Technology and Department of Human Resource – Foes turned Friends

The evolution of HR is gaining momentum and speed with latest technology trends that are soon becoming integral to people processes

It would be safe to say that Human Resource Management is the most vulnerable of all business functions as it frequently swings from being judged as the most critical at one moment and easily dismissed as non-essential component at other times.

Culture and ethics get a much-needed refresh

Each year trends come and go, with different versions on effectiveness of HR as a function.

However, one unshakable faith that has sustained all these years is that HR can be of irreplaceable value if combined with progressive technology.

With more millennials owning up the higher leadership roles, this marriage between HR and Technology is getting stronger.

In a research by The Starr Conspiracy Intelligence Unit, it has been revealed that 57 percent of those surveyed intend on purchasing some type of HR technology solution in the next 12 months.

Millennials are no longer the newbies

All companies whether large, small or big want to associate some or all of their HR processes to technology. The thrust areas change with the company size and job position.

Large ones need tech solutions to manage learning, workforce planning, compensation, and analytics.

While human resources department at small and medium enterprises swear by technology support for employee engagement, wellness, onboarding, and core HRIS/HRMS.

Changes that have made technology “HOT” for Department of Human Resource:

  1. The executive suite leaders are increasingly interested in topics like culture, employee engagement, performance, and learning. A lot of this has to do with the fact that they realize the impact of these areas on employee retention and business results, therefore are ready to invest in HR tools that aid this growth;
  2. Data driven decision making has become a permanent fixture at almost every level of employee management, requiring HR analytics to be at the forefront;
  3. More tools and technologies (especially cloud based software) have become available for the HR Managers of small and medium businesses who earlier struggled with expensive and non-relevant enterprise tech solutions;
  4. Technology allows for transparency and feedback that has become highly treasured value of doing business in modern times;
  5. HR Generalists are slowly but definitively making way for technology by abandoning their fear, apprehension and distrust with technological facelift of HR;
  6. Employee Self Service is a trend that has really caught up with organizations with its umpteen benefits. This phenomenon has put operational HR to back burner and adopted technology like no other;
  7. Simplification and integration of HR processes through technology is the only way to manage global, segregated, and virtual workforce.

Technology Landscape for HR: What the future holds?

With increasing focus of business leaders on enabling technology fuelled HR, the department of human services has to be tech-savvy and inclined to extract meaningful output from the dozen tools they are exposed to.

Pay and performance decouple

Top 4 tech trends that boast of potential to shake up things in HR include:

1. The power of HR Analytics

While the idea to develop robust talent management strategies based on pure objective data seems to be enticing; the business owners need to evaluate the effectiveness in tracking and using this data.

A survey of 150 HR leaders undertaken by Expedite HR Consulting revealed that around 42% of businesses lacked confidence in their ability to interpret analytics data effectively for decision-making purpose.

However, there is no denying to the fact that HR analytics is on the path to become mainstream and all pervasive in HR with dedicated tools, systems and teams to make sense of people data.

2. Mobile – The new platform for HR

With the mobile becoming a constant companion, business applications and HR systems now consider the “Mobile-First Workflow” which allows employees access to corporate and HR apps via their smartphones.

One of the biggest indicators of mobile technology taking the center stage is optimization of Microsoft Office 365 (flagship business suite) for i-phone and android devices.

Mobile is all set to become the primary point of contact for employees, and department of human resource needs to bank on this trend for all their initiatives.

3. HR on Cloud

Vendors offering cloud based HR solutions have been in the market for a while. However, the surge in demand for cloud software has been unprecedented owing to the flexibility of collaboration, inexpensive packages, and user-friendly benefits associated with these applications.

Range of HR initiatives from learning, engagement, payroll, leave, and recruitment now come in their cloud versions.

Quick Tip: When migrating to cloud, select vendors that offer comprehensive service package, industry specific experience and open programming interface. Their products should be easy to use rather than just feature-rich.

Cloud has proved to be a boon with its time saving features and ability to connect distributed global teams surpassing the challenges of time zones and international boundaries.

There has also been a move to adopt personal cloud apps by companies that boost employee productivity with cool updates and features but at the same time maintain the security as these are company owned accounts.

4. Social Media Integration

HR Professionals are expected to be more conversant and comfortable with social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc. as majority of the workforce thrives on them.

Recruitment, Employee engagement and Feedback management can be effectively managed through these mediums.

Also, applications like Skype, Hangouts, Dropbox, Evernote have made virtual workspace a very convenient option for employees.

Hence, HR needs to exhibit high levels of efficiency and enthusiasm in using social media.

Teams evolve to accommodate contingent workers

Technology change is inevitable and everywhere, with human resources function being no exception.

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As the people processes become more advanced with things like wearables, 3D gesture tools, sensors, location trackers etc. flooding the market, it might not be surprising if there are human resources certification designed specifically for “Mastering Digital HR”.

One thing is for sure – traditional and legacy processes cant run and sustain the people show anymore. HR’s digital drift is here to stay.


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CakeHR has been acing the digital HR trend with its unique leave portal that combines innovative features with simplified processes. Know more about our technology by visiting CakeHR.

Written By

Mitalee Chhatre

Mitalee, a true professional with over 5 years of corporate experience in Human Resources and Health Sector. Contributor on CakeHR where tracks the newest trends and practices of the work-life world.