HR Expert Q&A: HR Tech

There are so many valuable HR tools and technologies available--from employee engagement to feedback to perks and benefits. How can we implement the ones we want to use without overwhelming our workforce who has to learn to use each new platform? They solve many of the day-to-day challenges we have, and are usually cost effective. But most companies can't wait for multiple tools to be are acquired so they’re all on one platform. So what’s the tipping point on tools?

We asked some of the leading experts in HR technology. Here's what they had to say: 

"The first step in building an HR Tech strategy is knowing the end game. If you're looking at all of the toys and wondering which to try first, you are headed for big trouble. Just because you can doesn't mean you should. By far, the biggest secret to successful HR Technology implementations is to have them be a part of a larger transformation of the organization. Know what you want the outcome to be. Make sure the initiative is tied to real business outcomes like increasing revenue. Once you know what you are trying to accomplish, choosing the tool is easy."

John Sumser
Principal Analyst
KeyInterval Research

"Differentiating between the shiny objects and true innovation is time-consuming in itself. Stay focused on the strategic business goals you’re trying to solve for, only look for the solutions that add the value you need, and measure everything against how the solution will help you move the needle on THOSE business drivers. That’s the soapbox answer before I get to the nitty gritty….now that you’ve decided on a new solution that helps you scratch your particular itch, how do you roll it out in a way that promotes adoption so you can quickly get to results? We’ve learned this lesson quickly at QUEsocial….executive, top-down championship is critical to user-level buy-in. As important is identifying the right early adopters internally, heavily marketing the WIIFM (what’s in it for me?) to those users, motivating and rewarding usage, and advertising success internally drives the right behaviors out of the gates. We’re lucky at QUEsocial; the product is SUPER EASY to use and the wins are immediate and speak for themselves. So it’s less about the how than the why. "

Jess McCoss
VP Customer Success

"HR departments should never simply implement the technology they want to use. They should only implement technology that benefits the business. And let's be honest: nobody wants or needs to use HR technology. Most of it is a luxury. If you have a process and it works, embrace it. Optimize the heck out of it. Paper? Carrier pigeons? Smoke signals? Love it. Champion it. Make it painless for the end user. Nobody cares if it is boring. The pain of change is huge, and even the best technology implementation can be a beast. There is a "tipping point" when it comes to purchasing new technology for your enterprise: when your old solutions are non-compliant, non-functioning or simply too expensive to maintain. If there's ever a tipping point, you'll know it because your bones creak, and your eyes bleed when you turn on the computer. When that happens, it's finally time to upgrade."

Laurie Ruettimann
LFR, Inc.

"There's a definitive trap in getting caught up by every bright shiny object that hits the market, and that's happening on almost a weekly basis right now. Companies need to prioritize what their goals are when choosing different HR and Recruiting tools. Determine the biggest gap(s) in your organization right now, and then you can start narrowing down the tools that best fit that need. For example, if you have an inefficient ATS, start there, rather than worrying about employer branding tools, or tools for automating things like reference checks. Neither of those things is going to add more muscle to your processes and efficiencies if you can't corral, search, and communicate with the people who are already in your ecosystem. There's a vast sea of vendors out there, and the pitches can all start to sound the same after a while. I've found that the best research on the most effective tools to use generally comes from talking with colleagues and getting feedback on their experiences with these tools. This serves a dual purpose, in that you can get candid honest feedback from a current user, and reduce the amount of time spent on endless demos."

Pete Radloff
Lead Consultant

What do you think? Share your comments on how you manage great but disparate technologies.

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