Been spending a little time working on the final bits of the presentation titled "What Did the HR Tech Salesperson Say? Demystifying HR Technology Selection and Implementation", that Trish McFarlane and I will be giving later this week at the SHRM Annual Conference, and by way of preview (and since it is interesting to me) I wanted to riff on one section of the presentation, where we plan to discuss ways for 'normal' HR pros to conduct HR technology research.
With blogs, social networks, LinkedIn, podcasts, about 1,345 Twitter chats, etc. there is no shortage of advice, opinion, and information out there about anything and that of course includes HR technology solutions.
But which sources of advice are good advice, or at least, relatively better than some of the competing alternatives? I think you can break down and then compare sources of advice on HR Technology solutions on a simple 2x2 grid with the X Axis being "Informed" and the Y Axis being "Biased" (or at least the potential exists for bias based on history, contracts, or other less obvious drivers of biased opinion.)
Here's my take on the "Who can you trust/who knows what they are talking about" chart:
What do you think? Too harsh on some of the vendor-driven content? Not giving the Online Pundits their due? Does your Mom know a lot more about HR Technology than I calculated?
Look, the exact placement of any of these sources of information on the plot of 'Informed/Biased' is subject to debate, interpretation, and certainly exceptions exist for any of them.
But the larger, and more important point I think, and one we will make during the presentation, is that any source that you as an HR pro uses as an input into your research/decision process needs to be evaluated and scrutinized carefully.
Lots of 'experts' really are not that expert - they either never have actually bought and implemented HR solutions in organizations themselves, or haven't done so for a really long time. Some consultants purport to be vendor solution agnostic, but might only have a chance at scoring some billable work from you if you select a specific vendor's technology. And lots of people with blogs and Twitter accounts have no idea what they are talking about, (possibly me too).
So in the SHRM session, we will try to take some of the mystery out of what can often be a one-sided, vendor has all the power kind of dynamic, and give you the HR pro some tips, tricks, and secret code to help you better understand the process, and hopefully that will lead to better outcomes.
And, we will have a bunch of HR Happy Hour shirts to give away at the session as well!