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HR Needs to Design Work For the Technology Age

technology, work design, design work, architect, architect of work, technology age, HR Technology Conference

A few weeks ago, I published an article about the four different strategies organizations can use when hiring talent – buy, build, borrow, and bots. I’ve been thinking about the article and the implications for HR go beyond just hiring. We have to learn how to design jobs differently.

I believe that human resources is the architect of work. They help the organization design good jobs. Jobs that people want to do, that are interesting, and help the organization achieve its goals. But in today’s technology age, that means we need to design jobs with technology in mind. Makes sense, right?

Here’s the thing. For HR to design jobs for the technology age, they need to know technology. Granted, I don’t know that they need to be an engineer, have a computer science degree, or even know how to code. But they do need to stay current with trends in technology and expose themselves to new technologies.

And I’m not talking about the latest app or social media platform. While those are good things to know, the technologies that will change job design are innovations like artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR). IMHO, these are technologies that change how software is designed and used. Hence, changing the way we do business.

I know we put a lot on the plates of human resources. They need to be a member of the management team and an employee advocate. They need to demonstrate emotional intelligence and competence in speaking the numbers. HR needs to have the marketing chops to attract candidates and now we want them to know technology as well. It’s a tall order. Couple of things for HR pros to remember:

Build solid working relationships with your technology team. This isn’t to imply that HR doesn’t already have a good working relationship with the IT department. But think about taking it to the next level. Meaning, to the level where you can say, “Hey, I don’t understand this…can you explain it to me?” or “Why is this important?” Sometimes as HR pros, we should let our guard down and admit what we don’t know. That’s how we learn.

Find resources that can help expand your knowledge. Whether it’s blogs, magazines, or webinars, find sources for good information. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but it’s worth repeating, this is what the HR Technology Conference does really well. It’s totally focused on technology. Everyone is trying to learn and keep up with the same things. You’re not alone.

Human resources should want to be the “go-to” place for job design. There needs to be consistency in the way jobs are created and changed. That means HR needs to add one more thing to their development. Trust me, I know it’s tough. But I think a way to get started is by doing the things you’re already doing: reading, listening, and building relationships.

P.S. I mentioned one way to stay on top of the technology scene is by attending the HR Technology Conference. It’s coming up – October 10 through 13, 2017 – in Vegas Baby! HR Bartender readers get a $350 discount using the code HRBAR17. If you can’t make the event, be sure to follow the hashtag #HRTechConf on Twitter to stay connected.

Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby after speaking at the 2016 MBTI Users Conference in San Francisco, CA

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About Mildred Blankson

I am a Human Resource Professional with a Masters Degree in Human Resource Management. I have several years of experience in Human Resources and i hope this blog will be a great resource in helping you find the perfect job or candidate that you seek.

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