HR: We’re All Technologists Now

Jason Averbook of Appirio delivered the thought-provoking session “Creating a Workforce Technology Strategy for the Year Ahead” at the Human Resource Executive’s 17th Annual HR Technology Conference & Exposition in Las Vegas.  During the session, he challenged HR business partners to lead the technology efforts in their organizations.

With employee loyalty at an all-time low, the question organizations should be asking, he said, is: “How do I service the workforce in a way that is going to want to make them stay.” Your employees will be expecting your organization to keep up with technology.  “Facebook pulls from 72 systems to create one great user experience,” he added.  You can work with a technology vendor to create a similar user experience for your employees.

Additionally he said the way you treat your workforce should be modeled after a great customer service experience -- and that the experience better be great if you want employees to stick around.  “How many of you have had a bad customer experience at Amazon?” Averbook asked. “How about United Airlines?”

To ensure that employees’ expectations are continually being met, Averbook recommended three positions the HR and technology function needs:

1.     A marketing expert to promote the right messages to employees.

2.     A User Experience Manager to ensure that the systems are easy to access and are user-friendly.

3.     A Data Czar to ensure employee data privacy and guard against data breaches. 

Finally, Averbrook recommended that there should be no HRIS function in today’s world.  “We are all technologists now,” he said. HR business partners need to be able to convert their data into metrics that show bottom line savings. They should also learn to apply technology according to the data available.  HR must be prescriptive storytellers for their organization – and they must involve other departments. It's never too late to get the business (operations, customer service, and sales) involved in your HR technology plans.

"When we think about the concept of who is in charge of technology – HR business partners have to be the champions.   Everyone has to be a technologist.”



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