Technology has changed the world of business multiple times. In this age of information, the advent of the computer and the internet have increased this impact significantly. There exist many businesses which cannot function without the use of computer technology.
This impact is seen in all departments of an organization, including Human Resources, where technology continues to have an increasingly significant impact on HR practices. The concept and functions of Human Resource Management have changed, with technology adding a new flavor to it.
Let us go through some of the changes in Human Resource Management due to technology.
Artificial Intelligence making recruiting smarter
Artificial Intelligence is a branch of computer science that focuses on machine-driven intelligence. Although the history of AI dates back to antiquity, it’s role in recruitment came into the limelight just a few years back.
In this digital era, amidst the rapid increase in the number of smart devices, AI machines can think intuitively and make intelligent sense of the vast amount of data used in recruitment. From resume screeners to robot interviewers and chatbots, various tech solutions in recruiting have made AI one of the latest trends in HRM.
AI can analyze a candidate’s CV/Résumé , public data, and the social media profile and predict the likeliness of the candidate accepting the job and the role he/she would prefer and fit in.
Hiring is a time taking and prolonged process at times, which can be frustrating both for the potential employer as well as the job seeker. The cost of delay or unsuccessful hiring is too much. AI quickly analyzing resumes and scheduling interviews results in a quicker hiring process.
The time saved by AI and machine learning in finding a pool of candidates can now be spent on developing relationships with top shortlists, which is sure to have a more positive impact on an organization’s hiring and recruiting efforts.
Also, AI eliminates any possibility of any discrimination and biases during the selection of candidates, which could be a prominent factor in halting the progress of the company.
AI sharpens the talent acquisition function of the HR department by using data-driven analytics, and digital and cognitive tools to source and assess potential candidates from the talent pipeline in a better way and prevent possible misjudgments.
Hirevue, Entelo, Koru et cetera, are some examples of companies already using AI in recruitment practices.
Blockchain Technology and Human Resources
While it is most closely associated with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, litecoin, ripple, et cetera. Blockchain has also emerged as a technology used in Human Resource Management. According to a press release by CompTIA, 52% of early adopters of blockchain currently use it to verify digital identities.
While recruiting, the capability of blockchain technology to authenticate potential candidates, their background and work experience alongside real-time information relating to pay and claims, will undoubtedly free up some much-needed time to allow HR professionals to focus on the more strategic goals of the business.
It might seem an outlandish statement in today’s perspective, but Blockchain technology has the potential to make old-school resumes and career networking websites like LinkedIn, out-of-date. Instead of people writing about their work history and credentials in the resume, blockchain transactions could simply store all the details.
Thus, the long process of verification of HR officials calling references to confirm employment history can be a thing of past. It would be possible by simply pulling a public blockchain ledger. The information will be authentic because information once entered in a blockchain cannot be edited.
Smart contracts between an employer and the workforce will make it possible for workers to be paid automatically. The distribution of wages could happen instantly with zero risks of delays or fraud. Thus, this technology accelerates HR processes without sacrificing human resource management objectives.
Analytics driving better performance management
Performance management has always been a crucial function of the HR department. Over the years, HR professionals have driven the process, monitoring performance, collecting supervisory feedback and facilitating regular employee reviews, by following the traditional methods of performance management.
Technology has streamlined these processes by removing a lot of unnecessary steps resulting in the inception of the data-driven phase of performance management.
Widespread adoption of people analytics is helping the managers and executives to analyze the efficiency of their workforce. Now, HRs can use data to examine an employee’s performance by pinpointing issues and providing accurate feedback.
Employee performance programs can pull raw data using analytics, which can be used to create actionable insights and ultimately support data-driven decisions around promotions or compensation, development, succession planning, and agile cross-functional team staffing.
HR teams can also apply analytics to sentiment data generated from hundreds of interactions between employees and their managers over a span of time, as a part of the performance management process.
Analyzing this sentiment data helps HR to identify opportunities for coaching and allows managers and employees to benchmark their performance levels. People analytics won’t replace the human elements of HR, but the future will witness them complement humans more than ever and be a significant technology in HRM.
A more strategic role for HR
The role of technology in human resource management has certainly changed the way that the HR department is looked upon. Traditional human resource management reacted to employees; when workers made requests or caused problems, HR department stepped in and took care of it.
The advent of technology has changed the working of the HR department by changing the concept of Human Resource Management.
Technology has given HR professionals the tools that reduce the time they have to spend on administrative tasks and problems, which in turn allows them to focus on issues that require more hands-on and scrutinized attention. That way HR teams become proactive than reactive to the issues.
Earlier, HR was defined by piles of paperwork and a constant struggle to keep up with the compliance, hiring, managing and unending stacks of employee information.
The emergence of mobile apps and cloud computing has simplified HR managers’ responsibilities like recruitment, record keeping, and payroll and improved efficiency, accuracy and even employee morale significantly. It’s easier than ever to perform HR tasks on-the-go in this new age of agility.
This simplification of administrative tasks has freed up the time and resources of an HR, enabling him/her to make a more strategic impact on the organization and developing strategic solutions to employment-related problems that may affect the organization’s ability to meet its productivity and performance goals.
The resurgence of the HR department can be proved by the fact that HR executives have started rising to the position of CEO of companies which involves making the key strategic decisions, a welcome change from the past where typically Sales/Marketing/Finance Executives dominated the field.
Something phenomenal happens every 10-12 years or so. Business owners, HR managers, and many other working professionals begin to prepare for the entrance of a new generation into the working environment. It may be the younger half of the current ongoing generation or an entirely new age group of people.
Just a decade ago, hiring managers were preparing for the addition of millennials to the workplace. Now, with 2020 approaching, the latest young adults, Generation Z has begun to enter the work environment.
Due to their proficiency in technology, now more and more companies will have to use digital methodologies if they haven’t started yet since they are bound to find themselves recruiting a lot from Gen Z.
Employers who timely recognize the distinct advantages of emerging mobile social and networking technologies will, therefore thrive in the business world. For Generation Z, providing opportunities for internal communication will go far beyond Slack, Facebook or even the intranet.
The future of a Gen Z workplace will be wearables, robotics, AI and virtual reality. Most workplaces are using applications, to coordinate schedules and meetings, provide task updates, and share other important work-related information.
Now there exist technology-based mentorship and training programs, work has been made tap and swipeable, and there are software for continuous feedback, performance management, and learning. These are some essential HR tech tools for an organization in today’s world.
Generation Z will play a huge role in transforming HR through technology, without sacrificing human resource management importance.
Will technology replace the human touch?
Today’s HR professionals reside somewhere between the warmth of personal relationships and the cold truth of data.
For years, we’ve witnessed the impact of technology on HRM, wherein HR functions like recruitment, maintaining employee timesheets, payroll management have largely been automated, which leaves the world wondering how and if HR can still play a role in modern organizations.
My answer? It definitely does!
These automated processes represent only one half of the picture. There is no substitute for human resources, with technology just being a compliment. Automation doesn’t put HR professionals out of a job, rather it helps them to do their jobs better, enabling them to spend even more time on the human and strategic aspects of their work.
There are things like conflict management, negotiating salary pay, motivating employees et cetera, which would inherently require a human touch.
Algorithms cannot build relationships, and that is one of the primary concerns. Analytics will help in searching for better candidates, but the culture built by humans is what will keep them engaged. No doubt technology will march forward relentlessly; it would be foolish to argue otherwise.
But some things remain rudimentary, and people-to-people communication will continue to be one of them. Technology gives you the paint, brush, and canvas, but you still must paint the picture yourself!
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