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    Entries in HR Tech (186)


    HRE Column: How to choose which disruptive HR tech solutions to chase

    Here is 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, in the aftermath of the HR Technology Conference and still thinking about all the innovative and potentially disruptive HR tech solutions that continue to appear in the market, I thought about how much more difficult it must be getting for HR and business leaders to assess and evaluate and decide which types of disruptive technology to pursue.

    Note, I am not really talking or thinking about specific technology evaluations like, "Which ATS should we license?", but rather larger questions of "Which types of potentially disruptive HR technology would benefit our organization, given our needs and our circumstances?", and "What should be the impact of these technologies on the organization and our people?"

    I came up with three general categories or impacts that potentially disruptive HR tech can (and perhaps should) have on the organization, and some thoughts on how HR leaders can better evaluate new HR tech in this model. I tried to describe what this kind of categorized impact assessment looks like in my HR Executive column. From the HRE piece:

    One of the highlights of the recently concluded HR Technology Conference and Exposition® was the record-breaking Expo Hall, which featured nearly 400 technology solution providers offering an almost dizzying array of tools, technologies and innovative approaches to help organizations with HR, talent-management, employee-engagement and other workplace challenges.

    But such a plethora of modern and innovative technologies also presents quite a challenge for HR and business leaders in that the growth of the HR-technology market and landscape has made the identification, research, assessment and eventual selection of the "right" technology solution all the more challenging. Probably the most frequent type of question I get from HR leaders over the course of the year is: "There are so many HR-tech solutions out there; how can I figure out which ones I should give my time and attention?"

    Note that this kind of question is different from "Which applicant-tracking (or learning-management system, or payroll solution) system is the best one?" I do get those questions too, of course, but probably less frequently than in the past, as most HR leaders today understand that there is never a universal "best" solution for anything, but rather a "best" solution for the individual organization, and its unique goals, requirements and circumstances. Lately the discussions and challenges I hear about from HR leaders seem more focused on trying to make sense of a complex and growing HR-tech market, and how to best take advantage of all this growth and innovation.

    One way for HR leaders to approach these kinds of challenges and determine how to spend their time and resources is to consider innovative and potentially disruptive HR technologies across a set of three criteria or broad categories of impact. I'd like to take a look at these three broad-impact categories and offer examples of how new HR-technology solutions fit into each.

    Category One: If the HR solutions reduce or eliminate organizational barriers for HR and employees

    There are a slew of HR technologies that are necessary and essential for organizations to either own or license for regulatory and compliance reasons. In other words, every organization that has regular employees has to, at a minimum, have a way to pay them, and to complete all the required tax filings and payments. This category is not really about those kinds of technologies. (If your organization has a critical need to solve such compulsory challenges, then you probably should take care of those before entertaining the idea of adopting new or disruptive HR technology.)

    This category is more about enabling organizational success via the elimination or reduction of the friction points that can hold people back from getting work done effectively and efficiently. You can get to the direct impact of implementing technologies in this category by asking questions such as, "Where does our employee's workflow get bogged down?" or "Where do we have data manually replicated in multiple systems?"; or simply by asking teams and leaders can simply be asked to talk about "What is it that makes my job more difficult than it needs to be?"

    Some real HR-technology solutions that help to solve problems in this category include learning systems that can surface content and assets in real-time and in context when employees need them the most or even more technical solutions that better integrate, validate and keep clean key HR-data elements and values across multiple systems. Almost every new HR-technology solution you introduce into the organization should solve at least one important "barrier" problem and eliminate a pain point for your targeted audience once it is adopted.

    Category Two: If the HR solutions help to elevate customer service -- for internal customers or external customers

    At the HR Tech Conference, one of the more interesting technology developments I remember seeing was an example of a deeper integration between an employee self-service type of portal and the company's HR-shared-service-center knowledge base and help-desk functionality. The idea here is that if employees were viewing their payslips or benefits enrollments and needed more information or had a question about the information they were viewing, they could, with one click, launch a "help" ticket or process to indicate to HR they needed assistance. HR practitioners would not only see that the request was made, they would automatically have all the needed context from the page or subset of information the employee was viewing...

    Read the rest of the HR Exec column here 

    Good stuff, right? Humor me...

    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 rake your leaves car or clean out your gutters or even help you pass out the candy on Halloween. 

    Have a great weekend!


    PODCAST - #HRHappyHour 263 - Introducing HR Market Watch

    A few weeks back Trish McFarlane and I shared the exciting news of the launch of the HR Happy Hour Podcast Network, and shared the details on the first three new podcast titles joining the HR Happy Hour family. Two of the new podcasts, Research on the Rocks, with hosts Madeline Laurano and Mollie Lombardi, and We're Only Human, with host Ben Eubanks made their successful debuts on the network earlier this summer, and Trish and I can't be more pleased with how well both those shows have been received by the HR Happy Hour listeners.

    Today I am really excited to share the debut episode of the third new podcast title on the HR Happy Hour Network, HR Market Watch, with host George LaRocque, industry analyst and founder of #HRWINS.

    On HR Market Watch, George will focus on the HR Technology landscape, with a focus on new and emerging technologies from both startups and established solution providers, and share his and his guest's insights as to how these technology innovations can help you and your organization today.

    On the first HR Market Watch show, George interviews Jamie True, CEO of LifeWorks, recently selected as 'The Next Great HR Technology Company' by attendees of the HR Technology Conference.

    Details for this first show are below, and we can't be more excited to welcome George to the HR Happy Hour family!

    HR Happy Hour 263 - Introducing HR Market Watch

    Host: George LaRocque

    Guest: Jamie True, CEO, LifeWorks

    The HR Happy Hour Network is thrilled to welcome 'HR Market Watch' and host George LaRocque to the HR Happy Hour family of podcasts.

    HR Market Watch puts a special lens on new and innovative HR technology from emerging and established technology companies. Join George LaRocque, Principal Analyst and Founder of the #HRWINS, in this episode and meet CEO Jamie True of LifeWorks, the firm that audience members at the recent HR Technology Conference selected as 'The Next Great HR Technology Company'.

    Also, get George's top 5 take-aways from HR Tech, and more!

    You can listen to the show on the show page HERE, or by using the widget player below, (Email and RSS subscribers click through)

    This was a fun and interesting show, thanks and welcome to George for being a part of the HR Happy Hour family!  

    Be sure to subscribe to 'HR Market Watch' and all the HR Happy Hour Network podcasts on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, or your favorite podcast player app. Just search for 'HR Happy Hour' to subscribe and never miss a show.


    PODCAST - #HRHappyHour 262 - The HR Technology Conference Recap #HRTechConf

    HR Happy Hour 262 - The HR Technology Confrence Recap #HRTechConf

    Hosts: Steve BoeseTrish McFarlane

    Recorded October 12, 2016

    Listen to the show HERE

    The 19th Annual HR Technology Conference concluded last week, and on this episode of the HR Happy Hour Show, HR Tech Program Chair Steve Boese, and H3 HR Advisors CEO, and Conference speaker Trish McFarlane review some of the memorable sessions of the Conference, talk about some of the key themes and trends from the event, and talk about some of the key takeaways for HR and business leaders.

    Steve and Trish cover some of the Conference's highlights, including the first ever Women in HR Tech Summit, the first 'Discovering the Next Great HR Technology Company' competition, the All-Star CHRO panel led by moderator Soledad O'Brien, the 2nd Annual HR Tech Hackathon, (and Hacklab), and what is always an attendee favorite - the Ideas and Innovators 'Ignite' presentations.

    Plus, we talk about some of the innovations from the Expo floor, the continued importance of 'core' HR technologies like Payroll and Benefits, and the fact that the show probably needs some new intro and outro music.

    You can listen to the show on the show page HERE, or by using the widget player below, (Email and RSS subscribers will need to click through)


    The HR Technology Conference was outstanding as always, and whether you were able to attend or not, we think you'll find this review informative and fun.

    Many thanks to our HR Happy Hour Show sponsor Virgin Pulse - learn more about them at www.virginpulse.com.

    And remember to subscribe to the HR Happy Hour Show on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, or your favorite podcast app - just search for 'HR Happy Hour' to subscribe and never miss a show.


    PODCAST - #HRHappyHour 261 - Impact of Digital Transformation on HCM

    HR Happy Hour 261 - Impact of Digital Transformation on HCM

    Hosts: Trish McFarlane, Steve Boese

    Guests: Charles Cagle, SVP of HCM Development, Strategy & Operations, Infor
    Bill Vellante, VP & General Manager HCM, Infor

    Listen HERE

    In this special episode, Trish shares a recording from a recent webinar she facilitated for Infor with guests, Charles Cagle and Bill Vellante.  It was a lively conversation about the modern world of business and how organizational leaders strive to understand people processes by purchasing technology.  Doing so requires strong business acumen, deep organizational knowledge, and a clear comprehension of how all leaders in an organization can help lead a true digital HR transformation—imperative for driving desired business outcomes.

    You can listen to the show on the show page HERE, or by using the widget player below: (Email and RSS subscribers will need to click through)

    This was a really fun show, and we hope you enjoy it.

    Thanks to Infor for partnering on the webinar.  For more inforamtion about this topic or how Infor can help your organization, please visit www.Infor.com.  

    To watch the full webinar, please visit: http://www.infor.com/company/webcasts/hcmarchive/generalhcm-rwct/20160727-hcm-executive-perspectives.

    You can subscribe to the HR Happy Hour Show on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, or your favorite podcast app. Just search for 'HR Happy Hour' to subscribe and never miss a show.


    My Top Five HR Technology Conference Moments #HRTechConf

    I am just back from another fantastic week at the HR Technology Conference in Chicago, which once again was a record-breaking gathering of HR leaders, technology executives, industry experts and thought leaders who convened in the Windy City to talk all things HR and workforce technology, and organizational success.

    As the Conference Program Chair, and the onsite host, I (sadly), don't get to actually see and enjoy as much of the Conference as I would like. I tend to have to run from a General Session, to a rehearsal for one of the next day's General Sessions, and then maybe to yet another rehearsal, with a few minutes here and there spent actually talking to folks and (when I had a little time), walking the floor of the Expo, (which if you attended, you know you needed PLENTY of time to see).

    But I did still want to share some of my impressions of this year's event, even if they are limited to the parts of the Conference that I actually did SEE, if not in their entirety, at least for significant amounts of time. And I also wanted to make sure I thanked and recognized some of the great people who shared their time, energy, insights, and expertise, to make the Conference a success.

    So a couple of disclaimers before I get going. I am not going to mention any element of the Conference I did not see in person, so that rules out just about all of the Concurrent sessions, (I think I was only able to peek into a couple of them over the course of the event), the below 'Top Five' list is presented in reverse chronological order, (to keep me from having to pick my absolute favorite), and if I fail to mention someone I should have, I promise it is completely an oversight, and not intentional.

    So with that said, here are my Top Five Moments from this year's HR Tech Conference:

    5. The first 'Women in HR Technology' Summit

    On the Conference's opening day last Tuesday, we held our first-ever 'Women in HR Technology' Summit. The Women in HR Technology Summit was designed for HR, business, and technology leaders in HR and HRIT to share strategies for enabling and supporting technology careers for women, learn from CHROs on the best ways to create and support more inclusivity in technology roles, and hear from successful Founders and CEOs on how they are breaking barriers for women in technology leadership.

    The discussions were incredibly interesting, as were our three panels moderated by the fantastic Cara Capretta, (women tech leaders, CHROs and talent leaders, and CEOs and Founders), along with our closing address 'Lead Like a Girl' from Tacy Byham kept our capacity audience captivated throughout the day. There were so many leaders who are talented, successful, and willing to openly share their experience and insights, that the session turned into an absolute highlight of the Conference.


    From last week's #HRTechConf at the Women in HR Tech Summit - a highlight of the Conference for me.

    A photo posted by Steve Boese (@steveboese) on Oct 10, 2016 at 8:27am PDT

    To say that the inaugural event was a success could be a bit of an understatement. In my four years of being a Program Chair for HR Tech, I have never received more positive comments and feedback about any single element at the Conference. Stay tuned for more on this subject, as it has become clear to me that there is the need for and interest in, further programming, conversations, and networking in this important topic.

    4. Discovering the Next Great HR Technology Company

    While HR Tech, and plenty of other shows, have done startup tech company demonstrations and competitions in the past, this year at HR Tech we decided to introduce a new spin on the concept.  Borrowing from the format of the popular TV series "The Voice", we paired up and coming HR technology companies with their own expert 'coaches', (Trish McFarlane, George LaRocque, Madeline Laurano, Kyle Lagunas), who not only 'found' and nominated these companies for participation in the event, but also collaborated and coached them on their presentations and delivery for the event itself.


    I'm looking very serious on stage at #hrtechconf

    A photo posted by Trish McFarlane (@trish_mcfarlane) on Oct 4, 2016 at 11:27pm PDT


    At the session, ably hosted by Jason Averbook, each of the 8 participating companies, (InvestiPro, ClickBoarding, Chemistry Group, LifeWorks, Clinch, HighGround, RolePoint, and Qwalify), had 5 minutes to talk about their solution, and show it off a little, followed by about 2 minutes to answer a question or two from one of our expert coaches. After 8 fast-paced demonstrations and discussions, the audience got to vote for who they thought would be 'The Next Great Technology Company' - a vote won by LifeWorks in what was an extremely tight race.

    3. General Session - 'Engaging and Retaining the Talent of Tomorrow'

    An important benefit of HR Tech every year is the opportunity for attendees to hear from and gain insights from many of the most influential HR leaders in the world on the topics that are most important to all HR professionals today - areas like talent management, employee experience, development, and creating opportunity for diverse talent pools just to name a few. This year at HR Tech we held what was perhaps the most powerful panel of top HR leaders that we have ever assembled at one time - the highest ranking HR executives from Starbucks, IBM, Cisco, and ADP and that was narrated by award-winning journalist the TV host Soledad O'Brien.


    #Flashback to #HRTechConf 2016 Thursday's General Session with Soledad O'Brien

    A photo posted by HR Technology (@hrtechconf) on Oct 7, 2016 at 4:49pm PDT

    In the session, the panel hit on major themes impacting and shaping the workplace today - freedom, stability, information sharing, self-management, and fulfillment to name a few. These senior HR leaders reminded us all that the talent and engagement challenges that face their tens and hundreds of thousands employee companies are not at all unlike the ones you might be facing in your organization as well. But even more importantly they reminded us of the power and value of coming together in one place, at the same time, to talk and share openly about these challenges. I was able to spend some time talking with and watching this panel of CHROs interact with each other, and I was struck by how easy and natural their conversations were with each other, and how open and willing they were to connect. It was a fantastic group and an amazing session at the Conference.

    2. The 2nd Annual HR Tech Hackathon, (and first HR Tech Hacklab)

    A newer feature at HR Tech, introduced in 2015, is the HR Tech Hackathon. In our Hackathon several HR tech solution providers send small teams consisting of about four developers and designers to take on a development challenge and 48 hours later, present it to our audience. In 2015, the challenge statement to the teams was pretty generic, and while all the teams that year did a fantastic job interpreting and putting their own unique stamp on the development, I thought something was still missing - namely a connection between our HR leaders in attendance and each individual technical team.

    So this year, I was lucky to be able to enlist my friends Jason Lauritsen and Joe Gerstandt of Talent Anarchy to facilitate an opening day 'Hack Lab' were over 200 attendees worked in teams to generate their own 'hacks' or ideas for new and improved processes, solutions, and technologies that each of the technical Hackathon teams would choose from in order to guide their development. The teams, (from TMP Worldwide, IBM, Towers Willis Watson, and Ultimate Software), each selected a challenge and worked with that specific HackLab team to try and bring the attendee's concepts to life.


    Digital depiction of the #HRTechConf Hackathon demonstrations last week

    A photo posted by Steve Boese (@steveboese) on Oct 10, 2016 at 9:21am PDT

    As you can see from the digital rendering of the Hackathon session above, each of the teams brought new, exciting, and innovative ideas to their solutions. I kind of like to think that I have seen it all in terms of HR tech, but even I was amazed at what I saw that these teams were able to create in such a short time. Thanks to all the Hackathon participants for their fantastic efforts, and special props go to the team from Ultimate Software whose 'Ultimatt' solution was voted as the audience's favorite.

    1. The Ideas and Innovators Session

    So we at HR Tech did not invent the 'Ignite' format, nor are we the first conference by any means to stage sessions using this format, but I think after seeing quite a few of these kinds of sessions over the years, in my totally biased opinion at HR Tech we do this format the best.

    And the reason why we do is 100% due to the speakers that we are able to secure for this session at HR Tech. We have the built-in advantage of having just about all the best minds in the industry already gathered in one place, so I have to say find 10 or 11 folks who are ready to rock the Ignite format really is not all that hard.

    We had talks on a wide range of topics - robotics, workforce fluidity, the gig economy, people as the center of the organization, disrupting your own career - and more. And we had what I think was the best collection of people at any event I have been associated with who rose up to this toughest of all public speaking challenges.


    Fantastic group of speakers at our Ideas and Innovators session at #HRTechConf

    A photo posted by Steve Boese (@steveboese) on Oct 8, 2016 at 4:57pm PDT


    Many, many thanks to Lance Haun, Cecile Alper-Leroux, Jason Seiden, Jennifer Payne, Ben Eubanks, Michael Krupa, Adam Rogers, Ambrosia Vertesi, and Trish McFarlane for being awesome. And special thanks to Mike Psenka, who would have been awesome too. Mike had to head back to Charleston in advance of the approaching Hurricane Matthew to take care of his family, and graciously allowed me to step in to (try) and deliver his message on communication. (Mike would have been better!).

    As always with HR Tech, I do have to send out a blanket apology to anyone I forgot to mention above, who I didn't get a chance to see at the Conference, whose party I said I would try to make it to but didnt', or anyone else that I just was not able to spend the time with that I would have liked. I am still working on a way to get a clone ready in time for 2017.

    And finally, thanks so much to all of the HR Tech Conference attendees, speakers, sponsors, exhibitors, and my colleagues at LRP who put on such an amazing show. I am indebted to all of you and hope to see you back at the show, back in Las Vegas, next year.