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, CEO of Creelman Research, is a globally recognized thinker on people analytics and talent management. Some of his more interesting projects included:

  • Conducted workshops around the world on the practical aspects of people analytics
  • Took business leaders from Japan’s Recruit Co. on a tour of US tech companies (Recruit eventually bought Indeed.com for $1 billion)
  • Studied the relationship between Boards and HR (won Walker Award)
  • Spoke at the World Bank in Paris on HR reporting
  • Co-authored Lead the Work: Navigating a world beyond employment with John Boudreau and Ravin Jesuthasan. The book was endorsed by the CHROs of IBM, LinkedIn and Starbucks.
  • Worked with Dr. Wanda Wallace on “Leading when you are not the expert” which topped the “Most Popular List” on the Harvard Business Review’s blog.
  • Worked with Dr. Henry Mintzberg on peer coaching, David’s learning modules are among the most popular topics.

Currently David is helping organizations to get on-track with people analytics.

This work led to him being made a Fellow for the Centre of Evidence-based Management (Netherlands) for his contributions to the field.

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