That “what’s old is new again” reality has great potential as an energy boost. It’s a catalyst for renewed innovation as we approach 2022.
This week’s HR Technology Conference presents a welcome opportunity for professionals in that sense. After a year and a half of disrupted calendars, the industry’s re-entry into an in-person experience reprises familiar ways of communicating: exhibit halls and conference rooms are back.
Whether you’re present at HR Tech 2021 or not, keep these tips in mind for how to make the months ahead exceed expectations.
The blend of old practices into today’s changed landscape provides a model for how to think about HR technology in general: borrow from the past to improve the future, and turn the best “pandemic pivots” into permanent new approaches. Whether you’re present at HR Tech 2021 or not, keep these tips in mind for how to make the months ahead exceed expectations.
1. Think data.
There’s no denying that making data-driven decisions has been a key to success in HR practices for years now. From mastering data analytics to keeping up on the most effective data visualization strategies, HR leaders have had to be on “Team Data.” As you consider your data strategies for 2022 and beyond, refine your goals. Just as you don’t want to pursue “tech for the sake of tech,” your priority here shouldn’t be “data for the sake of data.” Instead, consider what value a product’s data will generate for you — being mindful of your organization’s ability to stay one step ahead of it, and how your actions will change in response to the insights it brings you.
Just as you don’t want to pursue “tech for the sake of tech,” your priority here shouldn’t be “data for the sake of data.”
A data strategy will benefit you the most if you can make use of the output at multiple levels. We hear a lot about Big Data, but don’t overlook Little Data, too. The best solutions have the potential to provide both. What information do you have about a single candidate? Are you still relying on twentieth century practices, emphasizing keywords on resumes and little else? Innovative solutions provide fast data capture integrated into the apply process, yielding actionable insights about a candidate and leapfrogging stale approaches still too widely prioritized. Again, think about the value you’re getting from the data you collect. Do you need an applicant’s mailing address or do you need data about how well they match with an open position?
2. Be curious — and demand curiosity in return.
Tired of typing a question into the Zoom chat, just hoping someone will notice before the moment has passed? Or have you developed a habit of simply skipping your questions? With the return to an in-person format, HR Tech 2021 provides an opportunity to get your curiosity mojo back. Ask questions. Does a speaker or vendor rely on certain assumptions that might be off track? What’s the real value-add? Now is your chance to get clarity on solutions, so revel in it. This week and beyond, look for vendors who love answering your questions.
This week and beyond, look for vendors who love answering your questions.
And here’s an important twist: take particular note of which vendors ask you questions, too. You want tech that’s the right fit for your organization and your real needs. The most promising relationships between solutions providers and clients come from the best fits. It shouldn’t be all up to you to identify those fits — top HR tech companies will be hunting for that good fit, too.
3. Share your lessons learned.
The widespread disruptions of the pandemic have required a lot of rewriting of a lot of playbooks. HR leaders have had to confront the ever-shifting goalposts of this unpredictable period. Now, we realize that the “end” of pandemic-era upheaval might not be the right way to frame the coming quarters. Instead, we’ve undergone various shifts, some seismic and some more subtle, many of which are here to stay.
As you engage with other industry thinkers, take a breath. Challenges have been numerous; stresses both wide-ranging and long-term. Remind yourself of the emerging value of having a “growth mindset.” Take obstacles as opportunities to improve. Learn every week. Share what’s worked — and what hasn’t.
For all those who contribute in important and varied ways to the HR space, this week provides a turning point with implications for the rest of this year and beyond. Consider where we go from here, and what to take with us as the 2020s mature. Enjoy the renewed sense of community. That’s been an elusive feeling behind our screens.
At the conference? We’d love to see you! Visit us at booth 3419.
Or find us elsewhere, we’re the people wearing all white.
Want faster data capture in your apply process? Planning your data strategies for 2022? Let's chat.