My personal laptop is on its last legs. I have been thinking a lot about the tool, what I’ve learned from using it, etc. That led to this post. Enjoy!

A few years ago, I signed up for the Google CR-48 prototype Chromebook pilot program. And then I promptly forgot about it. Then, one morning a few weeks after signing up, I walked out the back door and noticed a box that I had received in the mail. I ran through my purchases recently and couldn’t remember anything requiring shipping, but it had my name on it so I popped open the box. To my amazement I found a new Google CR-48 laptop!

The geeky stuff

What makes the CR-48 computer different from the one you’re using right now? Well, the whole operating system is built on the Google Chrome web browser. There’s no desktop. There’s no file system. It’s all on the web. While that has some limitations (mostly due to “how we’ve always done it” syndrome), it’s amazingly freeing to not be tied to a massive, slow-moving operating system. And those limitations are shrinking every single day.

What this means for HR pros

You know that big, heavy HRIS you are tied to? It’s not going to be around forever. Or maybe you’re clinging to a massive Excel file to manage all of your HR data (been there, done that!). In case you haven’t been paying attention in recent years, HR technology folks like talking about SaaS (software as a service) tools that are delivered through the web. Those sorts of applications are the future for HR and recruiting technologies. Systems like the one I’m using to write this post will revolutionize the way computing is done, and that can only help to speed up the move to web-based HR and recruiting platforms.

I don’t expect you to be a technology wizard. Not everyone’s a geek or a nerd, but it helps to know some of the basic ideas and trends that drive the industry. You might not be using any tech yet. Don’t worry, you aren’t alone in the “paper only” brigade. But I will say that it can’t last. Paper doesn’t scale. It’s a totally different thing to say you are handling 50 employees with processes built on paper than saying you could do the same with 100 or 10,000 employees.

Simple instructions

The instructions I received with this computer were simple. Play with it. Try to break it. If something breaks, tell us so we can fix it.

Pretty simple, right? Do the same with your own tools, especially if you are in the selection process. Try things. Run through the most difficult, confusing process you have with the application. Do everything you can to break it, because you’d hate to know that it was incapable of performing X task after you buy it, right?

What HR technology are you evaluating? If you could wave a magic wand and change how you’re doing something currently by incorporating technology, what would it be? Why? 

human resources portalI’ve had “create an employee HR portal” on my To Do list for a while now, and this week is the one where I check that little item off as complete. When it first appeared on the list, I honestly wasn’t sure what I was looking for. Besides walking around and asking people what they would like to see on there (which isn’t a poor option, but it didn’t seem very productive on my part), I wasn’t sure what to cover.

Information to include in an HR portal

My fabulous manager reminded me to treat it like a “first line of defense” for repetitive questions. Kind of like a “FAQ” to help people find what they need quickly instead of having to ask me repeatedly for the information. With that in mind, I made a short list to start from so I didn’t get overwhelmed: Continue reading

Whew. I don’t travel that often, but the coming weeks are going to be quite busy. I hope to meet many of you at least once in this whirlwind, so check out the list below to see if we’ll be at any of the same events.

calendar of events

HR Florida-August 27-31

This is my first HR Florida excursion, but I’m really pumped to attend. From working with a few friends on the pre-conference Social Media Academy to having the time and topics to blog about throughout the duration of the conference, I am very excited about this experience.

Hire Minds-September 28-30

The good folks at Snagajob reached out to me about speaking on social media and I couldn’t turn them down. It sounds like an amazing event with a small, intimate group of incredibly talented individuals. I’m honored to attend!

HRevolution-October 2

I did a video a few days ago on HRevolution. If you want a ticket, it’s one of the cheapest events out there but has a consistently high rating from attendees. Definitely encourage you to check it out!

HR Technology-October 3-5

While I might not be able to stay for the entire event, I’m a geek/nerd at heart, so you know I’ll be in love with some HR technology. Working for a startup means that we’re always just one big proposal win away from needing something more powerful than Excel as an HRIS system. :-) I’ll be looking for some ideas and hope to meet some great people for the first time there.

In the midst of that is work, family, and volunteer stuff, so it’s definitely going to be a wild month, give or take a few days. So, how about it? Anywhere you’d like to meet? Feel free to shoot me an email!