Technology is an area where the demand for ‘bigger and better’ is a never-ending chorus which encourages the efforts to come up with new and developed versions in quick succession and the market readily laps them up these labeling them as first, second or nth generation products!
HR technologies were all about simplifying and automating tiresome HR transaction processing over the years but later moved to offer more and more functionality out of the products. Whether in talent management or workforce management, it was all about functionality and transfer of the repetitive administrative tasks and tasks that required accuracy in maintenance to the technology. It helped to build better databases of employee-related information whether it is schedules, timesheets, payroll, benefit plans, resumes or performance reviews. Such automation helped to relieve HR functionaries of routine and repetitive tasks. This function was further enhanced by electronic methods for routing of requests and approvals, recorded by the system itself. This has also helped to ensure privacy and protection for the sensitive employee information to meet the required standards.
Earlier corporate intranets were the norm providing the employees access to information and different utilities and for fulfilling routine organizational tasks. Today, the stress has changed to usability where HR offers a lot of web-based features which the employees can use in a self-service mode to generate their own pay slips, or apply leave online and opt for various training courses which are delivered online and evaluated online. Data is shared and integrated from the multiple sources and data repositories to offer aggregated information on a single page. Employees at the workplace are encouraged to form networks and forums to share learning and develop a community spirit. The self-service method helps reduce turnaround times, costs while improving HR efficiency and employee satisfaction.
The trend has also moved away from presenting data in aggregate form towards offering business intelligence using HR analytics and reporting. The technology continually gathers and analyzes key strategic information using data analysis, modeling and simulation methods to postulate business scenarios and offer actionable recommendations to set the vision and strategy for the future of the organization.
Adoption of Internet technologies to automate HR processes and communications has obviated the need for paper-based transactions in many areas including the advertisement of open positions, submission of resumes, scheduling interviews, on-boarding formalities, and new hire orientation, all the way to performance reviews. This format enables HR to review the recruiting costs and success and identify the most prolific sources for candidates. It is also possible to eliminate wasteful expenditure and efforts. More work-from-home opportunities are available today than ever before as workplaces are being driven by knowledge and technology is helping HR managements to keep pace in the virtual world, by redefining itself and evolving with the changing times.
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