We asked attendees, exhibitors and speakers for their top takeaway from the 2022 HR Technology Conference & Exposition.
Here is what they said:
- Candidate Relationships is Candidate Experience 2.0
- On-Demand, All The Time
- Rethinking Performance Management
- HR Technology is embedded in the workplace
- There’s so many HR Solutions
- Putting the HUMAN back in Human Resources
- A Rising Tide Raises All Boats
- Ongoing challenges implementing DE&I strategies
- We'll get to experience exciting new use cases for AI
- CHROs are limited
- Market Gaps for Live Facilitated Training
- Incredible energy
- Moving from fitting the mold to creating value
- Whole Person Design Approach
- Abundance of new HR Tech companies
- Flexibility without tech to support it, creates chaos
- Employers must continue to adapt quickly
- There’s a balance to be created
- Nothing beats a face-to-face conversation with a customer
- There’s Excitement Around Recognition in 2023
- We are focused on the full employee experience across all industries
- The Value of Connecting With Fellow Vendors
Candidate Relationships is Candidate Experience 2.0
Candidate experience used to be the big deal in talent acquisition. Companies would stage the office to look really nice, give the candidate swag, and treat them to lunch. With the movement towards virtual, companies can’t do that anymore. Now, candidates are looking to develop deeper relationships with employers.
Companies are developing deeper candidate relationships by improving the quality of their interviewers. By training interviewers and diversifying the interviewer panel, then the interview experience becomes much more memorable, genuine, and human. Unless the pay gap is significant, that means the candidate will likely select these job offers over others.
On-Demand, All The Time
The trend right now in hourly recruiting is on-demand. Everyone wants to be able to login and see their shifts on demand. They want to be able to change their schedule on demand. They want to be able to see what they’re getting paid immediately, and have access to money as they earn it. They want to be able to have something that adds up to their dollar amounts and shows their net worth.
The hourly workforce is just completely understaffed right now. Companies are desperate to get more staff, so they’re meeting the needs of employees and shifting to on-demand.
Rethinking Performance Management
Managers are complaining about performance management, and employees find no value in it. HR knows that the traditional way of doing it is dumbed down to check the boxes.
We think there’s a big opportunity for companies to unlock value and performance outcomes by rethinking the way they do performance management.
Organizations don't just want a new performance management system. They have a business problem, to which they want a solution to improve business outcomes.
In order to get that business solution, they realize that performance management is one driver.
HR Technology Is Embedded In The Workplace
The conversation HR is having is around how to move the day to day work off of the HR team so that they can focus on being more agile, making data-driven decisions, and focusing on employee experience.
HR is investing a lot into how they can access all of this power. How can all the power of a cloud platform be used in an easy, self-serve way? How can HR unlock the capacity to have a self-service platform so they can focus on employee experience? That’s really powerful.
How can HR technology be embedded in the workplace. HR Tech shouldn’t have to be some “thing” you have to go into a room and ask questions. It should be embedded into the fabric of a workplace, and support the human experience of working and the nature of the business we’re driving towards. If we can get that right, then we really have something cool.
HR technology should feel natural and be as human as possible to unlock human potential.
There's So Many HR Solutions
There are so many solutions out there for HR. To stand out in front of recruiters and talent, you really have to have a special secret sauce. For us, we’re seeing a lot of solutions out there who are talking about pipeline and Ai and data efficiency. But what we can’t forget is that Human Resources and recruiting is about people. At the end of the day, this business is about connecting people to opportunities and their next big thing in life. For me, I’m focused on helping discover more about themselves and finding more aligned opportunities in a more human centric way.
Putting The HUMAN Back In Human Resources
Next-generation tech innovations are putting the "human" back in Human Resources. The best HR technology is now…invisible. Automation, smart tech and consumer-grade experiences (mobile, intuitive, instant) are allowing HR teams to spend more time with people and less time with software. Expedited by rapid adoption and innovation during the COVID-19 pandemic and the labor shortages, this new breed of HR technology is helping to not only drive HR results but drive business results -- saving millions of hours and dollars.
A Rising Tide Raises All Boats
This was the fourth HR Tech that I've attended and it was, by far, the most vibrant and exciting one of the bunch.
After the slowdowns due to Covid, it was great to see so many people flock to Las Vegas for the big event and the energy was palpable from the crowd.
The macro climate has been so strong for HR Tech the past few years with private investments high and public valuations beating peer groups. There is definitely a rising tide in HR Tech as companies are coming around to the importance of investing in their people and the systems that support their people.
Ongoing Challenges Implementing DE&I Strategies
There continues to be an ongoing challenge to implement DE&I strategies. We still have 11.2 million job openings in the US as of August 30th. We have 10.7 million people who are able to work, but are sitting on the sidelines because corporations don’t have the infrastructure in place to accommodate their needs and activate them as employees.
The big takeaway is that we have to get more companies more actively implementing their DE&I strategies instead of just talking about them.
We'll Get To Experience Exciting New Use Cases For AI
While the pace of new technology adoption in HR continues to increase, it seems this is most pronounced with regards to talent acquisition. The use of AI to increase efficiency in manual tasks such as resume screening, scheduling, etc., now seems mundane when compared to the exciting focus on assessments and interviews. This trend has led to capabilities that were, until now, not possible to implement at scale – such as behavioral and competency assessment via psycholinguistics, and real-time interviewer coaching designed to reduce unconscious bias and increase the predictive validity of the interview process.
CHROs are Limited
There’s not a CHRO we’ve met at HR Tech who is not bandwidth constrained, overworked, overwhelmed, and lacking in internal resources.
They’ve got a lot of amazing things they want to do. Talent is always going to be the challenge for a CHRO. But it’s just a question of resources and bandwidth.
Market Gaps For Living Facilitated Training
There’s still a gap in the market for live facilitated training, and there’s opportunities between LMS and live training. That opportunity was validated here for us on multiple levels, with winning part of the HR Tech Pitchfest - which was really exciting for us - and with the validation we’ve gotten from customers and attendees.
I was blown away by the scope and variety of the vendors — truly a massive event filled with a Who's Who in our industry. The Startup Pitchfest was particularly inspiring, both due to the amazing ideas presented and also the diversity of the startup founders themselves. My biggest takeaway was feeling just the incredible energy in that room: so much brilliance, creativity and enthusiasm. I'll definitely be back next year.
Moving From Fitting The Mold To Creating Value
In the past, corporate life focused heavily on appearance and presence. You showed up. You dressed the part, and often your behavior mirrored that of those around you if you wanted to be successful.
Success at work was about how well you fit the mold and how closely your managers could oversee you. Now, our view of work and who we are in the workplace is changing.
Research has shown that workplace authenticity increases employee well-being and improves performance. By being able to be our authentic selves and having the flexibility to show up for all the other pieces of our lives, we’re able to increase the value we bring to the work we do.
Whole Person Design Approach
There is a convergence of next-generation EX Platform capabilities that are becoming animated by:
- Better employee journeying design that meets employees where they are from recruitment through exit
- New behavioral science & better people data to improve fidelity of experiences
- Meaningful learning content to support skills & career development whenever needed
- People/organization cultural alignment that reinforces and elevates trust
- Opportunity marketplaces for employees; and all of this aligned with organization outcomes (not just financial, but customer, efficiency, DEI, social and climate impact, and many other critical outcomes to organizational resilience).
Employees want work experiences that meet or exceed their life and customer experiences. A Whole Person design approach is the keystone to everything.
Abundance of New HR Tech Companies
There’s so many new technologies and companies popping up in HR. A lot of the problems these solutions address are around hybrid or remote work. With HR Tech being one of the first in-person conferences for a lot of people, it symbolizes this challenge of trying to figure out how to engage and be recognized and feel connected, even when they’re working remotely. Employee recognition is a huge thing that is solving issues when it comes to retention and engagement and employees feeling like they’re working together.
Flexibility Without Tech To Support It, Creates Chaos
This was our first exhibiting experience at HR Tech. First, the Expo Hall was filled with many impressive displays, solutions, and people. Walking the floor, the energy was filled with positive excitement. Everyone seemed to have a positive outlook on what was happening or what they thought the future would bring. It was the same for us.
We came to HR Tech to talk to HR leaders and other technology providers about what workplace freedom means to them. We did not mean freedom from the workplace, but rather freedom to create the workplace that works best for them. We had a lot of conversations, and people shared many great thoughts on what was working and what was not. Those were the moments that made it worth it for us.
The main takeaway I want to share is that employees want flexibility, but leaders are worried about how to scale and maintain it in such a way that it will bring long-term value to the organization.
So, there’s growing friction between the flexibility individuals need to perform at their best and the connection to the organization’s larger community that will create value and growth. Here’s what I mean: you have the individual, the team, and the organization. And, if everyone is doing their own thing in a silo, it’s hard to build a cohesive, future-focused company.
Flexibility shouldn’t be in a vacuum but rather surrounded by community connection to add value and growth.
Employers Must Continue To Adapt Quickly
HR is finally getting respect and a much needed budget to attract, source, hire, and manage people and their career paths to support business outcomes.
Employers must continue to adapt quickly and their HR strategies and technology need to address remote, flexible, or RTO work cultures, quiet quitting, gender equity pay, diversity, equity and inclusion, to upskilling-reskilling for internal mobility and people management.
There's A Balance To Be Created
While advancements in technology and how it's integrating into our workplaces were very impressively demonstrated at the conference, there's a balance that needs to be created within the system. In a time when humans are still navigating a "new normal," what’s needed is a stronger presence of the fundamental human skills needed in order to implement and utilize these technologies successfully. If we're not given the opportunities to learn about ourselves first, how to monitor and regulate our cognitive, emotional and behavioral conditions, all the wonderful tools that could prove to be incredibly useful will fall short. But create a balance between the two, along with a strategically designed learning plan, and we’ll be well on our way to success.
Nothing Beats A Face-to-Face Conversation With A Customer
With 17+ years in marketing, this was my first HRTech conference and it was a fun-filled week of making connections. What really stood out the most are the conversations I had with customers, as they explained the sense of belonging they feel using Bonusly in their company.
It's such a treat to hear that what we write in our marketing materials is truly what our customers experience when using our platform. It reiterates why we do what we do at Bonusly - helping people connect with their work and each other in meaningful ways.
There's Excitement Around Recognition in 2023
There was so much excitement around improving recognition efforts in 2023. At the Motivosity booth I spoke with so many people that wanted to rethink their recognition programs or realized it was time they formally create one. The "wow" moment was real for me as I talked to massive, name brand companies that were looking for guidance and tools for employee recognition. In case our yeti slippers didn't give it away, we were very excited about that focus from attendees!
We Are Focused On The Full Employee Experience Across All Industries
It was amazing to return to the HR Tech Conference for the first time in 8 years. It is an opportunity to connect and find out the latest innovations to address key workforce challenges. One takeaway is a focus on the full employee experience across all industries. In 2014 we were moving away from the practice of HR tech siloes and debating if there was truly a one SaaS solution fix to all of HRs problems. In 2022 the focus is on seamless and simple solutions across the moments that matter for people working on site, hybrid or remote. There were valuable discussions about how to engage and instill company culture when you have teams working virtually.
The keynotes were thought provoking, particularly the words of CEO of the Dallas Mavericks Cynt Marshall. We’ve always known that tech is meant to enable HR to do its best work. I think that this sentiment is stronger than 8 years ago. We’ve moved beyond expo floor chatter about “what vendors are hot right now.”
The Value of Connecting With Fellow Vendors
My main takeaway is that the HR benefits landscape is changing and to keep up you'll need a technology partner that offers something that works for the employee who's home, in the office, or hybrid
As a vendor, the quality of the attendees was astounding. Really thoughtful leaders who wanted to engage, not just be sold to. I remember talking with a fellow vendor, Hibob, who recognized that we used their product suite, leading to a great discussion about how they could benefit from ours.
What was your biggest takeaway from HR Tech 2022? Submit your insight here, and we’ll look to add your insights to this article. Also, mark your calendars now, so you don't miss out on either of the 2023 HR Technology Conferences, get details on each by clicking below.