An interview with Steve Boese, Conference Co-Chair HR Technology Conference & Exposition®, Inside HR Tech Columnist for Human Resource Executive® and Host of the HR Happy Hour Show
The excitement is building around the 2019 HR Technology Conference & Exposition®. While we anticipate who will be on the soon-to-be-released program, we caught up with Steve Boese to get a sneak peek on what to expect at the 22nd annual event on Oct. 1-4, 2019, at the Venetian Las Vegas.
Hi Steve, let’s get right down to it! What kinds of new innovations and technologies are likely to have the greatest impact in the HR realm?
For the last couple of years, Artificial Intelligence (AI) for HR has been a dominant theme and a focus of innovation, and I expect that trend to continue. We’re already starting to see examples of AI tools moving beyond the theoretical over to the practical in areas like candidate assessments and learning technologies. AI tools are also providing personalized recommendations for employees on the best ways for them to develop their skills based on what the organization wants them to do, as well as based on their own career interests and goals.
Another great example of AI being deployed are “help desk” type requests. In the past, employees would contact HR to ask basic, foundational questions such as what’s the vacation policy or holiday schedule? But now employees can fire up a chatbot or interface to “converse” with their HR service desk, that’s run by a bot that recognizes them, understands the question, and provides the best answer based on company policy and documentation. This service streamlines access to basic information and is less expensive for HR departments to deliver. Finally, the best thing these new technologies have promised for a decade now, is allowing HR professionals to focus on what they really want to do, like advising employees, developing new programs to enhance employee skill sets or concentrating on culture, etc. These activities are what people probably get into HR to do, because most don’t go into HR to answer questions like “how much vacation time do I have left.”
Can attendees expect to see any examples of AI at the HR Tech Conference?
Yes! There’s so much interest and energy revolving around AI in the marketplace, out of the 450+ companies exhibiting, it wouldn’t shock me if at least 150 or more are showcasing AI in some capacity at HR Tech.
Where should HR leaders be concentrating their technology resources and efforts, considering the demands of an accelerating market?
HR leaders must have a handle on their most valuable resource –– their people. New technology can help HR leaders understand the “people” impact of their business decisions. The tools and technologies are already available to help HR leaders have a more holistic, comprehensive, and for the larger companies, a global understanding of their workforce. This provides any organization the ability to develop people for the future. HR leaders should be thinking about what technology solutions will enable them to understand and know intimately their “people,” to be able to describe the current capability of the business from a workforce perspective.
That’s an interesting concept. Can you break it down it a little more?
For ever and ever, establishments have spent loads of time and money investing in technology and systems to better understand themselves in a quantifiable way. Now companies are doing a much better job at utilizing technology to fully understand their people, their skills and goals, and how all of that aligns with the institution’s strategy, objectives and aspirations. It’s all about developing a better relationship with their people by really knowing them, seeing beyond just what’s on their resume or what’s in their job history. In the long run, the company prospers right along with them. It’s the perfect partnership of both human and tech capabilities.
Stayed Tuned for Part TWO of our interview with Steve Boese!