What is HR Technology?


I’m just back from the HR Technology Conference and Expo. When I tell people where I’ve been, they black out with boredom.

“HR technology what?”

I know, I know.

But if you work for a company that has two nickels, they probably use technology in a bunch of different ways.

  • To post a job.
  • To screen applicants.
  • To interview candidates.
  • To create and disseminate information on a company intranet.
  • To create an org chart.
  • To find vendors who will offer health insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance and retirement packages.
  • To manage people.
  • To promote people.
  • To recognize people.
  • To implement and administer wellness programs.
  • To manager workers compensation processes and claims.
  • To stay compliant with state, local and federal laws.
  • To pay people.
  • To fire people.
  • To document all those people-related activities.

There’s more. Are you still with me?

Sometimes HR technology isn’t fancy: a simple spreadsheet will do. Sometimes it’s an outsourced recruiting process. I would guess that you are paid by a payroll processing company. And you got your job in the first place by applying to work at your company on its website, at a kiosk, or on a job board.

HR technology is everywhere — and it’s not as effective as it should be. Your resume sits in a database. Your paycheck got effed up, yet again, due to a payroll processing upload error. Your health insurance information is screwed up and you can’t seem to change the information online.

So yes — all of this is boring. But it’s the underpinning of work. There’s lots of money in it. And the people who are in this industry are powerful and donate to plenty of political causes.

So I pay attention to this space because when companies invest in technology — especially shitty technology that doesn’t really work — it lessens their ability to invest in their employees.

And I care about your well being, people. You deserve a raise and a better 401k plan. You don’t need a fancy technology solution for that.

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