Human Resources and the Use of Technology
The role of the Human Resource professional has changed greatly in recent years. In decades past, Human Resources departments were likely to given the lowly moniker of “Personnel Offices.” They were the first stop for potential employees and the last stop for company workers on their final day of work. This image is largely absent from the current work landscape, as departments designated as Human Resources now handle crucial corporate tasks like Recruiting, Training and Benefits Management.
In much the same way as Legal and Finance sectors have transformed their data storage capacities with digital technology, so has the field of Human Resources. With technical resources at their fingertips, today’s Human Resource professional is able to organize and collate a wide range of workforce information. As new software packages are continually introduced, functions such as hiring and maintaining an active talent pool are streamlined successfully.
Sadly, some Human Resources Directors have been slow to embrace this rise in technology. Their workplaces resemble corporate offices of years gone by. Instead of computerized data and confidential information securely stored via Cloud technology, rows of aging metal file cabinets function as their data base. Whereas available office space could be better utilized for job training programs, antiquated storage rooms hold fraying paper records and fading files.
Human Resources offices benefit greatly with the utilization of technology to improve ongoing recruiting efforts. This is as true for internal recruiting, as it is for new external hires. Prior to the point when the Internet became an integral part of our lives, recruitment was a much slower process.
Finding new talent meant placing advertisements in print publications. Not only was this costly, but several publications might be necessary to reach different segments of the population. Most classified advertisements needed to be placed and paid for days ahead of publication deadlines.
Interested applicants would generally send their resume and cover letters via stamped mail. Often it took days and sometimes weeks before a sufficient number of qualified candidates could be pre-screened. This made the entire interview process one that required the stamina of both everyone involved.
Now that employment websites abound online, corporate recruiters and interested applicants can contact each other in a timely manner. In addition, Human Resources recruiters have the ability to post information about vacant or newly created positions before a worldwide audience. Recruiting efforts almost always targeted strictly local candidates. Nowadays the available talent pool has expanded significantly to include qualified candidates on a regional, national and international basis.
Data Storage, Retrieval and Security
The amount of paperwork that enters and exits the traditional Human Resources department is staggering. Everyday confidential documents are created that detail employee salaries, job reviews and critical corporate interactions. This documentation does not only have to be maintained for possible future reference, but kept as secure as possible to avoid future legal entanglements.
Using new electronic methods of data storage, Human Resources professionals can safely store important paperwork. Single files and pages are printed only as necessary. When not in use, these documents can be digitally saved as part of the record keeping process. Applications, forms and informational handouts are easy to find, forward, revise and distribute as required.
Employee Training, Re-training and Education
When new technologies are added to Human Resources, department associates possess the ability to better train new company employees. Employees who telecommute are able to access employee training programs from desktop computers, laptops or mobile devices. Corporate educators may conduct classes or answer questions from remote locales all over the globe.
While students and teachers benefit from live interactions, reaching out to one’s employee base through alternative methods is not only feasible but fruitful. Training issues can be tackled via email and online forums. Classes that are pre-recorded as video or audio files allow students to study as their personal schedules allow. Digital testing makes it easier for employees to complete their studies and move forward into new endeavors.
Interoffice online forums give employees a chance to digitally converse amongst themselves and with all levels of management. Conversely, Intra-office online forums also work to facilitate new corporate relationships and friendships. Human Resources professionals can expand their recruiting and training activities using a fuller spectrum of company resources.
Employee Performance Standards and Management
Another benefit of adding Human Resources technology is the enhancement of management systems. At the press of a button, Human Resources professionals are able to request employee feedback on a variable plethora of topics. It is now possible and often preferable to learn what your corporate contingency is thinking with a well-placed email, text or tweet.
New software programs especially designed and developed for Human Resources give professionals the edge when it comes to organization management. Now it is possible to compare employee test scores, achievement records and productivity quotas. Employees who need to be re-trained, released or promoted are easier to spot within large corporate populations.
Expansion of Human Resources Technology
As advances in technology continue to enter the field, the range of functions provided by software systems increases exponentially. Human Resource executives are able to further expand the use of new systems throughout their own employee ranks. Once newly implemented systems are working successfully, these technologies are seen as far less complicated than they were at their initial inception.