Students, Professionals, Recruiters Connect at NYU-Poly Human Resources Technology Conference

Representatives from Paychex talk to a conference attendee

Human Resources (HR) experts are going to leverage technology solutions to change the way companies conduct business, and they don’t care what Dirty Harry thinks about them.

Professionals, vendors, recruiters and Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly) students, as well as alumni, convened at Pfizer Auditorium on May 22 for the Game-Changing Technology for Human Capital Management conference. The event was co-sponsored by leading HR industry companies, the International Association of Human Resource Information Management (IHRIM), and organized by the NYU-Poly Department of Technology Management and the award winning PolySHRM (Society for Human Resource Management Student Chapter).

According to keynote speaker and industry consultant Marc S. Miller, an adjunct faculty member of the NYU-Poly Department of Technology Management, HR has made significant progress in the past 40 years from its administrative and bureaucratic origins, but has not come far enough. 

Miller played a clip from the 1976 Clint Eastwood film The Enforcer in which his character, Detective “Dirty Harry” Callahan, uses a less-than-polite term for the people working in the personnel division of the San Francisco Police Department. Humorously, the actor admitted in correspondence with Miler during the late 1990s that his experience as Mayor of Carmel, CA, had not changed his opinion much.

This attitude is shifting, Miller reported. Social media, cloud computing, mobile devices, workforce analytics and other innovations are augmenting the ability with which organizations and businesses can align information with the management, collaboration, security and globalization issues facing them, Miller said. Technology is helping HR professionals evolve from merely overseeing data to employing an “information craftsmanship” that is increasingly being leveraged to drive success.

Jose Garcia, IHRIM Member and NYU-Poly graduate with a BS in Computer Engineering and an MS in Organizational Behavior, shared Miller’s enthusiasm and said that learning HR offers graduates a lot of versatility, even for students not planning to enter the field. Using regression analysis, models and forecasts to determine what know-how, skills and interests will “work for talent” and fulfill the needs of clients fuels recruitment, Garcia said. “In a knowledge-based economy, a proper workforce determines whether or not a company is successful.”

Also excited about the “game-changing technology” being discussed was Ainsley Stewart, Jr., who holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from NYU-Poly and will graduate with an MS in Organizational Behavior in August. He heard about the conference thanks in part to the efforts of Department of Technology Management Professor Harold G. Kaufman, Academic Director of the Organizational Behavior Program and PolySHRM Faculty Advisor. Stewart credited him as “very much involved” in the process of helping NYU-Poly graduates succeed.

“Many students and alumni told me that they made good contacts with recruiters for potential internships or jobs,” said Kaufman, who also organized the conference.  “The conference showcased the unique Organizational Behavior graduate program we offer at NYU-Poly that integrates the management of  people, organizations and technology – and put us on the map with industry for the benefit of our students and graduates."