HR Tech’s New Go-To Resource: Introduction to HR Technologies

HR Tech

According to a report by Fortune Business Insights, the global Human Resources technology market is projected to grow by $11.6 billion dollars over the next 17 years. The digital disruption brought on by COVID -- likely to continue long after the crisis ends -- has forced HR teams to become more adaptive to the needs of their workforce and more agile in meeting those needs through technology. Our guest today is Stacey Harris, Chief Research Officer and Managing Partner at Sapient Insights Group. This summer she published her first book, Introduction to HR Technologies: Understand How to Use Technology to Improve Performance and Processes, and here, she explains:

  • What counts as "HR Technology" in 2021;
  • Why looking back at our tech past is important;
  • What the true value of HR technology really is; and
  • Why AI may force us all to rethink the way we look at data!


If you prefer to read along while you listen, we've done all the hard work for you! We listened back to this episode and took notes below, and access is free! 

 

Introduction to HR Technologies

  • With the author’s extensive experience in the HR technology and research field, this book provides a holistic view of the HR tech market in a practical way that anyone can understand.
  • The book’s audience are people in the industry just like herself, earlier on in her career: people who had the knowledge of HR tech systems, but didn’t truly understand their scope and how they could improve the overall functionality of an HR department.
  • In the book, the information is presented in a conversational and easy-to-read form, unlike typical instructional technology publications.
  • She hopes readers take away two things from her book:
    • That no matter what a person’s role is within HR, they understand how HR tech works and how the data inside that technology can impactHR processes and HR outcomes; and
    • An understanding that HR technology makes a big impact on people’s everyday lives (impacting their paycheck, benefits information, insurance providers, etc.)
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HR Technology Realities

  • Understanding the history of HR technology is important.
  • Many HR Departments are mixed environments of new technologies, old technologies and understanding that diversity makes it a lot easier to be able to work.
  • Understanding these different forms of HR technology can make work much easier for not only the HR PRofessional, but for the employees who depend on them. 

What Is HR Technology In 2021?

  • HR Technology encompasses anything that is utilized inside of an organization to either provide information to, or gather data from an employee, in some fashion.
  • HR tech’s purpose is to help organizations make better workforce-based decisions.
  • These forms of technology have previously been “back office” technologies like your human resources management system, your payroll platform, or even your learning management system/training system.
  • Tech changes happen quickly, and HR tech is now becoming more of a part of the everyday operations of an organization.
  • Today, organizations need to look at HR technology as an ecosystem or environment that integrates different types of technology to form a cohesive operational structure.
    • When anyone in the organization uses technology, everything will be connected, so it is important that people understand how everything works together as a system.
  • Having a strong understanding of how all of the HR tech processes work together is just as important as understanding how the data within works together. 

Introduction to HR Technologies Features

  • Each chapter in the book is followed by an activity or exercise that helps readers to retain the information they have just read. 
    • These activities provide an opportunity to HR Professionals who are looking to develop their own skills.
  • Each chapter also features a “Why You Need to Care” section that outlines the importance of the information in that chapter of the book.
  • These sections were included to help readers who might not be directly related to the HR technology at their organization, but need to understand why it is so important and how HR tech is connected throughout the organization.
  • Even if someone is not directly involved with HR at all, HR technology can have a massive impact on their experience as an employee along with the everyday functionality of the organization.

HR Technology Is About More Than Just Making Jobs Easier

  • HR Professionals shouldn’t be looking for HR technology to make your life easier, but rather to add value to your organization and its employees.
  • All in all, the implementation and use of integrated HR technology is about value added rather than simplifying workload.

Artificial Intelligence

  • Currently, there are very few places where real artificial intelligence is being used in HR technology (for now it’s mostly process automation).
  • We need to train people who are viewing and assessing data that’s coming back from automated algorithms, artificial intelligence or predictive analytics to see that data through a different lens than what we’re previously viewed it through.
    • To accommodate this new information, we have to rewire our brain to think less about data being “absolute” (“yes or no”, “up or down”), and think of it more in terms of probabilities.

Sapient Insights Group

  • Sapient Insights Group is a research and advisory firm.
  • Ms. Harris has been conducting research for Sapient’s annual HR systems survey brand for the last 17 years. 
  • Sapient Insights Group provides tools and advice on how to leverage data within an organization and how to fully capitalize on the processes and practices around that data.
  • At its core, Sapient Insights Group is working to get the data people need to make better decisions for their organizations.

International Human Resource Information Management (IHRIM)

  • IHRIM is an organization that provides certifications and training on various HR technologies. 
  • It began back in the 1980s and established specific training achievements for HR tech and helps HR Professionals to better understand the processes available to them.
  • Ms. Harris serves on their Board of Directors and is incharge of overseeing their membership model.

Spilling The Tea on HR Tech

  • Ms. Harris also has her own podcast, Spilling The Tea on HR Tech.
  • Her podcast is part of a platform called The HR Huddle hosted by Sapient Insights Group that discusses a number of HR topics via the podcast medium. 
  • Spilling The Tea on HR Tech can be found anywhere you get your podcasts (Apple Music, Spotify, iHeartRadio, etc.)

Stacey Harris Background

Contact

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About the Author Jacqueline Gregory

As a creative, persuasive communications professional with extensive experience guiding projects from concept through completion Jacqui has produced custom communications for some of the world's best known brands. Producing ProjectHR has been one of her favorite ways to engage and delight HR and Labor Relations professionals!

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