Day two of the 2011 HR Technology Conference & Expo was an 8-hour marathon of talking with software vendors and attending various conference learning sessions. Here’s a brief look:
Naomi Bloom (Managing Partner at Bloom and Wallace) and Jason Averbook (Co-Founder & CEO of Knowledge Infusion) kicked off the day with The Great Technology Debate on the topic of HR technology—what we’re seeing and where we’re headed.
An audience of more than 2,000 people attentively listened as these two leading industry experts went head to head. Both stated that though organizations may manage the various facets of HR and talent from different technical perspectives, all are after the same end result—better data and better business outcomes.
When asked about where this area is headed, these experts agreed that talent management (a term that Naomi Bloom would rather refer to as strategic resource management) should be separate from the traditional HR category. With the increase in the number of baby boomers reaching retirement, by 2015 there will be five retirees for every one new entrant—a statistic that will change the way organizations approach talent management. Jason went on to say that talent management needs to be deployed by process rather than by module if it is going to be successful.
Interestingly, while this was coined the Great Technology Debate, there wasn’t anything these two disagreed on—except for the terminology!
The experts accept that voice recognition technology will gain prominence in HR by 2015. People are already hooked to their iPods, iPads, and other mobile devices through “touch” technology. Voice recognition is the next logical step. It’s the most logical (and natural) way for individuals to respond to one another (be it to bring up contact names or ask to see an employee’s profile, for example).
In another interesting session, Awesome New Technologies, hosted by Bill Kutik (Technology Columnist, Human Resource Executive® magazine and HREonline.com), companies like Workday, Peoplefluent, CubeVibe, and 4 Spires, Keas, and Evviva Brands showed off their latest apps and products.
Apps for the iPad topped the “list of cool,” along with other interesting newer technologies, such as gamification. This enhances a user’s learning experience by adding simulations to the learning process or the ability to take on challenges—for example, Peoplefluent demonstrated with its cool new mobile app called Workforce Explorer.
A number of vendors introduced new apps, such as those for commitment management (by vendor 4 Spires), on-demand employee engagement (CubeVibe), employee wellness (Keas), employee branding (Evviva Brands), and predictive analytics (Workday and Peoplefluent). The addition of these applications to the market will allow for better communication between employee and employer, a greater focus on the employee—how they think and feel about issues, etc., and how this information can be captured to make better informed “people” decisions in the future.
It’s evident that HR technology (and technology in general) is moving at an ever increasing pace. Organizations need to tap into what these new technologies can offer them (from an operational standpoint) and how they can best leverage these technologies to grow their business.
All this to say that HR doesn’t have to be boring—in fact it can be quite trendy!
So, another year over for HR Tech. Next year’s event is slated to take place in Chicago. See you all there!