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The psychology of HR technology: The human touch will define the future of work - with Steve Hunt

HR Technology
calendarJune 28, 2023
calendar Dr. Charles Handler

In the latest episode of our podcast, I had a fascinating conversation with Steve Hunt, Chief Expert of Technology & Work at SAP. Together, we discussed  


Steve’s latest book, Talent Techtonics, which provides a framework for our conversation. As he notes... 


“I wanted to talk about how work is changing, but not just trends like how hybrid work, but why is it changing? And that's where the phrase talent tectonics comes from, that the nature of work is fundamentally altered by underlying shifts like the tectonic plates. We can't see 'em move, but they're constantly moving. They change the surface of the earth and may create new experiences or topography such as earthquakes or mountain ranges.” 


We discuss how these shifts can be viewed from a combination of elements that form a unique perspective.  Namely, the role of humans in choosing and implementing HR technology and the impact these actions will have on the future of work. Steve offers his take on this in our latest episode: 


“From a psychological perspective So, the book goes through and looks at the perennial work challenges of how do we staff jobs, how do we design jobs, how do we pay people, how do we develop people? How do we engage people? But it looks at how do we need to do this more effectively leveraging technology to create more human environments, more supportive environments.” 


But the crux of Steve’s unique perspective lies in the role that technology plays in achieving a more humanistic and productive workplace.  In the episode, Steve emphasized the importance of using technology to augment human abilities and design job roles that align with individual skills and strengths. We delved into the application of assessment tools and machine learning in talent acquisition, development, and employee engagement. 


We also examined the role of operational and collaboration technologies in optimizing work environments. Steve highlighted the need for organizations to stay abreast of technological advancements and regularly reassess their HR processes to effectively leverage available tools. 


Throughout our conversation, we underscored the significance of considering individual differences, traits, and abilities. Steve explained how technology enables better assessment and understanding of employee attributes, leading to more tailored job roles and fostering employee growth within the company.  


As we wrapped up the episode, I emphasized the importance for HR professionals to stay informed about emerging technologies and critically evaluate their existing processes. We encouraged listeners to embrace technology's capabilities to drive positive change in HR practices, while never losing sight of the value of human connections and interactions. 


Join me in this thought-provoking episode of Science 4-Hire as Steve Hunt and I explore the transformative potential of HR technology in redefining work for the modern era.