Enterprise hits and misses - HR tech gets a hard look, Uber and Lyft get an election day reprieve, and algorithms get a fairness backlash

Jon Reed Profile picture for user jreed November 9, 2020
This week - HR tech is murky, but a closer look at the HR Tech show clears the view. Uber and Lyft get good news on election day, but the issues of the gig economy linger. Algorithms-in-practice prove problematic. Your whiffs include leadership satire - and Kubernetes PR poetry.


Lead story - HR Tech 2020 - Murky signs of what’s next in HR, with a hint of clarity

MyPOV: Usually around this time, Brian Sommer is tweeting about getting stuck in boarding group FU with a bag of nuts as his only comfort the heady future of talent management via the HR Tech show in Las Vegas.

Nuts or not, the show must go on; Brian has the virtual HR Tech breakdown for us this week. He covers a wide swath down his virtual exhibit hall, from the future of recruiting to the "new urgency of payroll." But the cautious approach to AI caught my eye:

What I heard was that many firms will use machine learning technologies to schedule interviews and automate processes. Some will use advanced technologies to score/rank jobseekers' applications or resumes. But, no one I spoke with will touch the use of facial recognition to assess a person's truthfulness, intelligence or other characteristics. Why? The current state of the technology does not 'read' the faces of persons of color well and certain cultural differences may not be within the experience set of the technology either.

Next-gen HR projects aren't just cautious about technology. As Brian notes, recruiting top talent in the midst of a pandemic isn't easy. Nor is managing projects to the result:

One of the HR vendors I spoke with last week, Moovila, brought this point home with a graphic showing that only 1 in 24 managers knows how to manage a project. I concur.

Brian isn't sure HR vendors are even building apps - or, are the building the right ones? That's the problem with the virtual life; it's harder for all of us to press into the truth behind the marketing. Brian is right to flag that problem. That said, reading his piece, you do get a flavor of upstart HR vendors across HR disciplines. Some of them may get swallowed up by mergers/acquisitions, but I'll say this much: it's not a dull area of the enterprise to cover (anymore).

Diginomica picks - my top stories on diginomica this week

Vendor analysis, diginomica style. Here's my three top choices from our vendor coverage:

A few more vendor picks, without the quips:

Jon's grab bag - Phil keeps the tech-for-good storylines going with this nifty piece: How observability helps Quill in its mission to help kids write better. (Yes, observability buzzword overdose gets a hall pass when it's for a good cause). Keeper line: "Observability is better than Slack." Though I've missed the astronaut age cutoff by five startups and 500 Southwest flights a mile, Cath has me covered in NASA's mission to map the future of work and discover new talent.

Derek gleans buying lessons from a high stakes year in Enterprise technology buyers and COVID-19 - what have we learned? Finally, Den and Josh, who have been known to spar on occasion, had a podcast meeting of the minds instead. Den writes it up in Josh Greenbaum on enterprise software pricing, commodity software, productivity and value add.

Best of the enterprise web

Waiter suggesting a bottle of wine to a customer

My top six

Overworked businessman


Tough call for headine-of-the-week. I've narrowed it down to:

I don't do political whiffs; I think we all need a break from that circus, but if you get a chance, Google "Four Seasons Total Landscaping" sometime...

Then there was this:

Special kudos to Ron Miller for giving the poem a go...

Meanwhile, Brian Sommer called us out collectively for lacking the leadership he is accustomed to seeing. For good measure, he provided a bit of his own:

I fired back:

To see the full satirical onslaught, with plenty of others chiming in, check the Thank You For Your Leadership hashtag. See you next time...

If you find an #ensw piece that qualifies for hits and misses - in a good or bad way - let me know in the comments as Clive (almost) always does. Most Enterprise hits and misses articles are selected from my curated @jonerpnewsfeed. 'myPOV' is borrowed with reluctant permission from the ubiquitous Ray Wang.

Image credit - Waiter Suggesting Bottle © Minerva Studiom, Overworked Businessman © Bloomua, Loser and Winner © ispstock - all from Fotolia.com.

Disclosure - Oracle, Workday, Rimini Street, ASUG, FinancialForce, Software AG and Salesforce are diginomica premier partners as of this writing.

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