HR is Hungry for Great Tech – #HRTechConf Takeaway

  | October 14, 2013

Throughout the week, we will feature blog posts from several InterviewStream team members on their takeaways from the 16th Annual HR Technology Conference held last week in Vegas.

If you weren’t able to attend, these should give you a pretty nice picture of the key themes and trends taking place in the industry, and if you were able to attend, we’d love for you to chime in with your thoughts and unique takeaways in the comments section.

Guest post by Evan Norman, Marketing Manager – Data Engagement for InterviewStream

Like most of the newer members of InterviewStream, this was my first HR Tech Conference. Even though I’d read up on several of the more recent HR systems to hit the market, I had no idea that there was such a breadth and depth of solutions now available to recruiters and other human resources professionals to make their jobs easier and their talent acquisition efforts more powerful.

Attendees at HR Tech, both young and senior professionals, all seemed to be very hungry for new technologies. Almost everyone I spoke to seemed impatient to see their older HR systems catch up to the new world of big data analysis, cloud computing, and rich mobile applications.

The Monday and Tuesday keynotes were extremely future-facing with great insights into where technology is headed beyond the age of SoMoClo, the current trending acronym for applications that are Social, Mobile and Cloud-based. Internet devices are springing up everywhere in the world, moving into our home appliances and vehicles, at an unprecedented pace. With 4G LTE access becoming widespread and available to almost everyone on the planet, video is going to become a front-and-center part of our lives in ways we can’t even imagine yet.

But, probably the most incredibly important takeaway from these keynotes was how completely “at ease” the newest generation entering the workforce is with these technologies. If you are sourcing talent, and you still think that video will always be a “nice to have” technology for recruitment, you and your hiring stakeholders will be left in the dust.

One of the most impressive sessions I attended was “More Than a Bandage for Johnson & Johnson’s HCM” with J&J’s VP of HR Operations, Lisa Blair Davis. My expectation going into this session was one of a large, 127-year-old pharmaceutical company describing a slow, arduous roll out of a leviathan HR system to offices across the globe. Instead, I was shockingly refreshed to learn how much HR drove IT in their efforts to implement the Workday system in a staged fashion. Initially, they did select SAP with an outsourced BPO as their choice of HR systems for consolidation, but found the integrated talent management features of Workday fit their organizational technology requirements better. With employee experience as a key differentiator and the ability for users to customize the UI, it became increasingly clear that Workday was going to be the better choice for them as an organization.

The primary takeaway from this session for me was that any company, no matter how big and siloed in its processes and systems, can realize a goal of seeing the HR team drive technology purchasing/implementation processes to get the best results. The important thing is to have HR and IT teams working closely together at the beginning of a “big change” project, and making sure that the technologies your team purchases are going to fit your organization’s culture and goals for employee engagement.

Whether you are buying and implementing an entire HR System or a new video hiring technology, the importance of becoming extremely informed about your vendors and how they will help you meet long-term organizational goals seems paramount to being successful and happy with the solutions you choose.

To wrap things up, I would just add that I was incredibly excited to see how InterviewStream can play a role in all of the shifts that are taking place within HR Technology. So many people I spoke with at our booth were charged with screening and hiring talent globally on limited budgets and schedules. Several others were tasked with thinking of new ways to rapidly train and mentor talent from within their organizations, as more and more of their senior people retire.

I’m excited to be a part of a company that provides tools that enable a recruiter to begin screening much larger pools of talent with pre-recorded video almost immediately, or give a learning management specialist a way of instantly disseminating best practices information throughout an organization. I can’t wait to attend next year and learn more.

If you attended HR Tech, and have your own insights into where HR Technology is headed, we’d love to hear from you. InterviewStream is in a cycle of relentless innovation of our product, and we want to know what technologies are making a difference for you, the HR pro!

Feel free to join the discussion by commenting on this post or reaching out through Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.


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