HR & Innovation

Summary:Lots of innovation is popping up in HR. But, the innovation may be springing up because of the actions of job seekers and employees but not the creators of HR software. In this four part series, we look at the impact these innovations are having on HR processes; how mobile, social, video and other tech is changing HR processes; and, what vendors need to bring to the upcoming HR Technology Conference in October.

Part 4

Let’s have an HR social and see what kinds of new things happen….


When most folks write about social technology intersecting with enterprises, they mostly cover it from the enterprise perspective. They often neglect the rest of world that will read, forward, etc. the blogs, tweets, Facebook comments, etc. that social media users generate and share.

Were a business to diagram their HR processes they would see that employees, recruits, recruiters, and many others are creating a rich tapestry of social content and interaction that surround HR processes.

Job seekers are using all kinds of social media to gain insights into employers, interview questions, corporate culture, etc. Some use networks to create inroads into targeted employers. Job seekers also use web apps to help them assess their own web/social presence. They want to know how they’ll come across to potential employers. If they find anything questionable, they might be able to repair some of their reputation damage before a potential employer finds it.

Smart employers are using similar technologies to learn about job seekers, current employees and former employees. Have you thought to use social media (e.g., LinkedIn) to see where former employees went after they left your firm? Did their next career move match what they told you in their exit interview?

Smarter employers use social relevance maps to see who (in their firm) are the most sought after and respected persons for key answers. They also want to see who is the most disengaged, too. They incorporate social feedback into their performance feedback. And, they’re careful to vet the input they find.

A few months back I did a big piece on how Ultimate and Yammer have the potential to do great things here. But, I want to hear of more firms embarking on more cool HR/Social solutions.

I want to see where social solutions fit in all kinds of HR processes beyond talent acquisition and performance management. I want to see new uses for the data in these huge unstructured information stores.

But I also want to see firms support multiple process flows, each supporting different combinations of technology and users. Some job seekers will be social mavens while some may be less empowered. Some job holders are technology rich and others lacking. Some job seekers prefer old-school technology (e.g., paper resumes and USPS mail) while others do everything on their smart phone. What I’m saying is that one process flow and one technology approach for a given process is insufficient today. Vendors must design multiple mechanisms for people to interact with their technology and the technology of others.

Bottom line: show me the inspired innovation that breaks out of the 1-process-flow-for-all mentality that has dominated HR tech for decades. I’ll be waiting….


So, if you’re an HR technology vendor and I haven’t scared you off, I’d love to hear what you’re thinking about pitching me at the upcoming HR Tech Conference. And, to show you that I use the new technology, too, I’ve created a set of qualifying questions for you to complete on video pre-conference (thank you HireVue). I’m going to help you prep for the interview by providing the interview questions below. You just need to submit your video responses and be ready to schedule our briefing time.


Interview questions:

  1. What did you learn when you created your first two process flows: one for the way people have done this HR process for years and the other for how they are/will do it going forward?
  2. Describe a cool new use for social and mobile technology in your new process design?
  3. Did you consider how a non-business user (e.g., job seeker) might interact with this new process using new technology (e.g., how many non-HR web sites might a job seeker consult?)? How did your perspective change? What will your products do differently now?
  4. Describe a cool new use for video and analytics in your new process design?
  5. Where will unstructured data get plugged into your processes and solutions?
  6. Why will your re-imagined solutions prevail in the marketplace?   


Topics: Enterprise Software, Social Enterprise


Brian is in a unique position to diagnosis the winners and the losers in technology and services. He was the longest running (10 years) and most senior director of Andersen Consulting's (now Accenture's) global Software Intelligence unit - a position that required him to pick the best possible software solutions for hundreds of clients gl... Full Bio

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