10 Things We Learned At HR Tech 2023
Over the past week, HR professionals from all around the world gathered at the annual HR Tech Conference in Las Vegas to explore the latest innovations and trends shaping the future of work.
Packed with inspiring keynotes, insightful panel discussions, and hands-on demonstrations, this year’s event provided a remarkable insight into the transformative power of technology in the HR space over the last year – walking into the expo hall was like walking into a carnival, with games, music, dancing, drinks, popcorn, and even a giant orange unicorn wearing a taco hat.
From groundbreaking advancements in artificial intelligence and automation to the growing emphasis on employee well-being and engagement, the knowledge and experiences shared at HR Tech have undoubtedly left us with invaluable lessons that will shape how we approach our clients, software suite, and ongoing development.
Everyone’s Talking About AI…
Looking through the schedule for this year’s HR Tech Conference, it is clear that everyone is concerned about AI and what it means for technology, human resources, the future of work, and the world in general. No matter your stance on AI, you were likely to find people who agreed and disagreed with you at every session.
Several members of our team witnessed lively discussions and questions for presenters related to AI. While the conversations around AI in building technology seemed calmer and focused on how that enables developers to do more, the HR leaders in the audience were often focused on something else: the human element.
…But There’s a Fear Of Losing Our Humanity
Whenever the topic of AI came up in rooms filled with human resources leaders attending the conference, there was always a few questioning how AI can handle some of the more nuanced and delicate situations HR leaders face. The resounding answer seemed to be that while technology can make HR departments more efficient, it will never be replaced by automation or machines.
Still, there is a fantastic debate about where our use of AI in HR should end. What is the limit? We explored some of that in our blog post about balancing technology and HR.
Performance Management Isn’t Going Away – It’s Getting Better
While there weren’t as many sessions about performance management as there were AI, performance management was also a hot topic at almost every session our team attended. The focus was always on improving performance reviews, how we center goal setting and improvement in performance management, and how can we streamline the process so that employees benefit throughout the year, not just for a few weeks after a singular review.
Skills-Based Organizations Are Leading the Charge
Another popular topic was upskilling or reskilling employees. As the job market changes, roles are being eliminated and created at the same pace, and sometimes, when an organization has found an employee they love, they don’t want to lose them. However, if their role is no longer essential, it may be time to upskill or reskill them.
HR leaders talked about the best ways to train employees for organizational success and included conversations around mentorships, individualized learning pathways, and how to increase retention throughout the training process.
Goals Take Center Stage
There can’t be anything else to discuss in the world of goals, right? HR Tech 2023 proved that to be incorrect – there is still a ton to talk about when it comes to goal setting and how we use goals to improve workplace performance and HR in general.
At one of the sessions we attended, we discussed goal setting for every stage of the hiring process. What should those data points look like? Who should be accountable for those goals? It’s an exciting topic to think about, and it requires quite a bit of data cleanliness.
Other goals-related topics included setting cascade goals that touch every department of an organization, setting better employee goals, better insights into goals, and how we can provide better feedback to employees when it comes to goal attainment.
People Analytics Won’t Be Optional Anymore
“Does it have built-in reporting?” is one of the most common questions we heard when walking around the expo center. “Does it have analytics?” was another. It seems like data and people analytics are at the top of everyone’s minds, and with good reason. As we talk about some of the other trends in human resources, getting data is essential to really understand whether something works or just moves pieces around.
Many HR leaders at the conference expressed uneasiness about doing more reporting, analyzing more numbers, and truly using this data to make informed decisions. The onus is on the technology to help leaders understand and use this data to fit their needs.
We’re All Concerned About Talent Shortages
Another hot topic of discussion focused on talent shortages and how we can do more with what we have – and how we can get top talent when it comes our way.
There are two different conversations to be had here about how talent shortages impact the hiring and retention landscape.
- For high-volume, hourly hiring, it isn’t easy to continually generate new talent when there is a revolving door of employees that come and go. The conversations continue around how to better retain hourly employees and help them grow within the company.
- For organizations that hire salaried employees, the conversation around talent shortages continues to be how to optimize the hiring process so that they can act quickly on the best candidates they get.
Change Management is a Huge Challenge When Adopting New Tech
HR leaders are increasingly discussing change management in the context of implementing and adopting HR software. They recognize that introducing new technology into the HR department significantly changes processes, workflows, and employee experiences. Effective change management strategies are seen as crucial to ensuring smooth transitions and maximizing the benefits of HR software investments – but many need help finding strategies that work across the organization.
Compliance, Compliance, Compliance
Compliance is a key consideration for HR leaders when adopting emerging software in their organizations. As technology advances, HR departments increasingly turn to innovative software solutions to streamline compliance processes and mitigate risks. These emerging software solutions leverage automation, analytics, and artificial intelligence to monitor and ensure adherence to evolving regulatory requirements proactively. In fact, in one session we were in, someone asked a question of the speaker about whether something they described doing for training was in compliance and the audience, at large, decided that the suggested strategy probably wasn’t compliant with labor laws.
HR leaders understand that investing in such software improves compliance outcomes and enhances data accuracy, efficiency, and reporting capabilities. Additionally, they recognize that the successful adoption of emerging software requires careful planning and collaboration with cross-functional teams, such as legal and IT, to ensure seamless integration and alignment with existing compliance frameworks.
Company Culture Matters More Than Ever
At the technology conference, HR leaders engaged in insightful discussions about the impact of technology on company culture. They explored various potential topics, acknowledging that technology can shape and influence the fabric of an organization’s culture. One emerging topic was how technology can enable and enhance collaboration, fostering a culture of teamwork, transparency, and innovation. Another topic of interest was the role of technology in promoting work-life balance and employee well-being, emphasizing the importance of creating a supportive and flexible culture. Additionally, HR leaders delved into the significance of leveraging technology to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion within the workplace, highlighting the potential to break down barriers and cultivate a culture of belonging. By contemplating these topics and weaving technology into the narrative of company culture, HR leaders are paving the way for organizations to thrive in the digital age while nurturing a positive and inclusive work environment.
Did You See Us at HR Tech 2023?
The world of HR technology is constantly evolving, offering endless possibilities for organizations to transform their HR processes and drive business success. As discussed in this blog, change management and compliance are two critical aspects HR leaders must consider while exploring HR software solutions. By embracing emerging software, businesses can unlock new levels of efficiency, accuracy, and strategic decision-making.