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    Entries in HR Tech (80)


    HRE Column: What HR Pros Want to Know About HR Tech

    Welcome back from the long, holiday weekend! (At least for the US readers out there).

    I'm just easing back into the groove after a BBQ-heavy weekend, so I will take the opportunity this morning, (this is also code for 'I really, really was offline all weekend and did not write anything new'), to share a bit from my latest Inside HR Tech column that runs each month at Human Resource Executive Online, (and remind blog readers that you can subscribe over at HRE to get the monthly Inside HR Tech column delivered fresh to your email inbox).

    Here is an excerpt from the piece, "What HR Tech Pros Want to Know":

    Recently, I had the opportunity to co-present, along with Trish McFarlane,  VP of HR practice and Principal Analyst at Brandon Hall Group, a session titled "What Did That HR Tech Salesperson Say? Demystifying HR Technology Selection and Implementation" at the 2014 SHRM Annual Conference and Exposition in Orlando. Despite the session being scheduled on the last day (and last possible time slot) of the event, we had a sizable and highly engaged audience. I think the combination of SHRM's tendency not to offer much content in the way of HR technology and the increasing importance of the subject to HR professionals everywhere contributed to the great turnout for our "conference ender."

    In fact, there were so many great questions asked both during and after the session (Trish and I were both amazed by how many attendees approached us at the end wanting to continue the conversation), I have to think other HR professionals and leaders not able to attend the session might also have some of the very same questions.

    So with that in mind, I'd like to share at least a few of the more common and pressing questions we were asked.

    What are the best sources of information about HR technology solutions to help me when I'm conducting market and vendor research?

    Trish shared some great information from her research about which sources of information HR professionals rely upon when researching HR-technology solutions. The most common sources used by HR professionals are external consultants (55 percent), talking with other HR colleagues (45 percent), and conducting online Internet searches (40 percent). While these are all valid and potentially valuable sources of information, HR pros should also be sure to take advantage of a plethora of additional -- and often freely available -- sources of HR technology information that exist in LinkedIn groups, (such as the HR Technology Conference group), in independent-analyst company reports and vendor profiles, as well as on social media. You'd be surprised how many responses you will get if you post a question about a particular HR-tech solution in a large and active LinkedIn group.

    Of course, events such as the HR Technology® Conference offer a great opportunity to compare and contrast many vendors in a short time period... 

    You can catch the rest of the piece over at HRE Online see what other HR Tech questions the HR pros were asking and sign up for the monthly 'Inside HR Tech' column there as well.

    Have a great week!


    SLIDES: What Did That HR Tech Salesperson Say? #SHRM14 Presentation

    Earlier today Trish McFarlane and I presented "What did that HR Tech salesperson say? Demystifying HR Technology Selection and implementation" at the SHRM Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida.

    Despite it being one of the very last and final sessions of the marathon event, (we jokingly referred to the session as the 'Closing-Closing Keynote'), we had a super-engaged audience of HR professionals that had lots and lots of questions about the HR technology research, evaluation, selection, and implementation processes. Trish and I were kind of blown away by the number of questions, really. And even though it was the final session of the Conference, numerous attendees stayed past the 'official' ending time to share with us their challenges and concerns about HR tech solutions.

    Embedded below, (Email and RSS subscribers will need to click through), are the slides that Trish and I presented, (although with the number and type of questions we had from the attendees, we probably needed to devote more time to Q and A), at the session. Have a look to see the basic of what we talked about, and what had so many HR pros wanting to dig in to the important issues facing them and their organizations.


    In fact, we had so many questions and conversations after the session ended, that we promised attendees we would continue the conversation on the HR Happy Hour Show - so look for a show to be scheduled soon in which we will continue to try and 'demystify' the HR Tech selection process, and help HR pros arrive at better decisions for their organizations.

    Many thanks to SHRM for having us at the event, and for allowing us to 'close' the show!


    Which tech advice is good advice? #SHRM14

    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!


    WEBINAR: HR Moneyball: How to get started with Big Data for HR

    You have heard the hype: Big Data is taking over the business world, and HR’s going to be expected to make decisions—not through feelings, relationships or gut instinct—but via numbers.  The problem is… your HRIS, ATS and Performance Solutions are all different systems and weren’t built with the big-data revolution in mind. In short, you feel less than ready for workforce analytics—you’re just trying to get the basic reports generated.

    We feel your pain, people. That’s why I am glad to participate in the June installment of the Fistful of Talent FREE webinar series with a jam titled, HR Moneyball:  The FOT Bootstrapper Guide To Getting Started With Big Data. Join Kris Dunn and I Data nerdfor this webinar on Thursday, June 26 at 2pm EST(sponsored by ThoughtSpot, a cool business intelligence startup), and we’ll share the following goodies with you:

    A brief review of where HR stands with Business Intelligence (BI)/Big Data. We’ll cover some of the trends, what the bleeding edge is doing, the 3 types of data sources available to HR shops and what the CEOs and business leaders you support are asking for related to data and BI out of the HR Function. We’ll also talk about what your options are when HR is the last priority for an over-burdened IT function.

    Why HR pros need to shift/lean forward. It’s not what happened, it’s what going to happen. Getting your head around business intelligence and data means you have to shift your focus from reporting the past and move to predictive analytics. We’ll give you examples of great reporting decks from the HR Hall of Fame and tell you how they have to change to meet the call from predictive analytics out of your HR shop.

    - The Five Best HR Plays for Business Intelligence (BI) and Big Data. Since we’re all about helping you win, we wouldn’t do this webinar without giving you some great ideas for where to start with a data play out of your shop. You’re going to stop reporting turnover and start predicting it. You’re going to stop reporting time to fill and start showing which hiring managers are great at—you guessed it—hiring.  We’ll give you five great ideas and show you how to get started piecing the story together.

    - A primer on what’s next once you start channeling Nostradamus. Since you specialize in people, you naturally understand the move to using Business Intelligence (BI)/Big Data that helps you predict the future is only half the battle—you have to have a plan once the predictions are made. We’ll help you understand the natural applications for using your business-intelligence data as both a hammer and a hug—to get people who need to change moving, and to embrace those that truly want your help as a partner.

    You’re a quality HR pro who knows how to get things done. Join KD and I on Thursday, June 26 at 2pm EST for HR Moneyball: The FOT Bootstrapper Guide To Getting Started With Big Data and we’ll help you understand how to deploy Moneyball principles in HR that allow you to use predictive Big Data to position yourself as the expert you are.  

    Hope you can join us on June 26 at 2PM EST.


    Three keys for a successful HR vendor user conference

    I'm just back from the inaugural HireVue Digital Disruption user conference in absolutely gorgeous Park City, Utah, a place where the only thing you can possibly complain about is how after about 15 paces you're short of breath (due to the altitude), and dying of thirst (due to the dry as dust air). It was a really great event, and kudos to the entire team at HireVue for executing at a high level on their first try.

    During the closing reception at the event I got to talking with some attendees and in those conversations I shared how I have been to about 5 or 6 HR tech vendor user conferences so far this year, and I expect I will attend another half dozen or so before the end of 2014. And if it seems to you that sounds like a lot of vendor conferences you're right - it is a lot of vendor user conferences. So after having hit so many of these events over the last couple of years, I like to think I know something about what makes for a successful and valuable event, and since no one asked, here are three things I think are the most important keys or elements that can help make vendor user conferences more successful.

    1. Executive keynotes - the best vendor executive keynotes are not the ones that show off the 5 new and amazing product features, they are the ones where the CEO/Founder/President shows his or her more human side, and actually connects with the audience, (especially the customers). I think we consistently underestimate how important the personal and human elements are in many of these vendor/customer relationships. Customers want to believe in you and what you are doing. They want to see how passionate you are for helping them solve their problems. They want to see you talk about your own team, hear something about your company culture and leadership philosophy. Mostly, they just want to see the CEO as a real person. So the best vendor executive keynotes manage to allow this human side to show through.

    2. Content mix - the natural tendency at vendor user conferences is to program an agenda almost completely comprised of two types of presentations: Vendor reps talking about the products, and existing customers talking about how they use the products, often at a very detailed level. While both types of sessions can be valuable for attendees, I think the best vendor user conferences mix in at least some content that is not 100% product focused. Bringing in some more outside voices or even having existing customers discuss more of their HR and business challenges more broadly, can benefit the overall value for attendees. Often I talk with attendees who feel like many of the sessions simply repeated information about the products or how to use the products that they already knew. There should be at least a fair amount of content that can challenge, excite, and interest the most expert customer users, or else they don't really have a need to attend the user conference at all.

    3. Attendee mix - while it is great that the vendor wants to enable as many of their own people to attend/participate/interact at the user conference, if the ratio between the vendor's own staff and the actual customers and prospects in attendance gets too skewed toward the vendor side, the opportunities for great customer-customer interactions get diminished. What the vendors really want and need is for their own customers to be their best advocates, to share their experiences and opinions about the vendor and the technology. It gets hard for them to do that freely if there are vendor reps swarming everywhere, (they are easy to spot too, since they all will have on the same color coordinated logo shirts). The best vendor user conferences manage to be more about the users and less about the vendors, if that makes sense.

    Ok those are my three tips for creating and delivering a great HR vendor user conference. You're welcome, even though you didn't ask.

    What else can HR vendors do to make their user conferences better?

    Thanks again HireVue!