3 ways Technology has made me a better HR Pro

If you thought this was a blog post about the many HRIS options out there you can just close this page now. For those of you that want to know what I’m talking about that’s not an HRIS here it is:

  1. Google. Y’all…. I can google anything! It’s so nice to be a Millennial in HR and know that I’ve always had google. Legal question? google. What’s the local unemployment rate? google. Local event that has content relevant to my career path? google. Webinars for an issue I’m trying to solve? google. Seriously… google is my number one. So much so that I probably owe it a Christmas gift.
  2. Social media. This one isn’t just because I love a good buzzfeed list of all the strangest interview questions or a “Whine about it Wednesday video” (those don’t even happen anymore). Social media makes the list because it helps me stay connected to a ton of HR pros that are smarter than I am and can answer some of my questions because they are experts and they are my friends. Staying in touch with people year round is so much easier with social media. Mentors via social media? YES PLEASE!
  3. Just kidding, those are the only two reasons I wanted to share.


HR Technology

Applicant. Tracking. Systems. Why do you need them and which one is for you? This is actually a hard concept for some pros to wrap theirtechnology head around. I myself didn’t even know what an ATS was until I had been using one for about five years. I didn’t know that’s what it was called, in fact no one used it when they hired me except to report hours for payroll. Literally, they would take paper time cards and figure them up and key them into a function of the ATS that communicated the information to another program. Sounds ridiculous right? So my former employer had bought this fancy system and no one was using it for its true purpose. They also hadn’t activated it through the website to capture applications, they were still peddling paper applications (this was only about eight years ago).

Where I currently work actually built their own applicant tracking system. You would think that was super bad ass because we are a highly technical company… it’s not. I was excited at first because this means you own it, you edit it, you tailor it how you want. The major downfalls: someone on our payroll has to make edits we want, it doesn’t communicate with Costpoint or Outlook or our educational assistance function, EDP function, etc. and it just plain doesn’t do what us recruiters need it to do.  I’ve been mumbling about needing an ATS since about my fourth day on the job here.

Last year at #SHRM13 I spent some time on the overwhelming vendor floor. At first look it was miles of sales people shoving the latest and greatest tool in your face, but once you get to a useful vendor and pocket a few awesome giveaways, you start to relax. It’s nice to be able to  compare vendors side by side and really evaluate where you are going to get the most bang for your buck. I spent some time with a couple of HRIS vendors that really rocked my socks, but I think my favorite was Halogen Software. What’s really sweet nowadays is that big players like Halogen are not just an ATS, they are every technological tool you need in one place. I chatted with a rep at the conference and had a few follow-up calls with the most amazing rep ever, Nancy!

Nancy let me ask a ton of questions to truly understand their product line and explore different scenarios to meet different needs. She also walked me through a demo or two! My favorite thing that Halogen can string together for a client, above the basic needs of applicant tracking system, is what they call the eAppraisal Professional Services. Most software tools are going to have this extra as an option these days, but Halogen is adamant that you should implement only what you need and they are willing to file that down with you. This function includes employee appraisals and project reviews, goal alignment and management, on boarding forms and task management capabilities, performance based development planning and other neat things to follow-up on these tasks faster than before! Their systems connect the HR function of talent management with the managers function of talent management and facilitates a one stop shop to weave every piece of it together. Their customer service really is amazing (straight from their site):

From award-winning products to stellar support and services, we’re raising the bar on what you can expect from a talent management vendor. In fact, being ranked No. 1 in customer satisfaction means you can expect more from us.

Companies that have grown from small business to mid-size and have their sights set on being a mega size business tend to find themselves caught up in a pile of processes and a bunch of neat tools that don’t get the job done all the way. When you’re shopping for the right tools you need to keep in mind that these tools don’t replace HR or any of your HR functions they facilitate a faster track to implement all of your HR/talent management functions. If you don’t know where to start, I recommend connecting with Nancynwilkinson@halogensoftware.com or 1-866-311-5007) and letting her help you assess your needs and better understand the right custom suite for you and your organization.  If nothing else, mosey around their website and pick up white papers on HR metrics, retaining talent, managing employee goals and more! You can also pick up some great insight from any of their talented blog contributors.



Married to HR

It’s Valentine’s Day and North Alabama is recovering from our own little snowpocalypse that allowed me to spend two and a half days with my sweetie that I normally wouldn’t have 🙂 It was wonderful, we played in the snow, I pelted him repeatedly with snowballs, drank lots of coffee and watched a couple of movies together. trees

The timing was perfect considering I’m about to be on the road for a couple of weeks for college recruiting (I know it’s cheesy, but we don’t like to be apart for a long time). I’ve been thinking about all the functions I drag my other half to that are HR related and what it must be like to be married to HR (I love it when a movie says the title in the story, don’t you?). So here is what I’ve come up with:

  • You hear  letters like PPACA, FMLA, OFCCP, EEOC, etc… a lot.
  • You have probably attended more HR themed social events with your spouse than non-HR themed social events.
  • You know more about the employees at your spouses company than you ever wanted to, but don’t know  which story attaches to which employee.
  • You can’t bring a work problem  home to just vent about, we are HR, we have a solution (and probably the right solution at that!)
  • You don’t understand the excitement we HR people feel when we see a meeting that our board organized has 161 people registered.
  • You probably roll your eyes and leave the room when your spouse gets on the phone with another HR buddy squealing about a new article/blog post that could take their HR team to the next level.
  • You probably also roll your eyes and leave the room when your spouse gets on the phone with another HR buddy to listen to what their current employee issue is.
  • You have more insight than you wanted about the interworking of HR in your own company and now you cannot even make eye contact with your HR department because you think they are all weirdos too.
  • You bring your benefit paperwork home to your spouse during open enrollment, just in case.
  • You know what the top ten HRIS systems are.
  • You know what SHRM stands for.
  • You pray that your spouse gets enough credits to recertify their PHR/SPHR because you don’t want to see that side of them that you saw when they had to study for it the first time.
  • You know how many recert credits your spouse needs.

These are just a few of the crazy things that being Married to HR entails, but all this to say for those of you married to HR (specifically the guy married to me) THANK YOU! We would not be the rocking HR pros we are without you! Thank you for overlooking our nerdiness and accepting us and all of our interpretations of the workplace with a smile on your face! Thank you for coming to SHRM functions and mingling with other HR folks and their spouses. Thank you for investing in our careers. Thank you for being you! We love you!