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Are you tangled up in the web of technology?

HR tech is hot stuff right now€¦. everywhere you look there are summits, conferences, webinars and symposiums, all brandishing #HR Tech with pride.


Which is awesome, because technology can be amazing, particularly when it's filled with information about our people, but how come we're getting so excited about it just now and how do we decide what to focus on for our business?


Personally, I believe technology has always been hot stuff, but I think it's evolving into something incredible for our profession should we choose it to be so.


As an HR consultant over 20 years ago, exploring technology to support the business and making recommendations about which tools and resources to use was paramount to success in my role.


#HR Tech played a pivotal role in tracking candidates, reporting absence, monitoring pay parity and even helped us to see how our employees were spending their day, even down to four-minute increments.


#HR tech helped us to report, to automate and to integrate what was going on in our world.


But it's changing.


#HR Tech is becoming the most incredible tool to help us facilitate stories about our business.


Now we can not only take a snapshot of something specific (like performance data, pay related information and exit reports), we can combine these pictures to understand things like; what specifically increases or decreases productivity, how incentives are aligned to what motivates our people, or what's the most likely profile for a successful performer.


According to Josh Bersin in Forbes Magazine; ( around 45% of us are still focussing on using technology to help us achieve just the data snapshots, so we've got a long way to go to embrace the wider story telling.


Bersin outlines some of the main areas where he believes #HR Tech will make an incredible difference in 2018 including;

  • People Analytics (the use of business intelligence tools, like Power BI to explore the complete story of your people related data)
  • Recruitment (e.g. the use of chatbots, recruitment management systems and enhanced assessments)
  • Wellbeing (e.g. ways to build resilience and energy at work and growing the ability of leaders to have coaching conversations)

In addition, the HR Exchange Network has released a report called Disruptive Tech Transformations ( which explores this digital transformation further; challenging our profession to embrace the trials of moving from a paper world to an electronic one.


In the report, they identified Learning as being the biggest area of expected HR tech focus in the next 6-12 months, closely followed by Workforce Management, Analytics and Career Pathing.


With all these possible areas of HR tech to choose from it's easy to get a bit tangled up with knowing where to start. So, how about asking yourself a few questions like these:

  1. What are the three main areas of focus for your organisation in the next 12-18 months, and how is #HR Tech currently influencing these areas in companies around the world?
  2. How do you currently use #HR Tech in your company, and what do you do with the existing data?
  3. What are the main non-HR technologies already used in your company, and how might the resulting data be used to support analysis to help you?
  4. Who in your organisation is currently responsible for decisions about technology and/or HR technology, and how closely do you work with them?
  5. Who are the leading-edge companies around the world in your industry, and how are they embracing the #HR tech revolution?
  6. What are the areas of greatest pain in your HR world right now and how might #HR Tech help you understand this story?
  7. What is the biggest thing holding you back from the use of HR technology in your company?



The answers you discover could help you to identify the story that #HR Tech is already telling you about people in your company, the story you're telling yourself about #HR Tech or the story you'd love to write, using #HR Tech as your guide.


We have an incredible opportunity to use data to explore the story of our people, and then to find ways to influence our businesses successes with what we find.



About the Author


Kathryn Jackson is a Christchurch based Leadership Coach and Fellow of the CIPD (UK), who loves to ask questions to facilitate outcomes.  She is the author of several books including; Essential Questions to GROW Your Team; a five-star rated workbook of questions to support Managers who are learning to coach at work that is used by businesses around the world (available in NZ from Mighty Ape, Booktopia or Amazon).


For more information about her please check out her LinkedIn profile: