IHRIM Annual Conference: Blog Roundup

Tech Conference Heads to Toronto in 2016

By Aliah D. Wright Sep 19, 2015
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Saturday, September 19, 2015

The 2015 International Association for Human Resource Information Management (IHRIM) Annual Conference came to a close Saturday with the announcement that next year’s conference will be held in Toronto.

“We’re really excited about going to Canada,” IHRIM Executive Director Todd Mann told attendees at the start of it’s annual business meeting held during the conference’s final general session Saturday morning.

During the meeting, IHRIM leaders discussed how the group is continuing to focus on building its foundation and identifying new technologies to bring before its members. It’s also continuing to work on improving connections with HR practitioners and vendors as well as strengthening relationships with affiliates.

Several sessions on organizational change, gamification and talent management rounded out the conference's last day.

IHRIM’s 36th Annual Conference will be held in Canada Sept. 7-10, 2016, at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto. The organization has members on all seven continents and many flocked to Atlanta for this year's conference, Mann said.

Aliah D. Wright covers technology and social media for SHRM Online. You can catch her tweets @1SHRMScribe or her Periscope stream @aliahwrites.


Friday, Sept. 18, 2015

ATLANTA—Change is never easy.

Yet, the world changes every day—especially the world of HR technology and experts at the 2015 International Association for Human Resource Information Management (IHRIM) Annual Conference said that whether its investing in new mobile platforms, adopting a new HR tool for time and attendance or managing contingent employees its best to get employee-buy in first.

Attendees at IHRIM’s 35th annual conference here may have noticed the running theme about remembering the employee’s point of view when undertaking and implementing innovative technologies. For example, during their session on change management, Michael Martin and Jennifer Baker, both change management consultants with Aon Hewitt stressed that communication is needed—at all levels not just for successful implementation of new technologies but adoption as well.

They told attendees to get buy-in from stakeholders, users and those conducting technology implementations far in advance. After all, the worse thing to do is introduce a new technology that people loathe, experts said.

Those sentiments were echoed during a thought leader panel discussion led by The Marcus Buckingham Company CEO Jason Averbook who posed several questions on the state of HR technology in 2015 to three panelists. They included: Stacey Harris, vice president of research and analytics for Sierra-Cedar; Lisa Rowan, research vice president of HR and Talent Management Services at IDC, and Katherine Jones, vice president, Human Capital Management Technology Research at Bersin by Deloitte.

You can catch a bit of their discussion on Periscope by clicking this link.

Those panelists said it was “silly” to introduce new technologies without first knowing whether or not the technology will actually help the employees in their day-to-day jobs and changing the process by which people are expected to use them.

“If we don’t change the process, we end up trying to do old stuff with new software and that’s really silly,” Jones said.

Gone are the days of single vendor environments in most workplaces, Rowan said. “No one is flocking to a single vendor environment,” she said, adding that on average HR managers may have 23 apps related to managing HR.

“Things have gotten hard,” added Jones. “We have overwhelmed employees.”

Said Averbook: “The technology is the small part of the change. We can have the best technology in the world, but internally if you have a culture where people lie to their leaders [adoption may not work]. “We have to all keep in mind that we have a lot of work to do culturally to make sure the ground is prime so when that technology comes in people are ready to use it—that’s one of the key things we miss.”

The conference ends Saturday, Sept. 19. Take a quick tour of the shops and CNN in the basement mall of the Omni Hotel at CNN Center on Periscope.

Aliah D. Wright covers technology and social media for SHRM Online. You can catch her tweets @1SHRMScribe or her Periscope stream @aliahwrites.


Thursday, September 17, 2015

About 365 HR information system and information technology professionals converged on Atlanta for the 35 th annual International Association for Human Resource Information Management (IHRIM) Conference, which opened Thursday morning with its version of “Shark Tank”—minus the snarky panel of judges.

After an opening keynote speech on technology innovations by Wired Magazine Deputy Editor Greg Williams, attendees dispersed for a plethora of sessions.

The conference had a more intimate feel with such sessions as “How to Select an HR Software Solution” and “Innovative Approaches for Change Management to Drive Successful HR Technology Transformations.” About three-dozen vendors showcased their wares in the exhibition space.

In his session on the “Impact of Technology Innovations in HR,” Manny Ramirez of Discover Consulting unveiled the results of an informal survey that showed information security continues to be a concern for companies as they consider adopting new technologies, including mobile computing, social technologies and software-as-a-service.

That led to a spirited discussion among attendees in the room about the real concerns over data breaches and whether the failure lies in an unsecure network at work or in not training employees on the proper ways of connecting to the Internet, such as failing to use secure networks instead of unprotected Wi-Fi. (The consensus was both).

On the exhibition floor, Eric Sydell, co-founder and vice president of Shaker Consulting Group paused to chat about Virtual Job Tryout, a pre-employment assessment tool, which lets job candidates try out a new job before accepting a role.

“We value the candidate and want to help them be part of the decision process,” he said. By allowing candidates to simulate what they’d do on the job, Shaker has helped other companies, such as CVS, Bank of America, Amazon, Wegmans, Boeing and Wal-Mart cut down on turnover.

The tool scores their performance, he said, in order to determine “what type of employee they would be.”

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