Don’t Fear HR Technology- Master It

I’ve never thought of myself as a techie.  I am not the first one in line for the latest gadget or the newest technology.  In fact, I was one of the hold outs when it came time for people to give up their Franklin planners. And, as much as I hated working on an archaic AS 400 system, something about the way I could easily access an employee’s information and track notes on performance and coaching made me feel in control.  In fact, I distinctly remember dropping an undergrad statistics class many years ago because they were introducing it via Excel at the University of Missouri.  Scared to death of using Excel, I dropped it and took a much harder stats class that was not taught using a computer.

I share this with you because all that has been changing, and I’m working hard to change the way I approach technology. Like most people in the business world now, I’m fluent in all the MS office programs.  I’ve also spent countless hours learning everything I can from HRM software to SaaS applications to html code.  Why is this important?  Because human resources IS evolving as a profession and generalists need to know more about the why and how of HR technology.

Now, you can try to do this on your own, but I promise you it will take a great deal of time and effort.  Knowing that we are all WAY too busy these days, I’ve got a tip for you to get up to speed quickly, the HR Technology Conference.  Come to Chicago from September 29- October 1.

This is THE conference that will give you:

  • Expert panels covering everything from the future of job boards, to social learning, and workforce planning, to blogger insights.
  • Monumental debates.  Come hear Naomi Lee Bloom as she debates Jim Holincheck.  Both are HR technology experts who will cover all the hottest issues in the space today.
  • The Shootout Track- Here’s your chance to see vendors go head-to-head.  Their software will compete and you’ll hear the results live!
  • And more….hear keynotes by Tamara Erickson and Marc Effron, experience Twitterversity led by Laurie Ruettimann, attend numerous HR technology sessions, and maybe even get to hear Naomi Lee Bloom sing a song.

Now how much would you pay for this opportunity?  Well, I have good news. If you use the discount code ‘RINGLEADER10’ when you register, you’ll save $500 off the cost of the conference.

AND, there’s more.  If you act now, you’ll be able to join us for a breakfast tweetup like no other! Details will be forthcoming on that but take my word for it, you will not want to miss it.  Come meet Bill Kutik (aka the Godfather of HR Technology and the Old Spice Guy), Claude Werder (VP, Editorial Conferences, LRP Publications), Naomi Lee Bloom, and many of the bloggers and Tweeps you’ve been following.

So, register today so we can master HR Technology together.  I hope to see you there!

11 thoughts on “Don’t Fear HR Technology- Master It

  • August 9, 2010 at 6:55 am

    Trish, your personal story resonates so clearly to me! And it is precisely the reason we started the HR Technology Conference: to show HR people how to get the business benefits out of technology.

    Frankly, in the not-too-distant future, I don’t think there will be many HR jobs for those who don’t get it!

    So I hope all your readers who feel under-informed — but know they have to get with the program — will come to learn in an environment that (you understand) is not about bits and bytes but HR and business!

    Thanks for the kind words.

  • August 9, 2010 at 6:57 am

    Fortunately, HR technology’s come a loooong way since the AS 400. I used to have to ping a DB2 MVS server to get information (and not all that long ago!) followed by several years of SQL queries and now people in my world are llike, ‘Server? SQL? Database?’ HR systems designed more recently don’t force you to be techology experts.

  • August 9, 2010 at 7:29 am

    I think that when the technology becomes easier to use, more and more late adapters will come to the table, I don’t care what you are speaking of. Intuitive operations of software and devises will make even the crustiest curmudgeon a believer.

    My industry is so far behind in the means of computing that a majority of salons use ledgers for the accounting parts and paper appointment books!!!! There are no industry standard computer programmes in my field; add to this that there are as many salon computer programmes as there are phone numbers in a New York City phone book!!!! I personally gave up when I had purchased a salon programme for my (then new) Tablet PC and I could never make it work properly!!! Yes, that app made my tablet PC into $2500 paper weight!!!!

    Giving a primer in an exposition format to all of this new stuff in your industry is FANTASTIC!!! It sounds like something I would attend if I were in your industry.

  • August 9, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    @Doug- You continue to prove that you are the real deal when it comes to a solid business perspective! Are you sure you don’t want to leave salon life and come over to HR? :-)

  • August 9, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    @Bill- Thank you for the kind comment Bill. I think you’re right about the future HR jobs not being around for those that don’t get it. I guess I’ll do my part in rallying the under- informed. We’ll see you in Chicago!

    @working girl- Thanks for the comment Laura. Wow, amazing to see the technology we used and how it’s all changed. And you’re right, as the technology gets smarter, it really does make it easier for more people to use and understand without being an expert. Will you be coming to this conference?

  • August 9, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    Wow. I am seriously humbled and honoured by your comments. I never thought I had anything but a bit of street smarts and a tiny bit of common sense!!! Thank you for making me head barely fit into my crash helmet!!!!

  • August 9, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    So here is where I’m different and similar at the same time. I will stand in line for the latest gadget. I love technology. I’m fascinated by it. But I certainly don’t understand it all. I have to work hard and ask a lot of questions to learn the technology. My latest is understanding how these sites work. I’m having a blast! Thanks for your input at ILSHRM10!


  • August 10, 2010 at 5:08 am

    I don’t mean to be rude, but I think it’s important to emphasize the distinction among technologies that Trish already made in her original post.

    First, there is the personal stuff: iPhone, iPod, iEverything. There is Microsoft Office for personal productivity at…where else?…the office! Then there is social media, increasingly used for work, but largely still personal: Facebook, Twitter, and even LinkedIn, though I was impressed to find, Trish, that you had not deigned to list yourself there.

    Well, that means you’re missing out on great discussion about the other stuff by not joining our HR Technology Conference group on LinkedIn: Enterprise Applications. These are the software applications that all companies use to run themselves. ALL companies from 100 ees to 300,000 ees, though obviously their purchase prices vary. Big honking software programs sometimes sold for millions of dollars with five times that much spent to make them work properly.

    Financials is often the most important, sometimes followed by HR, like what Trish once used on IBM’s old minicomputer system the AS 400, now called the iSeries. At manufacturing companies, Supply Chain is always #2, keeping track of what’s coming in and what’s going out. Also Manufacturing software. Workforce Management software keeps track of everybody’s time and schedules and feeds the Payroll software telling it was to pay people.

    The point is that everyone in HR needs to learn more about the Enterprise Applications that run your company: the big HRMS, Recruiting, Performance Management, Learning, Compensation. Stuff like that.

    Otherwise, I believe you will be relegated to the dust bin of history and end up flipping burgers at McDonald’s. It’s not enough to be good with people anymore, though that is certainly a diminishing skill, don’t you think?

    Trish made a truly wonderful and generous offer at the end of her post (knowing her, does that surprise you?):

    So, register today so we can master HR Technology together. I hope to see you there!

    I do, too, because we designed the conference exactly for people like Trish and maybe for you, too!

  • August 18, 2010 at 6:40 am

    I would consider myself an HR Generalist by profession and a senior member of management by position at my company. I am also the company’s lead HR technology strategist and sponsor. Under my leadership, we have gone through mulitiple PeopleSoft Upgrades, a change to Workday in the last couple of years, and have almost totally revamped our HR technology, including a recent purchase of MrTed’s Talentlink which we are integrating with our core Workday SaaS system.

    I would totally agree that HR can no longer nibble at the soft stuff. They must get engaged in what is going to bring the greatest value services to the enterprise and ensure that it is done effectively and enhances the company’s bottom line, along with serving its customers well. If HR is not at the table, you are already losing, and that includes leading the HR Technology efforts in your company. In today’s environment, this is required for success–for the HR professional and their organizations.

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