Steve Boese teaches the HR Technology course at RIT. As social media makes its inroads into the halls of corporate HR, Steve is there, experimenting and testing so that he can tell his students what works and what doesn’t. Because there are so few actual instructors in graduate schools, Boese’s impact is disproportionaltely large. It’s sfe to say that he hasn’t begun to tap the influence he will have in a few short years.
The Rochester Institute of Technology offers a course in HR Technology as a component of their Master’s in Human Resource Development Program. It’s one of the few in the country. There are 34 discrete courses across the country teaching the fundamentals of the technical tools that people in HR use every day. Steve teaches the HR Technology course at RIT.
The course lasts 10 weeks and is divided into three segments:
- Concepts and Fundamentals
The whole cookbook: demographics, definitions, roles. Covers Saas vs onsite, licensing decision making structure of the full suite
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Review and evaluate with hands on experience where possible.
- New Technologies
Everything from Social Media to Twitter. Exploring the difference between what’s in the apps and what people are using. He has ranged as far afield as the use of prediction markets for succession planning.
There is even an academic debate about whether such a course should stand alone or be integrated within the structure of other courses. That’s a really sad commentary on the state of HR today. The backbone of any corporate HR operation is going to be its capacity to define and manage technical programs. The elements of contract administration, prtogram management and project managment, coupled with a good understanding of core requirements is the essence of HR leadership today.
I spent some time with him talking about his background, the course, social software and emerging trends in HRTech.
Boese is a hands-on software professional with systems experience all over the world. He began his career in finance and accounting but eventually moved into systems implementation roles.Over the course of a couple of decades, Boese moved from Finance into Software Implementation and from there found his true love: HR Tech.
“My students are going to have to be good at understanding the variables in deciding whether or not (and how) to use social media. Like the early days of the web, many employees have better access to social technologies at home than they do on the job. Our graduates have to help figure out effective policies about on the job utilization,” he says.
Boese describes his goal as “empowering students to make a difference”. The graduate level course is usually evenly split between big company HR people and students from small and medium sized businesses (SMB).
When I asked him what he might need for industry or other HR professionals, he said “We can always use more access to tools. The more hands-on experience I can give my students, the better off they are going to be. It’s a huge universe of possibility. I can always use more insight about the size, scope and implications of the problem.”