It’s inevitable that HR professionals will be entrusted with investing in HR software to guide their workplaces into the high-tech future. But don’t be fooled into thinking that newer is better – here are 3 things you must do to get it right.
As we see with companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter and Amazon, the blue chip corporates of old are being superseded by companies that continue to disrupt the traditional landscape. We’re seeing a world of accelerated change; sci-films such as Back to the Future seem positively quaint – and nobody doubts that any futuristic movie is not so much a fantasy as much as it is a soon-to-be reality. It’s true when it comes to HR software too.
It’s also a landscape where the explosion of possibility about technology has coincided with an increased risk; we see the digital world elevate those primal human instincts of fear and mistrust.
The rise of cyber security comes with the rise of cyber hacking; the rise of bots with automation and loss of jobs; and artificial intelligence with fears about the limits of human consciousness.
In my work, I’m lucky to work with founders, CEO’s and HR experts and speak with them about on how they plan to bring all the above elements of the high-tech workplace to their office, not with fear but with enthusiasm for the future.
As innovative companies provide new HR software that promises to completely transform the way the profession does everything; from day-to-day processes, to high level strategic planning, our challenge is how we navigate through the chatter – and make the right HR software decisions to benefit our organisations.
I suggest that to achieve this goal, we need to change how we approach buying HR software.
1. Ask: Who is the customer?
Firstly, we need to keep in mind the central tenet of what we do. In this case that the software is not in fact for us; it’s for our workforce. We are not the customer – the workforce is!
What do I mean by this?
Essentially, that we need to make decisions based on the nature of our workforce rather than what appeals to us as a user.
To make these kinds of decisions effectively, we need to bring the workforce into the decision-making process, including the line managers, sales, IT etc.
2. Don’t buy what you don’t understand
The other aspect is that, to be frank, HR tend to be coming to HR software from a very low maturity curve.
For those of you using older technology in the market – those of you still on PeopleSoft, Payroll; I’m looking at you!
Newer isn’t necessarily better: you need to bring into the process the ‘users’ – your workforce.
Understand your workforce profile, their needs, wants and expectation of technology in general. Then incorporate in your business plan: where are you going as a company? What skills, markets, products does your people strategy need in order to enable this business plan to succeed?
3. Succeed to plan, plan to succeed
If you do not have these answers, you are not ready!
My #toptip is this: engage with your vendor’s early so that requirements are set, you have experts in the workforce on hand to produce the right business case, ask the right questions and facilitate the answers you need so you are ready.
In the new world of HR software, it’s not about a one-off purchase anymore that will serve you for years to come.
Now, you are buying into a service – ‘software as a service ‘(SaaS).
So the big change for you is to select the right software, that your workforce will adopt – and actually use efficiently and effectively.