Tech is terrific – but it's not the answer to every HR problem

When it comes to technology, there’s not many sectors that’s been so changed as HR

Tech is terrific – but it's not the answer to every HR problem

When it comes to technology, there’s not many sectors that’s been so changed as HR. Embedded in the people professional, the digitization of entire processes has revolutionized how we perceive tech – from its conception to its implementation in the organization.   

Despite this, a recent study from Deloitte found that 65% of companies believe the HR software they used doesn’t help them reach their goals.  

“We’re never going to get the value out of software unless we become more comfortable in using it,” explained William Tincup, president of RecruitingDaily.com.

“There are so many different kinds of learning, so many different styles. Some people learn though reading, though FAQs, some through webinars. The training scheme for implementing new HR software needs to be built around all of your users. Everyone has to learn – their style is how they like to learn; their challenges are barriers to this learning.” 

Focus on listening to what your people want is key in selecting a new software. Remember – as with most things in human resources, there’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’. Don’t make the mistake of throwing your money at a vendor without knowing what exactly you want from your new piece of tech.  

Once you’ve selected your new piece of technology, the next step is onboarding it. Some organizations make the fundamental error of believing that purchasing the new tech marks the end of HR’s involvement – when in fact the tricky part is still to come…implementation.  

“An implementation can come down to personalities,” he prefaced. “It’s that simple. Personalities can either match or clash – which makes every small problem escalate into an all-out war. As an employer, the first issue you need to look at isn’t the software - ironically, it’s the chemistry of your internal team and your vendor.  

“The key is to plan. Plan for success, obviously, but also the inevitable disaster.” 

The inevitable disaster, Tincup tells us, is the one aspect of your implantation that will go wrong. It may be a huge error or a simple slip-up – essentially, it’s an unforeseen event that has the propensity to derail the entire process – if you let it. 

“In every implementation in the history of the world, there’s always an inevitable disaster,” continued Tincup. “It doesn’t matter how much planning you’ve put into the process, or how much time you’ve spent going over the specifics, something will happen that’s completely unplanned for.” 

It’s not a question of if something will go wrong, it’s more about what you do when it does go wrong. How do you approach the situation? How do you coach your team to react? 

You can either hold the mistake over an employee’s head, you can play the blame game – or you can assess the situation and look for the best remedy. The key, Tincup tells, us, is to flexible. You may have a rigid plan in place, but you have to allow for continuous adjustments. 

So, what should you be looking at when it comes to new software? Tincup recommends looking at predictive tools.  

“The predictive technologies, in particular those tolls which help us predict success, will be pretty big business in the coming years,” he explained. 

“If you look at the value chain of HR– from sourcing to ATS, ATS to onboarding, on to core and payroll and benefits, with talent management overarching it all – you can see they’re all vertically aligned. 

“Any technology that allows you to predict what’s next are really taking off. In performance and succession and compensation – really and technology that helps you see what’s around the corner are tools that organizations should really keep their eyes on.” 

Buying new tech is exciting – but it’s not a ‘get out of jail free’ card. The idea that tech is a be all and end all solution to all a company’s problems is not only naïve, it’s downright expensive. Speaking to Matt Charney, chief content officer at Allegis Global Solutions, he warned that employers need to snap out of this mindset.  

“The biggest mistake that’s made is believing the technology they’re working with is the answer – without even having posed a question,” he explained. “People will buy tech based off a perception of need or vendor promises or industry competition. 

“Employers tend to follow the pack rather than looking at their own individual processes and people in order to figure out whether the issues they’re battling with can be solved with new technology.” 

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