I’ve always found trade exhibitions a good way to gather new ideas, see the latest HR software initiatives, update my knowledge and make useful contacts.

Like the HR Software Show (20-21 June, Olympia, London), they are also very often free to attend. So it’s perhaps surprising that these exhibitions are a resource that is widely under-used by SMEs.

It can be difficult of course to justify time away from the office, but a few hours finding out how the latest technology can help you streamline and automate your HR processes and reduce costs would certainly be time well spent. With more than 40 exhibitors and a packed timetable of free workshops, it will be a great opportunity to listen to the experts and pick up some of the latest thinking.

Technology has moved on enormously in recent years and there are huge efficiencies to be made, both in terms of time and resources, for the average small-medium sized business.

Easy access to the latest HR data, for example, can help to provide the information needed to support strategic business decisions. Sophisticated performance management software can create clarity for employees about what’s expected and what’s important. And of course, there’s also plenty of cost-effective absence management software that can help HR people and line managers avoid admin overload and spot emerging trends.

Knowing what HR software is right for your business

With such a plethora of products on the market, it can be difficult to know what’s right for your business. Persuading management of the business case for investing in HR software can also be difficult at a time when budgets are already stretched to the max.

The key is to think about what kind of technology will support your future growth – while also responding to what the business needs right now. You may also be pleasantly surprised to find that costs have come down considerably since you last looked. Thanks to the advent of ‘The Cloud’, companies can now pull down the technology they need at the time they need it – without having to invest in expensive hardware or fork out for hefty up-front licence fees.

There will be plenty of people on hand at next week’s show to help you think through how technology can add value to your business. As for me, I’ll be picking up some of the latest insights from the experts so that I can share them with you in future blogs. The last time I went to an exhibition, I also won a rather nice prize – so I’m eagerly anticipating my visit to next week’s CIPD HR Software Show.

Cezanne Software will of course be there (Stand H60) – and will be running a seminar where you can pick up some top tips on how to implement an HR software solution on time and within budget (Thursday, 10.30am).

I look forward to meeting some Cezanne HR blog readers as I work my way round the stands. You’ll find it easy to spot me. I’ll be the one entering all the competitions and picking up bags of sweets to scoff on the train on the way home.

Click here to get the HR software selection checklist

Erika Lucas author image

Erika Lucas

Writer and Communications Consultant

Erika Lucas is a writer and communications consultant with a special interest in HR, leadership, management and personal development. Her career has spanned journalism and PR, with previous roles in regional press, BBC Radio, PR consultancy, charities and business schools.

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