This week, thousands of HR professionals, analysts, service providers, and technology vendors converged in Paris for the HR Tech World Congress. Paris, where PeopleDoc began, is a great setting for a conference about innovation. The startup scene in Paris is vibrant, and the mainstage sessions offered great inspiration from leaders at innovative companies like BlaBlaCar and Never Eat Alone.
Technology often gets a bad rap for keeping us apart. Instead of an in-person conversation, we just email or text or WhatsApp. Instead of speaking to our families at the dinner table, we’re all checking our phones. People who want to speak to a human in customer service often end up speaking to a robot instead. There is a real fear that technology is replacing human interaction.
And yet… companies like BlaBlaCar and Never Eat Alone exist in order to bring people together. Instead of traveling alone, you can share a ride with strangers. Instead of eating at your desk, you can make new friends at work over lunch. Humans crave interaction, but have somehow forgotten how to independently make connections. Luckily, technology has risen to the challenge and helps to fill that gap.
The same is true for HR technology. Instead of separating HR into call centers, or only knowing your local HR representative, software like PeopleDoc actually brings HR closer to employees, regardless of where they are physically located. This has immense potential to create connections among employees who might never have known one another otherwise. This technology makes it easier for us to interact with one another and to form relationships across the globe. It makes our large world slightly smaller.
Conferences like HR Tech World Congress are valuable not just because of the great innovation you can discover, but because they also bring people together. It’s an opportunity to learn from your peers and develop potential partnerships. And it’s inspiring to see what new connections might be possible with technology.
Nicole Lindenbaum is the Director of Product Marketing at PeopleDoc by Ultimate Software. Nicole leads the global messaging strategy for PeopleDoc by translating technology into business benefits HR can actually understand. With significant experience in HR technology, Nicole writes and speaks about HR service delivery, employee experience, digital transformation, and the future of work. Nicole holds a BFA from Syracuse University and an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.