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    Entries in HRE (18)

    Thursday
    Dec132018

    HRE Column: HCM Trends for 2019

    Heading into the final stretch of 2018 and I wanted to share with you, gentle reader, the latest installment of the monthly Inside HR Tech Column that runs on Human Resource Executive Online.

    The piece is titled HR Technology Trends You Can't Afford to Ignore, and is a look at some imporant HR and HR Technolgy trends inspired by a recently released report, 2019 HCM Trends Report, from three of the best independent HR and HR tech analysts in the space.

    Here's an excerpt from the piece on HRE:

    With the end of the year fast approaching, it is natural to turn our attention to the coming year, which means reading, thinking and talking with HR-technology leaders about the trends, developments and new technologies they think will have the most impact for HR organizations in the new year. Fortunately for me, three industry experts who are regular speakers at the HR Technology Conference—George LaRocque, Ben Eubanks and Trish McFarlane—recently released the 2019 HCM Trends Report, which identifies several of the big-picture HCM and workplace trends that will impact organizations and shape the direction of HR-technology innovation in 2019.

    I recommend downloading and reading the entire (free) report here, but I also wanted to highlight three of what I think are the more important HCM trends that the authors lay out in the report. I’ll also suggest some ways HR-technology innovation will reflect these trends in 2019 and offer recommendations for HR leaders on how to move forward.

    Practical Applications of AI at Work

    If there was one term that seemed to shape much of the HR-technology conversation in 2018, it was artificial intelligence. Like many macro-technology trends that have come before (SaaS, mobile, UX, etc.), AI is now increasingly applied to support HR and talent-management functions. But like many emerging technologies of the past, AI seems more like just a cool set of capabilities still in search of the right problems to help solve.

    In the 2019 HCM Trends Report, Eubanks makes a great point about where the AI conversation needs to head in 2019 stating, “The thing that’s going to change in 2019 is a greater focus on the actual, practical impacts of AI. It’s no longer enough to shout that your technology has machine learning or automation capabilities if you want attention—you’ll have to explain the problems it solves, or risk being overshadowed by those that do.”

    The takeaway for HR leaders who are thinking about how to make AI-enabled HR-technology plans for 2019? Make sure you press any potential technology provider for demonstrable examples of real-world applications of these AI tools, and the ability to see quantifiable results of these projects. In 2019, AI must move past the “hype” and begin to deliver real returns, or as Eubanks correctly implies, the technologies—and your efforts using them—will not be successful.

    Read the rest at HRE Online...

    You can also subscribe on HRE Online to get my monthly Inside HR Tech column via email here. I promise it will be the most exciting email you will ever receive. 

    Thanks for checking out the column, the blog, the podcasts, the 'Alexa' show, and all the nonsense I'm now in my second decade of churning out. 

    Have a great day!

    Monday
    Nov262018

    HRE Column: Navigating #HRTech Mergers and Acquisitions

    Shaking off the post-Thanksgiving holiday turkey coma to share with you, gentle reader, the latest installment of the monthly Inside HR Tech Column that runs on Human Resource Executive Online.

    The piece is titled Navigating Mergers and Acquisitions in HR Tech, and is a look at some recent M&A activity in the HR Tech space, and offers some suggestions for HR leaders as to how to best protect their organization's investments in HR tech in this climate.

    Here's an excerpt from the piece on HRE:

    Recently, several significant mergers and acquisitions in the HR-technology market have made news. From Ultimate Software acquiring PeopleDoc to Saba Software acquiring Lumesse (and Halogen Software before that) to the latest and largest announcement that SAP will acquire Qualtrics for $8 billion in cash, there has been no shortage of wow-inducing developments in HR tech.

    But while these announcements certainly produce headlines and get analyzed for their impact on share prices, market share and the software company’s long-term futures, we often tend to overlook one really important constituency that is impacted by these M&A events: the customers of the company that gets acquired.

    While the M&A announcements and subsequent comments from executives of the acquiring company usually talk a little about what the future may hold for the acquired product and its customers, there definitely can be some uncertainty about the future direction of an acquired company and product set. For customers of those products, it is important to understand what an M&A event may mean for them, and to be as prepared as possible for any impacts—including changes that can significantly alter the customer’s HR technology platforms and future direction.

    If your company is a customer/user of an HR-technology solution that has been acquired by another HR-tech provider, here are three things to consider as you react to the news:

    Read the rest at HRE Online...

    You can also subscribe on HRE Online to get my monthly Inside HR Tech column via email here. I promise it will be the most exciting email you will ever receive. 

    Thanks for checking out the column, the blog, the podcasts, the 'Alexa' show, and all the nonsense I'm now in my second decade of churning out. 

    Have a great week!

    Friday
    Oct052018

    HRE Column: Making Better HR Decisions Using HR Tech

    Yes, you may have noticed that I have been writing a little bit less frequently here on the blog. The combination of a ton of travel in September, helping deliver the largest HR Technology Conference ever, and keeping the growing HR Happy Hour Podcast Network going are all taking up quite a few cycles lately. But I am still writing over at Human Resource Executive where my latest column just posted.

    The piece is titled How Technology Helps Us Make Better HR Decisions and is a reflection on some of the more important topics in HR and HR Tech today - data, and making sense of data, and understanding how modern HR tech can help us make better HR and Talent decisions.

    Here's an excerpt from the piece on HRE:

    With the HR Technology Conference just completed a few weeks ago, I have had some time to attend a few industry events, record new episodes of the HR Happy Hour Podcast, and give a presentation on data, technology and decision-making in HR and talent management.

    In preparing for that talk, I referenced two highly recommended books, How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking by Jordan Ellberg; and Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence by Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans and Avi Goldfarb. While neither book is “about” HR—or even the workplace—both provided some excellent frameworks for thinking about information, data, technology and AI, and had great examples of how understanding these “non-HR” concepts can help those of us in HR get better at making talent decisions.

    I thought I’d devote this month’s column to sharing a few ideas from those books and my own personal thoughts on how we might want to view our people challenges a little differently.

    1. Data don’t always mean what you think they mean.

    How Not to Be Wrong opens with an extremely interesting tale from World War II. As air warfare gained prominence, the challenge for the military was figuring out where and in what amount to apply protective armor to fighter planes and bombers. Apply too much armor and the planes become slower, less maneuverable and use more fuel. Too little armor, or if it’s in the “wrong” places, and the planes run a higher risk of being brought down by enemy fire.

    To make these determinations, military leaders examined the amount and placement of bullet holes on damaged planes that returned to base following their missions. The data showed almost twice as much damage to the fuselage of the planes compared to other areas, most specifically the engine compartments, which generally had little damage. This data led the military leaders to conclude that more armor needed to be placed on the fuselage.

    But mathematician Abraham Wald examined the data and came to the opposite conclusion. The armor, Wald said, doesn’t go where the bullet holes are; instead, it should go where the bullet holes aren’t, specifically, on the engines. The key insight came when Wald looked at the damaged planes that returned to the base and asked where all the “missing” bullet holes to the engines were. The answer was the “missing” bullet holes were on the missing planes, i.e. the ones that didn’t make it back safely to base. Planes that got hit in the engines didn’t come back, but those that sustained damage to the fuselage generally could make it safely back. 

    Read the rest at HRE Online...

    You can also subscribe on HRE Online to get my monthly Inside HR Tech column via email here. I promise it will be the most exciting email you will ever receive. 

    Thanks for checking out the column, the blog, the podcasts, the 'Alexa' show, and all the nonsense I'm now in my second decade of churning out. 

    Have a great weekend!

    Thursday
    Aug022018

    HRE Column: The Three Things I Think About the Most When Thinking About HR Tech

    I have been a little slack in posting links back to my monthly column over at HR Executive Online but fear not gentle readers, I have not abandoned this essential public service.

    So without further delay, here is the link to my latest Inside HR Tech piece at HR Executive - 3 HR Tech Topics I Think About the Most.

    From the piece:

    I have recently had many conversations with speakers, exhibitors and HR tech-industry experts to finalize sessions, schedules and plans for the HR Technology Conference in September. In one of these conversations, a representative from a major HR-technology provider asked me an interesting question that I don’t recall ever being asked before: “When you are thinking about HR technology, what do you think about the most?”

    At the time, I tried to stammer out a reasonably coherent answer, as I was not expecting the question. I’ve been thinking about it ever since and decided it would be a good topic to explore here, because elements of HR tech I consider may also influence how you think your current and future tech.

    With that said, here are the categories I most often come back to when I think about HR tech.

    The War for Talent

    Regular readers might recall that I think about, talk about and write about macro labor-market data and trends almost compulsively. The monthly Bureau of Labor Statistics “JOLTS” report is the highlight of most months for me, and I track data points like the labor-force-participation rate and the quits rate like I used to track the batting averages of the mid-1980s New York Mets.

    You probably don’t have to be a labor-market wonk to know the U.S. market continues to tighten and become more challenging for employers. Unemployment is nearing low, “full-employment” levels and the number of posted, open jobs—as well as the rate of voluntary separations (or “quits”)—is at all-time high since the BLS began its measurements. Essentially, most, if not all, employers are facing difficulty for finding, attracting and retaining workers.

    So back to the HR-technology angle. When I think about HR technology I tend to first think about how a specific technology can help an organization better compete in this extremely difficult environment...

    Read the rest at Human Resource Executive Online...

    And remember to subscribe to get my monthly Inside HR Tech column via email on the subscription sign-up page here. The first 25 new subscribers get a new set of steak knives. Well, maybe. 

    Thanks and have a great day!

    Tuesday
    Jul102018

    HR Executive Column: Thinking about Design Thinking in HR

    I have been a little slack in posting links back to my monthly column over at HR Executive Online but fear not gentle readers, I have not abandoned this essential public service.

    So without further delay, here is the link to my latest Inside HR Tech piece at HR Executive - How to Make Design Thinking Work for HR.

    From the piece:

    Why are so many HR leaders talking about design thinking?

    Longtime readers might know that I founded and co-host with Trish McFarlane the popular HR Happy Hour Show, a podcast covering HR, HR tech, HR leadership and more. In the last several months, a number of the show’s guests—HR leaders from Red Hat, T-Mobile, General Motors and NBCUniversal, for example—have brought up a phrase that, even as recently as last year, I don’t recall hearing.

    That phrase is “design thinking,” and while you probably have heard the term, you might not have considered it from an HR or HR-technology point of view. Design thinking has been described as an iterative process that tries to understand a business problem, as well as who and what it is impacting. Those using this strategy challenge existing assumptions and approaches to solving a problem, and ask questions to identify alternative solutions that might not be readily apparent. Design thinking is a solution-based approach and usually prescribes a series of specific phases, stages and methods to help designers and business teams arrive at improved, user-focused solutions.

    Since I’ve been hearing so much lately about this idea, I thought it would be a good topic to explore for this column.  I’ll look at each of the typical stages of a design-thinking process, their application, and how we can leverage these ideas as we evaluate, deploy and manage the HR technologies.

    Empathize

    The first stage in the design-thinking process is gaining an understanding of the business or people problem you are trying to solve. This is different than trying to determine the list of detailed technical requirements for a new HR system or the specific elements that need to be included in a new course for first-time managers in the organization. Design thinking suggests that the designer or the project leader thinks deeply about the people who will be impacted by a new solution or process, engage and spend time with them to better understand their motivations and challenges, as well as develop a deep appreciation for any physical or environmental characteristics that are important to the solution. But the key to making this information-gathering stage successful is empathy, which can help designers and leaders to get past their own assumptions and gain insight into users and their needs.

    Read the rest of the piece over at HR Executive Online...

    And remember to subscribe to get my monthly Inside HR Tech column via email on the subscription sign-up page here. The first 25 new subscribers get a new set of steak knives. Well, maybe. 

    Thanks and have a great day!