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 Next Official Blogger Sharlyn Lauby:
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?
SL: A lot of great technology options currently exist in recruiting, training, recognition, etc. I think some of the individual health and wellness applications currently on the market will start to offer enterprise solutions. Employees will be able to support each other in staying healthy.
I also believe we will see some employee relations technology solutions. I see the need as we become a workforce of working anywhere, anytime. But I must admit it will have to be designed carefully, so we don’t lose the “relationship” part.
Q: Employees are increasingly using smartphones and tablets to access their employers’ HR services. How will employees’ evolving expectations affect an organization’s HR technology regarding access and security?
SL: You’re absolutely right – employees expect to manage certain aspects of their career using their mobile devices. When we can use our phones and tablets to have conversations with family on the other side of the globe, buy just about anything we want, and store valuable documents, then we expect our mobile devices to be acceptable for more things at work.
But with that comes responsibility. Anyone today using a mobile device needs to learn basic technology etiquette. They need to understand what secure and unsecure networks are and how to develop a good password. For some people, this will sound very basic but there are lots of people who don’t follow sound technology security practices. HR departments should include in onboarding a technology etiquette and essentials program.
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?
SL: I believe HR pros can and should take a holistic approach to technology and the organization. It will be difficult to develop any kind of strategy operating in a silo.
HR professionals have the opportunity to be the champions of experimentation. One of the things I’ve discovered over the past few years, during the Great Recession and the rise in social media, is that we can learn a lot by just trying new things. We can help our organizations see the value in being an effective adopter of new ideas and concepts.
Q: What steps can an HR professional take to begin to incorporate mobile technology into their talent management strategies?
SL: HR professionals have to understand what technology is available today. You don’t have to own it all or use it all. But human resources need to know what’s available and decide if it has potential. If we don’t stay on top of what’s available, we run the risk of being left behind. Technology moves much too quickly.
Q: What's your HR technology trend prediction for 2015?
SL: We haven’t seen the full potential of wearables yet. Whether it’s watches, bands, glasses, etc., wearables are becoming a part of our lives and the data we can get from them is amazing. Now can we use these devices to help us at work? I can’t wait to see what happens.