Software fever

During the lockdown, I’ve achieved something one year ago I couldn’t even dream of: to complete my first 100% online project with a client I never met in person before. We got to know each other thanks to a LinkedIn Live session with Toni Gimeno and, from March to July, we have been working hand in hand (in spite of the fact there are 871 kms between us) to set up a HR area totally focused on internal client (what I call “Sexy HR”) we both feel very proud of. At the beginning of the project, when we were just drafting its roadmap, one of my client’s main concerns was which HR software should we choose. In July, one of the most powerful learnings is that software is a secondary question, being the first one what do your client and your business really need. Only when you get this information HR is able to draw the path and  only then we are ready to explore which tools (of all sorts) are needed to make things happen. It will never go the other way round. We cannot expect software to design a project or to offer solutions to problems for which we have not even bothered to seek the roots.

In the name of objectivity and efficiency, HR areas have dramatically high expectations regarding the digital tools available on the market. We often overtrust the metrics we get from an online personality test thinking that, in this way, we erase the chance of being subjective when assessing a candidate. We forget, though, that tests are created by people and therefore they are totally biased when talking about their design, language and, of course, in the way the test is decoded. We are fascinated about predictive index based tools when, in the real world, human beings are unpredictable (as much as we stubbornly think the opposite). We look for massive survey tools instead of organizing a couple of focus groups where we can mingle with different internal clients and ask their opinion face to face. We pay for learning platforms which offer the widest range of metrics and graphs about how many people completed a session but we do not calculate the ROI of the tool by checking, for example, the percentage of internal promotions or the savings on external hires (this is indeed how we should assess the effectiveness of a Learning Management System).

Please do not get me wrong. I am a software fan. I love tests, predictive, surveys and LMS and I am even launching my first app this year (a dream since 2017). However, we have to be fair with software and consider it as what it is. Software is not the very backbone of nowadays’ HR but simply (and luckily) a resource to help us to get our best version. There is only one question to ask: How much time and money are we devoting to interact with our internal client and how much to make a HR software work? In a scenario where humanization of brands, products and services is the top consumption driver, we, HR, cannot limit ourselves to interact with our internal client only through tools. Do we want to be “the ones sending tests” and “the ones sending surveys”? Or do we better want to be a relevant area for the people who work in our organisation? It is the perfect time to look at our internal customer’s eyes, even if it’s through a screen. Do not fool ourselves.

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