Knowing the trends and being on the cutting edge of HR, OD and talent management is critical to Emergenetics International.

As a company, we are fortunate to have a great group of people that are top-level thinkers in this regard…but we also know that HR is constantly evolving. With social media, information is everywhere and our world operates with a click of button. As HR leaders, you need ideas on how technology plays into your role, so we’re proud to introduce something brand new…

This is a hybrid blog post, as we’ve teamed with Kyle Lagunas, an expert in the field of HR and technology—we hope this is the first of many collaborations with thought leaders!

Kyle is an HR Analyst at Software Advice. His recent article, “Thoughts from HR Tech 2012: Upgrading HR’s Role in Enterprise 2.0” presents a new strategic vision for HR.

On our blog, Kyle outlines three critical factors to integrate HR into role-outs of other IT solutions.

Check out our first-ever Partner Blog below with additional people-centric insights from Emergenetics International VP of Marketing, Mark Miller.

Over the last few years, social and mobile technologies have proven to be powerful tools for sourcing and recruiting talent. More recently, we’re beginning to see consumer tech—social, in particular—being leveraged in other HR functions. But while research shows these next generation tools have the potential to improve communication and collaboration across the enterprise, business leaders are left with one question: “Who takes ownership of these tools?”

Call me crazy, but… Why not HR? By teaming with IT, and driving the adoption of these next generation tools, HR could upgrade its role in Enterprise 2.0.

Old Habits Die Hard

It’s no secret that social and mobile technologies make HR leaders nervous. Many have earned a reputation for policing interoffice communications, but this old habit is counterproductive.

“We hurt our corporate reputations when we attract candidates through contemporary use of social media, and then revert back to our old ways and block employees from using social tools to do their jobs,” says Cindy Lubitz, Founder of inTalent Consulting.

Here are three basic steps to implement the use of social technology with HR.

1. Establish a Baseline

Before you can begin strategizing for improvement, you need an accurate picture of where things stand. Survey employees, managers and department heads. Discover how teams communicate and collaborate today, and what needs employees have that they’re not solving today.

Then, research technology solutions. While you short-list some tools, keep in mind that the best solution may not be a new tool but rather using a tool already in use in a different way.

Emergenetics Insight: Researching the needs of your employees creates an environment of stability. Knowing that an employee’s skills are being nurtured will allow for a reciprocal relationship to develop amongst HR and the workforce.

2. Align Needs to Business Goals

It’s important to understand that social tools aren’t one-size-fits-all. And if you’re trying to achieve high-level business goals like improved employee engagement, what works for one department, may not work for another. For example:

HR is uniquely positioned in the enterprise to identify needs–individual, departmental, regional–and tie those needs to business goals.  By bringing department heads and regional managers together with IT, HR can facilitate an implementation strategy that works for everyone.


Emergenetics Insight: How do we share this communication? Which collaboration tactic do we want to make exclusive to specific departments? With a variety of leaders within a company using different forms of IT, a distinctive approach to communication is critical – think about the brains and behaviors of the people to whom you’re speaking.

3. Collaborate with IT on Implementation

Technology can instill fear and implementation and adoption can be challenging…it doesn’t have to be this way though. HR should focus on internal communications to promote adoption of the new tools and best practices around their usage.

It’s also effective to get your employees involved. At Software Advice, for example, Marketing employees recorded video tutorials for various tools we use. They’re useful, but they also gave employees a chance to share some insider information–and play a part in driving adoption.

Emergenetics Insight: Internal communications that promote adoption are built upon gaining trust. Gaining trust speaks to distinct ways that each person would respond to certainty. By engaging employees more, and seeing involvement throughout the business increase, employees can get a chance to share some insider information – and play a collaborative role to drive usage.

HR departments are fighting for a seat at the table…and innovation in workplace technology can provide that boost. If HR can focus on strategies to maximize return on investment, they can position themselves as a major contributor in the social enterprise.

This collaboration piece is a new innovative approach in the role of Emergenetics and other HR management firms. We hope to see more hybrid pieces with Kyle Lagunas in the near future!

* Kyle Lagunas is the HR Analyst at Software Advice—an online resource for reviewing and comparing talent management software. Keeping his audience is keeping up with important trends and hot topics in the industry. Offering a fresh take on points of interest in his market, his work has been featured in Forbes, The New York Times, Business Insider, Information Weekly, and SHRM.