A system that supports real-time feedback mechanism and shortens this feedback loop is the next step for a fully equipped HR mechanism
With each passing day, technology is changing the way we think, work and interact. Innovation has become a clichéd term, with new means to handle everyday problems in a better, more efficient way being invented every other day. The traditional methods of handling challenges in every domain are being replaced by processes that are newer and better. With countless processes and actions coming under the helm of HR, technology is strategically positioned to extract more value through each of these processes.
If I were to list down technology trends that will have, or are having, a widespread, telltale impact on the way HR functions in organizations, I will go with the following five.
- Cloud Technology for HR Management Systems: Cloud computing is a limitless horizon, and so are its applications to HR. Cloud-based HRMS systems are expanding beyond the traditional personnel record management. These systems, which are capable of supporting organizations throughout their lifecycle, score major brownie points for scalability, budget friendliness, manageability and, most importantly, delivery of an intuitive UI that makes it interesting and user friendly. People Analytics, which is basically a data analysis tool, is underscored. It empowers HR personnel to conduct extensive predictive analysis by understanding the present and bringing new vision to people management. People analytics takes all the available human factor data into consideration, uses their attributing variables affecting present organizational outcomes and gives reliable future predictions for businesses and people.
- Performance Evaluation Technology and Appraisal Metrics: Employee appraisal is a core part of any organization’s HR machinery. However, the process has its own limitations such as annual cycles, a risk of losing top talent and a long gestation period before substantial action. Further, the rules of performance estimation system put a cap on the number of employees you can place in the top talent pool and limit the time after which you can take action towards improvement of underperforming talent. Through breakthroughs in performance management systems, this feedback loop can be closed and made more frequent. Employees can receive feedback on monthly or quarterly basis, thus shortening the period from 12 months to 1-3 months. This data enables the top management and HR to gather actionable information for taking quicker steps to improve the talent pool of the organizations. A system that supports real-time feedback mechanism and shortens this feedback loop is the next step for a fully equipped HR mechanism.
- Technology for Connectivity On-the-Go – With changing workplace etiquettes, a global client base and a multinational working culture, we are not limited to the traditional 9 to 5 office set up anymore. We are now working for a huge chunk of the day and working from anywhere and everywhere. In a modern age setup, a cloud environment does not require physical presence in the office premises for getting stuff done. Through a cloud environment and connectivity on the go, engineering teams can collaborate and be flexible with their work timings at the same time. New age organizations are trying to enable this flexibility for all its employees across the globe. With the availability of high bandwidth portable internet devices, smartphones, tablets, and data cards for portable connectivity, these challenges are being tackled on a regular basis. Needless to say, these measures also improve employee productivity and satisfaction levels.
- Tools for Pre-Assessing Potential Hires: Pre-assessment is one major field that is seeing a lot of traction in the HR world. Collectively, organizations want to reduce the time, energy and efforts that are invested in identifying the best talent, without sacrificing on the quality of hires. Online pre-assessment tools are giving HR the power to measure, analyze, and improve potential employees at a fraction of the recruitment cost. These tools generally comprise a multi-competency analysis of prospects on the basis of a complex science, thus providing a complete picture to hiring managers and HR. Although these assessment tools are not in a stage where they can provide us with employees suiting all our requirements, they are gradually getting there and won’t take long before providing perfect matches on the basis of extensive requirements.
- Technology for Online Trainings and Certifications – Online Trainings and certifications is another essential aspect that I would want to highlight here. Due to the requirement of physical presence at the training venue, overbearing preplanning and coordination activities and limited flexibility, traditional class room trainings are losing their sheen. Moreover, there is no way to capture training sessions in an information savvy format that can be readily used at a later stage for reference and refreshing the learning. Online training is being seen as the savior in these scenarios. An online training system, generally called Learning Management system or LMS, is a self-service based scalable tool to centralize and automate learning. LMS enables simultaneous use and reuse of knowledge and promotes complete flexibility in terms of attendance and delivery of trainings. Other than the obvious benefits for trainees and trainers, these systems are helping HR to assess the need and effectiveness of various trainings, understand knowledge and skill gap, and comply with needs, laws and regulations of different countries. We recently organized HIPAA training for our global employee base through online learning module, since having knowledge about this law is mandatory for companies working in US healthcare.
In a nutshell, this is a very exciting time for people working in the HR field. These emerging HR technologies are going to change the way we perceive HR and utilize it for organizational success. In near future, these technologies are going to become a necessity for organizations, and to keep pace, HR personnel will have to adopt them and maneuver the learning curve in due time. As HR practices evolve to think beyond transactional processes and concentrate on the bigger picture of strengthening organizational strategies, these technologies are going to serve as pillars for success.