T3 – Microsoft Excel

Wait a minute, this isn’t April Fool’s Day is it?

On a daily basis I’m reminded at how much of HR and TA (Talent Acquisition – but I’m now just going with TA for the rest of time) Technology is really just Excel spreadsheets and Word docs.  That isn’t a knock on HR and TA pros. That is just a reality of resource limited universe most HR and TA shops live in every single day!

The awesome thing about HR and TA is that you really don’t need that much technology to be great.  This proven out by Men and mostly Women that run HR and TA in SMB shops everyday around the world, who use mostly email, Microsoft Office, a copy machine and a phone. I don’t have exact numbers, but if you take away a payroll system, over 50% of HR shops run on the technology listed above.

Microsoft Excel can be used to provide your organization with front-line HR and TA metrics, like turnover, sourcing information, days to fill, benefit enrollment information, employee relations log, etc. You can track time and attendance. Performance management records. Total compensation statements. Succession planning. Interview guides. And on and on.

What Microsoft did with the launch of office in 1988 is tell HR and TA that you no longer have an excuse in not providing great service to your organization, because we just gave you the backbone of every process, procedure and product you’ll ever want or need to do great work.  We look at Microsoft Excel now like we look at the internet.  We can’t imagine not having access to it to get our jobs done, and if you took it away we would lose our minds in a short period of time!

5 Things I really like about Microsoft Excel: 

1. It makes you look way smarter than you really are.

2. It makes your data look official even when it’s kind of made up to present a case to get you something you want.

3. It gives you something to blame when executives don’t buy your bullshit numbers. (Must be an Excel error, I’ll go back and check that!)

4. The learning barrier to begin using is very low, but ceiling to what you can potentially do with it is very high.

5. Almost everyone running HR or TA has access to use it, and learn how to use it for free.

In a few weeks I’ll be at the annual HR Technology Conference and I’ll be on the front-line of the best and newest HR and TA technology the world has to offer.  Every single product is designed to solve specific pain points we have in HR and TA. None of these products will have the ability to match the scope and breadth of what Excel can do, and almost all will be more expensive. I’m still super geeked to see the new stuff, and can’t wait to share what I find with you!

T3 – Talent Tech Tuesday – is a weekly series here at The Project to educate and inform everyone who stops by on a daily/weekly basis on some great recruiting and sourcing technologies that are on the market.  None of the companies who I highlight are paying me for this promotion.  There are so many really cool things going on in the space and I wanted to educate myself and share what I find.  If you want to be on T3 – send me a note.

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