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.
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Conducting user research to build innovative HR technology solutions
September 27th was a big day for the Design and Product team at PeopleDoc. We visited the Shared Services Center of one of our customers. It was an opportunity for us to see our users at their workplace, talk with them and see how they use our HR technology solutions. Visits like this are always a great source of inspiration and insights. They allow us to better know the people we design for. But let me explain to you why knowing our users is so important and how it allows us to build better products.
With 59 sessions, 400+ vendors and 9,000 people, you’re going to experience some degree of FOMO at HR Tech. Since you can’t do it all, you have to make sure you do it right. Here’s a list of tips for getting the most out of the show and the events you don’t want to miss out on:
Here at PeopleDoc, I’m responsible for our Employee File Management and eSignature applications. Along with my colleagues on the Product team, who are in charge of other applications, we receive a lot of feedback about how to make our HR SaaS product better. Receiving feedback and feature requests is very valuable for us. We’re a relatively young company, still with a startup mindset, providing something new, an "HR Service Delivery Platform," and as a result our roadmap is strongly based on the conversations we have with our clients. However, for the person who submits the request, it can seem as though it’s not worth the effort if it doesn't lead to a change in the product.
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.