The Complete Human Resource Publication

COVER STORY

Technology The Lifeline of Recruiters

-- Manoj Agarwal

By using technology in the form of Human Resource Management Systems, organisations can transparently share and integrate their data while eliminating human errors

The modern world is rapidly changing with technical advancements bringing fresher dynamics in all facets of life. From the way people commute, interact, shop, and communicate to the way they work, everything today is well-synced with technology. It is significantly transforming people’s attitude and behavior, from personal life to professional. In the light of this metamorphosis, it is becoming imperative for the HR department to look at the use of technology for effective management of the most vital assets of a company – its employees. Owing to technology, Human Resource management has gone through some rigorous changes making the system much more efficient and is believed to be standing at the cusp of a complete transformation. Here are a few trends in this space:

Why HR Technology?

By using technology in the form of Human Resource Management Systems, organisations can transparently share and integrate their data while eliminating human errors. It resolves most of the problems that an organisation often deals with. It also tackles issues such as record management, paperwork, risks of non-compliance and addresses the concern of misplaced information. The use of technology helps HR departments to keep everything well structured and well knit ensuring the safety and availability of data. HRMS also provides better real-time insights on cost-benefit analysis, the turnover rate of the company, return on investment, employee attendance, etc.

As per Cedar Crestone research, almost 26 percent of the companies are exercising a ‘rip and replace’ strategy in the HR domain, i.e., withdrawal of their unviable systems and implementation of state-of-the-art HRMS enhanced with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. Companies are adopting this strategy to boost their efficiency, as systems tend to become obsolete after a specific period of time. The new HRM systems enable them to execute Human Capital Management with real-time reports in a much more structured and organized manner.

The cloud-based system is relatively easier to buy and also more feasible as organisations don’t need to divert additional resources for post-installation software up-gradation at a later stage. The same CedarCrestone research also stated that companies with new and recently upgraded HRM systems had cut down a steep 22 percent on their expenditure per person, making it a much more profitable prospect despite the high initial investment. In the cloud-based system, it is also relatively easy to switch vendors and the cost to make a switch is also comparatively low.

This tryst with technology increases the overall productivity of the HR department as it rids the system of moribund processes that hinder the functioning of the organisation. Additionally, it saves valuable time of the HR division that was previously wasted on issues such as payroll queries, available leaves, etc. helping them to be more focused on devising winning strategies for talent acquisition and talent management.

These developments are making corporations inclined towards replacing their vendors. This fact has been reaffirmed as 24 percent companies were recruited considering having a change in vendor on the board level. With technology, organisations can now mine ‘Big Data’ and create a comprehensive talent paralytics for requirements. In this rapidly changing scenario, companies are switching to HRMS to help transform their talent strategies and bolster employee engagement with better employer branding. Although the HRMS market is still nurturing, it has a promising future as the market is expected to have 450 million working employees under its roof globally in a relatively shorter period of time.

Traditional HR to E -HR

E-recruitment Technology – The Lifeline of Recruiters: Earlier, organisations were forced to splurge money on newspapers, pamphlets, internal recruitment or simple postings for a vacant position. But with advancement in technology, e-recruitment could be seen as a more convenient, efficient and effective strategy for the recruiters as they can leverage technology to a great extent by employing highly lucrative tools such as social media, LinkedIn, Big Data, and APA (Advanced Predictive Analysis).

Technology has enabled HR managers to reach out to candidates much faster while also helping them to make sturdy business decisions. There is a strong possibility that Applicant Tracking System and Advance Predictive Analysis would merge in the near future, which would further precisely predict the probability of a particular candidate based on their job history empirically. It would also help the recruiter to acknowledge a lack of proficiency of an applicant in a particular area, thus devising a timed learning path even before a candidate joins the firm. According to LinkedIn and Prudential, 50 percent candidates look for jobs through their mobile devices. They also reported that high-quality candidates majorly belonged to the mobile section, making mobile phones a preferred platform for recruitment.

E-learning: Learning & Development is witnessing a steady shift from the orthodox Learning Management Systems (LMS), which are basically designed to impart knowledge only from the course catalogues. With gamification and fun learn activities in place, these new methods of learning are helping employees to enhance their skill with interactive applications and games, ranging from workplace to their mobile phones. Some of the best mobile responsive LMS solutions are Accord LMS, Skilljar, Talent SMS, Absorb, and Saba. Now it is also very easy for an individual with expertise in a specific field to author their own content through different products like Jam and Success Factors.

Gamification and spaced repetition are the latest innovative concepts in E-learning. They have brought about a very interesting change in the information cycle. These techniques solve issues inherent in human beings such as ‘forgetting curve’ and increase memory retention. Gamification in L&D means using game elements like clear goals, rules, missions, and challenges that help employees to learn with interactive techniques and game-like activities. By using these techniques, employees are observed to have increased engagement and to demonstrate significantly higher development in key areas.

E-performance & Recognition: An E-performance system is a competency-based system that measures people not only on the goal attainment but also on the competencies that are required for their job. The competency library and ratings are stored in the respective profiles of each and every employee so that accordingly task and duties can be assigned to them. Through this way, succession planning and career development planning can be done easily. Technology has enabled HR to engage, inspire and motivate their employees online at anytime from anywhere.

As per World at Work report, 89 percent of organisations are providing rewards and recognition to their employees. Various organisations today are connecting with the companies providing online R&R and employee engagement solutions. 69 percent of communication regarding recognition programmes is executed using digital media. These programmes are showing a positive result on employee engagement (68%), motivation (62%) and satisfaction (70%).

Giftxoxo which is a major player in the Rewards and Recognition space in India feels that there is a lot of scope for innovation in this area. With cut-throat competition to retain top talent, companies have started to realise that the biggest asset of their organisation is their employee base. There is a shift in the focus of these software architectures from being “A tool to ease up HR’s work” to “A comprehensive and engaging platform for employees”.

E-compensation: E-compensation is a tool for the administrators to model salary, cash, and non-monetary plans. It is used by managers to design, implement and administer compensation policies. Moreover, it does not additionally need a standalone-IT infrastructure and specific training to access the information. There is a need to implement e-compensation systems to maintain uniform, error-free and accurate and instantaneous compensation data retrieval. HRIS, one of the e-compensation systems, allows its users to automate their compensation process and to track employee compensation history easily. It refines the quality of the information and gives it better contrast. A trend has been observed that different organisations are using technology to link their compensation systems with performance management systems, e-learning systems, and succession planning. This assists managers in taking compensation-related decisions more effectively and fairly by integrating performance data, internal salary and external data. By integration of all systems through technology, managers can ensure that salary increase would solely be based on performance. Should we completely rely on technology?

Though technology is helping organisations in improving their performance and making their talent a true differentiator in the marketplace, it also has a few downsides. Technology can have a disruptive presence at work. The use of social networks can become a key reason for distraction in the workplace and thus may affect the productivity of employees. Though technology has benefited the HR department heavily in terms of recruitment and employee retention, it has also brought attrition to the company as many technological benefits also bring lethargy while simultaneously bereaving employees of their creativity and skills.

Communication via cell phones, portals, email, or video conferencing tools hampers face-to-face interaction among employees, thus affecting their relationships. Electronic performance appraisals are also impersonal and indirect, especially when the praise is not supplemented by face-to-face interaction with the supervisor. This can lead to dissatisfaction and demotivation in employees to a level that makes them see the rating merely as a number. Also, although all the activities done by terminals would be quantitatively monitored but there are chances that qualitative aspects of work may simply go unnoticed.

Conclusion

If technology is used effectively, it can make the HR functions more efficient and can add value to organisations. The primary demand of organisations using technology for their HR functions is to have an integrated platform for all of their functions. So, in order to reap the full benefits of implementation, HR executives must combine the best of HR technology with effective HR management processes and maintain the correct balance for tangible benefits.

 


Manoj Agarwal
Co-founder,
Giftxoxo

 

 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 

 

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