It's not as ironic as it sounds at first blush. While some people believe certain technology interferes with the human connection and may even threaten jobs, technology can complement your work. It can also improve the all-important candidate experience. In a full employment economy, that's a win-win situation.
If that's surprising, count yourself in good company. What if it performs so well that the human part of human resources becomes a thing of the past? And who's minding the technology while it's acting on its own?
Technology complements a dynamic human resources team. Whatever you do now, it can help you do even better. Here's what you can expect.
Free Up Time for Making Human Connections
Probably the greatest benefit that technology brings to human resources is more time. The more that technology handles, the fewer hiring and related tasks you have on your plate. And the better the technology, the more you can trust it to do its job without the need to micromanage it, which defeats the purpose.
Technology can send appropriate email responses to candidates automatically at different stages of the hiring process. That improves the candidate experience because they aren't left in the dark. Poor or no communication, according to SmartRecruiters, is one of the top candidate complaints. Automated emails improve your workday because they do more for your candidates with less effort from you.
Another critical area where technology makes a big difference is social media. According to Jobvite's 2016 Job Seeker Nation survey, 59 percent of applicants researched employers on social media before applying. And according to the Society for Human Resource Management, 82 percent of companies use social for sourcing and recruiting.
What do people expect from social? Here's what Jobvite says:
- Twitter: 17 percent check out a company's current employees to learn more about potential work peers
- LinkedIn: 20 percent look up mutual networking connections and check out company leaders
- Facebook: 21 percent learn more about company culture and employer brand
No one needs to tell you how vital social has become, especially in a climate with more jobs than active job seekers. But technology helps you handle more social channels and activity plus it demystifies which platforms get better results.
According to Jobvite, there's a bit of a disconnect between what candidates and HR think about social:
- 67 percent of people who found a job using social-focused on Facebook.
- 55 percent of recruiters used Facebook, with most HR and recruiting departments focusing much more heavily on LinkedIn.
Technology can schedule social media posts, trigger alerts, give your content marketing a scheduled boost and extract valuable data, such as post engagement and candidate demographics. It can perform background screenings and job/candidate matching, as well.
With all of the automation and streamlined data extraction plus analytics that technology can handle, HR gets in return more time for human interactions that matter. You don't need to handle an email for every person who shows interest. An auto-response gets the job done, at least in the first round.
When automation happens in the background, you can put a personal touch on messaging that does make a difference, such as social media replies, texts, and emails with applicants who are further into the hiring process and picking up the phone.
Big data on its own doesn't help; analytics makes it take off.
Access Data That Helps You Make a Difference
How are you keeping up with the hectic pace of change in your industry? With technology playing a larger role in every aspect of business, TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Brio, writing for Huffington Post, says, ''human resources has had to adapt swiftly.'' Staying ahead of the HR game makes technology a requirement.
Brio says HR is known for time-consuming tasks and mountains of paperwork. Compliance and risk avoidance require it, but technology such as HR portals make processing information more seamless. It breaks down data into usable chunks brimming with insights.
Big Data changed human resources in significant ways, and it's still taking shape. For virtually everything that you need to know about yesterday and today, there's data to explain it. Thankfully, there's technology to explain the data.
Data also helps you dive into the future. Using data from the past, predictive analytics help you plan a more effective future. It gives insights into future social media campaigns and makes job ad placement more effective.
Internally, predictive analytics reveals employee patterns that give you the opportunity to intervene. Based on historical data, you could spot the signs of an employee who's looking for another job. That lets you take action, such as offering recognition, a pay raise or collaborating with a department manager to offer a new opportunity. Predictive analytics helps reduce churn.
Predictive analytics also help you identify people within the organization who have the aptitudes and skills to move up. That adds more qualified people to your talent pipeline to reduce time to hire and probably hiring costs, as well.
Bring Offices and People Together
According to PWC Human Resources Technology, nearly 50 percent of people surveyed believe traditional employment is on its way out. What's coming in? The rise of independent contractors, workers who have their own brand and market their skills to a global community.
Globalization can have an oddly isolating effect when offices, employees or both are spread around the country or the world. But technology can pull everyone together. Advancing technology in video conferencing, for example, is one of the best ways to accomplish that.
Video for HR is ''fast evolving how leaders do business worldwide,'' according to Lifesize Chief People Officer, Gayle Wiley. She explains for Entrepreneur that video conferencing isn't just a gadget, it's something she uses consistently.
Video lets you interview non-local candidates no matter where they live. Internally, says Wiley, video conferencing enables meetings that include every team member, remote performance reviews, training and development sessions, and many other tasks in a face to face manner, regardless of whether or not you're in the same building.
Cloud computing continues to grow and allow people in various locations to work independently and collaboratively. Forty percent of businesses surveyed by PWC say they use cloud applications. About one-third more have cloud migration in their sights for the future.
What's interesting about the cloud is that there's no single way to migrate. For some businesses, it's all about the private cloud. The appeal is the possibility of better security. Some use the public cloud. Many, probably most, use a hybrid solution.
Hybrid cloud computing lets employees access self-service HR tools, says PWC. It reduces reliance on an in-house IT department and offers the quickest and most reliable software updates.
Here are a few of the ways businesses are already using the cloud, based on PWC's survey results:
- Recruiting: 58 percent
- Learning management: 50 percent
- Performance management: 48 percent
- Onboarding: 40 percent
- Core HR tasks: 39 percent
- Compensation: 37 percent
- Talent review and succession: 32 percent
- Time reporting: 31 percent
- Benefits: 30 percent
- Payroll: 30 percent
- HR analytics: 23 percent
What's interesting is that for every way cloud computing is used, there are more businesses looking to implement cloud migration. For example, 30 percent of companies who don't use cloud solutions for talent review and succession plan to in the future. Thirty-four percent see cloud-based HR analytics on the horizon.
Post-and-pray finds a person; programmatic builds teams.
Break the Post-and-Pray Cycle with Programmatic Recruitment
The old-fashioned way of posting job ads certainly has the human touch, but does it work as well you like it to? If it's not backed by data, probably not. Worse, the cycle of finding the right platform and posting an ad begins anew again and again. With better HR technology, you can focus on building great teams instead of finding a person.
Programmatic recruitment advertising takes the best of what you do and the best of what analytics can do and weaves them into a better process. When the odds are in the candidates' favor as they are now, every advantage helps.
Programmatic recruitment technology gives you a broader reach and a better one at the same time. Instead of posting a job ad on a platform that's probably good based on past experience, programmatic automatically uses data to find the best platforms for the job in question and does the work for you. And it lets you match job to a candidate in real time based on data that can change in an instant.
In short, programmatic equals audience relevance. Then through machine learning, the process gets smarter the more it's used.
Programmatic saves you time and gets better results, and that frees up more of your time for things humans do better. For example, writing a better job ad. Imagine your office, brimming with technology, lets you video conference a department manager in another state to collaborate on writing a job ad.
Technology doesn't make life more complicated, at least if you're using the right technology. It does what it does best so you can do what you do best. It's not a competitor, and it doesn't threaten jobs in human resources. Technology makes your department work like a well-oiled machine.