Technology and the changing HR sphere

Human resources (HR), the critical department in charge of bringing new staff on board and training them in the right skill​ sets, has certainly been no stranger to the influx of technology in the workplace.

In a very short space of time, the proliferation of the internet and easier data management has made recruitment and the subsequent training and management easier and more effective. These changes in the HR sphere continue, and will keep developing over the next few years.

For anyone involved in HR, whether as a leader in the space or simply a manager in a small business, it's important to understand the major changes. In turn, this can enable them to make better hiring decisions and subsequently retain employees.

HR goes mobile

In a study from KPMG, the organisation found that 69 per cent of HR executives (in the three years to 2012) have increased the use of mobile or web-based platforms. These apps primarily saw use as a way for employees to handle their own HR services, whether payroll or performance evaluations.

KPMG explained that while expensive, these new technologies have undeniable advantages. They allow HR to move away from more mundane tasks and start focusing on strategic services, and also benefit training thanks to a more demonstrative approach.

Mobile presents opportunities for HR.Mobile presents opportunities for HR.

The new technologies were also found to play a crucial role in developing a stronger culture within the business, something that in turn has the potential to lead to new hires.

"New technologies are playing an important role in how we connect people in the organisation and how we create a culture that is a medium for people," said Global Human resources Director, National Grid, Mike Westcott.

"We are exploring how we use the technology to create a company brand that is attractive to people joining it."

Taking to social media

On a similar level to the mobile push is the one into social media – platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. According to the annual social media recruitment survey from CareerBuilder (conducted by Harris Poll), a substantial 35 per cent of employers said they were less likely to interview candidates if they couldn't find information about them online.

What's more, 52 per cent of employers actually use social networking sites during the the recruitment process, as a way of finding out more about candidates. This is a substantial step up from the 39 per cent in 2013.

Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder, noted that researching candidates on social media and other online sources has now transformed from an emerging trend to a staple of recruitment practices carried out online. She also offered advice for those looking for jobs.

"Jobseekers should make their professional persona visible online."

"In a competitive job market, recruiters are looking for all the information they can find that might help them make decisions. Rather than go off the grid, jobseekers should make their professional persona visible online, and ensure any information that could dissuade prospective employers is made private or removed," she explained.

Technology will continue to play an important role in HR, and most other areas of the business for the foreseeable future. The benefits of new online platforms make them hard for leaders to ignore.

When choosing to work for a particular organisation, a candidate is now far more likely to consider the other advantages of the employer aside from solely remuneration. Training in project management, is likely to offer more value than a larger paycheck.