Why human resources must embrace the latest technological innovations
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically transformed the global workplace. The stringent lockdowns imposed by many countries saw the world’s economy come to a grinding halt. This was rapidly followed by mass shutterings and layoffs as businesses struggled to cope with plunging revenues. Across industries and sectors, businesses have been forced to make difficult choices to survive in what has rapidly become the new normal.
But these uncertain times have also had another, unexpected, impact. They have clarified the importance of technology to the successful running of a business.
Businesses with the foresight and understanding to digitise their operational methods and processes have emerged from this crisis battered but unbent, while those that lacked the will or ability to upgrade their systems have paid a heavy price. And nowhere has this difference been more apparent than in the field of human resources.
Over the last decade, technology has had a hugely disruptive role in HR. Automation, digitisation, and analytics have introduced a world of new possibilities in human capital, improving efficiencies and reducing cost and turnaround time. But most importantly, technology has allowed HR departments to find, manage, and retain good employees at a time when it has never been more important.
On that note, here are the three key ways in which technological innovations in HR are helping businesses survive this pandemic:
Revamping the process of recruitment
As anyone who has ever worked in HR will tell you, recruiting is an expensive, time-consuming, and often tedious task. Skimming through innumerable profiles, organising interviews, and onboarding new talent are all lengthy processes. But the introduction of automation and artificial intelligence (AI) into the equation has made finding the ideal addition to an organisation easier than ever before.
A wave of new technologies, including AI-based sourcing, automated resume screeners, and robot interviewers have eliminated the most time-consuming and menial aspects of the task, leaving HR professionals free to handle the parts of their jobs which require a human touch.
The automation of large segments of the recruiting process has also proved vital in an era of social distancing. While the initial screening can be entrusted to an AI programme, the final selection can take place virtually through video interviews and online tests, allowing the hiring of candidates to continue unimpeded.
Improving operational efficiency
The introduction of new technologies has allowed HR to play a much larger role in shaping a company’s operational efficiencies, both within and without the confines of their department. Within the HR department, systems such as AI and machine learning (ML) have led to improved workflows, more efficient information management, and the improved application of compiled data.
Simultaneously, the automation of many tasks has allowed HR team members to focus their efforts on identifying unnecessary job profiles within an organisation and streamlining the chain of command, leading to companywide cost efficiencies.
Upgrading human capital
The worth of a business can be measured by its employees. Never has this saying held more weight. In an ever-evolving economy, the skills and expertise that each employee brings to the table are the greatest assets of a business. Which is why it is crucial that businesses encourage their employees to constantly build on these assets through reskilling and upskilling programmes.
A task that is under the purview of the HR department, these processes have traditionally proved to be long drawn-out affairs, engaged in only begrudgingly by the majority of employees and unlikely to result in any significant gains. However, the advent of technology has revamped this practice.
HR departments now have access to a wide assortment of learning tools and digital platforms they can use to encourage skill development, with stimulating features such as collaborative learning, masterclasses by leading experts across various fields, and the incorporation of Augmented and Virtual Reality.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)