Q&A with HR tech influencer Trish McFarlane


Trish McFarlane
CEO and Principal Analyst
H3 HR Advisors Inc.


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

I’m going against the grain and saying the Core HR functions. For years, areas such as payroll, benefits, compliance and employee relations have been neglected compared to the focus and development spend on other areas of the people experience. Today, vendors are doing some very exciting, innovative development in the core areas. By not only further automating and adding better analytic capabilities in the core areas, but providing enhanced mobility, scalability and security, I predict this will be the season when organizations can be less hesitant on investing in new HCM technology.

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

I think the first big mistake organizations make is having vendor paralysis. They look at far too many vendors for far too long. The scope should be kept as specific as possible, then deep-dive with 3 top vendors. The second mistake is not being realistic about the amount of time needed to go through implementation. My recommendation is to determine how many hours you think your team will need to devote to the implementation process, then double it.

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 most effective strategy is two-fold. First, communicate early and often. Be sure to start talking about the needs LONG before you buy a solution. Ensure that employees and leaders have an opportunity to weigh in on whether the perceived problems are the real problems. The second recommendation is to identify some of your biggest detractors, then pull them into the selection and implementation process. This should be people from every level of the organization. By getting known detractors on board, they become the trusted voice to convince the rest of the employees to use the new solution.