Over the last decade or so, HR has become one of the traditional industries that has caught the attention of the technologically inclined.
The space was filled with dated practices and slow systems that were well overdue for a technological makeover, and the nuances that artificial intelligence, machine learning and other advanced software algorithms have brought to the space have proven to be remarkable.
In particular, there are three fundamental elements of HR that have been transformed by tech, and as a result of their successes, have become wildly popular on a global scale. Those three elements are:
While each of these core HR functionalities have myriads of subsets which have all been positively affected by technology, there are too many to cover in one sitting. Instead, let’s take a closer look into some of the more ground-breaking highlights of HR tech.
One of the biggest advancements in the HR industry has been in the way technology has improved recruitment.
Irrespective of whether the hiring process was done in house or outsourced to a recruitment agency, the traditional way of going about looking for talent has always been subject to human bias.
Recruiters are prone to making subconscious judgements based on their own subjective views and superficialities – often leading them to ignore some of the key positive (or negative) attributes that the candidate possessed.
Technology overhauled the entire process. Human-based decision making was replaced by AI-powered algorithms that were able to make those important decisions without any sort of subjective angle – subsequently making hiring about merit, rather than background. Pretty cool, hey?
Aside from the game changing benefit of eliminating the bias associated with recruitment, technology has also brought a new level of efficiency to hiring.
HR departments no longer need to hold countless time-consuming call back interviews with candidates, only to find out that they are unsuitable for the role. Instead, advanced algorithms have learned how to shortlist the very best candidates – making the recruiter’s role incomparably easier.
Tech has also shaken the HR industry by making everything to do with payroll smoother, more seamless and more transparent than ever before.
In the past, the payroll arm of a business was often looked at as part of accounting rather than human resources management. The mindset was always “payroll means money, and money means accounting”.
But, thanks to the extraordinary developments that automation has brought to payroll services, money has become the smallest part of employee payment systems.
For example, approving annual or sick leave requests has evolved drastically. Instead of being a slow and unstructured HR process, it is now something which can be almost completely automated and streamlined – allowing the payroll officer (and employee) to have total visibility over leave balances and timing trends.
This transparency and efficiency spreads to areas far beyond leave requests. In days of old, an HR manager’s inbox would be swamped with emails from employees asking questions about their salary amounts, requests for old payslips, information about superannuation or HECS payments and so on.
Today, it’s a different story entirely. Software platforms have been developed to centralise all of this information in an employee-accessible way – allowing managers to put their efforts towards more important matters.
Employee turnover is yet another area that has been positively affected by HR technology. Before explaining how this is the case, it’s important to understand the challenges surrounding employee retention.
Finding talented employees can be difficult but holding on to them has always been far more challenging, especially for growing companies – and there are a couple of overarching reasons why this is the case.
As the employee count within a business grows, it becomes increasingly difficult for upper management to maintain close relationships with everyone in the organisation. Once those relationships cool off, employee loyalty can begin to slide as well.
Staff growth can also lead to a lack of appreciation felt by (and between) employees. When people work in busy and high intensity environments, they often aren’t given kudos for the good work that they’ve been doing, nor do they have the means to express appreciation for others’ achievements.
When employees are working hard but aren’t ‘feeling the love’ from their colleagues or superiors, it can cause them to feel less connected to their work environment, and in turn, give them a reason to look for work elsewhere.
This is where the nuances of HR technology and the Perkbox offering kick-in.
Perkbox has leveraged some of the latest tech trends in a way that helps employees feel appreciated – both by their colleagues and their superiors. With Recognition, managers can award employees for a job well done and link it to a company value, as well as allowing employees to thank each other for day to day help.
From a manager to employee standpoint, technology has allowed us to gather tremendous insight into the needs and wants of employees in so many different industries.
Through our benefits platform, we're empowering HR managers with the ability to offer ongoing and exciting perks to their employees - all in a very hands-off and automated fashion.
And last but not least, Insights gathers data and feedback for managers and senior leadership from employees to help make data-driven decisions in the business.
While all of these developments are exciting, the day is yet young and there is still so much more to come. The future of technology and advanced analytics is looking brighter than ever, and HR is poised to be a primary beneficiary of those advancements.
Soon, the dated processes of HR will become obsolete. Technology will drive the entire industry into era where managers will have more time, employees will feel appreciated, and all the processes surrounding this important part of business will operate smoothly.