HR Technology Q & A with Matt Stollak

The 2016 HR Technology Conference is October 4-7. Over the next week The SHRM Blog will feature a Q & A series with several HR technology experts who will offer their perspective on how technology is impacting the HR profession today -- and their predictions for the future.


The following is a Q & A with Matt Stollak, Associate Professor at St. Norbert College and advisor to SNC SHRM.
Q. What important questions should HR Professionals ask HR Technology vendors in the selection process?
Questions should always focus on why one is making the choice to purchase now.  One needs to look inward to see what problems or areas need to be addressed before even approaching a vendor about the selection.  Similarly, what are the important features that are needed?  What are the must-have items compared to the nice-to-have?  Also, one should put him or herself in the shoes of the employee who is likely to be using the product everyday.  Finally, integration is also crucial.  What is the API, for example?
Q. What advice do you have for HR professionals that will help ensure a more successful technology implementation?  Where are most mistakes made?
First, as with any implementation, goals should be set regarding what makes a successful event prior to even beginning.  Next, the HR professional should find out who from the vendor will be involved with assisting the company with implementation. A good vendor should provide the details early on, and if they do not, you have a clearer picture of how helpful that vendor really will be.  In addition, a clear timeline backed by a meaningful methodology will give you markers on the progress of the project.  Most mistakes are made by not asking sufficient questions about the implementation process in the first place.
Q. What is the single most important piece of technology an HR pro can have in 2016? 
Technology is only as good as the HR pro using it. Hence, the most important pieces of technology is the HR professional’s own brain and heart forged by the knowledge, skills, abilities, experience, and other factors he or she has gained in their lifetime.
Q. What advice do you have for HR pros who want to incorporate video into their talent management processes?
Video interviewing has grown leaps and bounds over the last few years.  More and more companies are utilizing Skype, Google Hangouts, GoToMeeting, or other proprietary software in effort to learn more about a candidate. However, for the candidate, this can often become problematic.  The candidate may be dressed inappropriately, hair or makeup may be slightly askew, the Skype connection may be poor or spotty, or the background during the interview may not scream professional.  For example, one candidate I interviewed had chosen her kitchen as the site of the interview.  She was sitting at her kitchen table, the refrigerator was covered with her kids' drawings, and the wallpaper was distracting.  Now, some may argue that where a candidate chose to have the interview may shed insight on the kind of professional he or she is.  But, shouldn't we minimize the likelihood of non-job-related factors to creep into the decision-making process? 
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