The importance of asking the right questions in modern HR.
Back in October Humdex was fortunate enough to participate in the UNLEASH event in Paris. An event we thoroughly enjoyed & felt a sense of honour and pride when we were selected to compete at the start-up competition for innovative concepts.
The HR love affair
One thing that did become obvious during our 2 days there is that HR is still in love with technology-based solutions. According to studies by Future Market Insights, this love affair is only set to increase, with talent acquisition and staffing technologies set to “grow at an annual rate of 6.25% through 2028,” as IT constructed resolutions to Human capital challenges are continually favoured over traditional methodologies. Employers are on a buying spree.
The sheer volume of interesting and innovative ideas aimed at tackling the micro the macro conundrums in HR, which were visible just from our small booth on the ground floor of the conference hall was impressive. Whilst on the one hand we felt encouraged that technology enables small creative groups of people to make impactful change in companies large and small, we also felt concern for our fellow HR comrades-in-arms, who are driven by a demands (at a senior level, from their own needs and by expectations in the emerging talent landscape) to embrace an ever increasing number of digital practices from a blooming business of solution providers. The technological waters out there are getting murkier by the minute.
“92% of more than 800 C-suite and HR leaders and 1,700 professionals surveyed by Randstad said they believe technology enhances the attraction, engagement and retention of talent. That’s up from 79% who said the same in 2016.”
An eye opener for us during UNLEASH Paris was the necessity, and level of interest, for a tech solution which consolidates multiple HR platform tools into one larger platform, in the hope of alleviating the complex process of utilising multiple technologies that cannot integrate or coordinate with each other.
The tech bloat of HR is never more evident today as:
“More than a fifth of companies use 10 or more different systems and applications at work, and roughly 60% are using more than five systems everyday.”
Slaying the Hydra
So how do we tackle this digital hydra? The key is to define what problem we are trying to solve, before jumping on the very attractive solutions that are now available to us. It is very tempting to buy into the promised result of a solution, before effectively quantifying the real workforce issues at hand. By leveraging workforce analytics, in which we evaluate both the internal and external talent markets in tandem at the strategic phase in the company cycle, a cohesive, quantifiable go-to-market approach can be implemented that best serves the needs of the business and the ability of HR to meet those needs. For instance; is the focus for this year our employer brand, talent acquisition, competence & skills, and how much focus/resource do these factors require to support the overall business strategy?
By being able to measure what talent is needed to fulfil the business strategy, HR stands a much better chance of playing a key role at the strategic conception point, giving us a real chance to help define what is needed, rather than being late to the show and being faced with the ‘how to get’ what has already been agreed. This way, we can really pull up a seat for HR at the senior strategy level, and from here we can better identify which solutions should be purchased and utilised to best meet the business and HR strategy, as these would now be aligned. By acting on the right information, at the right time and with the right people, we can pinpoint where technology can service our goals best.
The explosion of demand and supply of Human Capital solutions is something to be celebrated, and if handled correctly, we can only benefit. Technology is a tool that enhances our capacity to achieve; it should never be the reason and the reason alone an action is done. The transition of HR to a more integral and integrated role in major business strategy will not be an easy one for many companies to achieve, but we believe it is paramount to the evolving way we do business with technology.
Let’s make sure we are answering the right questions: getting your HR analytics right first means that we detect in the correct solutions and avoid costly technology-led investment mistakes.
For more information on workforce analytics contact us through our website
Below: some snaps from our time at Unleash World Paris Conference 2019
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Author -Scott Brent
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