HR Tech Influencers Discuss Mistakes in the Implementation Process

Prof. John Boudreau and others tackle some of the biggest challenges to tech implementation.
By: | June 4, 2019 • 5 min read

Influence in HR technology comes from many places, takes many forms and continues to evolve over time. When the HRE/HR Tech Conference team met over the winter to work on this Influencers list, we knew it would be important to consider all aspects of influence. Some have more of a direct and immediate effect on products, while others have a more subtle yet longer-term impact. It’s safe to say all, however, are having an important and noticeable impact on where HR technology has been, where it is today and, perhaps most importantly, where it is heading. And that, above all else, informed the decision-making that went into compiling this list, which presents those being recognized in alphabetical order. Click here to see the Top 100 HR Tech Influencers.

Jackye Clayton
Director of Success


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?

Yes, there are. Start by engaging your team.  Allow the people who will ultimately be tasked with using the software have a voice in choosing what types of technology they need rather than selecting the shiniest new tool. Next, ensure that whatever tool you choose is scalable enough to adapt to the changing business needs you may have. Lastly remember, for the software to ‘stick’ there has to be an onboarding plan that is reinforced by management, functionality that drives efficiency for the business while allows for gradual change and learning for the users.


How can HR leaders best make the business case for HR technology investment?

To make the BEST business case for HR investing in technology, first, make sure you understand what the business goals are. Often times, HR leaders can easily explain why they need a particular tool but can’t match that up to the business goals. Furthermore, when you write up your business case, make sure you are explaining it in a language your audience understands. Explain how the technology you add will grow the business, not just your team. Next, present your case in a way that maps the tech ROI, the business strategies, and the talent strategy. Finally, while it sounds cliché, people really are a company’s greatest asset – and they all have to go through HR. Never let them forget that.

How is HR technology changing the way people work?

HR Technology changes the way people work by enabling us to be able to measure their output and job satisfaction differently. It also allows us to find any efficiency gaps and take action to decrease them. It is also allowing us to train our employees on a broader scale, which ultimately reduces turnover and increases talent mobility. Furthermore, HR Tech is allowing for more workplace flexibility regarding what types of devices are used, office hours vs. remote work, as well as allowing workers in a way that works best for them.

Perry Timms
Founder and Chief Energy Officer


What area of the HR function will be most impacted by emerging technologies, and why?

Most people would naturally look to things like HR Administration, Recruitment or Learning & Development, but I’m going to go for OD—Organization Design, Effectiveness and Development. In the main because of the potentially huge design implications of more automation in the workplace; people and robots sharing the workload and the need to be more mindful of the well-being and stimulation of people in how their work is designed.

In acquiring and implementing new technologies, what’s the one or two most common mistakes HR organizations make?

I see far too little attention to user or human-centred design in implementing new technologies. When we make decisions on platforms and applications, HR appears to be caught in a bit of a vendor-led trap – whatever the vendor has, and can budget for is what HR buys. Instead, I’d like to see much more design thinking and specification that challenges the vendors to provide functionality and applications that genuinely enhance the previous incarnation of technology solution for HR processes, not makes it worse but perhaps just on one system.

How is HR technology changing the way people work?

Not enough would be my assertion. I’d like to see HR technologies more integrated into the flow of the working systems people are using for their other work. We all accept that on our smartphones we have all the apps we need to “run our lives”.  Yet when it comes to (particularly) desktop technology in the workplace we have a confusing array of programmes, platforms and systems to use.

I believe that we need that Single OS/Multiple Apps approach to HR Tech in my view. I’m used to having project management, communication, document drafting, material design, curation and other things on their own sites and I can move seamlessly between them as befits my work.

Mara Swan
Executive Vice President of Global Strategy and Talent


What’s the single most dramatic shift you see happening in the HR tech space today?

We are seeing a significant shift from HR technology which focusses on driving efficiencies and streamlining processes, to data-driven innovation which enables us to deliver a better and more intimate candidate and employee experience throughout an individuals’ career journey. This is what will fundamentally change the role of HR.

In acquiring and implementing new technologies, what’s the one or two most common mistakes HR organizations make?

Technology should enable a business strategy not the other way around. And organizations should remember that technology without people who are willing and able to use it is a wasted investment. Finding the right balance of people, skills and technology is key.