Push the Boundaries, not the Paper – #hrtechconf

hrtechconfWhen the Exhibitors at the HR Technology Conference and Exposition close up their booths and pack up the leftover swag to take back to their office I  wish they would all take a detour and make a stop in my town. I’ll invite the developers and innovators and analysts to take the same trip.   I’ll see if the local convention center is available and book a few dates – although I’m not sure it’s big enough to hold them all.

And then, in anticipation of their arrival, I will coerce convince every  HR professional I know (and the several thousand SHRM members in my state) to come pass through the convention center doors and see what technology is being developed, expanded and imagined.  And while the local HRIS Pros/Techs will  be invited, I really want the HR Managers from local governments and the Recruiting Assistants who work at  small locally owned financial institutions to attend.  I’ll be eager to welcome the HR Directors who work at insurance agencies and architectural firms and petro-chemical plants.  And I’ll be thrilled if the CHROs from large hospital systems visit with their entire HR teams.

Those are my peers and colleagues  – the ones who do HR work everyday.  A large number of them work for small and mid-sized organizations that continue to run their operations as if it were still 1998.  And, allow me to generalize here, many of them believe that the only experts in the HR field are employment attorneys and Affordable Care Act consultants; one only has to glance at the agenda for a typical HR conference to see that…am I right? A fair number of them are intimidated by the word ‘Technology” and quite of few don’t realize there are a number of smart, talented, creative innovators working in – around – all-over the people management/HR space.

So I would invite Sally HR Manager to come to my version of the traveling #HRTechConf and bring all her local HR friends with her.  I would let her know that she’ll have the opportunity to discuss SaaS, mobile, analytics, video, MOOCs, and gamification.  Upon her arrival I would insist that she watch demos, ask probing questions and really try to understand “the why” behind a number of products.  I would make sure she chats with the folks from places like Work4Labs and JobFig and WePow and  RolePoint. I would entice her to hang around and chat, over a cocktail or two, with developers who are getting ready to launch something new and listen to their stories of why they created the solution they did.

And I’m willing to bet that Sally, after this experience, would have a whole new vision for her role as a human resources professional.

It’s entirely possible that she would be ready to push some boundaries herself.



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