Any human resource department is going to be a beehive of activity most of the time, which can make getting the job done efficiently difficult. However, technology offers HR professionals the tools necessary to reduce their administrative load, so they can shift their focus onto issues that might require much more personalized attention.
Impact on Employee Recruitment
Recruitment of new employees has always been an expensive and time-consuming process, but with new technology companies are finding it is getting easier to hire and retain skilled workers. In the old days, recruiters would search newspapers and use job postings and face-to-face meetings to find potential employees.
Lengthy printed resumes and applications were often also required from those employees, regardless of the position. Even a resume for a warehouse worker position could get very involved. After all this, recruiters frequently found the candidates they chose to interview less than impressive – meaning time and money had been wasted.
But now HR departments can use social networking sites like LinkedIn or pre-employment background checks to reach out to a much wider pool of potential applicants. They can also far more quickly and effectively evaluate the personality, skills and experience of those applicants so as to choose just the right one for the business or for the specific position.
At the same time, HR departments are using technology for more than just hiring. With the highly mobile and global workforce that exists today, the use of technology in HR permits them to take advantage of sophisticated face-to-face communications for remote locations and teams. Apps can be used specifically for the purpose of onboarding new employees so that they can quickly be brought up to speed and integrated into the company regardless of the position they will hold.
Modern-Day Digital Compliance
Ensuring that the company stays fully compliant with all federal laws and regulations has always been a major issue for HR departments, particularly since government rules for issues like worker disabilities are constantly changing and require the accumulation and processing of vast amounts of data. Before the digital age, the paperwork was astounding.
Even with the introduction of computer technology, ensuring compliance with government regulations usually required intensive organization and a sizable storage capacity for the IT department. But in recent years, cloud storage has made it possible to shift these needs onto outside vendors.
Unlike the old days of paper files and index cards, electronic files make it feasible to organize and search personnel data with only a few clicks of the keyboard. Even though HR departments often find it useful to maintain employee data for years, it is no longer necessary to store this information in a huge room filled with filing cabinets.
And with cloud technology, it is theoretically possible to eliminate any sort of on-site data storage entirely. It is no longer necessary to stockpile forms or have them completed in duplicate. Even the latest federal government forms can be quickly accessed via the Internet and printed whenever they are needed. Technology has made this aspect of complying with federal regulations far easier and quicker for HR professionals.
Improved Performance Management
One of the most significant functions in any HR department is performance management. These days, HR professionals use technology to collect feedback from supervisors, monitor performance and schedule regular reviews of employees. In the past, this function was performed using performance reviews, long, exhausting meetings and plenty of paperwork. Technology has eliminated many of these steps, streamlining the process in creating an ongoing, transparent loop.
HR uses software that can evaluate employee performance by analyzing KPIs (key performance indicators). Thanks to the software, HR staff can be far more effective in performance management, pinpointing areas where employees (or the business itself) could use improvement. They can then put in place the correct systems to provide any additional training that might be necessary. The remote computer monitoring can also be used to track employee activities.
Employee Access to Pay and Benefit Info
Not surprisingly, most employees like to have access to information about their benefits and paychecks. They might need to know how much they’re paying in taxes or understand how their 401(k) is set up. Employees want to be able to see this kind of information about benefits and payroll as quickly as possible and without a lot of red tape.
These days, HR departments and company employees can enjoy the simplicity of an automated data and recordkeeping system. This allows employees to check their data from virtually anywhere at any time. Beyond the convenience that this provides for the employees, who now have access to this data whenever they like, this technological solution makes the HR department’s job easier when it comes to gathering, monitoring and updating all of this information.