HR Tech 2016 - Reporting from Chicago

October 01. POSTED 2 years ago

Not sure how many of you attended HR Tech 2016, so I am sharing the highlights for your reading pleasure. One Stop Shop HCM Solutions, Analytics/Artificial Intelligence, Employee Engagement, and Video Interviews are the dominant trends this year, but other domains had their fair share as well. Let's us chat.

From the Expo Floor:

You couldn't walk for long on the HRTech Expo floor without running into an 'All Inclusive Hire to Retire' HCM platforms. While the big players like Workday, SAP SuccessFactors, Oracle, ADP and Cornerstone trying to expand their kingdom, I have also witnessed many upcoming players like Namely, Ultimate Software, Jobvite, Infor, etc. vying to get their piece of pie. Also, I noticed that big players like IBM and Adobe are aspiring to make their mark in HR. Other noticeable trend is the new breed of Employee Engagement solutions which proclaim that the 'once a year pulse survey' is dead, instead 'monthly micro surveys' are the new way to engage the current workforce. Interestingly, most of these Engagement solutions offers Surveys, Peer to Peer Recognition, Spot Awards, and Gamification all packaged into an integrated experience.

From the Breakout Sessions:

One of the mantras we kept hearing is that, companies should start focusing on all three aspects of Analytics: Descriptive (what has happened), Predictive (what might happen) and Prescriptive (how can you avoid them). Speakers also cautioned that Companies should not let our aspiration for 'Perfect Data Quality' be the bottleneck to our progress with Reporting/Analytics initiatives. It is a common trend that the data won't be necessarily clean in the beginning, but as you move forward, and more and more stakeholders start using them, you can get to the excellence. So, no more excuses, push the button.

HR Innovation - Random picks:

  • Best User Experience of Bridge, a canvas based learning solution
  • Citi's innovative way of selecting software vendors through a Demo Day
  • Adobe's easy way of publishing a power point deck as an Interactive learning course
  • Ultimate's predictive analysis to forecast workforce's movers and shakers

Few Opportunities:

There is an intense competition in each category of HR Solutions. However, the vendors are finding it hard to explain their unique value proposition, which leaves the attendees overwhelmed. Both HRTech organizers and vendors may fix this in future events. Also, we may use more representation from HR Service Desk, which I am personally invested in.

Is it all business, no pleasure at all?

If you think so, you are wrong. It is HRTech, so fun is part of the package. Pretty much all vendors offered goodies if/when you visit their booths. And, there were around 72 parties on the 2nd day of the conference. While I couldn't attend all of them, I went to the party at House of Blues. It was a blast with Montreal Rhapsody playing my 80s favorites from ABBA. There were great food and beverages. Thanks to my HRTech buddy Alex, for policing me not to have more than one beer. So, the party was fun, but conditions applied. Hey, don't forget check out the 360 Video!

Conclusion:

Being an Emerging Technologies Evangelist, I was expecting to see more disruptions in the likes of Virtual Realty Headsets, Augmented Realty Experiences, Gesture Systems and Internet of HR Everything. However, the reach of HR Innovation still stays with Responsive Web and Mobile Apps. It seems like HR wants to stay HR, till these disruptions hit hard on them. One impressive progress is that, most of the solutions have now started offering stellar User Experiences that are well-integrated, hip, and engaging. Keep them coming folks. For now, signing off from HRTech 2016!

  • Bala