Tech Insights: Yes, We Really Need That App Too (The Endless World of HR Tech)

I often hear about new HR software and I always secretly hope it will turn out to be tedious or irrelevant so I can safely ignore it.

However, it is surprisingly common that someone has discovered a real need that is not adequately addressed by existing tools.

One recent call came from Rolepoint who explained the need for a better tool for managing employee referrals. You might think that managing referrals wouldn’t be hard, but here is how it really works:

  • Employees email referrals to HR;
  • They may or may not get manually entered into a spreadsheet;
  • They may be remembered or may be forgotten;
  • The employee may or may not hear what happened to their referral.

It is possible to imagine a well-run manual process; it’s easy to guess how often those manual processes end up being a mess.

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So once again, confronted with a new piece of HR software I find myself thinking “Yes, we need that one too.” Just like apps multiply on your smart phone, so too HR apps do (and should) multiply in Human Resources departments.

Of course, there is a cost to buy and manage each additional app, but many will pay off. I would encourage HR to keep trying out new apps on an experimental basis since that is the best way to learn which ones are worth the investment.

What is interesting?

  • There seems to be no end of valuable HR apps that handle some tasks much better than the semi-manual tools of email, word processing and spreadsheets.

What is really important?

  • Just as productive individuals find time to, fairly regularly, try out new tools, so too HR functions should be able to try out tools without it always being a slow and expensive decision process.ap

David Creelman is CEO of Creelman Research. Based mainly in Toronto and partly in Kuala Lumpur, he’s best known for his research on the latest issues in human resources.

He works with think tanks such as Talent Tech Labs (New York), Works Institute (Tokyo), Workforce Institute (Boston) and CRF (London). He’s collaborated with leading academics such as Henry Mintzberg (leadership development), Ed Lawler (“Built to Change”) and John Boudreau (future of work).

His books include The CMO of People: Manage employees like customers with an immersive predictable experience that drives productivity and performance with GrandRound’s CHRO Peter Navin; and Lead the Work: Navigating a world beyond employment with John Boudreau (USC) and Ravin Jesuthasan (Willis Towers Watson).

You can connect to Mr. Creelman on LinkedIn