Technology revolution in HR
Being highly dynamic process, HR operations has to be modified with every slight change in the industry to suit the requirements of the employers. There have been some notable changes and developments in recent past, especially in terms of technology. The relationship between human resource management and information technology is inverse. Human resources use machines to manage people, and information technology uses people to manage machines. It is important to remember that information technology brings new tools and a strong interest in knowledge management to this business relationship. While human resource brings a strong orientation for improving job performance and a focus on knowledge use.
The primary responsibility of a human resource information system is to facilitate the man on job, by segregating the data on human capital and human resource into desirable silos. The second enhancement is strategic. It provides easily accessible data to a manager which allows them to make better decisions regarding human resource planning.
Another technology boom to HR is internet. With more than one billion users on Internet, the other upcoming trend is of E-Recruitment.
Around two thirds of employers use Internet as a part of their recruitment strategies. Online recruitment is likely to pick up momentum due to speed and cost benefits.
The benefits of online recruitment:
From an Employer’s perspective
- The Internet offers a unique opportunity to shortlist candidates on hard skills from a wide geographical area, at a minimal cost and fractional time, when compared to traditional recruitment mediums.
- Online advertising offers more cost effective and highly targeted visibility than traditional press and can last for longer time duration. The advertising can be employer-branded and a more substantial job specification can be presented to attract suitable applicants.
- The geographical reach of the Internet is a clear advantage.
- “It is the ‘pull advertising’ as against the ‘push advertising’ of the traditional media that is also an advantage. Use of rich and interactive multimedia content in online advertisements offers a rich emotional involvement for the targeted user.
From a job seekers perspective:
- The Internet is available at all hours of the day/night/weekend ( 24x 7)
- Find jobs more easily using keywords
- Ease of applying for jobs in one go
Moreover, social networking sites such as orkut, facebook, myspace and linkedIn are popular hunting grounds for recruiters. A significant number of people are using the social network sites for work-related tasks which include research on potential employees and generating new business. According to Manpower report 17 per cent people use the sites to research for potential employers, 10 per cent for networking and generating new business while 17 per cent use it for other work-related reasons. In future, due to huge internet penetration and younger profile of our country expansion will further accelerate.
The report also revealed that as the virtual world of work becomes increasingly attractive, people are expecting changes in the workplace over the next 10 years.
The results reveal that 87 per cent think technology would play a bigger role in how people work.
Technology reduces the time to scout the best talent and help them migrate.
In this environment, it is important to engage with both active and passive target audiences. Companies that will focus on building niche talent pools based on future skill sets requirement and engage with them to retain them are most likely to emerge as clear leaders. While the concept of implementing information technology into human resource management has significant benefits, the idea is not without challenges. In this information age, the prime concern remains of data security and user privacy.
This radical transformation of HR functions has been instigated by a complex nexus of forces. Pressures to reduce costs, higher expectations of customers, the constant drive to meet global competitive challenges, and opportunities offered by advancements in information technology hold the key.
The mix of these forces accelerates the transformation of the HR function in ways not envisioned a decade ago.
Cherian Kuruvila is director operations, Manpower India