The drive to bring technology to HR is now full on. Everywhere you look, HR experts are recommending that companies not yet on the technology train get on board as quickly as possible. This leaves HR departments and their managers scrambling to figure out what technologies to adopt.
From our perspective, it is not enough to just shop for new technologies. We believe it's better to embrace a discovery approach. Better yet, we are big proponents of discovery with purpose. Think about old world explorers who went in search of new lands. They did so with purpose: they were looking for new trading partners and better trade routes. Likewise, HR departments hoping to discover new technology should have a purpose in mind.
Here are the top five tips for discovering HR Tech with purpose:
1. Figure out What You Cannot Do
Introducing technology for its own sake is a futile exercise. Technology is a tool that should serve a very specific purpose. Technology without purpose is known as bloat, and no one likes bloat. The key to avoiding bloat is to figure out what your company cannot do because of current technology limitations.
Maybe your HR department cannot rely on automatic time and attendance calculations because your company still uses a manual punch clock and a calculator. Now you know what kind of time and attendance technology you should be looking at.
2. Figure out What You Want to Do
Hand-in-hand with figuring out what you cannot do is figuring out what you want to do. We might be talking about two sides of the same coin but figuring out what you want to do goes beyond the constraints of your current environment. It seeks to figure out how you can better your business by increasing technological capabilities.
3. Think About the Future
Discovery with purpose goes beyond the here and now. It looks toward the future with the knowledge that successful technological implementation should lead to growth and expansion. As such, any technology your company investigates should be scalable. It should be able to handle future growth for many years to come.
When you are talking new software applications for HR and payroll, cloud-based solutions are the way to go. Implementation in the cloud generally indicates that scalability is not going to be a problem. There are exceptions to every rule, of course, which is why due diligence is required.
4. Collaborate with Employees
Employees are the 'boots on the ground' who will eventually use whatever technology your company adopts. If you want to discover that technology with purpose, collaborate with them. Find out what they would like to see by way of new technologies. Try to gauge their willingness to learn new technologies and implement them.
In this regard, technology that is overly complicated might never get fully implemented. That equates to wasted time, resources, and money. The discovery of new technology should include an understanding that it needs to be easy to implement and use.
5. Require Vendors to Compete
Finally, vendors are likely to give you their best products when they are forced to compete for your business. Competition is a wonderful thing because it brings out the very best, and sometimes the very worst, of the competitors. Your company is the beneficiary.
In your search for new technology, always remember that there is a purpose behind what you are doing. Discovery with purpose involves understanding what you cannot do, knowing what you want to do, considering the future, collaborating with employees, and forcing vendors to compete. That is how you win technology discovery.