When I speak to HR and talent advisors all over the world, they consistently tell me one thing:
I wish I had more time to do this “added value” stuff that they all talk about, but you know what? I’ve got too much paperwork to think about it.”
You know, it’s true. I get it, I really do.
When I started working in HR, we had a typing pool that you took handwritten memos to, and they would type them out. Then we sent them in the internal mail for someone else to take action on. If you wanted to make a change in the HR information system — and we’re talking black screen with scarily aggressive white text — you’d complete a form. Then you’d send it to the HRIS assistant, who’d make the change… and sometime in the next 24 hours it would show up. But of course, it wasn’t connected to payroll. It was the ’90s, after all. And that’s before I even get into recruitment and resumes being sent in the post and photocopied.
At home, if I wanted to know what was on TV, I had to look in the paper. If I wanted to buy something, I had to go to a shop. And if I wanted to find someone for a date, I had to go to a bar or club and hope that my luck was in. Not to mention having to go to the doctor’s office if I thought I was going to die, rather than Googling it and convincing myself that my sore throat was indeed the Avian Flu.
And you tell me you don’t have time!
So here’s the thing: Our social and private lives are so intrinsically linked to technology these days that we forget what we used to have to do and where we used to be. We’ve hardly moved on at the office. Our employee experience is closer to the world of memos and forms than it is to Amazon, Tinder, and Facebook.
The real shame is that there is a genuine win-win here. HR technology has moved on and is closer to the consumer-based technology that we experience in our private lives — and the price points are better too. Employees are more technologically savvy and willing to engage with nicely designed systems with a good user experience than ever before. And good technology implementation takes the process, bureaucracy and paperwork out of the HR ecosystem and systematizes it.
So the next time you’re thinking you don’t have enough time, rather than do nothing, do something. Go and look up 10 HR tech vendors and get them in to talk about what they could do to help you. Have a look at what is out there and how you can use it. Embrace technology at work as you do at home. Innovate, experiment and play. The future of HR has technology embedded completely within it.
And the future talent advisor completely understands this and is doing something about it already.
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