HR Tech Influencer Q&A: Dr. Tyrone Smith

As HR leaders turn to technology to address the complex workforce issues arising from the pandemic, the HR technology market is rapidly responding, with new solutions to address everything from remote engagement to retention. HR is now tasked with sifting through an increasingly crowded pool of tools and gauging evolving workforce expectations for technology, all while managing ongoing priorities like D&I.

To break down these issues, HRE recently spoke with Top HR Tech Influencer Tyrone Smith, people operations and workforce analytics leader at Ryan LLC.

HRE: How can HR leaders best evaluate the rapid influx of post-pandemic tools that is flooding the market?

Smith: HR leaders can best evaluate the rapid influx of post-pandemic tools by taking their time and avoiding making hasty decisions. The sense of urgency we all feel during this unprecedented time can push us to make fast decisions based on little knowledge solely for desperation to minimize current challenges facing the workforce. Opting into a new “tool” that promises the world but has yet to prove delivery sets them up for disappointment and stretched budgets.  Instead, they need to move slowly and take a close look at the tools in which they’re considering investing.

See also: 2020 Top 100 HR Tech Influencers


HRE: How can HR leaders – and HR tech buyers – continue to focus on and invest in areas like D&I with business priorities so suddenly shifted?

Smith: The best way for HR leaders to continue focusing on important areas like D&I, even in the face of the unique challenges we’re currently experiencing, is to take stock of their current situation. What are their current priorities and how can they fit additional important initiatives in them? They need to be as flexible as possible to accommodate rapidly changing business demands and create plans that are similarly changeable. They need to consider focusing on applications that can be used universally rather than strictly in-person initiatives and training, too.

HRE: How do you think the remote work switch will affect employee expectations for workplace technology?

Smith: I think the remote work switch will affect employee expectations for workplace technology in the way of employees expecting more! Now they know that there is a wide array of technology that can help them in their jobs, and they’ll expect their employer to provide them with the best options available. Old software that hasn’t been changed in decades isn’t going to cut it anymore—remote work is going to usher in a new appreciation for cutting-edge technology designed to make work more efficient.

Related: Explore these and other HR tech challenges at the free, virtual HR Technology Conference, Oct. 27-30. Click HERE for more information.

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