Another HR Technology Conference has come and gone. And my oh my, was it busy!
But, per usual, there is a lot to be excited about as we look to the future: from updates, to technology roll outs, to acquisitions, to major overhauls, to staying true to previous models and designs. Companies announced new integrations with other tools and vendors, spoke of the continued importance of social connectivity, how video is still hot, the relevancy of machine learning to technology, processes, and HR overall, data analytics, both employee and customer engagement, and a whole lot more.
After an extensive assortment of briefings, walk-and-talk discussions, meet-and-greets, dinners, social events, as well as traveling to and from Las Vegas in general (note to self – stop taking red-eye flights after a week-long event!), I’ve had a chance to finally recover (read: catch up on sleep) and reflect on what was another successful HR Tech. As mentioned above, there are a lot of hot topics that are trending in the HCM space right now, but I am particularly tuned into two recurring themes, namely integration and the quest for full suites, and the importance of social in all senses of the word.
The quest for a single sign-on continues. Businesses are still striving to have one place where recruiters, HR professionals, employees, management, and candidates can go to obtain all of the information they need. I noticed that a growing numbers of vendors – most of whom had previously focused on specific facets of HR technologies and tools – are now trying to cover the full suite all on their own, from recruiting and onboarding, to payroll, to talent management, and beyond. More often than not, though, such a tactic can alienate customers, especially if they favor a separate, autonomous tool and they don’t want to be forced into using a suite, even if it claims to cover all aspects of HR. What’s more, it’s very difficult to ensure that every tool in a full suite will be top notch. Often times, certain features get left behind and so some tools appear disjointed and look patchwork. Instead, companies should be focusing on a clear and seamless integration with others. This isn’t a new practice by any means and many vendors are already doing this. But a successful integration among separate tools and companies can mean the difference between a win and a loss for customers. So don’t integrate begrudgingly; do so because your customers prefer it that way.
Another thing I continued to hear about is social. The word gets tossed around a lot in concert with HCM: social media, social networking, social integration, social recruiting, and more. Basically, social everything! And I am not talking just having a strategy that incorporates Facebook and Twitter either. I’m talking about what it means for all aspects of HCM offerings to be socially connected and interconnected. While it’s great that social is so prominent these days, I found that many who claim to be social are missing (or didn’t demonstrate) a key piece: the impact and relevance of social on their internal and external customers. Employees and customers alike are being left behind all too often when it comes to how social is integrated with the business and their tools. The connectivity is great, but it’s important to be sure that social isn’t just about technology; instead, its base is about interactions.
Per usual, it was another fun, interesting, and engaging HR Tech. It will be interesting to see how both social and integration transforms and matures over the coming months until next year’s conference. But until then, I am excited to see what companies are capable of and where they will go next.
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