Q&A with HR Tech Influencer Linda Brenner
Managing Director and Founder
Talent Growth Advisors
In acquiring and implementing new technologies, what’s the one or two most common mistakes HR organizations make?
- Believing that technology is going to replace deep expertise. In Talent Acquisition, for example, no technology is going to replace an expert, knowledgeable, persuasive recruiter who can compel and convert a passive candidate with highly valued and scarce skills to become a new hire.
- Buying a slick technology without objectively identifying what problem such a system needs to solve, how it will work, who will use it, and what measures will define whether it’s been successful. Without this rigor up front, technology is acquired but not properly implemented, configured, integrated or optimized. The time it then takes for the company to realize the value of their investment, if ever, can be longer than the technology is relevant.
Are there certain strategies that are more effective than others when it comes to getting your workforce to use new HR technologies being put in place?
Good, old-fashioned, boring change management. Technology is embraced and optimized when a thorough impact analysis has been completed, in advance, for every group that will be affected by it. Only then can a company effectively engage the organization in closing the gaps between the current state and the future state and preparing for a new way of working. Closing these gaps may require any or all of the following: org design changes, training, communication, performance management changes, systems access, etc. Bona fide change management is the key to rapid adoption and realizing the value of new technologies.
How can HR leaders best make the business case for HR technology investment?
HR leaders can best make the case by expressing and quantifying the technology’s benefits in economic terms – the language of business. Appropriate HR technology investments provide efficiency and effectiveness benefits, presently and in the future. For example, investing in automation that interfaces multiple systems can greatly enhance efficiency now, while investing in technology that supports data integration and deep analysis can greatly impact the effectiveness of future decisions.
The greater the value of collective benefits, the more compelling the business case for technology. It is usually easier to quantify efficiency benefits, but invariably effectiveness is more valuable; hence the need to sharpen skills to express effectiveness benefits in quantifiable (economic) terms.