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#HRTechChat: Frankenstein HR Tech

The week of Halloween 2012 began with a spooky Snor’Easterncane-slash-Frankenstorm, and it will end with #HRTechChat Episode Thirty-Eight, the Halloween edition, which recruiting and sourcing extraordinaire Shally Steckerl (@shally), Chief CyberSleuth and Founder of 4SCT, has graciously agreed to join as our guest moderator. Please join us on Friday, Nov. 2, at 2pm ET / 11am PT, and read on for the preview of our topic. …
The Weather: A Metaphor
The weather again provided an apt metaphor for #HRTechChat. As super storm Hurricane Sandy razed most of North America east of the Mississippi, her rage reminded #HRTechChat Lead Co-host Brent Skinner of that familiar scene in just about every Frankenstein movie: The roof opens to reveal a stormy night’s sky, lightning bears down, and a monster is born per Mary Shelly’s specifications. In Young Frankenstein, it’s at this moment that Gene Wilder famously screams, “Alive! It's alive! It's alive!” His cobbled together freak of a being, Frankenstein, comes to life, and hilarity ensues.
All this pop culture might seem to have little to do with the technology for human capital management, even for talent acquisition, except that it requires electricity and segues nicely with Brent’s conversation with Shally last week, as they planned this week’s topic. When HR flips the switch, and the HR technology comes to life, an HR department may be dealing with a Frankenstein of various vendors’ solutions cobbled together, trying to work together. The reflex, not a bad one, is to try to fix all that, but the end result might require a different take on a first step, unrepeatable and in the past. In Maine and in HR technology, you can’t always get there from here, and you might not want to, anyway.
Playing Devil’s Advocate This Halloween
Shally and Brent are playing Devil’s advocate with this week’s subject matter. …
Yes, the seemingly inexorable march toward all-in-one, single-platform solutions in HCM technology—and in talent acquisition systems, in particular—is palpable, and the need for the single application is apparent: Big Data gets smaller, more manageable. Sourcing efforts inform recruiting efforts, within the database. The approach to onboarding draws on new hires’ point-of-entry employee assessments. Recruiting aligns with workforce allocation. Those are just a few of the benefits.
But plausibly, the advantages of adopting disparate, best-of-breed solutions might outweigh the efficiencies, whatever they may be, of all-in-one solutions. Let’s explore that. Additionally, all-in-one solutions might not really be so, anyway; the vendor’s carefully crafted façade might scream all-in-one, but the user screams at the site of a Frankenstein behind it whose sundry discrete recruiting and other talent acquisition technologies have no way of waging any of the coordinative operations that the shared façade professes they indeed can.
#HRTechChat Episode Thirty-Eight: Join Us on Fri 11/2 @ 2pm ET / 11am PT
Preposterously, this Devil’s advocate suggests, maybe the quest to marshal all functionality into one platform is much to do about not that much. Probably not—in fact, definitely not—but no cow is sacred this week as we discuss Frankenstein technology for human resources. Even as this preview goes live, Shally and Brent have scared up the following questions, which @TalentMgmtTech will begin tweeting at 2pm ET / 11am PT this Friday, Nov. 2:

  • Q1: What does “Frankenstein talent acquisition technology” mean to you? What do you think of? #HRTechChat
  • Q2: Do single-platform solutions perform well? Does the tech really act in concert? Discuss. #HRTechChat
  • Q3: How does a cobbled-together collection of talent acquisition tech affect the recruiter’s job? #HRTechChat
  • Q4: We hear that, ideally, we need one platform for talent acquisition tech. But is it always ideal? Why or why not? #HRTechChat
  • Q5: Let’s delve: When is tech for one aspect of talent acquisition preferable to one platform with it all? #HRTechChat
  • BONUS CONVO: We’re sifting through & making announcements this month. What’s a good topic for a future #HRTechChat?

#HRTechChat Episode Thirty-Eight Welcomes Guest Moderator Shally Steckerl
#HRTechChat again welcomes Shally Steckerl, this week's guest moderator. We also thank our loyal and new tweeters, as well as #TChat World of Work, for its support. And #HRTechChat Co-founder and Lead Co-host Brent Skinner (@brentskinner), contributor to HRO Today, thanks #HRTechChat’s other co-founder, #TChat Co-founder Meghan M. Biro (@MeghanMBiro). And they both thank Sean Charles (@SocialMediaSean), #HRTechChat’s co-host at-large. We again invite you to conclude your workweek by tweeting with us.