Three Ways Technology is Changing the HR Department

New technology means that HR is changing. Many believe tools like social media and analytics software are at the heart of this evolution. Will 2013 be the year the HR industry makes the leap?

HR, Talent Development and Strategy

The role of HR and its function in the overall strategy for the business is something that is receiving growing attention. Talent development is crucial to this – investing in the future of the business through investment in people. HR managers need to know the entire business well enough to understand where the gaps are, and the areas that need development. How this can be done effectively, and how the impact of this is measured on the overall development of the business is key.

The CIPD’s recently released Annual Survey Report, Learning and Talent Development, found that nearly three quarters of organisations had difficulty assessing the impact of their talent management strategies on their overall business.

Analytics embedded in HR software could contribute to overcoming the issue, and development in this area looks set to continue. HR analytics works by gathering workforce data, such as work history and satisfaction scores, which is then analysed to provide insights that HR managers can use to make critical decisions, such as changes to commission structures, training considerations, and employee satisfaction to ensure important talent is retained, whilst simultaneously feeling valued.

Social Media and HR

Until recently social media has been referred to as ‘new’. But that is no longer the case. Social media is part of everyday life, and as such it is part of businesses and HR.

Traditionally HR departments have been slow adopters of technology, but social media challenges this. In terms of communication with other employees and the outside world, it takes just one tweet or post on an online forum and content is out there, be it an unhappy employee, or news of a restructure. Social media gives employees a voice, and employers have little choice but to accept this, monitor it, communicate and act on it.

The challenge now is how social media can effectively be embraced. At its most positive, social media can be used to engage employees, for example, by the use of internal online forums.

Social Media and Recruitment

HR managers responsible for talent recruitment need to know how to use social media tools to their advantage. Social networks such as LinkedIn allow HR and recruitment teams to search for, and communicate directly with, potential candidates. At its most developed, whole businesses have been set up with the sole task of scanning social networks for candidates, looking at their experience and history. But also their use of the network, such as recent updates which may indicate that someone is getting ready for a job move, give businesses a head start at getting to the top candidates first. The challenge here is how best to use these new networks to ensure you’re getting the best candidates, and this starts with understanding how to use the technology to your advantage.

This article identifies just three ways technology is changing the HR landscape. How is your organisation embracing technology in HR?