HR Technology Q & A with David Kovacovich


With the HR Technology Conference (#HRTechConf) just around the corner, we're inviting our Next Official Bloggers to offer their perspective on how technology is impacting the profession today -- and their predictions for the future.

The following is a Q & A with David Kovacovich

Q:  What area of Human Resources profession (recruiting, OD/Training, comp/benefits, employee relations, etc.) do you see technology affecting the most in the next 5 years?

DK:  Employee Engagement: There was a time when employee engagement was affiliated with awards, it then shifted to technology. Today, there are a plethora of technologies that are using light weight performance management metrics to help employees discover their destiny. We are seeing integrated platforms that make SCARF rankings and Core Value participation ranked alongside core job performance metrics to create a fully realized workforce. This is keeping managers from protecting their superstars (and their individual bottom line). With transparency across the organization employee can discover a career development path that advertises their soft skills and their performance metrics. This creates an opportunity for HR to partner with middle managers (instead of stepping on their toes) it also keeps superstar talent in-house.     

Q:  Technology is enabling HR to look at how their strategy affects organizational performance, in addition to HR-specific problems. To what extent are today’s HR professionals able to step outside the box that has traditionally defined their role?

DK:  HR professionals have 3 audiences: Employees, Managers and Executives. Technology is enabling transparency to employee performance and employee citizenship. Social feeds are also creating virtual communities where employees on opposite sides of the world can interact with one another daily. Unit managers traditionally want HR to stay out of their sandbox. Technology is allowing HR to measure corporate citizenship (Core Values) and with the attributes of employee motivation (SCARF). This divides soft skills and performance metrics allowing an avenue for partnership. Executives have 3 objectives: create a profit, maximize resources and keep the board of directors happy. HR now has the data (and a partnership with management) to formalize their distinction as the most important department in the organization.

Q:  What are the advantages of combining both HR professionals and technology process experts to design software that will address HR’s future challenges?

DK:  Off –the-shelf technology is easy to purchase…. It always fails to impress. Teaming HRIS professionals with OD, Talent Management and Total Rewards professionals enables organizations to create unique solutions. Multi-tenant apps are cute but seldom do they deliver an experience unique to your organization. It is incumbent upon HR professionals to dig deep into initiative design to assist in technology implementation.  Any vendor can flip a switch and produce technology. Delivering a strategy to feed the technology requires expertise in organizational development, input from the trenches and the ability to produce measurable results. Technology cannot succeed without adoption… better produce something that your employees can only find within your organization.

Q:  Many organizations are now using cloud-based technology for talent management, recruiting, performance management, workforce planning and analytics.   Will there be significant advancements in the future? What’s coming next for HR technology?

DK:  Security is becoming an issue here. SSO and SAML are intricate to the user experience but have to be paired with proper protection. Companies are often seeking to integrate technologies to bring the social media experience in-house, free will applications can create policy nightmares. The trend of socializing the company experience may pull back…. Allowing employees to participate in the social experience on Facebook… creating a work experience that is focused on producing results.

Q: What's your HR technology trend prediction for 2015?

DK:  Less nonsense… more results. Applications like Yammer and Chatter are being over used by certain employees, killing the experience for others. Technology that advertises results over bravado will prevail in 2015 and beyond.


About the Author: Dave Kovacovich suggests you visit BI Worldwide at Booth 1357 at the HR Tech Conference.



The SHRM Blog does not accept solicitation for guest posts.

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