It’s The Same Technology & Practices; Are You Buying The Hype?

I just read a recent article that goes against my thinking.  But you decide. An article in People Matters makes the case that Artificial Intelligence will make better hiring decisions. I disagree. Now they are using the term Predictive Analytics as something new. What I see the technology’s functionality, is that it’s another way to say advanced data or metrics analytics – that’s all it really is. Data analytics has been around for decades and as years go by, we just add more features. But marketing likes to create new terms for the same things, to get us to buy, that’s how I see it.

Below is the article I read, and here are some quotes from the article and then my commentary after of what I’m calling out as just “pro-technology” folks trying to sell Artificial Intelligence as a savior over human ability.

Article – As an enabler, technology is helping HR teams across organizations understand people better.

VS – It’s really just new functionalities and/or ways of looking at the data being given to us packaged with new fancy terms – to market and sell. that said, data has been helping people make decisions for a long time, for generations. From what I’ve seen over the decades, is that new tech companies want to mask that they really don’t have a totally new product – so they call it something else to “jazz up the hype”. These companies say all kinds of stuff when you go to trade shows and conferences but rarely have data to back anything up what they say as totally new. I’ve talked to CEO’s of HR software companies and they’ve told me that today, a lot of their new competitor start-ups are running around using AI and Machine Learning when actually their products are not even close to being that. That confirms my point that “hype sells”. MY TAKE: If you have good software analytics but don’t have good educated people that can break the data down in visionary strategic ways, all the cutting edge software you have doesn’t means nothing.

Article – The era of data is also being replaced by the era of insight. This means that simply having a chat bot might not be enough. What also matters is that data and analytics help you take decisions that are based on tangible insight keeping empathy in mind.

VS – Really? So prior generations didn’t have or use insight when they got data? Huh, I believe a lot of people would disagree, I surely do. I’ve been looking at data and forecasting strategies for a long time and I know a lot of other people who do too. How is their technology going to help keep empathy in mind? If you read that 3rd sentence closely, you’ll realize they are simply saying data is available and lets people make decisions. Again, it’s the PEOPLE that will need to interpret the data and make strategic decisions. Same thing people have done for so many decades. MY TAKE: Saying we are in a new ear of insights means nothing, it’s the use of buzzwords to sing the same old song. It’s just marketing.

Article – While the future of HR teams seems to be one where we are rapidly adopting upcoming technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Predictive Analytics for Change Management and OD; Human Resource teams will also need to develop or hone skills that help accentuate the human aspect of people management, including coaching, mentoring, counselling and career shaping. 

VS – This is true, this is what employees did before the dawn of this century, where we call people old and let them go in their 40’s and 50’s. Employees moved up the ladder, mentoring scores of younger employees and retired at the appropriate time, but this decade has spotlight massive Ageism, (which mind you, is a Federal crime) so how many people are equipped to do strong mentoring, coaching and counselling? We live in an era of hyper technology growth while we are regressing in many ways by not talking to each other, we all know this is true. We are all too stretched to accomplish things because everything has to be done by yesterday. Age Discrimination creates less mentoring, and coupled with double work load and less resources so that profits soar sky high for stock investors – is all that matters. The Human aspects are at the bottom of the totem pole.

Today younger folks getting into roles without having the proper mentoring and coaching – and time to develop, so they are thrown into “sink or swim” demands. Since coaching, mentoring and counselling cannot be mathematically measured, CEO’s continue to kick the can down the road and say those are intangibles and companies for decades don’t have budget for that. As a corporate relationship manager and recruitment professional, I spent over 20 years listening to people complain about the lack of these precious leadership skills being absent more and more as the years have gone by.  It also was noted by LinkedIn’s end of year report 2018, the biggest qualities missing in hiring today are these kinds of leadership skills. This goes to show you what Age Discrimination has done.  It’s left millions of younger folks who will be become middle aged soon, without the skills to coach, mentor, counsel and quite frankly lead well. Now we are hearing that we need to rapidly adopt technology to replace people though? MY TAKE: It won’t replace good people roles, and we are moving too fast and technology is often hyped up and mis-advertised.

Article – With business leaders accepting this change, the need for better people management, engagement and wellness initiatives has increased exponentially. Employee wellness and engagement is taking center stage, with overall well-being being the core focus. Both physical and mental health of the people you work with is coming to the forefront as the correlation between these factors and employee experience becomes evident. It is safe to say that today, the focus of HR teams has moved from transnational personnel issues to solving genuine people matters that ensure they stay longer.  

VS- I and thousands of Talent Acquisition and HR folks have heard this rhetoric for long time.  Great to hear again, but who will implement, how will they do it, where will they find the right people and last BUT most importantly, when will CEO’s stop saying this to look good on TV – and start giving the appropriate budgets and hiring seasoned talent for it? That’s right, I said it – SEASONED TALENT! That just 4 questions, I’ve got plenty more for CEO’s. MY TAKE: I can’t tell you how many HR folks have told me about their frustration with not having a big enough budget to implement so many of these initiatives. Same old song and dance…

MY FINAL TAKE: The article I cite goes on to get more technical, and many HR are non-technical, so how will they get it right?  Because many companies have toxic corporate cultures and bad power struggles still, often, they simply won’t.

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The article I cited:



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