HR Technology and the Google CR-48

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? 

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