They say opposites attract. Many movies prove the point. A few examples include Beast and Belle from The Beauty and the Beast, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger from Harry Potter, and Captain Georg von Trapp and Maria from The Sound of Music.
Likewise, you might have thought that a relationship between human resources and information technology sounded like a sci-fi thriller, but times they are a-changin’. How did this right-brain and left-brain couple find their attraction?
Desperate Times Call For Desperate Measures
Well, maybe the attraction isn’t that surprising. Long ago and far away, many of the jobs organizations are filling today didn’t exist and were not even a twinkle in a robot’s eye. A study by Dell reveals that 85% of jobs that will be available in 2030 do not exist today. Many of these jobs involve artificial intelligence (AI) and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
What will it take to fill these positions?
Recruiting: The Tie That Binds
Changing times call for changing methods, and finding people to fit jobs today is no different. Both job openings and the way people apply for job openings are changing drastically, and they both involve technology.
In fact, several sources question the future of job boards over social media and more digital products. According to Glassdoor, 9 in 10 job seekers use mobile devices to apply for a job. So, this means that HR must be aware of how a job ad appears on a mobile device while IT is responsible for ensuring that the ad always shows up when summoned by the job hunter.
When people apply, HR leads the charge to ensure that new hires are a good fit for the job. Technological tools will help with this, including online assessments, questionnaires and quizzes. Technology and IT will also help with the tracking of these candidates. It’s a marriage made in heaven. But …
Every Relationship Has Rocky Moments
A few weeks ago, an executive HR coaching client of mine had a tough time logging on to our session via the internet. She is in South America, and I’m in the Southeastern United States. Her frustration was obvious and pronounced as she was in her ninth day of disruption from technological issues. She was frustrated with IT, and IT was trying to be patient with her.
People who are not technical, such as my client, do not always understand that you can’t just push a button and merge two systems. And IT doesn’t understand what her hurry is to connect with pesky people! Herein lies one of the key issues that can cause a relationship to break up — and that is different behavioral styles.
What Makes the Odd Couple Odd?
A whitepaper by Charles Coker, Ph.D. serves to illustrate how our behaviors impact the job we do, and to an extent, how different industries tend to attract different behavioral styles. Dr. Coker’s whitepaper is based on the DISC behavioral styles. According to the book, The Universal Language DISC, D stands for Dominance, I for Influence, S for Steadiness and C for Compliance. Typically, the D and I are extroverts and the S and C are introverts.
The HR half of this odd couple tends to be extroverts who prefer people and interaction. On the other hand, IT is more introverted, preferring facts, figures and analytics. Being direct opposites in behavioral styles and preferences, clashes can occur, and it takes extra effort to communicate in a productive manner.
Our dependence on technology makes it mandatory that HR become more digitized. Bersin by Deloitte suggests that it isn’t enough for HR to just purchase digital products, they must now “be digital.” It’s obvious that this will bring IT into more direct interaction with talent management and both HR and IT into the business spectrum.
The Tough Questions
Of course, employers, employees and candidates must all take responsibility for keeping pace with skill demands of the marketplace. For HR and IT, the key to functioning productively and successfully as the odd couple may well be learning how to adapt their own behaviors and better understand the behaviors of others. This will be important because this odd couple needs to be in for the long haul.