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A notable common feature of our everyday lives is technology. In its variety of forms, technology has revolutionised all things, from how we communicate to how we carry out everyday tasks. Despite its criticisms for creating a non-personable environment and privacy issues, the advancement of technology has positively impacted the world on social, economic and environmental levels.
One key area of focus is the impact technology has had in the business world. We often see examples of how robotics and machinery transformed the manufacturing industry, and how the introduction of hi-tech computers and software has improved hundreds of thousands of processes, at hundreds of thousands of businesses. However, today we take a closer look at specific technologies that have influenced and impacted the HR environment.
Many HR functions throughout various industries have gradually made the decision to implement HR Systems. With the right selection, implementation, and training, these systems have consistently proven to improve efficiency and effectively support members of the HR team.
There is a multitude of different systems that are utilised in HR functions. HRM (Human Resource Management) or HRIS (Human Resource Information Systems) are systems focused on individuals in the workplace. HRIS systems enable employees and managers to perform HR activities electronically, saving time and resources to maximise the level of productivity from HR personnel.
Additionally, HR Systems can help HR Managers effectively manage and keep track of their people. More specifically, these systems assist in everything from managing payroll, keeping track of advancement and progression opportunities, down to smaller tasks like a platform for employees to book annual leave. Furthermore, the systems provide a database of information that can be easily accessed and utilised to provide online training services to employees, and essentially creating increased fluidity within the HR function.
From the perspective of recruitment, technology has improved most aspects of the end-to-end recruitment cycle.
The implementation of professional networking systems, such as LinkedIn, has been a game changer for recruitment. Nowadays it’s easier than ever to reach active and passive candidates and gain specific information about their career experience before reaching out to them. Additionally, LinkedIn has also made it easier for active candidates to express to recruiters that they’re looking for jobs by turning on their ‘LinkedIn Open Candidates’ feature. This communicates to recruiters that they’re open to new opportunities, however stays hidden from their employer and their partner companies.
Moreover, Job boards are now the most popular and widely used tool to search for a new job. The technological advancements in the search criteria technology allow for more tailored searches, which makes it a lot easier for people to find their ideal job. This also works in reverse, as HR professionals can search for suitable candidates in an efficient and easy manner.
The advancement of databases has also improved HR processes, as HR professionals can store candidate information, and easily access it when suitable opportunities become available. Many organisations capitalise on this opportunity by introducing Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). These systems enable recruitment needs to be effectively carried out electronically, whilst reducing time and cost per hire, and improving the quality of hires.
Additionally, AI is now being used to automatically sort through CVs and identify the most suitable candidates based on specific data points. AI is also being used to eliminate unconscious bias from the recruitment process by ignoring demographic information such as gender, age, race etc. It can even ignore information on postcodes or names of schools.
The use of video interviewing technology has also greatly improved the interview process for HR professionals. Implementing video interviewing reduces time to hire for businesses as it eliminates the need for the first interview, by replacing it digitally. The hiring manager can still virtually meet the candidate and discuss everything they would in a normal first interview. The candidate can also effectively portray their personality, which can assist the HR Manager in determining cultural fit. Additionally, using video interviewing reduces time to hire as the video can be shared with other important stakeholders in the business who are involved in the interview process.
The use of online testing has also allowed hiring managers to assess candidates’ skills before interviewing them, which can be invaluable as it reduces the risk of interviewing the wrong people. These tests include job knowledge tests, for example, excel or photoshop, personality or emotional intelligence tests, as well as cognitive ability tests, such as General Aptitude Tests.
All in all, technology has had an undeniable impact on the HR industry. Where do you think technology will take us in the future?
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