Q&A with HR Tech Influencer Erin Spencer


Erin Spencer
Senior Research Analyst
Bersin, Deloitte Consulting LLP



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

When acquiring and implementing new technology organizations are often excited by new features and functions offered by a vendor, and rightly so. However, many organizations work to fit their old processes and procedures into the functionality offered by new technology and neglect to take the time to consider how new tech can help optimize, streamline, or discard outdated processes. Organizations should take advantage of the change opportunity presented by software acquisition to reinvent the way work’s being done to truly benefit from a new technology implementation.

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?

The strategy I in no way recommend is to buy a new system without user input, host a lunch-and-learn on a Friday with soggy pizza, disable the old system, and expect users to come in on Monday excited and ready to do their jobs they way they’ve always done them before with a new piece of technology. This way leads to disgruntled employees and system resentment. The key to any change is to over communicate in advance to be sure that users are ready and excited about the system rollout and using new features and functionality. Every implementation should have an executive champion, leadership buy-in, and a transition team to be the first point of contact for any questions. To set the team up for success be sure that users have login information, documentation, and training before the go-live, and schedule Q&A sessions for users after the system is launched. Change isn’t always easy, but steps can be taken to alleviate the worst of the pitfalls with proper planning.

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

HR technology investments can be a difficult case to make. It’s not always easy to quantify a ROI on technology, but every organization has outcomes or goals they want to achieve, and those outcomes should be the starting point for a business case for HR tech. Take the time to talk to both the users and the decision makers and figure out which problems are the most pressing for an organization to solve and where tech can add value. Your organization may be interested in increasing engagement, while another may be focused on reducing time to hire or labor spend; however, once an organization understands what it’s trying to solve for they can then use those desired outcomes to build a case for technology investments.