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HR: There’s an app for that

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This guest post is by Bradford Thomas, manager at Development Dimensions International.

Greetings from the 13th Annual HR Technology conference in Chicago.

What a difference a few years makes. Three years ago I was walking through McCormick Place searching for cell coverage. This year I’m on the floor of the conference trying to use the tiny keyboard on my Droid to write this blog.

What I’m seeing at the conference this year is the beginning of a technology shift within HR—one that will definitely make the life of HR practitioners much easier. Social media and smart phone applications are driving this shift.

During the conference Human Resource Executive magazine recognized many of these new solutions with their top HR product award. A couple of examples:

  • Rypple Feedback changes the way HR collects performance evaluations. Employees continuously provide confidential feedback about a co-worker’s performance much like they would leave a post on someone’s Facebook wall.
  • Jobvite Source leverages data matching technology to search LinkedIn, Twitter and other sites to match passive candidates to job postings. When a match is made, the person receives a note — a jobvite — to apply for the position.

I just did a search in the Droid market and found 46 apps dedicated to HR, and 75 on the iPhone. Over the next few years, I would expect innovative companies to develop many more of these applications.

I’m excited by all of these technology breakthroughs for the HR profession—it will ultimately make us better at our jobs, as well as faster, stronger—and more relevant—for our organizations. But I also wonder, can we replace the insight, judgment and personal interaction that comes from the human element. It’s still the best innovation ever, so let’s not lose the ‘human’ in human resources.