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    HR Technology Class - Version Three

    Version three (or is it Volume Three) of my HR Technology Class at RIT is scheduled to start in about three weeks. Flickr - Charlyn L

    Preparing for the course is still a challenge, as I strive to turn over the material at least 30-40% each time, removing older readings and more dated topics, and adding the latest in technologies and trends.

    Much has changed in the business environment since the last class ended. The banking and insurance industries are in turmoil, world equity markets have dropped precipitously, and more and more organizations announce job reductions it seems like almost every day.

    Companies increasingly want less risk and exposure to traditional, or long-term software licenses. In technology, the trends continue to be towards simpler, more easily deployable solutions, mainly delivered in the SaaS model.  Complementing these technology trends are organizations that suddenly find themselves having less investment monies available for technology projects (or perhaps no funds at all for new initiatives).

    Fortunately for me, in the last class I began to devote more time and emphasis to some of these newer technologies, particularly collaborative technnologies like wikis, Twitter (and this time Yammer), and corporate social networking. I also have hopes to incorporate software from Halogen this quarter, if the details can be worked out in time.

    UPDATE : Had a great conversation with the folks at Halogen today, and we will be using their fantastic Talent Management software this class, Thanks Halogen!

    I think that as the class (and the HR Technology world) evolves, it is essential that the materials also evolve.  Sure, it would be easier for me to just roll out the same exact class each time, but that would be doing the students a disservice, and I would get pretty bored as well.

    What key concepts or technololgies do you think should be included in a graduate course in HR Technology?




    I'm happy to tell you all about myself

    The great Jason Averbook CEO of Knowledge Infusion has said 'LinkedIn knows more about your employees that you do', meaning that for many organizations, the volume, depth, and quality of data that their employees have voluntarily posted on sites like LinkedIn and Facebook, far exceeds whatever data you may have about them in your 'official' corporate systems.

    Gartner refers to this disparity in terms of 'volunteered' data (the kind on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, personal blogs, etc.), versus 'mandatory' data (the kind you compel your employees to provide, primarily for legal or administrative requirements).

    Gartner theorizes that by 2012, this so-called volunteered data will surpass mandatory data in volume and business value.  To be a leading HR organization, you need to plan for this shift, how to expoit the trend, and build processes and systems that will let you both encourage the proliferation of volunteered data as well as take leverage this information for your organization.

     Although it is very difficult in 2008 to know when or if this shift in importance and source of information will occur, there are certainly some things as HR leaders you can do today to assess the trend for your own organization.

    Some quick thoughts:

    1. Evaluate your company's LinkedIn profile.  What percentage of your staff maintains profiles?  How connected are they?  What organizations did they come from? Of folks who have left, where did they go?
    2. Is your company on Facebook?  Have smaller indivudual groups adopted Facebook groups or pages? Are your staff conducting important conversations there?
    3. Are you on Twitter? How many of your staff are?  Who are they following?  Who is follwing them?  Are your employess bypassing your standard sources of assistance to reach out to the Twitterverse?
    4. Check out Ning.  Are there Ning networks for all or parts of your organization?  Are there related industry networks frequented by your staff?  Should you sponsor or create your own Ning network for your staff?

    Let me be clear, this is not about 'spying' or 'monitoring' what your staff is up to.  This is about learning more about what your staff is passionate about, who they turn to for insight or help, and what important experiences and skills they have, that are not reflected in your old, boring HRMS.

    It is about accepting the fact that your staff is quite likely offering up critical insights and knowledge outside of the systems that you control.

    It is about accepting the new culture of collaboration.



    The Obligatory Election Post

    All bloggers must post about the Election (it is a rule in the Big Book of Internet).

    Here is my Election Story, it has nothing to do with parties, philosophy, or policy.

    It is about how cool and important it is to be able to vote and to make sure our kids understand this.

    The Story:

    Due to our work schedules, my wife and I had to vote separately, she in the early morning, and I later in the afternoon.  Both of us had to bring our 7 year old son along, he was excited about going, he likes to go into the booth and pull the levers.

    When I was finished voting, we said thanks to the volunteers (they always have tons of food and snacks), and walked out of the building.  I turned to my son and said, 'Man, it sure feels good to vote'. 

    My son replied, 'That's the exact same thing Mom said this morning after she voted'. 

    'Really, she said that?'


    It does feel good to vote, and let's make sure we always remember that.



    A Call for Help Part 2

    Hi all - I have made just small progress in finding some HR Tech vendors to partner with me on my upcoming HR Technology Class, so I thought I would re-post the original entry and try to get the word out again.

    To those folks that did contact me and offer some suggestions, thanks very much it is greatly appreciated.


    Please HR Tech vendors, help!!!

    I am preparing to teach my HR Technology Class at RIT this Winter, and I am hopeful that I can recruit some assistance and partnership from the HR Technology community.  I am in need of some 'hands-on' experiences and exercises for my students in HR Tech, and I really need some folks in the vendor community who would be willing to participate.

    My ideal scenario would be to obtain access to a hosted demo or test instance of your software, set up and design some scenarios for my class, and let me really learn what cutting-edge, enterprise HR software is all about.

    In the past the only important vendor that has shown willingness to participate in my class is SpectrumHR, and I can't say how fantastic and supportive they have been to work with.  They have been over and beyond my expectations.

    But what I could use the most is for one of the major Talent Management vendors to step up. Anyone from SuccessFactors, Halogen, or Taleo?

    How about Workday? I would kill for the chance to get my class in any of these packages.

    Look at it this way, if the economic crisis is here, you may have some time on your hands for some 'pro-bono' work.

    So, I am asking, no basically begging, if anyone can help me on this, or knows someone who can, drop me a note at steveboese@gmail.com, or leave a comment.



    photo credit - FlickR - aspengull


    LinkedIn makes a major move

    Today LinkedIn announced support and integration for third-party applications like SlideShare, Wordpress, and Amazon.

    Why is this important? 

    LinkedIn is generally considered the 'professional' networking site.  Only serious business is done on Linkedin; recruiting, searching for opportunities, networking for decidedly commercial reasons.

    The ability to integrate your SlideShare presenations, blog posts, and Amazon reading lists into your LinkedIn profile can only enhance and augment your LinkedIn presence.  It allows you to leverage content you spend long, hard hours creating in a new and very important space.

    I tell my students in the first class, you absolutely need to be on LinkedIn. 

    In the next class, I will also tell them you need to take advantage of the full capabilities of these new application integrations.

    Well done, LinkedIn.