Here’s the truth. Up until a few years ago, I had no idea what the HR Technology Conference was. And lots of folks may be blogging and tweeting about that conference right about now. I’ve now been once to the show, as a blogger… but I’m still not sure that’s my scene.
See, ask me generally about HR technology prior to blogging or getting involved in social media… and I would have gone into what we use for HRIS and an ATS. But I wouldn’t have, couldn’t have gone into HR tech much further. Like the value of one vendor’s product over another? Nope. Or the vast, expansive landscape of HR tech from analytics/metrics tools to time/labor management to onboarding to performance management to ATS to HRIS? Nope. And I think the vast majority of HR practitioners are like me. Maybe even a little behind me because I honestly only stay somewhat up-to-date now, because I see it as my responsibility as a blogger and speaker on HR topics. And conveniently, I’m bombarded by press releases and updates all the time as a blogger. But strictly as an HR gal in the trenches? I can’t keep up with HR technologies. It just isn’t one of the most critical factors in my job.
Shameful of me?! I know! It’s what you may be thinking. But as an HR practitioner who still does the work? Who hasn’t gone the consulting route – yes, you! Is it a priority for you? I mean, really. Is it? Think about what it takes to implement. Or overhaul. Or convert. Where are you in the decision making process? And when you think about your day to day work… sure, in some areas, HR tech could help me be more effective. But in and of itself, HR technology doesn’t get the job done as an HR or recruiting pro. Technology can’t/won’t solve most problems your employee population faces. And whose budgets aren’t tight? I’d rather spend on another headcount or invest in bigger, better, badder employee programs, benefits or training. And by far, being impactful through relationships is much, much more important.
Which isn’t to say that HR technology is simply… unimportant. It’s just not mission critical. And it probably will never be my number one priority. It’s a luxury. But it can be important. And helpful. So just what do you do when you know it could have potential for your organization or your advancement as an HR or recruiting pro? Or maybe you like it – but can’t keep up with it all.
You make friends with those obsessed with technology. You know these people. They are the true early adopters who experiment with EVERYTHING that comes out. They will tinker and they will tell you what’s the latest and greatest. And I’m finding these days, it’s as simple as… just asking… What technology are you really excited about right now? And then you’ll see eyes light up. They may whip out their smartphone or tablet for a quick demo.
Which is nice. Let someone else do the work. So two new finds for me through some techie HR pals?
- Indeed resumes. For some reason, this release a few weeks back hasn’t been getting a lot of buzz. Right now for recruiters, it’s free to contact job seekers during this beta period. The search is intuitive enough being keyword based, and some Boolean works with it as well. I have been messing a bit with it over the past week including setting up email alerts for searches I’m conducting and I’ve found that the response rate thus far for individuals we’ve reached out to on Indeed has been at about 50%. That’s pretty good to me when we’re talking free.
- Tout. A good find on the social media front that has some potential for those who want to interact a bit more with… other recruiters, with job seekers, you name it. The concept is easiest thought of as a platform to make video based status updates. With one click, you record a 15 second video with your laptop or smartphone. With another click, you push your video update out to friends, family, Twitter or Facebook… and then of course, you can find and follow friends and watch their Touts as they happen. Right now, it’s most famous for being the video platform where Shaq announced his retirement. (Wait for an employee resignation coming your way soon via Tout. I kid!) I’m playing around with Tout some thinking specifically about how to interact with y’all… but maybe with job seekers too. Check me out on Tout.
And there will always be new technology and new finds. I promise you that. Tons are being unveiled at the HR Technology show right now. So what’s important here beyond some new shiny objects I’m curious about right now?
- Know who your early adopter, tech-junky friends are.
- Keep up to date with them on what they think is new and interesting. Just ask them what they are excited about.
- Be willing to experiment and test out a new platform.
- Don’t hang your coat on any of the technology. It changes too quickly and it won’t make that employee relations problem really go away.
And that last one is really important. Maybe most important… lest we forget… It’s human resources, emphasis on the human. Tout me!