Q&A with HR tech influencer Bill Kutik


Bill Kutik
Chair Emeritus
HR Technology Conference®


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

Since 1998, the HR Technology Conference® has been anticipating or explaining all the dramatic shifts in HR tech. This year will be no different with the new emphasis on teams–the real way all corporate work gets done but a workforce structure largely ignored by HR systems for 48 years. One of the leading champions of teams, Marcus Buckingham, will be keynoting on Thursday, based on his new book, reviewed here. ADP will be previewing its next generation HCM software based on his work: creating, managing and measuring teams.

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

Emerging technologies deployed properly will have their greatest impact on the workforce, not on HR. While HR will select, shepherd and most likely pay for the software, employees from the C-suite to individual contributors will be the ones using it to boost productivity, increase communication and collaboration, finally achieving some of the promises made by three generations of HR tech–and still not yet delivered. HR will sometimes need to lead by getting out of the way.

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

The single biggest and most deadly mistake HR departments make is picking software first and creating strategy afterward. Vendors promise solutions to your problems–and that bright, shiny new penny is awfully attractive–but the terrible truth is only you can solve your own organizational problems. And software should be chosen and implemented that will enable your own solution to your own problem because technology will never solve it by itself.