Technology with a human touch: Gokul Santhanam
Technology is playing a critical role in human resource management today. HR personnel have adopted technology to come up with new ways of recruitment, talent management, performance management, payroll, etc. A lot of staffing is being done through social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. In the past there only existed job portals where one could go and browse for resumes, today there are profile matchers, resume comparators and a lot more advanced offerings. Apart from this, there are the background verification companies, which are emerging fast, and offer an in-depth analysis of the candidate. Then there are the payroll and insurance vendors and companies who handle the rewards and recognition part of an organization
At MphasiS, most of our technology requirements are developed in-house and we use PeopleSoft HRMS. Our entire database and appraisals are online and even rewards and recognition is internally managed. Vendors that we go to are only for staffing and background verification. We also use third party to conduct exit interviews who share the reports with us subsequently.
HR technology space in India has evolved from the days when companies used to maintain their database of employees in excel sheets, which was very unreliable, because any drag and drop could result in discrepancies. Most companies now have in-house full-fledged ERP systems, either a PeopleSoft or Oracle or SAP to take care of their entire employee lifecycle, right from joining to separation. Today, most of the HR companies have their business HR who manage anywhere between 800-1200 employees. Technology is used for employee communication, appraisals, recognition and to survey employee satisfaction. Companies have created self service portals to cater to employee requirements such as electronic paystubs, address proof letters, reimbursements, etc. Employees can now go to their self service portal and print out their address verification documents. Training is another area where technology has helped. Companies use e-learning effectively whereby, there is a whole lot of training material available online for employees to choose and learn from as per their requirement.
Technology is there to stay and it is there to make things simpler and more efficient. Sometimes there are certain places where the human connect is required. People miss that and that is where there is a slight problem. It is not right to say that we would only use technology to engage with people, you need to meet with people and talk to them where required. Technology with human a touch is the differentiator that will separate employee preferred organizations from the rest.