One of the recurring conversations I had during the first day of the HR Technology Conference revolved around using HR technology tools to solve business problems. The issue with that, says Michael Rochelle, Chief Strategy Officer at Brandon Hall Group, is that “HR is a buffet of broken processes.” Applying technology to a misaligned strategy, poor tool selection, or inefficient process isn’t going to magically solve anyone’s problems—in fact, it’s just as likely to exacerbate the problem.
When Brandon Hall Group recently did research on talent management systems, more than 1 in 4 companies was actively considering switching to a new system or provider. Consider for a moment how many of those companies might actually have the right solution, but they don’t have the right processes in place to support it. Or the opposite could very well be true: the company doesn’t have the right processes or technology in place and needs to make a change to one or both.
So do I think HR technology is a worthwhile investment in terms of time and money? Certainly! But implementing a new tool can’t be done in a vacuum. The decisions we make as a business impact the decisions we have to make as HR leaders, and vice versa.
HR needs to make sure it has its house in order process-wise before anything else. In the long run, that will lead to greater satisfaction, efficiency, and effectiveness with the selected tools. HR technology can’t fix HR, but we can. Here are a few questions to consider as you think through how this might affect your organization:
- What problems are we facing that can’t be solved by HR technology?
- What problems are we facing that can be solved by HR technology?
- What process issues are we aware of but haven’t yet fixed?
- What process issues impact our business that we haven’t yet identified?
At the end of the day, this is bigger than what we can cover in a single blog post. The key takeaway is to see HR technology solutions for what they are—tools to make existing processes better. If your current process is broken, expect frustrations and dissatisfaction when it comes to your technology.