I received this comment from an HR Bartender reader a while ago and I must admit it’s taken me a while to think about the response. I’m taking that as a good sign.
Sharlyn: Great article about the “13 HR Technology Concepts HR Pros Need to Know” . I am somewhat familiar and conversant with some but not all. I’m wondering if you see this technology as being available and used by HR professionals in their respective organizations OR will it require such specialization that it will alter HR as we currently know it?
I’m wondering if it will result in many HR functions being outsourced (which we are already seeing in recruitment, benefit administration, etc.). Will the technology advances in these respective areas require that functions be outsourced to specialists in order to maximize effectiveness or can HR develop the skills to use these internally?
Not sure HR should end up as employee relations (although there is probably chatbot software that could manage that)! Interested in your thoughts.
Again, this is a pretty deep note and that’s awesome! HR departments really should be asking themselves these types of questions. How do we continue to provide value? How do we continue to stay relevant? Frankly, organizations should be asking themselves the same questions because technology is changing the way we buy and consume products and services. It only makes sense for the rest of the organization to do the same.
Now I hate answering a question with a big “It depends.” But when it comes to outsourcing, generalists versus specialists, and what HR technology makes the most sense for your business, the answer is a big “It depends.” Here are three things to consider:
INDUSTRY – Some industries are known for being early adopters and others, not so much. Industries might have general best practices in terms of how they structure human resources (i.e. centralized versus decentralized, HR roles and responsibilities) and that can drive whether companies outsource. It could also determine whether they hire specialists or generalists.
TECHNOLOGY – Maybe it’s just me, but I believe that sometimes the decision about whether or not to use technology is based on what HR technology is available. I know that sounds very elementary, but my point is that mainstream technologies change business. A new technology might need to prove itself first.
LEADERSHIP – People decide how much technology they’re going to have in their lives. They also decide when they have too much. Organizations are going to make technology decisions based on their personal experiences with tech. Love tech? Then my guess is you’re more open to adding it. Hate tech? Well, maybe not so much.
I wish I could say that I know exactly what’s going to happen with HR technology. But on some level, that might be boring. One of the things I love about being in HR is that it’s always changing. Technology could be one of those things that helps to transform human resources. It’s already done that in some ways. And I, for one, can’t wait to see where it will take us next!18