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Josh Bersin at HR Tech: The Disruption Never Stops

by Caroline Boyland September 14, 2022

HR Tech Kicks Off

The annual HR Technology conference has officially kicked off! This week promises to be jam-packed with exciting, educational sessions, vibrant booths from innovative vendors, and more.

While we’re spending most of our time at our Booth in the Expo Hall (a subtle plug for Booth 6400 - don’t forget to swing by!), we did get a chance to sit in this morning’s session hosted by Josh Bersin.

Josh Bersin, Global Industry Analyst and CEO, The Josh Bersin Company, kicked off Wednesday’s festivities with a powerful, research packed session focused on “What’s Now and Ahead for HR Tech.” The session outlined the current state of the HR tech market, the events that led us here (the economy, pandemic, etc.), and how organizations can begin to think about purchasing tech solutions that will fit into the flow of their work and truly benefit their employees.

Here are a few of our key takeaways.

Tech Purchases that Make Sense

One of the most impactful points made in the session was the idea that tech purchases not only need to make sense, but need to make sense together. Bersin had the whole room laughing when he compared the current state of HR Tech to a kitchen drawer. (You know, that kitchen drawer, the one you have that’s filled with everything from super glue to sunglasses to rubber bands and who knows what else.) The “Kitchen Drawer Problem,” as he called it, refers to the idea that many companies keep buying new tech and not leveraging it to its full potential. While each new technology (and each thing in that kitchen drawer) was purchased for a good reason, much of it ends up buried beneath other purchases, without a real place to live, breathe, and work with the other elements in the ecosystem.

When purchasing technology, it’s an absolute necessity for the product to work well with the other systems you have in place. The tools must integrate or work together in a way that makes everyone’s lives easier, not more difficult.

In the world of benefits decision support, we think about this with the mindset of “enrich, not replace.” A tool like Nayya, for example, will enrich your existing benefits ecosystem, integrating and working in harmony with not just your BenAdmin, HCM, and other tech platforms, but also with any brokers, carriers, or benefits decision makers that your HR team works with.

You don’t want to make a big tech purchase, only to have it sitting at the bottom of your hypothetical kitchen drawer. So when evaluating new tools and tech, make sure they can enrich your existing ecosystem and processes.

HR Tech is for Employees

Another interesting quote from Bersin “HR Tech isn’t for HR. HR Tech is for Employees.” While, of course HR Tech is beneficial for HR teams, the takeaway is that if your employees aren’t benefiting from the tool in some way, it probably won’t be worth the purchase. Bersin broke down 3 key indicators of whether or not you should purchase an HR tech solution:

Usability - The tool should have an easy to follow, easy to use interface. This is especially important if the tool is employee facing. You don’t want to bring in any tools or technology that will make life harder for your employees. A tool should be simple, and bonus points if it mirrors other tools they’ve used in the past.

Integration into the Flow of Work - The tool you bring in should not disrupt your current enrollment workflow— for HR teams or employees. Think of benefits decision support, for example. If the tool requires employees to open multiple applications and jump between systems, it’s going to make the benefits enrollment process even more clunky than it already is. Instead, employees should feel that they can start and end benefits enrollment by seamlessly navigating through the decision support tool and their existing enrollment system.

Integration into Key Systems - On that note, the tool should integrate with any key tools or technology that you’re already using. To once again use the “kitchen drawer” analogy, you don’t want to end up with a bunch of random tools that you’re not using and that don’t have a place in your system.

All in all, it’s a hot time for HR tech. As you can see by simply stepping foot in the Expo hall, there are countless vendors with innovative solutions that can solve just about any problem HR teams are facing. When evaluating whether or not a solution may be the right one for you, it’s key to think about how it can fit into your existing ecosystem, how it can benefit employees, and how it can enrich your current workflow.

We can’t wait to see how the rest of HR tech pans out! If you haven’t yet said hi, be sure to swing by booth 6400 in the Expo hall tomorrow.

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