Q&A with HR Tech Influencer Perry Timms


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.