Most businesses, regardless of their size, can’t function to their fullest without the assistance of technology. Technology influences most of day-to-day business activities, including human resources. Common HR challenges include recruitment of employees, dealing with huge volume of data and meeting tight deadlines. Technology ultimately makes HR’s responsibilities easier and more effective, but it comes with its own set of challenges.
Let’s first take a brief look on how technology is influencing HR.
Technology has already influenced recruitment in a massive way. Gone are the days of sifting through print-outs of resumes, and relying on newspapers to advertise job postings. Through technology, recruiters can reach millions of people online and filter the right candidates.
HR professionals no longer need to gather employees in one room and distribute binders full of training materials. Through technology, they can now create efficient programs—many of which can even be delivered remotely—to train the workforce effectively.
Data Storage and Retrieval
HR professionals deal with an exceeding amount of data, which needs to be stored for a long time. Storing and accessing data through automated and analytical software helps managers make vital decisions.
Technology enables platforms to enhance workforce performance. Human resources can use technology to assess employee performance and provide adequate feedback to foster high-level output across the organization.
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Assessing Your Technology Needs
While introducing technology in HR, justifying the investment (in terms of money, time and labor) is vital. Here’s what you need to assess in order to maximize your ROI.
1. Technology vs. Business Needs
Technology is crucial for effective and efficient delivery and management of HR processes. Whether you’re a startup or a well-established company, the primary thing to determine when considering solutions is the need to which the technology will be catering. Many organizations fail to properly gauge this, and wind up with solutions that offer too much or too little. The technology should align to the business need.
2. Technology vs. Budget
Measuring technology in relation to your budget is critical and must be done with a vigilant eye. An over-budget technology implementation may land you in the red, while a technology that’s significantly under-budget may not sufficiently suit your needs and thus lead to lower returns.
3. Technology vs. Utilization
After implementing a new technology, you’ll want to use it to its maximum capacity. Mapping your HR requirements to the features of the technology is essential before investing. Technologies that offer customized solutions to your needs might require a more significant expenditure upfront, but their benefits will probably justify the investment.
4. Technology vs. Adoption
Technology works best when it’s embraced to the fullest. All the features and opportunities of the technology must be used to get maximum benefit of implementation. Making sure you have the right mix of software and that your technologies work well together will deliver optimum results.
5. Technology vs. Training
Many organizations fail at this criterion particularly. Even the best implementation can be disrupted with the failure of effective change management. Training staff on a new technology can be cumbersome and time-consuming, but HR managers must be proactive—you have to communicate throughout the implementation. Moreover, software is dynamic, so your training regimen should keep pace with the latest updates.
6. Technology vs. Human Touch
In HR or any other business field, you have to evaluate and choose which functions need automation—and which functions don’t. Instead of starting with a list of what to automate, begin with your desired business outcome and work backwards from there. In order to succeed, you’ll need to strike a balance between automated solutions and human interaction.
What the Future Holds
The last decade has seen many advances in the HR digital realm, and that trend will persist. The objective of HR is to align your deliverables with the organization’s business goals. As an HR professional, in order to best serve your company you must continue to keep abreast of the latest tech trends and measure the needs of your company accordingly.