“Nobody cares about HR”
A leading figure in the HR tech field says HR is on its way out but it’s steadily being replaced by something far better – people.
“The change from HR to people is really important because honestly nobody cares about HR but everybody cares about people,” says Adam Hale, EVP of cloud software firm Sage People.
“The chairman cares about people, the CFO cares about people, the chief exec cares about people – everybody cares about people.”
According to Hale, the change from HR to people is only possible thanks to economic upturn and impressive developments in tech.
“In 2013 we were still coming out of the recession so during that period people were really focussing on the top line and how to keep that going,” says Hale. “As a result, a lot of companies have got pretty sophisticated customer systems and customer approaches but now that we’re in a growing economy, the focus is moving to people.”
While leading firms have dedicated time, resources and entire departments to understanding their customers, Hale says it’s only in the past few years that companies have started taking the same approach towards employees.
“Look at Netflix, look at EBay, they understand their customers, that’s fundamentally how they deliver the right services and the right solutions to them,” says Hale. “It’s so exciting because now we’re seeing them apply that understanding to their own people.”
While a change is undoubtedly underway, Hale says some companies are still yet to switch and it’ll take a long time before the entire industry is genuinely focussed on people.
“There are so many organisations that really struggle to have a clear view on who their people are so we’re just at the beginning of this,” he says.
“Like any change, things take a long time to die so in the same way the change from personnel to HR probably took 15 years, I think this is probably going to take 15 years too.”
The upcoming HR Tech Summit includes more than 20 informative sessions on how HR professionals can utilize tech to improve their people practices.
The opening keynote – Taking the Leap into the Future of Work – will be presented by leading analyst Jason Averbook and explores the way in which digital disruption is changing interactions between people, processes and technologies.
More information about the Toronto event – due to take place later this month – can be found online.