How technology has transformed human resource operations

Today, HR-tech is helping not just in automating repetitive tasks but also in providing sharp insights to enable decision making and providing personalised services based on the employee life cycle.
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Technology has permanently transformed how we run our businesses. From using technology to improve working conditions to automating entire job roles — we are seeing dramatic impacts of technology in our work, workplaces, and people.

With IT being a strategic pillar in every organisation’s business blueprint, ALL functions must adopt and continually learn to work using technology to remain relevant. 

In this article, let’s examine the relationship between technology and the Human Resource (HR) function.

In the past, HR teams used technology to automate workflows and streamline record-keeping. Today, it has moved up multiple notches, and HR-tech is helping not just in automating repetitive tasks but also in providing sharp insights to enable decision making and providing personalised services based on the employee life cycle.

Adoption of workplace tech, its effect on work, and the broader role of HR

With the growing adoption of Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Slack to enable remote working, the definition of work and workplace has been redefined. The new normal — work from home, hybrid workplaces, and remote working.

The deep-rooted belief that productivity is at its best when in office has been tested. This virtual or remote way of working has both benefits and challenges.

With hybrid work models, distributed teams, remote managers, and a mixed talent pool (on-roll, retainer, consultants) — HR has opportunities to redefine and influence standard workplace practices. 

With repetitive tasks taken over by machines and complex decisions aided by algorithms, traditional job descriptions are reinvented, and the nature of the jobs are changing rapidly.

The ones who are not able to move and align to the fast-paced changes may feel anxious and left out. Extended screen time, jobs taken over by bots, and blurring boundaries between work and life are leading to increased employee burnout.

From being a ‘nice-to-have’ initiative, employee well-being programmes are almost a pressing need for the HR function to introduce in their organisations.

Impact on talent acquisition

With creativity, speed, accuracy, quality, and efficiency being the need of the hour, a fierce ‘war’ is fought to attract talent. The use of technology in hiring is an edge for recruiters.

Using technology only to source candidates and track their journey through the recruitment lifecycle, various new-age tech stacks allow for superior employer branding, recruitment marketing, candidate relationship management, testing competencies, etc.

Similar to digital marketing, HR is leveraging programmatic advertising solutions to automate job ads vis-a-vis the targeted candidate pool. Advanced AI-based solutions are used to filter out unsuitable candidates and narrow them down to the most accurate match. 

Similarly, conversational AI chatbots on career sites engage candidates and address their queries instantly. With the recent pandemic, many organisations moved their entire candidate screening and selection process to a virtual contactless mode. 

Impact on talent development and engagement

From over-dependence on traditional classroom-based training, technology has helped the talent development function move to online and mobile-enabled learning experience platforms.

The use of innovative AI-based tools has helped learning teams personalise training inputs to develop talent. Sleek virtual mobile training interventions eliminate the constraint of time and space and enable byte-sized anywhere-anytime training.

Similarly, tech-enabled career planning tools and platforms follow employees’ careers interests and recommend suitable internal job options and career paths with the right developmental interventions.

Organisations also leverage engagement platforms to encourage social and peer-to-peer recognition and revamp the reward and recognition process. 

Communication

Email as a mode of communication is becoming passe! In a complex world with intense information overload, departments and functions are looking at various new-age productivity tools and internal social media platforms to personalise communication, reduce clutter, and communicate efficiently.

These tools have social media-type interfaces, and they facilitate individual and group chats, department-level cascades, ability to drive calls to action, without compromising data security.

People analytics and employee experience

Today, employees demand a closer-to-real life experience. With the percentage of millennials increasing in the workplace, companies continuing to use archaic, age-old enterprise applications will lose out in attracting talent exposed to sleek ecommerce, fintech, and edtech applications. HR, too, will have to create a comparable employee experience by leveraging technology. 

In conclusion

Research has shown improved employee experience leads to higher employee engagement, and thereby higher customer satisfaction and engagement. Hence, in today’s organisations, where employees are the most valuable resource, it’s vital for the Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) and the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) to work together and plan for an exceptional employee experience.

Edited by Suman Singh

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

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