Executive Director of Talent Tech Labs Jonathan Kestenbaum shares his perspective on how technology is impacting the HR profession today — and his predictions for the future.
Q. Which new type of HR technology is most revolutionizing the HR profession?
Artificial Intelligence technology is making an impact on HR by improving prediction models and workflow automation for better, more personalized recruitment. A great example is Wade & Wendy, a new matching system for candidates and employers. Wade, a chatbot, serves as a day-to-day adviser to candidates, and asks pertinent questions so he can open them up to professional opportunities that suit them. Wendy, a hiring manager’s best friend, personifies an employer’s essence as she intelligently vets and delivers candidates that uniquely complement the mission and culture. Wade & Wendy serve both parties in an intuitive and humanized way, and this innovative approach is rocking the HR boat.
Q. What are the advantages of combining both HR professionals and technology process experts to design software that will address HR’s future challenges?
Combining HR pros and tech process experts to design software has two promising advantages: increased customer attrition for vendors and improved user experience for HR professionals AND employees. One of the biggest mistakes HR tech vendors make is neglecting to consider all employees of the organization as a potential end-user. To address and solve HR’s future challenges, the epicenter of those challenges (the employees) should be at the forefront in the design process. Who has the insight and ability to tap into the end-user? HR professionals. Who has the know-how to culminate those needs into an accessible and easy-to-use tool? Technology process experts. Separately they can address HR’s future challenges, but together they can solve them.
Q. What advice do you have for HR professionals that will help to ensure a more successful technology implementation? Where are most mistakes made?
In order for HR professionals to implement technology successfully, they need to first anticipate the resistance to change they’ll experience from other users. Building a positive experience from the beginning is crucial, and the worst thing that can be done is to make the announcement rapidly without preparation. As soon as that wall goes up, it’s very hard to get your team on board and engaged with the new system and processes that come with it. To combat this, HR professionals must take the time to fully understand the features of the new system and how they’ll benefit different users throughout the organization. Outline exactly how the system is similar and different to the previous one, but lead with examples of how the new system is beneficial at best. Yes, it seems sad that I’m recommending to “baby” the users, but what’s worse is implementing a $250,000 system that leaves your employees disgruntled and disengaged.
Q. What advice do you have for companies that are moving to a mobile responsive design for their recruiting process (career site, applications, communication)?
It’s genius. Our world is on the go. If we want to implement work-life-balance, we have to understand that means employees and employers aren’t within arm’s reach of their computer at all times of the day. Building mobile responsive applications, sites and communication hubs isn’t always the preferred method, but it’s absolutely the most convenient one to feed that “what if” factor in all of us.
Q. New HR technology no longer looks to automate, but to improve the “employee experience”. How are you using HR tech at your organization to improve the employee experience?
To improve the employee experience, we’ve had to consider exactly what employees want. They seek consumer-like experiences and want their technology at work to reduce transactional duties, increase transparency and amplify their contributions with the smallest learning curve possible. In addition, they want the tools and systems they use at work to be fun and engaging to make work seem a little less like… work!