Influencers Discuss HR Tech’s Dramatic Shifts

Experts from Deloitte, Virgin Pulse and others look at how the HR tech field is rapidly changing.
By: | June 19, 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.

Erica Volini
U.S. Human Capital Leader
Deloitte Consulting LLP


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

There will not be an HR function that is not impacted in a significant way. Over the past few years, the areas that have seen the biggest transformation have been learning, talent acquisition and performance management. Over the next few years, I believe there is a huge opportunity in compensation—in particular as it relates to the shifts in work, in jobs and in skills. We should also expect to see a significant uptick in the use of AI across all functional areas.


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

The emergence of platforms that enable you to automate the flow of work throughout the end-to-end process. While we’ve automated the transactions through the current HR systems, the idea of being able to automate the entire end-to-end process to create a truly integrated, personalized and contextualized experience is a game-changer for the HR technology space. It not only will enable a better experience today, but will also allow for the continued absorption of new and emerging technologies over time.

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?

Start by thinking about how and when the workforce will leverage the new technology and center the roll-out strategy in that context. Individuals learn best when they are learning in the context of the work that they are doing—that is the premise for “learning in the flow of work” and should be applied to the adoption of new technology as well. In addition, define the personas within the workforce that will be leveraging the technology beyond the typical “HR-Manager-Employee” roles. In today’s world, the workforce is way more nuanced than that, and to get true adoption, change-management strategies have to reflect a higher level of differentiation in terms of the types of workers and types of work they perform.

Cecile Alper-Leroux
Vice President of Human Capital Management Innovation
Ultimate Software


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

Other than the obvious compliance-tracking functions that will be replaced by robotic process automation, performance management will be most dramatically impacted—and it needs to be. How we assess people’s contributions to the organization, and their impact on other people, their teams, and the work community will be enabled by perceptive technologies and cognitive computing, all part of the umbrella of artificial-intelligence technologies. With the ability to deduce meaning and motive from people’s actions and words through interactive or passive distributed technology, leaders will be able to deeply understand people and what makes them most productive, fulfilled, and driven—at an individual and team level. Combine that with augmented self-direction and machine assistance to amplify what individuals and teams can accomplish. The new, blended human and machine workforce will not be able to be assessed through traditional evaluation of past performance and goal attainment—it simply won’t make sense, nor will such evaluations make sense. In fact, continuous performance and crowd-sourced performance will not be enough. We will need to broadly assess and measure people’s and teams’ impacts and contributions.

What is the single most dramatic shift in the HR tech space today?

The most dramatic shift is the need to get our workplaces back in sync with people, and HR tech has a significant role to play in this realignment. HR leaders need to address the dissonance that manifests in organizations as flat engagement and workforce instability, and create resonant workplaces where people can thrive, bring themselves fully to work, and be their best. This means moving beyond the limitations we currently place on people with archaic command-and-control structures, outdated definitions of leadership, and extraneous transactional processes (such as position-based compensation, evaluating performance annually and annual engagement surveys). This will require HR technology to become person-centered and experiential, as well as automation-enabled and intelligent, so it can facilitate more meaningful humanized interactions and focused work for people. This is in contrast to the traditional, transactional, HR-centric solutions most organizations use today.