Five Technologies That Serve HR and the Workplace Well

By Garry Priam

We are all affected by technology—both personally and professionally. We yearn to stay connected and continuously updated with each other and the world around us, yet can feel intimidated or disconnected by both the pace and face of changing technologies.  Much depends on the purpose with which we pursue those advantages offered.

As such, it is no surprise that companies are leveraging technology to improve their processes and people alike. At the same time, effective management of a firm’s human resources has become a key source of competitive advantage for organizations. Increasingly, the delivery, support and management of HR all depend on technology, and the landscape is ever changing and being positively disrupted.

With that in mind, let’s look at five technologies that have changed the way HR goes to work most effectively:

1.  Recruiting
Radical changes to recruiting are taking place as social based recruiting become today’s norm. Sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Glassdoor and Indeed provide HR with the tools to find, attract, and recruit potential job candidates through social and referral recruiting.  Through these tools, recruiters look for candidates based on their social profiles and new referral systems also allow HR departments to find potential candidates through their company staff’s personal networks.

Years ago applicant tracking systems were merely electronic filing cabinets used to store resumes. However, in today’s world, recruitment systems run on smart phones, iPads and other mobile devices—allowing people to apply for a job with one click, interview through the phone’s video camera, and also do an optional online assessment after applying. Many candidates want to upload their LinkedIn profile instead of traditionally submitting an online resume. Thus recruitment software has become easier and faster to use.

In spite of this shift, it’s not advisable to completely eliminate the human element during the recruitment process which should also include meeting people face-to-face incorporating the human touch.

2. Agile Performance Management
Companies want to know how their people are performing in order to assist them in areas of growth and development.  While annual reviews are still carried out, however, the trend is towards ensuring people are being supported throughout the year with continuous monitoring and feedback. This ongoing support includes incorporating coaching, and development and managing goals. It also concurs with research that shows companies who manage goals quarterly generate 30 per cent higher returns than companies who manage them annually.

Agile performance management is the next step.  It is designed for the new world of work which is more collaborative, social and faster moving.  Agile performance management replaces the traditional format by with its emphasis on constant communication and providing timely intervention—again greatly enabled by the technologies now in play.

3. Learning Management Systems
Learning management systems have transformed a lot of over the years. Today organizations see the benefits of investing in training their people, including onboarding new employees.The emphasis is now on using learning management systems (LMS) as “learning engagement platforms” instead of the traditional usage as “training administration systems.”

New LMSs integrate learning with talent and performance management. They contain integrated content and expertise management, with many including recommendation engines, integrated collaboration, and other tools. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), for example, offer a new source of learning. An employee’s experience should have this included in your LMS and the technology called “Tin-Can” will allow you to track all learning activities.

One of the other disruptive changes in the LMS market is the emergence of “embedded learning” and “intelligent learning.” Resellers can use it to connect its LMS technology to a retail store’s management systems—and can “pop learning” right into the window of a retail employee when they have a quiet time in their shift. Vendors can offer a direct link to their salesforce software and automatically register employees in courses and pop content into their window after they execute certain transactions.

4.  Cloud Computing
For many companies, the move to a cloud-based system is inevitable. The cloud is empowering HR to be more strategic and employees to become more productive.

The benefit of the cloud is about access to innovation. Unlike on-premise software, cloud delivery allows companies to provide software release updates to HR departments and employees company-wide, automatically and on a regular basis throughout the year.

A cloud-based HR system can also help eliminate the administrative stress from HR teams. Moreover, costs will be lower for Cloud systems as there is no need for expensive software, site licenses and servers, nor in-house IT technicians. Moving to the cloud also reduces the cost of system upgrades because the vendor manages the bulk of the upgrade tasks.

The cloud offers users access to information from anywhere, allowing greater flexibility for HR and recruiting professionals as a result of better access to critical information. Mobile cloud applications also allow HR professionals to perform self-service, management transactions regardless of location. Whether in the office, traveling or working from home, you have continual access to essential business information.
Key to all of this is security; virtual services on cloud-based systems have some of the most sophisticated security systems imaginable, which is essential to the HR department and to the organization as a whole.

5.  The “Appification” of Everything: Mobile Apps as a New HR Platform
According to John Bersin, founder of “Bersin by Deloitte”, one of the most disruptive changes taking place today is the emergence of mobile apps as the primary technology platform used. There are now more than 2.1 billion smartphone users on the planet. Mobile Internet growth increased by 69 per cent in 2014, and 55 per cent of that mobile traffic is now video which people want besides text communication.

The same research also shows that most people are spending 5.6 hours per day on the Internet and 51 per cent of that time is spent on mobile phones. Therefore to reach their people and potential candidates around the world, organizations will need to “appify” their HR tools.

To be clear, apps are not simply mobile-enabled web applications. Too many vendors talk about mobile technology as if it were a new platform for web apps. Mobile technology is also a new mode of computing, requiring different usage mechanics, different features, and different user dynamics.

They are also a powerful tool for HR to communicate both internally and externally. Mobile apps should be simple and easy to use—users can swipe and flip, rather than tab and scroll. Effective mobile apps should be social, use location data, and take advantage of different services.

In conclusion, the new wave of HR and technology entails engaging people in a simple compelling way.  As technological changes are constantly happening HR will need to move quickly deciding the best methods to integrate these tools in the development and growth of its people and the organization.

Garry Priam, B.Sc., Adv. Project Mgmt. is a professional speaker, corporate trainer, project manager, Italian author and owner of Mossa International Incorporated (mossa-intl.com) which specializes in business consulting and leadership and team development solutions.

(PeopleTalk Spring 2016)

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Technology

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  1. Hi Garry,
    Great article, I think you’ve hit the nail on the head in terms of where HR is moving towards in the future. I wanted to share this new tool I’ve been using during my interview process with applicants http://interq.io – I’ve found it really helps my applicants perform much better. Something new to check out!

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