When talking to a new client, the conversation often begins with tools. "We need to better reach candidates--what tool should we use?" or "We want to strengthen our performance review process, what system should we buy?" We tend to gravitate towards execution first. After all, technology has captured our attention, and our hearts. But without a strategy, tech means nothing. And that's why so many companies end up with a disparate collection of HR tools and technologies that often don't work together.

On that note, we want you start 2014 on the right HR technology foot. Tools are great--we love them too. But you'll have to be strategic and planful. Before you dive into launching that new technology or tools this year, take a step back and think about your plan. This week we've pulled together a few pieces to help you think about your tech plan for 2014.

1) HR Technology Trendspotting: What’s Coming in 2014 from Blogging 4 Jobs

"Gen Y in the workplace, social media for recruiting, big data, candidate experience and company culture aren’t going anywhere. Nor are the litany of other recurring themes which constitute “thought leadership” in HR Technology.   Sure, maybe the details change, but the overall conversation really doesn’t."  Whether it’s the traditional resume, in-person interviews, sourcing, you name it, and someone’s cheering its seemingly imminent demise. But somehow, no matter how perilous, the staples of traditional recruiting survive. Sometimes, that requires a little rebranding – think: “professional network” instead of job board and you’ll get the idea."

2) Twitter Reacts to #sfbeta: The Future of HR  from Entelo

"2014 will see a new war on talent unfold where attracting top talent means creating a top business culture when growth is more difficult than it was in the dot-com era.  Ranking candidates happens in all three (broader) steps of the recruitment process: sourcing, attraction, and selection. Ranking with social sourcing means relying less on a resume and more on social footprints. Attraction requires you to rank how well you think candidates will fit within your company culture. And, lastly, selection means the middle ground where the science and art of recruiting come together to influence your decision-making."

3) 5 Talent Technology Trends that Matter in 2014  from SumTotal

"So many talent technology “trends,” so little time. Wasn’t technology supposed to give us more time? The rapid pace of technology development can make it difficult and time consuming to keep up with the latest and greatest and understand what’s really going to help you achieve your HR and talent management goals. To help (and give you back some of that mythical “time” you were promised) we’ve identified ... trends that will really matter in 2014 and beyond."

Editor's note:  If you're involved in HR Tech or planning for your company, be sure to plan ahead for the industry's biggest conference: HR Tech

Susan LaMotte is the founder of exaqueo, a workforce consultancy that helps startups and high-growth companies build their cultures, employer brands and talent strategies. Contact exaqueo to learn more about how we can help you build a workforce that’s aligned with your company culture and develop an employer brand that will allow your business to scale the right way.

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