Rapid changes in technology have affected businesses in more ways than we can count, from globalization and organizational adjustments to a workforce clamoring for remote and mobile job opportunities -- and human resources has had to adapt swiftly. If HR wants to continue to play a critical role in helping businesses anticipate and manage organizational change, it must have technology at its core.
With Millennials making up more than half of the current workforce -- and predicted to make up 75 percent by 2020 -- HR is going to have to embrace and build on technological advancements to meet both employee expectations and business requirements. Talent analytics and workplace analysis will become more commonplace, and companies using the data available to them will be far more competitive.
Get Smarter With Big Data
Compliance and risk avoidance are essential principles for HR, underlying every function and task. Be-cause of this, HR has earned a reputation for being mired in time-consuming duties with significant amounts of paperwork.
But technology has changed much of that monotony, via new HR portals and platforms that digitize much of the information HR needs to process. Today's technology gives HR professionals access to the power of Big Data -- impacting the way businesses understand their customers, market to new audiences, and communicate with existing and prospective employees.
When combined with other technologies, Big Data provides a tremendous amount of insight and allows HR professionals to make decisions backed by concrete information and more efficient processes:
- Big Data gives HR a fact-based view of the current workforce, identifying emerging trends so businesses can adapt.
- Predictive analytics allow for better risk-management decisions. For example, they can identify employees who could benefit from additional training or highlight teams that may be struggling.
- Analytics also allow recruiters to assess potential employees based on real information; by bas-ing hiring decisions on facts instead of hunches, they can improve the quality and placement of new hires.
Clean Up Your Office with the Cloud
The cloud is another innovation that's changing HR in a big way. Both collection and storage of data have always been a big part of HR's function and, until the cloud, meant hard drive space, piles of paper, filing cabinets, and desk drawers. Naturally, this led to inefficiencies, security issues, data loss, and chaotic office spaces.
Today, all of this information can instead be stored in the cloud -- documents and other pertinent information can be easily accessed online while data can be collected through simplified forms and automated processes. Employee information -- like tax forms, payroll data, performance reviews, and contact information -- can be archived and organized in one secure location.
Cloud-based systems and Big Data go hand in hand. All of this data can provide valuable insight if you know how to interpret it, which has already made a tremendous impact on HR. However, in the future, HR's challenge will include the need for higher levels of interpretation and broader application of the insights cloud-based systems and Big Data provide.
Give Employees What They Want With Mobile Technology
Cloud security makes it easy to limit access to information. At the same time, cloud-based mobile platforms allow individuals to access their information more readily than ever before.
Imagine if you didn't need to email HR every time you had a question about your benefits or paycheck; instead, you'd log on to a portal where all that information was at your fingertips. Imagine if you could use the same portal to request time off, change your mailing address, or confirm contributions to your 401(K).
Mobile HR apps make it easy for employees to access this kind of information anywhere and anytime. And that makes life easier for HR workers, too.
Many Businesses Waiting to Make the Change -- for Now
Despite the potential impact, many companies still haven't made the switch to modern HR systems -- but I think it's only a matter of time. As we barrel into the future of technology in the workplace, HR has a lot to look forward to; cloud computing, easier storage, better insights, and greater transparency are only the beginning. Because of efficiencies, cost savings, employee expectations, and the power of Big Data -- for HR and organizations as a whole -- technology is just too business critical ignore.