In a relatively short time, technology has earned an irreplaceable role in businesses throughout the world. From record keeping to payroll management, from employee data maintenance to government compliance, from goal setting to data analysis, complex computer programs provide efficient Human Resources systems that maintain timely, comprehensive and invaluable support.
It wasn’t too long ago that most workplaces shunned the personal use of the internet during the workday. (Many still do!)
However, as technology has taken on an even greater role in our professional and private lives, it has also earned a respected and valuable role in HR practices.
Although it might sound contradictory, the internet makes it easier to “cast a wide net” while “narrowing down the field.” That’s because of the incalculable reach to potential applicants that combines with talent targeting. Posting information on popular sites, such as LinkedIn and Facebook, exposes a job listing to a huge audience of active and passive job seekers. Over time, a presence on these sites “brands” a company and enhances its attractiveness. Recruiters also find their postings attract readers who are currently employed but see the possibilities of a new position. Technology also helps in the recruitment process by collecting and sorting through resumes. Increasingly sophisticated software now has the capability of identifying strong candidates beyond the use of key words. And, of course, while saving time and expenses by handling candidates’ notifications and responses, technology frees the Human Resource person to provide support where human interaction is needed.
Both new and experienced personnel benefit from training. Whether the content is “off-the-shelf” or tailor-made for a company, training heightens efficiency and sharpens skills. Most HR Departments develop their own courses that often combine online and classroom participation. Online programs include integrated data measuring a user’s participation and achievements. These courses allow employees to participate at work or at home, in small groups or on their own. Online training programs are developed in concert with the introduction of new software and the decision to change policies and procedures. Team members can go through the materials at their own rate, review as needed, and complete the course at a predetermined time.
By recognizing and accepting the impact of the Internet, HR managers can communicate through popular Social Media, building a culture of camaraderie and commitment.
Using the social networks effectively can engage employees in company activities, spotlight individual employees, and nurture energetic interactive discussions. A vibrant and robust company site breathes life and personality into the workplace, supporting and applauding individual efforts and enabling the workforce top thrive in a culture of connectedness.
While Performance Management usually requires regularly scheduled meetings between HR and employees, technology makes it easier for Performance Management to be an ongoing process with increased efficiencies and impact. Employees can have access to their files, updating personal data, job descriptions, and individual workplace information. By having access to previous evaluations, including constructive suggestions and specific directives, there is transparency and honesty between the HR representative and the employee –an appropriate starting point for each employee’s evaluation.
Employees often rely on their experienced HR professionals to help them plan for and design their individual retirement programs. These plans actually begin on the day that someone is hired. Someone’s initial financial and familial decisions affect long-term expectations. Not only are specialized retirement programs capable of collecting information and expectations, and combining them into a realistic retirement plan, but these programs also have the flexibility to make adjustments and modifications based on a person’s emerging earning capabilities and changing family responsibilities. The computerized analysis frees the HR person to meet with an employee and revisit the contents of the plan.
So next time you see an employee at work accessing a website on his Smart Phone or computer, don’t shut him down. If you HR team is taking advantage of the social media strengths, the site he’s looking at may be yours!