Keeping Up with the Evolution of Technology in the Workplace #IHRIM2014

This week I have been attending the International Association for Human Resource Management (IHRIM) conference on HR management system strategies. I gravitate toward seminars on employment law, leaves of absence and employee relations, and I must confess that I do not have much experience attending seminars and conferences on HR technology; therefore, I jumped at the opportunity to attend the IHRIM conference to expand my HR knowledge base.

After my first day at the conference, I began to understand the challenges HR professionals face in keeping up with rapidly evolving technology in the workplace.

Jumping on the Virtual Bandwagon

I had resisted signing up for Twitter for quite some time. It wasn’t that I was afraid to learn to use another social media tool; I just was getting overwhelmed with all the social media in my life. Back in December, Blake McCammon, Blogging4Jobs Operations/Community Manager, asked me for my Twitter handle and then encouraged me to sign up when I said I didn’t have one. I finally gave in because he made a good case for Twitter being an excellent way to share my posts.

Fast forward several months, and I am at the IHRIM conference tweeting during presentations and exchanging Twitter handles with people I meet. It was a bit strange to experience the conference virtually through Twitter and in person, but I realized the value in incorporating social media communication in my professional life by making connections with other attendees both virtually and in the real world.

Technology in the Real World

So, what does this mean in the workplace? Keynote speaker Jason A. Averbrook spoke about how HR needs to be up on technology trends in order to keep up with how our employees are communicating and interacting with the world. Failure to do so means not meeting employees where they are.

Averbrook spoke about the real-time feedback we get through social media—a point he demonstrated by reading what people were tweeting about his presentation as he gave it.

So, a question that came to my mind was, how are we harnessing these tools in the way we communicate with employees and job seekers?

It used to be that a job seeker would call or email to ask questions about the application process. This has evolved to the possibility of HR departments being able to create a social media presence where they can respond directly to job seekers through tweets and comments. This not only directs information to job seekers, but also creates an online community and builds an employer brand.

How to Get Managers and Employees On Board

Averbrook also mentioned that we often operate as though we are waiting for someone to give us direction and tell us what to do. Instead, he stated that we need to shape how technology will transform the way we do HR. This is not without its challenges, and I believe that means developing strategies for how we will get our managers and employees on board with new systems and technologies.

In my next post, I will share strategies for how to successfully implement new technology, and we will look at ways to help your workforce transition into a more technology-drive world.

How are you evolving with technology in your workplace? In what ways has technology changed the way you communicate with your employees?

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Stephanie Hammerwold

Stephanie Hammerwold, is the founder and director of Pacific Reentry Career Services, a Southern California nonprofit that helps formerly incarcerated women find and maintain employment. She also blogs on a variety of HR topics as the HR Hammer. When not volunteering for her nonprofit, Stephanie has a day job in HR at a tech startup in Irvine, CA.


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