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Optimizing Human Resources: 4 Technological Innovations Transforming HR Today
Data and the tools and software operating on it are making HR better and more convenient
Photo Credit : Shutterstock
The role of an Human Resources team in a company requires a macro-level engagement with the employees of a company to manage recruitment and hiring and suggesting employee training and development strategies. These activities require the HR team to have a clear idea of the skills that the company’s employees possess, will need in the short, long, and medium term future, and how to provide the required skills – either through hiring new people, or through on-the-job training. Managing a large workforce, tracking their skills, finding new talent, managing the existing talent, organizing trainings – these are all incredibly data-intensive activities, and often put substantial pressure on a company’s HR team. Given the immense pressures and challenging expectations placed upon them, it is no wonder that HR managers, even while trying to manage employee concerns, are vulnerable to stress and burning out. Further, the level of analytical work required in figuring out future requirements is often beyond the processing power of most analysts, let alone the average HR executive. The solution? The use of technology to optimize has been trending in HR, and here are 4 of the best innovations being used in HR today.
Conventionally, HR databases were oft-overlooked collections of old resumes from old applications and personal employee data of little consequence for the day-to-day running of companies. However, this data held incredibly relevant information about candidate skill-sets; it was entirely plausible that a candidate was hired for some skill, but their other talents were irrelevant at that time. In the future when there was a need for that talent, HR teams would often consider external resources instead of checking to see if the talent was available in-house. Over the last few years, companies have been moving their back-office HR data to the forefront, using advanced analytics and reporting dashboards to track available talent, and identify where, when, and how to add new skills to the mix. With enough data, advanced analytics engines can even create predictive models about the company’s growth and talent mix, and predictively suggest new hires, streamlining and making the recruitment process more efficient and targeted.
HR applications and tools
The market has had HR management tools for several years now, with varying levels of effectiveness and utility. For the most part, these tools were trackers that required manual input, and would only aid HR executives in the same manner as to-do lists would. However, advancements in communication technologies have made these tools and software suites immensely more powerful. These tools now allow for a much more streamlined recruitment process, from allowing applications to be sent in through mobile devices, allowing for online video interviews and communications, to presenting current employees with data about their leaves, in-and-out times, meetings, reminders, tasks, and so forth. These applications are an important support system for HR employees, helping them not just keep track of the many things they have to do over the course of a day, but also by helping them conduct those activities with a level of convenience not seen before.
A kind of big brother to HR applications and tools, HR platforms are end-to-end employee management systems that enable technology to optimize nearly every aspect of HR functioning. Their in-built recruitment management systems handle everything from sourcing, online interviewing, interview management, candidate scoring, ongoing candidate relationship management, and onboarding. They also provide technical support for HR teams to look at existing employee’s KRAs, goals, targets, performance, concerns, feedback, and other metrics that help them gain an immediate insight into the health and efficiency of the company’s workforce. They often have features that allow the employees to have access to their own dashboard, where they can track their own performance according to metrics set by their superiors in the corporate hierarchy or by themselves. These systems have exhibited increased efficiency and performance amongst employees across functions and verticals.
Big Data/AI in recruitment
One of the biggest challenges that HR teams face during recruitment is being able to predict whether a candidate will be a ‘good fit’ for the company or not. Subjective evaluations of a candidate’s ‘attitude’ are fraught with inaccuracies, as candidates are looking to sell themselves to a company and often overstate their eagerness to perform, but show their true colors and capabilities once they are hired. This mismatch between expectations and reality are difficult to deal with, especially since the atmosphere of suspicion that they create can lead to the rejection of worthy candidates and accepting unworthy candidates who project an air of unwarranted confidence. But why risk making such arbitrary choices when you can use data and computers to do it for you? Using massive amounts of collected information and improving over time, AI can use Big Data to help HR teams choose between different candidates by giving more accurate probabilities about which candidate would be a better choice for your company.
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.