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    Entries in HR Tech (246)

    Wednesday
    Jan172018

    HRE Column: Looking ahead to HR Tech in 2018

    Once again, I offer my semi-frequent reminder and pointer for blog readers that I also write a monthly column at Human Resource Executive Online called Inside HR Tech that can be found here.

    This month, I talk a little about the planning process that goes into programming and developing the content for the next HR Technology Conference and review some of the key issues, themes, and the implications for the future of HR Tech that I am thinking about as I look to create the program this year.

    In the piece,  take a look at some of the more interesting trends and themes in HR tech that we have been hearing about for some time now, and some newer ideas that have emerged in the last year or so. These issues, challenges, and opportunities will demand continuing focus for HR and business leaders in 2018 and beyond, and I imagine will be a big part of my planning for HR Tech in 2018.

    Here's an excerpt from the piece in HRE Online:

    Some initial themes and topics that could find their way into the upcoming HR Tech conference include creating business value from HR tech, artificial intelligence and digital assistants.

    When talking about raising kids, parents sometimes say, “The days are long, but the years are short.” Even when things on any given day might seem tough, time slips by quickly, and before you know it, the kids are all grown up.

    I was thinking about that expression recently for two reasons. One, my child has an upcoming birthday which made me wonder, just where has all the time gone? And two, while it seems to many (especially me) that last year’s 20th Annual HR Technology® Conference and Exposition just concluded, I am already knee-deep in the planning process for the next one, coming this September in Las Vegas.




    A large part of conference-planning process is thinking, reading, researching and talking to HR and industry leaders about the most important themes and trends in HR, workplaces and HR technology, to ensure we are adequately reflecting these at the conference. While the preparation for the event is still in the early stages, I thought it would be interesting and also helpful to me to try and use this first Inside HR Tech piece of 2018 to explore some initial themes and topics. Hopefully, these will also be helpful for HR leaders to reflect upon as you begin your own HR and workplace technology planning, purchasing or implementation activities this year.

    Creating Business Value from HR Technology

    I was doing some research recently and was reminded that the first iPhone launched just over 10 years ago. I mention that for a couple of reasons. Just like in the quote about the passage of time for parents, it does seem as though the iPhone and its cousins have been with us forever. And, after a decade-plus of having access to smartphones and similar technologies, we as consumers have become much more educated and demanding, and our expectations for “value” that we require from these devices (which have all gotten more expensive) have increased substantially. When these new technologies were first introduced, we were excited just to have them and we accepted their capability and functionality at face value, mainly because we didn’t know any better, and didn’t have much of a context or framework for comparison.

    Now that we are (or believe that we are) expert, discerning and informed consumers of these technologies, our demands from them and the pressure we place on the providers of these tools have both expanded and evolved. That is the case with any maturing technology, as well as with much of the HR and workplace technologies that companies rely upon...

    Read the rest at HRE Online....

    If you liked the piece you can sign up over at HRE to get the Inside HR Tech Column emailed to you each month. There is no cost to subscribe, in fact, I may even come over and re-surface your driveway, take your dog for a walk, rake up your leaves, and eat your leftover Halloween candy.

    Have a great day!

    Tuesday
    Jan092018

    What comes after the smartphone?

    Today, January 9, 2018, marks the 11th anniversary of the launch of the original iPhone, when back on January 9, 2007 the late Steve Jobs introduced the world to the gadget that would change personal, workplace, and social technology profoundly.

    Even a decade plus later, the smartphone remains the dominant personal tech innovation of its time, with legions of users lining up on new model launch days to get their hands on the latest versions of their favorite new phone. Data below from IDC estimates over 460M new smartphones were shipped worldwide in 2016, (the latest full year data I could locate in 4 minutes of exhaustive research).

    But just like any other successful technology, the smartphone can't (probably) remain the dominant device for personal technology, communication, and productivity forever, right?

    Think about it - we don't carry around Palm Pilot PDAs, pagers, or Blackberry devices any more, (sorry Canadidan readers). There was a time, believe it or not, when those devices (and others), seemed just as important, even essential to our daily lives and our work.

    So it is likely to be the case with the smartphone too.

    Something will come next and while this something may not (at least right away) replace the smartphone, it is likely, based on the history of technology, that this 'next' thing will start to chip away at the foothold that smartphone has over lives.

    The annual Consumer Electronics Show has been going on this week in Las Vegas - the event where all the biggest providers of all forms of consumer technology (phones, appliances, robots, even cars at this stage), showcase their latest product innovations, make new product launch announcements, and generally share their vision of where consumer technology is going.

    If we are looking for insight what might come after the smartphone, CES presents a decent place to begin that research. And what has been the dominant theme of this year's CES so far (and what have I written about here at least twice already this year?)

    Here's a quote from Steve Koenig, Senior Director of Market Reserch for the Consumer Technology Association:

    "Coming out of CES, we're going to clearly have established that voice is going to be the go-to user interface," said Steve Koenig, senior director of market research for the Consumer Technology Association. "Wherever we go or whatever we're doing, we're going to have some form of digital assistant at our side ready to help us."

    Amazon, Google, and pretty much every technology supplier that matters is thinking about what comes next and is chasing the next breakthrough innovation that will be as disruptive as the smartphone. If I had to bet right now, I would say the always-on, ubiquitous, and mostly voice-activated digital assistant and the ecosystem behind that assistant seems like the best bet to become that breakthrough.

    It will be interesting to watch for sure.

     

    Monday
    Jan082018

    SAVED FOR LATER: A word about words - the ones your use in your public job listings

    Since no one asked, a quick word about the process I have used for ages to find/save ideas for blog topics.

    I use Feedly, (while pouring one out for the late, great Google Reader), to subscribe to about 400 news and information sources on topics like tech, HR, news, pop culture, sports, and more for two main reasons. One, to try and keep up to date and informed about what is going on the world, country, and in the HR/workplace/HR tech space. And two, to leverage Feedly's 'Read Later' funciton  to effectively bookmark or save posts and articles that might be used as sources or inspiration for future posts.

    Inevitably, I save many, many more articles than become posts, (or topics on the HR Happy Hour Show). So sometimes, usually on the weekend, I page and scroll back through some 'Saved for Later' pieces that I didn't actually cover or discuss anywhere in order to make sure that there wasn't something really interesting that should have been covered but for some reason was not.  And there are plenty of these kinds of pieces for sure. So in 2018 I am going to try to do a little better about surfacing these topics, even if it is a little 'late' or if it seems the news cycle has passed. So here we go...

    From a few weeks ago, in something you may have caught, perhaps not, the HR Tech company Textio (who we featured at the 2017 HR Technology Conference), published a really interesting post titled '1000 different people, the same words', which shared the results from text analysis of over 25,000 public job postings from 10 well-known tech companies. The purpose of the analysis was to determine both the most common words and phrases used within a company's job postings, as well as assess how much more or less frequently these words and phrases appear compared to peer companies and a general baseline. Finally, Textio also examined the impact of these words and phrases in terms of how they drove differences in the expected number of male and female applicants. Take a look at a summary of the data below, then a couple of quick comments from me.

    It is pretty amazing and instructive what this fairly simple but still pretty profound text analysis suggests, (and possibly reveals), about the cultures, norms, and expectations that these companies have for their employees based on the words they use/overuse in their job postings.

    The words and phrases are also kind of reinforcing too, of the ideas we the public and job applicants likely have of these companies, based on what we know about them from the news and their reputations.

    The words that appear often in Amazon and Uber job postings like 'maniacal' and 'whatever it takes' are probably not surprising given what we know and have heard about these companies approach to work, business, competition, and performance.

    Likewise, Slack's use of 'lasting relationships' and Twitter's use of the phrase 'diverse perspectives' also pretty accurately reflect at least some elements of both of these company's ethos.

    This is really interesting, and I think important. The language that an organization uses in their communications, especially their public-facing kinds of communications say more about what they truly are about than any formal, stilted, and focus grouped to death mission or vision.

    It is a really good idea to make sure that the words, phrases, tone and manner with which your message is being carried to those who may not know (or have experience with) what you organization is really all about be true to what you believe (or aspire) it to be.

    Textio is doing some really interesting and important work in this area, thanks to them for sharing this data.

    Happy Monday - have a great week! 

    Wednesday
    Jan032018

    Five things I think I think, year-begin 2018 edition

    Kicking off 2018 with five quick observations, (not predictions), about HR, work, tech, basketball, or whatever comes to mind in the 27 minutes I have allotted to complete this more or less first post of 2018.

    1. Workplace- In the 'year-end 5 things post' last week, I mentioned the situations involving Matt Lauer and Harvey Weinstein (among others). Over the New Year's break I saw that a high-profile college football coach, (Rich Rodriguez from University of Arizona), was fired due at least in part to allegations of inappropriate behavior. To me, now the question isn't 'If' these kinds of situations are going to show up in your industry or your organization, but 'when' will they emerge. Besides the obvious succession planning angle that I mentioned last week, there probably needs to be a serious review of how the organization can emerge, change, and grow from these situations in order to have a reasonable shot at retaining the kinds of good people that don't want to be associated with a tarnished brand, and to attract the ones you need to keep the machines running in 2018. This issue could get bad enough in some organization that it becomes a tangible risk to recruiting, branding, and retention.

    2. HR and HR Tech- I am going let go, (for the time being), of my recent 'Voice interfaces are the next disruption' take, although I really believe it to be the case, to mention the other 2018 buzzword - Artificial Intelligence. Just this morning I caught this piece - China is reportedly building a $2 Billion AI park as it looks to become a world leader in the field. The race for AI technologies, talent, and investments are not just going to occur on a company-to-company level, they are going to become national-level initiatives. China and Russia both think the key to future global power, influence, and wealth lay in 'winning' the AI contest. How these macro/global projects will eventually impact and filter down to 'normal' workplaces is still a little unclear, but I think it is safe to say these impacts are probably being underestimated. Five years ago every HR Tech company tossed the word 'social' into its product pitch. In 2018 AI is the new social.

    3. Email- In 2018, I vow not to read email on my phone, before I get out of bed. I am pretty sure email is the absolute worst way to begin a day. But I also vow to get better at keeping up with my email in 2018. I did do the 'email bankruptcy' thing on January 1 though, by marking everything as read. If you send me an email in 2017 and did not hear back, you probably should re-send if you need a reply.

    4. HR Happy Hour- I don't have too much to add to the what I posted last week about the HR Happy Hour Show but I will mention two things. One, the first show of 2018 posted yesterday - great conversation with Derek Belch from STRIVRabout how companies as diverse as Walmart and Stanford University's football team are incorporating VR technology for training and development. You can listen to that show hereor on your favorite podcast app. And two, we are open to working with new podcast sponsors in 2018, if you or your organization is interested in becoming an HR Happy Hour Podcast sponsor, please contact me at steve@h3hr.com.

    5. SMB - Not sure if anyone cares, but since I am more or less off of Facebook and Instagram, (no one cares about that I am sure), but I did have a great holiday break highlighted by a trip to the Tampa, Florida area where I watched my South Carolina Gamecocks defeat the University of Michigan 26-19 in the Outback Bowl. Great trip, great time, awesome experience. I had not been to a college football game in a long time, and the game brought back all that I used to enjoy about attending games at Williams-Brice Stadium in Carolina. Here's a health, Carolina, forever to thee.

    That's it, I am out - I hope you have a fantastic 2018!

    Tuesday
    Jan022018

    PODCAST: #HRHappyHour 308 - How Virtual Reality Will Change Workplace Training in 2018

    HR Happy Hour 308 - How Virtual Reality Will Change Workplace Training in 2018

    Host: Steve Boese

    Guest: Derek Belch, CEO & Founder, STRIVR

    Listen to the show HERE

    This week on the HR Happy Hour Show, Steve is joined by Derek Belch, Founder and CEO of STRIVR, a Palo Alto firm that uses innovative Virtual Reality technology for workplace training and improved performance.

    On the show Derek explained the key concepts of Virtual Reality, how it differs from Augmented Reality, and provided a framework for HR and workplace leaders to understand VR, and how it can be deployed in workplace and workforce training and learning contexts. 

    He also shared the story of his company STRIVR, from their beginnings working with collegiate football programs as well as other professional teams, to some of their current work on the corporate training and development space, including their massive partnership with Walmart,

    Derek did a great job of explaining VR, how the technology works, how it applies to training, the particular training scenarios where VR makes a great fit, and how HR and training organizations can get started with incorporating VR technologies into their training and development portfolios.

    You can listen to the show on the show page HERE, or by using the widget player below:

    This was a really interesting and enlightening conversation - thanks to Derek for joining us.

    Learn more about STRIVR at www.strivr.com.

    Subscribe to the HR Happy Hour Show on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher Radio, or wherever you get your podcasts - just search for 'HR Happy Hour'.