The days of job seekers perusing the local newspaper’s classified section, pen in hand, are over. Today, applicants and recruiters reach for their laptops or phones to connect with advertisers. Recruitment is just one area positively affected by technological advances; data management, staff training and performance management have all been improved, thanks to new tools.
Like all industries across the business landscape, the HR field is rapidly changing shape to keep up with emerging technologies. In the vast and shifting HR marketplace, how has evolving technology changed the way we work?
Moving away from paperwork
Paperwork is now mainly digitised for quick retrieval and accurate, organised storage. Things like training resources can be standardised, produced and published en masse using HR software and learning management systems. Metrics, trends and data can be collated, analysed and stored accurately and efficiently, enabling targeted decision-making using HR analytics. It’s quicker and easier to source, share, collate and store information than ever before, meaning HR systems and processes can flow smoothly if resources and methods are implemented correctly and changes are well-managed.
The need to be up-to-speed with innovation
The successful HR professional needs to keep abreast of industry trends and best practice, with a weather eye on game-changing technological advances in the industry. They need to be able to discern which new tools will be of value and how to implement them smoothly within their organisation. A fluid and reflexive approach is needed to keep up with technological changes; sorting, sifting and testing new tools, as well as carving out time to continually improve upon existing knowledge and skills. Old habits and established ways of working may not always be the most efficient, with new resources and processes constantly evolving and circulating throughout the industry.
Changing the establishment
New technology that unexpectedly usurps established ways of working has been coined “disruptive technology”. Author, Clayton M. Christensen first introduced the term in The Innovator’s Dilemma, his business book on change management. Christensen explores how many companies missed out on waves of new innovation and sets out rules for how to capitalise on what he calls “innovative disruption”.
The industry is awash with new tech, let’s just look at a few tools.
Cloud applications enable users to easily store and share resources among stakeholders who may not have access to HR software themselves. Think of resources like Google Drive or Sherpa (specific to HR). Read more about HR cloud technologies here.
Video and social tools are used for training, assessment, interviewing, employee communications and business branding. HR professionals are taking advantage of this easy way to author and share visual and audio information across diverse devices and audiences. Social tools, like LinkedIn, have permeated every HR process. All key HR software platforms now come with built-in social tools, and they’ve become an assumed functionality.
Predictive analytics and “big data” are huge in the industry now, with employee data being analysed in order to answer key questions in business operations. Kathryn Dekas of Google goes into further detail about how they use data to make informed HR decisions surrounding compensation, talent management, staffing as well as supporting business partners in her presentation, "People Analytics: Using Data to Drive HR Strategy and Action".
Navigating and effectively implementing new technology can be challenging. Postgraduate study provides a clear way forward for you to add value to your existing practice through the use of new tools. Gain the skills you need to explore and negotiate ever-shifting technological advances and capably handle the change-management issues that arise from their implementation.
Enhance your professional development with RMIT’s online Master of Human Resource Management to expand your knowledge and network so you can stay on top of the industry. Speak to one of our expert Student Enrolment Advisors today on 1300 701 171.