Mobile Technologies in HR Management – Any Takers? | DCR Workforce Blog

Mobile Technologies in HR Management – Any Takers?

mobile technologies in HRLast April, we discussed how the use of mobile technologies in Human Capital Management may not be as ubiquitous as some would believe despite the high number of Americans who own smartphones. Of course, there are always early adopters of technology who lead the trend in the use of every technology. So, the buzz never dies and the expectation is that mobile and social capabilities would be at the heart of every aspect of our lives and our businesses. Companies are naturally expected to gear up and deliver. The question is, have they? Let us look at mobile capabilities in this post.

There are many Human Resources tools used by employees in their work-a-day lives. Most larger companies have implemented “self-service” systems for issuing requests for additional personnel, tracking time worked, choosing health care plans and benefits, placing a time-off request, putting in request for expense reimbursements, annually renewing their acknowledgement of corporate policies, updating their personal information, and more. Even when they leave their position, the process is followed through with the aid of Human Capital Management systems. Now, imagine having many of these systems available for the employees and their managers (for approvals) on their mobiles like smartphones and tablets.

Of course, not all Human Capital Management systems offer mobile applications. There are technology challenges. Developing a mobile interface requires a different user interface. All of us have experienced a “bad” mobile app in which the same format and layout designed for a laptop is applied to the mobile device, making the application impossible to view or use. In reality, the effort required is the same as building a whole new product that performs the same functions, in the same ways, as when using a traditional device. The required investment of time and money only occurs when a company looks upon its Human Capital Management efforts as strategically important and essential to meet the company’s business objectives.

Some additional considerations:

  • How does a company protect sensitive information on a device that may be lost or stolen?
  • Providing the necessary devices to the employees or allowing them to bring their own devices. A clear Bring-Your-Own-Device policy must address the issue of corporate information residing on Smart Phones or Tablets. How is the information protected? Does the company have a right to view or monitor this information? What devices are supported? What are the implications for those whose device is not supported?
  • If the company decides to provide the devices to everyone, are the additional costs justified by the higher levels of consistency and control?
  • Allowing the use of mobile devices at work, which could divert the employees’ attention to online activities like games, apps or shopping.

When it comes to the use of mobile devices to support Human Resources applications, here is no single right answer for every company. One need not look at the costs alone because it is more of an investment into boosting productivity and reinforcing the company culture. And, every Human Capital Management activity should be individually considered when determining the value of the investment.

  • Does the Company have a large worker population, which is constantly on the move or travelling?
  • Are there HR activities that require rapid response or are deadline sensitive (such as approving time cards)?
  • Does the Company provide value-added content to its workforce that is expected to be reviewed at the worker’s leisure?
  • Would the workforce prefer to perform some actions (review paychecks, update profiles, alter benefit selections) during off-hours? Would the existence of mobile applications enhance the worker experience, increasing loyalty?
  • Does the Company’s existing IT infrastructure lend itself easily to cloud-based applications that may need to integrate with legacy applications?

In the final analysis, mobile capabilities can help to make Human Capital Management more controllable, increase employee engagement, and improve the employer’s branding. They help processes information, collect data and offer analytics which enable decision making and improve the productivity of the organization. So, companies need to keep an open mind in the matter and adopt mobile technologies if they can visualize the advantages their use could bring to the HCM operations.

The content on this blog is for informational purposes only and cannot be construed as specific legal advice or as a substitute for competent legal advice. They reflect the opinions of DCR Workforce and may not reflect the opinions of any individual attorney. Do contact an attorney for advice specific to your issue or problem.
Lalita is a people/project manager with extensive experience in operations, HCM and training and development across industries like banking, education, business consulting, BPO and information technology. She believes in a dynamic approach to life and learning as change is the only constant.