Here’s yet another case where what happens in Vegas should not stay in Vegas: the HR Tech Conference. With $812 million venture capital investment pumped into HR and recruiting tech in the first half of 2015, this one’s going to be hot. Sure I’m geeked on it. Now that products and rollouts run the functional gamut you should be too, considering what’s worth the bite. It’s a big bad buffet.
So what are these HR Technology trends? Here you go.
1) Go for today, later, and even later than that
Assess your present and future needs. Ask the hard questions: where are your blind spots? Is your social and mobile recruiting game on? Are you able to run global, across the board training? Can you onboard everyone, regardless of position, fluidly, and dovetail their tasks in a click? How do you track engagements? Can you plot succession scenarios? And will your HR tech be able to handle a radical increase in size, functionality and scope?
2) Remember the Prius
Not so long ago, we suddenly had the option to go to a commercial car dealership and buy a Prius. It took some getting used to — so quiet, so streamlined — but we did. It wasn’t cheap, but it was a game changer. Some of us wanted to be in on that, and as soon as we had the funds to get one, we did. The novelty’s over: hybrid is part of a better normal. We’re about to be there in HR. So if you don’t want to be left behind, it’s high time to make your case with corporate: the upgrade to stronger tech must happen now.
3) Integrated or regular?
You don’t need one-size-does-everything. A colleague smartly noted that just because software is integrated doesn’t make it awesome — or really, even integrated; in some instances, the cost of integrating with legacy software as well is simply prohibitive. If a company does have the luxury of making a single vendor purchase, you may well be ahead of the game. In that case, make sure the tech you choose can give you everything, from a powerful, agile way to generate analytics, both in terms of operations and predictions, and can still play well with as many others as come into that sandbox in the near future.
4) Counter-intuition for non-engineers
Kudos: we’ve finally gotten the image of a gold watch engraved with “50 years of service” out of our heads. Now we can stop pretending we understand what’s next, and just practice embracing it. HR is a reactive field by its nature, but tech is changing functions in altogether surprising ways. Machine learning, for example, is going to change this field. It will give everyone a way to act and access faster. It will help us become more productive, more connected, and more aware. And it will inevitably have a profound impact on talent recruitment. Bring it on.
5) Research will save us
Unsurprisingly, a whopping 87% of the companies surveyed in Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends research cited engagement, retention and culture as the key issues in HR. The key to meeting that trifecta of needs lies in those powerful tools that can provide actionable data and insights. We’re seeing some of those innovations taking a multifaceted approach — they really are customizable and responsive, and getting even more so. So be selective. Every company is different, but we all face this common goal, and there are more and more ways to achieve it.
We’re all looking for the best paths to better HR functionality. But there’s also that horizon, which is now greatly expanded. So there’s what we do, there’s what we can do, and there’s what we will do. The point, right now, is to do it.
This article was first posted on Forbes.