With Day 1 of HR Tech in the books and Day 2 lifting off, I’ll offer a few reflections on HR Tech 2012.
What really jumps out at this show is that Social is hitting HR in a big way. There are speaking tracks on Social HCM. There are new Social HCM startups. HR incumbents are touting their new social wares. Everywhere you walk, you hear the word “social”.
This is a natural, perhaps inevitable development for both HCM and enterprise social. The two were really made for each other: Enterprise social is all about unlocking the value of employees, and so is HR.
But as a social software guy, I’m struck by how nascent the social vibe at HR Tech feels.
The speaker sessions on Social HCM are still covering the basics: What is social? Why do it? Who owns it? How do you mitigate the risks? It’s still Social 101 time in the HR community.
The vendors claim to have it all worked out, but there too it’s still early days. The startups are still providing standalone point solutions. Some of them are nice, but it’s hard to see them getting serious traction in the enterprise. Established players are bolting social onto their product suites, but it’s not clear that they’ve thought a whole lot about the integration between “core” HCM and Social.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned in the enterprise social software business, it’s that social succeeds when it’s integrated into the flow of work. That applies to Social HCM as well. Social HCM is more than Social plus HCM. You’ve got to integrate the transactional elements of traditional HCM into the social capabilities and vice-versa. The goal must be an integrated experience in which the social mission furthers the HCM mission and vice-versa.
There are a lot of great minds walking around this show who understand HR, Social, and the relationship between the two: Sameer Patel, Yvette Cameron, Marcia Conner, Jim Lundy. These folks see the future of Social HCM. If you get a chance to spend time with them, take it.
I predict that the Social HCM category is going to get sophisticated in a hurry. This is going to be fun.