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Innovation And Technology - Transforming The HR Sector

The assumptions of the technological impact on HR range from severe job losses to emotionless automation of otherwise heartwarming processes!

Photo Credit : Shutterstock


11 pm, October of 1996. Three young interns in talent search consulting are sitting with large ‘box files’ on their lap, taking a break from shifting resumes from the paper file. They are fantasising about how some day resume screening would be less cumbersome and involve shorter hours in search of the “right fit”!

With our limited imagination, we deliberated that night about a utopian world of easily accessible databases, smart resume search and relevant shortlists with less human intervention! We had no idea we were onto some epic technological revolution and laughed it off as midnight insanity; continuing to turn pages of our holy books of career profiles.

Twenty-two years later, the invasion of technology in all aspects life is known to be inevitable. I have often been asked, usually with a condolatory tone, how the HR sector is doing with so much penetration of technology. The assumptions of the technological impact on HR range from severe job losses to emotionless automation of otherwise heartwarming processes!

As I type this article, I can almost feel new innovations pervading HR departments! Here are some critical areas of e-HR that have transformed traditional processes & practices:

1. Recruitment –Artificial intelligence can use key word criteria to shortlist resumes in 40 seconds! SHRM survey says online recruitment canimprove recruiting efficiency and reduce costs while cutting cycle times by 25 percent.  E-recruitment allows organizations to appropriately access candidates across the country or around the globe thereby increasing the quality and quantity of applicants.  Technology also fosters neutrality and standardization in recruiting practices via machine learning that give more accurate search definitions. Analytics also allow recruiters to assess potential employees based on real information by tracking their social media and other online presence.

A candidate today, can actually get online appointment letters, send verification documents electronically and stay in touch with his potential employervia a portal app. Most of the induction process can be also conducted online.

2. Learning and Development–Remember the days of classroom training in corporates where programs had to be coordinated across cities and companies incurred heavy costs of travel and coordination, not to mention the program itself? Well, LMS (Learning management systems) hit the right pain points with a technical solution. LMS can be a part of a portal or ERP or can be stand alone. These are online programs and content that can be tailored to your needs. In some cases you can create the content and in some, you get an amalgamation of modules for you to choose from. Organizations implementing e-learning can make dramatic savings, almost 40-50 % within a couple of years. SMEs can gain by accessing external e-learning providers who offer online training modules on areas ranging from technical to leadership training. This provides employee flexibility and control over learning as well.

3. Performance management –Technology has automated the tracking and gathering of performance data, observation of employee work and supporting the development and delivery of performance appraisals. This helps to decrease biases in appraisals and link performance information to other HR data, such as individual development plans, remuneration, roles & responsibilities as well as training plans. One of the issues most HR heads will tell you is the time taken at the workplace to give feedback. With access to real-time data, HR can provide frequent opportune feedback and employees can see how they can better their appraisals.

4. Talent Engagement – Chatbots today, are famous for their ability to diagnose company morale and culture. Gamification to shared white boards & forums, all foster team building and employee one ness. Peer to Peer chat platforms work towards bringing people together. These tools help the workforce feel valued and respected. It reduces attrtion and teammates become cheerleaders and create stronger support networks. A network of colleagues can make all the difference to engagement and productivity.

It is predicted that by 2020, millennials could make up to 70% of the workforce in many countries. HR will need to foster and develop technology progressions to meet employee expectations and business needs. Innovation in HR tech make it easy for employees to access information anywhere and anytime as HR professionals rejoice at the unravelling of technology supporting them in achieving their HR goals.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Tags assigned to this article:
human resource recruitment talent management

Purvi Sheth

The author is CEO of Shilputsi Consultants-Leading Strategic Human Resource Management Consulting.

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