to implement technology more quickly and at lower cost. Gone is the need for long project plans and implementation projects, we can trial, measure and develop a lot more easily. But successful implementation still comes down to good training and communication, nothing has changed there.

5. The opportunity to take our HR technology out of the work environment and in to the home, the commute, the coffee shop or the pub is going to become crucial. Being fully mobile, fully portable, whilst remaining secure is going to be a challenge, but our expectations as consumers is to access the content and services we need, when we need them, wherever we need them.

6. Good technology means good data. And intelligent use of data, as we know, is critical to understanding and leading our organisations to be better.

But the big tech-away (did you see what I did there?) for me, is that as an HR leader, you need to understand and embrace the opportunities offered by the new generation of technology solutions. It isn’t good enough to say, “I’m not a technology person” in the same way it isn’t acceptable to say, “I don’t do numbers”. The HR leader of the future is going to be immersed in technology and see it as their greatest asset.

If that isn’t you, then its time to brush up. Otherwise, you’d better start looking over your shoulder.