This September’s HR
Technology Conference and
Exposition® in Las Vegas will
highlight factors that contribute
to HR-technology success,
including best practices
by providers and needed
Here are a few of the key
considerations that organizations
must address for long-term
success with HR technology.
Creating the Business Case
A model HR-technology
business case should address a
few key issues to show the need
for the investment:
• What business problem
needs to be solved?
• What is the impact of not
solving this problem?
• What are some ways to
address the problem?
• What are the next steps?
consider the following when
making technology and vendor
Recognize the necessary
business-critical capabilities that
directly impact the problem your
business case defines.
Be honest about “nice-to-haves.”
Understand the difference
between critical system capability
and functionalities that are not
factors for success. Who are
the solution’s users, and what
are their needs and skills for
adopting new technology?
Gather your candidates.
Consider traditional research
software-review sites, peer
recommendations and previous
experience with specific
solutions. At HR Tech, we will
guide you through making sense
of all this information.
Assess the providers. Once
the short list of providers has
been created, thoroughly
and consistently assess
the candidates. Consider if
each meets your prioritized
requirements, fits your user
profiles and culture, aligns with
your vision and demonstrates a
willingness to be a true business
We will dig into the best
practices for implementation in
September, but here are some
common success factors:
It isn’t (totally) about the
technology. Many unsuccessful
focus primarily (sometimes
exclusively) on the tech itself,
and not enough on how it will
Build the project team
carefully. For projects with
considerable workloads, release
internal team members from
day-to-day assignments so they
can concentrate on project tasks.
Make sure the most-impacted
user groups are well-represented
on the project team. Stick to
a well-understood process for
resolving project issues.
Engage the right sponsors.
Ensure sponsors are informed,
engaged and visible throughout
the project’s life cycle.
Be realistic. While tempting,
expanding the project scope
almost always results in
Celebrate wins. Acknowledge
key milestones. Recognizing
team members’ efforts can keep
up the enthusiasm for post-“go-live” support, user adoption and
continuing project phases.
The keys to increased user
adoption include an effective and
and communication strategy,
including a defined “What’s
in it for me?” proposition for
workers. Clear and easy-to-use
mechanisms give users support
and, of course, it helps if the
HR tech itself is compelling and
maybe even fun to use.
At HR Tech, we will
share more best practices for
encouraging user adoption and
provide tools to help HR leaders
realize the benefits and financial
ROI of their HR-tech initiatives.
Steve Boese is a co-chair of
HRE’s HR Technology Conference
& Exposition®. He can be
emailed at email@example.com.
Send questions or comments to
By Peter Cappelli/Talent Management Columnist
Demystifying the BLS Data
The U.S. government
reported that the
330,000 new jobs in February and revised
previously released data that showed that job
growth averaged 250,000 per month from
December 2017 through February 2018. The
unemployment rate is the lowest since 2000.
However, despite adding these jobs, the
unemployment rate did not go down. It stayed
at 4.1 percent for six months. Despite the fact
that job growth actually slowed down in April,
the unemployment rate finally dropped to 3. 9
percent. How can we be adding all these jobs
and yet unemployment isn’t changing?
The unemployment rate is the ratio of
those actively looking for jobs to those in the
labor force, which is the sum of everyone with
a job and everyone actively looking. So, the
unemployment rate can stay the same even if we
add lots of jobs, as long as the labor force grows.
Some of that happens just because the population
is growing. It also occurs when people who had
stopped looking come back into the labor market
and once again start looking for jobs.
The U.S. labor force jumped by a whopping
800,000 people in February. Where did those
people come from? Most had been sitting on the
For the past few years, we have been
bemoaning the declining labor-force-participation rate of men. The best explanation
for what is happening is that those who had
given up looking are coming back into the
market because there are now more jobs
available—job hunting isn’t a pointless endeavor.
There are still 1.4-million people “marginally
attached” to the labor force; they want work but
aren’t looking. So, the job market could tighten
further and still have a lot of workers to draw in.
At the beginning of the year there was
evidence that wages were starting to rise at a
fast clip, which has receded with the recent data.
Basic supply and demand suggests that prices
have to rise when demand starts to exceed
supply. The fact that wages aren’t rising very fast
suggests we still have slack in the labor market.
Here’s another reason for the slack. The last
10 years have been an incredible buyer’s market
for employers. But for job seekers, it’s been
quite a different tale: Nine million lost their jobs,
and the Department of Labor’s comprehensive
measure of unemployment, which includes
discouraged workers, is still above pre-recession levels. In these really soft job markets,
employers may increase job requirements to
weed out the worst candidates.
Perhaps. But recent stories in the press
suggest employers are no longer as concerned
about hiring applicants who have criminal records
and they are backing off some of the more
aggressive drug tests. This makes it easier to
hire, and it reduces the pressure to raise wages.
My bet is that the concern about raising
wages is far more important to most employers
than the concern about hiring less-qualified
applicants, and that the backing down on job
requirements will continue. None of this suggests
that hiring will be easy—nor does it say that the
labor market won’t eventually get so tight that
wages will rise substantially faster than inflation.
But we’re not there yet. The Great Recession
created an enormous hole in the economy and
we are still digging out of it.
Peter Cappelli is the George W. Taylor Professor
of Management and director of the Center for
Human Resources at The Wharton School of the
University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Send
questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.