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article imageIncreased take-up of digital technology by human resources

By Tim Sandle     Sep 10, 2017 in Business
The image of the old-style personnel manager clutching a cardboard file and using this to check an employee’s record is fading. Today’s human resources departments are taking advantage of the latest digital technology offerings.
In this first of the three part series, Digital Journal looks at the changing trends within human resources and the digital transformation process that the profession is undergoing. This article addresses general changes; the second part looks at the application of software solutions for recruitment (see “Application of workforce analytics for targeted recruitment”). The third part considers performance management (“Businesses turning to performance management software solutions.”)
According to a recent KPMG report, organizations are looking to new human resources technology for improved results. This means that the selected software needs to fit in with the business strategy and be capable of delivering the appropriate level of analytics.
According to Ben Eubanks, who is the Principal Analyst at Lighthouse Research & Advisory, most companies that have taken all or part of their human resources services digital have reported that:
-Implementers of human resources technology are more likely to experience benefits such as increased productivity (47 percent more likely), employee engagement (twice as likely), and better reporting and insight (73 percent more likely)
-High-performing firms, utilizing technology for human resources, have a greater chance of generating higher levels of cost savings and return on investment, than other companies
-86 percent of companies implementing technological solutions have experienced benefits or payback from their human resources technology within 12 months.
Cloud-based technology
A sector-wide review, called the HR Transformation Survey has found that cloud computing is seen as the future of most human resources activities.
Cloud computing use has grown by 112 percent in the past year
Cloud computing use has grown by 112 percent in the past year
stokpic via Pixabay
An example of a cloud-based platform is PeopleStrategy, which places an emphasis upon offering technology to help streamline employee lifecycle management.
Human resource management package
There is a range of standard human resources software packages available. The best of these platforms have easy and user-friendly modules for key business areas like payroll, accounting and tax information purposes.
A hacker in action.
A hacker in action.
Davide Restivo
Systems can also effectively track the relationships of each individual employee to the business; with supporting functions to assess how someone is performing, as well as possessing tools for discovering any potential problems with an employee undertaking his or her responsibilities in their given job roles.
Training and learning
Given that generation Y is the future of employment and they have grown up in a digital environment, being digitally savvy in assessing and assisting them will be crucial Gilly Bryant in Human Resources Magazine states that human resources departments should be championing the use of technologies, including mobile and social tools for learning.
People gather for the keynote lecture on science in science fiction movies  at Bayfordbury Observato...
People gather for the keynote lecture on science in science fiction movies, at Bayfordbury Observatory.
Such tools allow human resources to promote gaming concepts in the work place as part of learning and development, and establish a digitally-savvy method of evaluation and feedback with employees.
Big data and analytics
More sophisticated software is allowing human resources to run more detailed profiles of the workforce and to create maps of skills and abilities, and to focus on addressing skills gaps. Sophisticated software also allows human resources professionals to ask better questions across the organization and respond more quickly to changes in business skill needs and recruitment trends.
Untitled
DARPA
As an example, Personnel Today has posted a case study about Public Health England. The company has created diversity dashboards which are used across its 74 locations. These dashboards display breakdowns of the workforce at each of the organization’s directorates by specific diversity characteristics.
Social media
Many companies do not allow employees to engage with social media while at work. This is a mistake according to analyst Ben Hart. Social media can play an important role in shaping employee engagement, according to Hart. The digital mode of communication is all about humans connecting and sharing — being social with one another.
A big logo created from pictures of Facebook users worldwide is pictured in the company's Data ...
A big logo created from pictures of Facebook users worldwide is pictured in the company's Data Center, its first outside the US on November 7, 2013 in Lulea, in Swedish Lapland
Jonathan Nackstrand, AFP/File
Hart asserts that “rather than preventing these behaviors, celebrate their ability for people to come together for business gain. Allow people to be social using digital, to chat informally, to arrange social meet-ups, to connect and build friendly and personable relationships with each other and the organization’s customers.”
Digital culture
Human resources can play an important function in promoting the digital transformation process of the wider company. This can be tackled through a greater fostering of digital culture. One advantage, and where human resources can be pivotal, is with breaking down departmental silos. Digital process and human resources can promote collaborative behaviors, sharing of data, and with creating spaces for ideas and fostering creative thinking. This could be achieved, for example, thorough encouraging cross-functional learning.
Workplace by Facebook
Workplace by Facebook
Facebook
Changes to the digital culture also impinge on recruitment, where some companies wish to employ the more technological savvy employees to lead digital transformation projects within the company.
These examples indicate the shift in the management of human resources towards digital technology. A more focused example of this is provided with the second article which looks at the role technology can play with recruitment, see: “Employers are using workforce analytics to hire the best.”
More about human resources, personnel, Business, digital transformation