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Human resources management is a hot area for new technology, at least based on the number of new vendor offerings. Why then has there not been greater adoption of the technology by HR practitioners? This Research Byte outlines three reasons why interest is high but adoption slow, and discusses what business leaders should do about it.
First, here is a quick overview of the leading conference on HR technology, which Computer Economics attended this year as an analyst firm.
HR Tech Conference, a Must-Attend Event
The HR Technology® Conference (HR Tech) belongs on the calendar of anyone interested in HR technology. Here are the reasons:
One independent analyst, Brian Sommer, made similar observations in his blog post, The Problem is HR, Not HR Technology, after attending the conference. He writes:
“HR departments are chock full of great HR transaction folks. Likewise, they have great recruiters, compliance people and more in these groups. However, is there anyone who understands data analysis, external/Big Data, etc.?
Where are the quants in HR? Where are the statistics and math majors? Where are the social scientists who understand human behavior? Seriously, giving powerful analytic tools to many HR folks today (who lack awareness or skills in these technologies and disciplines) is like giving a chainsaw to a 4-year old. If they ever got it running, you’d have a bloody mess on your hands. If you don’t know the difference between causality and correlation, you have no business playing with analytics.
A rebalancing of the talent within HR organizations is needed today. New skills, capabilities and insights are needed to make HR more relevant and able to exploit today’s new HR technologies."
Ironically, then, HR has its own talent management problem.
HR Organizational Readiness Is the Key Need
If an organization’s people are indeed its strategic advantage, then HR technology should have a prominent position in any organization’s IT strategy. However, most HR groups are not ready to adopt the latest HR technologies. Business leaders, therefore, should focus on developing their HR organizations as well as implementing HR technology.
For some organizations, this means changing their view of HR, from a support function to a co-equal role in business strategy. It also means reversing some of the staff cutbacks that were put in place during the recession. Finally, it means doing something about the skills gap in HR. In many cases, this will mean reaching outside of the traditional candidate pool to find new talent with the quantitative skills needed to effectively use emerging solutions for workforce analytics and other new HR technologies.