HR | 9 MIN READ

How to Improve Human Resource Management with Technology

In an era dominated by digital evolution and change management, human resource (HR) management is now as much about technology as it is about people.

 

Jump to the main takeaways:

 1. Make Smarter Human Resource Management Decisions
 2. Use Big Data to Pinpoint Workforce Personas, Hiring Trends
 3. Enhance Performance Management through Analytics
 4. Eliminate Compliance Headaches Through Automation
 5. Centralize Crucial Information with Cloud-Based Data Management
 6. Utilize Data-Driven Insights to Meet Diversity Benchmarks
 7. Empower HR Managers to Be Proactive, Not Reactive

 

Recent numbers reveal that 97% (!) of HR professionals plan to increase their spending on technological solutions by the end of 2020. Of that group, nearly a quarter of them could boost HR solution spending by as much as 50%.

It’s easy to see why too. Human resources software solutions and other tools can enhance your overall HR strategy in a variety of ways.

From hiring the best talent to using analytics to track performance, compliance, and diversity, here are seven ways you can improve human resource management with technology:

 

1. Make Smarter Human Resource Management Decisions

In general, AI’s impact on the human resources field has been as positive as it has been transformative.

Not so long ago, human resource management used to involve lots of manual data entry and manipulation. Faxing resumes, wasting hours entering performance numbers, sifting through large stacks of resumes one by one–compared to today, those were dark, inefficient times.

Now, every aspect of a company’s HR services is influenced by automation and AI technology. In recent years, this has been most noticeable in a trio of key areas:

Recruitment

According to Capterra, 75% of organizations already utilize a recruitment or application tracking solution. Of that group, 94% said integrating this level of AI improved their hiring processes.

Investing in AI or automation solutions for HR tasks also frees recruiters and HR managers up to concentrate on more important issues related to personnel.

As Capterra put it in their blog post, “recruiting professionals and hiring managers who are not, at this point, yet using software to handle their candidate sourcing and acquisition process are at a serious disadvantage against the multitudes who are.”

Onboarding Processes

Automating your employee onboarding process can also bring a tremendous amount of added value to your business.

Onboarding technology not only helps you keep costs down (especially when simply processing employee data can set you back more than $12,000 for every new hire), but it also boosts initial employee productivity, thereby increasing overall your human capital ROI.

Only 12% of professionals convinced that companies do a great job onboarding their new staff members or cross-boarding existing ones. Investing in the right HR technology can help you flip this script for good.

Employee Retention

Additionally, an AI solution can almost singlehandedly improve a company’s chances of retaining their star talent.

The science behind this is simple. By cracking down on the kind of human error that leads to unfocused, ineffective human resource management, your employees will feel more valued. If they feel valued, they’ll be more committed to your organization long-term.

Otherwise, your organization will have all sorts of disengagement issues on its hands, including employees who are already hunting for a replacement job six months after you hire them.

 

2. Use Big Data to Pinpoint Workforce Personas, Hiring Trends

Speaking of hiring, let’s take a macro-level look at how big data and technology impacts this aspect of HR.

Take HireVue as an example. As outlined in this Vox article, their job interview video platform analyzes an applicant’s recorded responses to questions and produces a large number of data points that can supposedly predict whether or not they’ll succeed in a given position.

With enough applicant data, companies who use similar AI technology can pinpoint specific personas within their city or country’s workforce that mesh best with their company culture.

On top of that, they can also identify hiring trends (what specific candidates value in a job or company, for one) and platforms beyond LinkedIn that can help attract better talent. However, none of this happens if you’re not collecting and processing your data properly.

According to Inc., 73% of the average company’s data doesn’t make it into their analytics pipeline. Even worse, only 5% of big data investments are made with HR specifically in mind.

If more companies fail to give sufficient data-backed support to human resources efforts, their hiring process will be, by default, operating at a severe disadvantage.

Additionally, even if your HR department is already gathering external data through social media or platforms like Indeed and Glassdoor, that information needs to be leveraged.

Data doesn’t bring any added value if it lies dormant in your digital backend. Instead, all it represents is a missed opportunity for organizational growth.

 

3. Enhance Performance Management through Analytics

Performance management is not a new concept for HR managers. From gathering supervisor feedback to arranging for regular employee review sessions, monitoring a staff member’s performance is a human resource staple.

In recent years, technology has streamlined this process, saving organizations valuable time and resources by eliminating tedious data entry steps.

For some, using statistical analysis to influence talent management is still a controversial concept. But, with major initiatives like Google's Project Oxygen leading the charge, that stigma is ebbing considerably.

A common misconception about performance analytics is that they’re supposed to focus on individuals alone. In reality, AI and automation technology can help your HR team track interpersonal data, which may be even more important for decision-making purposes.

As this Harvard Business Review article points out:

“By incorporating it into their people analytics strategies, companies can better identify employees who are capable of helping them achieve their goals, whether for increased innovation, influence, or efficiency. Firms will also gain insight into which key players they can’t afford to lose and where silos exist in their organizations.”

Gut instincts and personal biases will never give HR professionals a clear picture of employee performance. Data-driven insights, backed by sound analytical methods and tech tools, will help you up your overall efficiency and reward staffers who go above and beyond.

 

4. Eliminate Compliance Headaches Through Automation

With laws and regulations that are in a continual state of flux, especially when it comes to an employee’s personal data, staying compliant can be a huge undertaking.

Ensuring organizational compliance involves processing tons of information. This used to mean dedicated IT storage space. These days, Software as a Service (SaaS) options are helping HR managers get the same work done in a fraction of the time it used to take.

Examples of common human resource compliance issues include:

  • Wage and hour laws
  • Anti-discrimination laws
  • Medical and personal leave regulations
  • Employee benefits policies
  • Employee wellness and safety policies
  • Workplace harassment policies
  • Union regulations

Juggling all of these variables can be a nightmare without an HR software solution lending a hand. With labor laws evolving on a regular basis, your business needs to ensure it’s got all its bases covered.

83% of employers believe that attracting and keeping new talent is a growing challenge in the HR industry. As such, meeting compliance benchmarks automatically boosts your company’s profile during the hiring process and helps build a trustworthy brand reputation.

 

5. Centralize Crucial Information with Cloud-Based Data Management

Data is a word that has permeated this blog post thus far, but we’ve yet to really touch on the value of centralizing that information.

Besides having all your relevant employee data at your fingertips at any time, centralizing your human resource information system brings a host of other benefits to the table, such as:

  • Lower operating costs. This includes saving on software licenses, transaction costs going in and out of the HR department, and so on.
  • Better knowledge sharing. The more centralized your human resource management efforts are, the quicker information can be disseminated between parties.
  • Optimized HR processes. With crucial data residing in a single, accessible hub instead of in bits and pieces across various platforms, your team will spend less time looking for information and more time acting on it.

While smaller, decentralized human resource teams may be better suited for international corporations, a single centralized department is a sweet spot for many organizations.

As Heidi Cardenas observed in this blog post:

“The most effective human resources departments are strategic business partners, not just paper-pushing departments within their organizations. They hire talented personnel, analyze compensation and benefits, recognize and reward employees and provide performance management, as well as assist management in aligning the workforce with business goals. Doing this from a centralized unit rather than from a scattered group in different parts of the company provides many strategic business advantages.”

It goes without saying that technology, when used correctly by everyone involved, can eliminate many headaches related to miscommunication or siloed information.

 

6. Utilize Data-Driven Insights to Meet Diversity Benchmarks

According to Glassdoor, more than two-thirds (67%) of modern business professionals want to join a diverse team. On top of that, companies in the top quartile for gender, racial, and ethnic diversity outearn their competitors by a considerable margin.

Widespread diversity within an organization can also:

  • Bring different skill sets and ways of working into the fold
  • Enhance collaboration and innovation efforts with fresh ideas and perspectives
  • Open up new revenue streams because of linguistic or cultural diversification
  • Grow your company’s talent pool and public persona ever further
  • Improve employee performance through new relationships, learning opportunities

If your business wants to hire the best, you need to meet and even exceed recognized diversity benchmarks. Utilizing data-driven insights can take the guesswork out of this process as well.

By using a cloud-based reporting system or SaaS product, you’ll be able to instantly analyze various diversity metrics and, if the scales tip too far to one end of a given spectrum, pinpoint which areas need to be recalibrated.

There are organizations out there who still look at diversity as an annoyance rather than an opportunity. However, as Meir Shemla points out in this Forbes piece, “[t]he benefits of true workplace diversity are so obviously attractive that the challenges inherent in it simply have to be addressed.”

 

7. Empower HR Managers to Be Proactive, Not Reactive

Finally, we come to a cumulative improvement that technology adds to your average human resource management strategy: the ability to be proactive instead of reactive.

This fundamental change, both in the department’s mentality and operating procedures, means actively working towards goals instead of simply putting out fires every day.

Being consistently proactive from an HR point of view also means developing disciplined habits such as:

  • Having regular, open discussions with management about your tasks and goals
  • Becoming more involved in cross-functional team exercises, even if it’s over coffee or lunch
  • Taking advantage of learning and training opportunities, both internal and external

When none of these practices are done regularly, teams will lose sight of their larger objectives. Once that happens, their individual focus will revert to problems that are right in front of them instead of longer-term, possibly more important projects.

Investing in technology tools is a crucial part of avoiding that scenario and ensuring that your HR managers and their staff work in a proactive way. Efficient data management means better communication, transparency and, by association, habits related to productivity.

In short, technology helps HR professionals nip smaller annoyances in the bud and devote more time to recruiting, retention, and wellness initiatives.

 

Recap

Businesses all over the world are more focused than ever or achieving digital transformation success. Human resource management is a big part of this equation and shouldn’t be left out in the cold.

From using big data and AI to enhance hiring blitzes or centralizing your company’s information to refine internal processes, human resources software is a key ingredient for modern success.

Remember: If your HR department’s tech infrastructure is lacking, your organization is already operating at a disadvantage when it comes to finding, keeping, and cultivating talented employees.

Don’t make preventable mistakes that put your business in a tough spot. Human resource management deserves your full attention.


For more insights and practical tips you can use to fuel digital transformation success, check out our blog!

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Originally published Mar 3, 2020 3:00:00 AM

Late 2019, we did a brand split. Mindville is the company behind the Insight products. Riada provides expert consultancy services on all things Atlassian. Riada can be found at riada.se. Mindville is an Atlassian Platinum Top Vendor and Riada is an Atlassian Platinum Solution Partner.

Topics: HR