HR in the World of Technology

Helena L. Thompson, Human Resources Director, Integrated Healthcare Association
Helena L. Thompson, Human Resources Director, Integrated Healthcare Association

Helena L. Thompson, Human Resources Director, Integrated Healthcare Association

Evolution! What is it, you ask? Evolution in the world of HR is peace, joy and happiness.It is how this new age of technology has changed the way we impact organizational effectiveness.

Technology has maximized the HR professional’s ability to develop and implement programs, services and policies that contribute to our organizations culture, mission, vision and values while balancing the needs of team members and the needs of the company.

HR professionals provide team members of all levels guidance, assistance and support in areas relative to talent management, training, development, retention, and policy management.We are business partners, strategic thinkers and planners, organizational development masters and change management gurus.

What does all of this have to do with technology? Everything!

Let me explain:

HR Technology: Recruiting software, Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS), benefits management systems, employee engagement tools and performance solutions to name a few.

  Many organizations have moved away from the annual performance evaluation model and have adopted processes that are more conducive to employee development, retention and growth  

These systems have transformed the way we do our jobs every day.Recruiting software allows for a streamlined recruitment and hiring process.These electronic systems allow for jobs to be posted and pushed out onto various sites at the same time, allows for candidates to apply and for resumes and applications to be tracked.Some systems allow for direct communication between the candidate and the recruiter and allows for hiring managers to be involved in the process through collaboration and sharing of information.The technology allows for automatic assessment of resumes and credentials based upon keywords, scheduling of interviews and tracking interview data.Reporting and analytics are also key components.Qualitative and quantitative analytics assist with the continual improvement of the recruiting process.

HRIS allow HR professionals to have and maintain electronic HR files where we store employee data relevant to their employment.These systems store and organize data allowing for  electronic hiring, transfer and exit processes.We can generate employee population reports as well as track total workforce information and analytics (demographics, turnover and retention).We can use these reports for audit purposes as well as workforce planning.

HR technology builds efficiencies and improves accuracy of data by reducing the amount of manual data that is generated and stored.Gone are the days of 200 plus pages of new hire paperwork that takes an entire day to complete.HR technology allows for data to be input directly by team members; creating higher levels of accuracy and shortening the length of time it takes to complete the process.

Let’s not even talk about how many trees have been saved by transitioning to electronic processes.HR professionals are saving the environment one electronic employee file at a time.

HR technology also helps to keep data secure by having it in a secure, cloud-based environment where only those authorized have access.In my previous HR life when files were paper and “supposedly” secure by being locked away in a file cabinet, I don’t have enough fingers and toes to use to count the amount of times I found the file cabinet unlocked within the same work week.

It is every organizations’ responsibility to keep employee data secure.HR technology contributes to this.

Benefits management platforms allows the HR professional to manage all employee benefits including, vacation or paid time off, retirement plans and health insurance.This technology allows for the enrollment and tracking of the entire benefits process.Teammembers can use the system to enroll in benefits and HR professionals can use the system to administer the benefit plans.

Employee engagement tools are systems that allow the HR professional to keep close to the pulse of the organization by monitoring culture through an electronic employee feedback process as well as employing a reward and recognition process.

Performance solutions are tools that allow for the development and tracking of employee goals, objectives and performance.Many organizations have moved away from the annual performance evaluation model and have adopted processes that are more conducive to employee development, retention and growth.This sometimes involves the development of performance goals that are based upon position, organization and development needs.Performance solutions allow for a central place for this information to be documented and tracked.They allow for tracking information and reporting progress.

I am a supporter of monthly and quarterly check-ins that are built into a performance feedback model that yields a more effective review process.As with a company vision that starts with the end in mind (where are we going and what will it look like when we get there), my sentiment is that we should have the same mindset, process and practices with team members.Performance solutions allow for a manageable, documented process.Managers and team memberscan track their reviews and feedback.Some systems even allow for 360 peer reviews.As with the HRIS, performance solutions tools allow for in depth reporting and analytics.

HR professionals have also partnered with executive leaders to utilize common business technology to build organizational effectiveness through systems like video conferencing to conduct candidate interviews and meetings with remote workers as well as instant messaging tools for optimizing communication.

Here is the best part: There is HR technology out there that brings all of these various systems into one single platform!

A fully integrated system has been my best friend.It has contributed to the development of a consistent, repeatable Talent Management Lifecycle process for the organizations that I have supported.The Talent Management Lifecycle process consist of Talent Acquisition/Recruitment, Employment Assessment/Selection, On-Boarding, Training and Development, Performance Management and Succession Planning.

I utilize fully integrated HR technology from the first component of the Talent Management Lifecycle (Talent Acquisition/Recruitment) to the last (Succession Planning).

Employee information is stored in one central system from the very beginning of the recruitment process that captures personal and professional data that is built upon to generate and track learning/development plans and performance management data.

On-demand, I can generate reports and provide leadership with an analysis of the information to support our organizational goals and human capital strategy.

As HR technology enhances, which it doescontinually, the more information the HR professional has at our literal fingertips.Company executives depend upon HR to provide accurate, up-to-date information and strategic partnership based upon the information that we possess.

I have transitioned from being a keeper of paperwork, generator of manual workforce planning solutions to being a catalyst for strategic planning and organizational development through the enhancements of HR technology.I spend more time in strategy and development meetings and less time completing manual tasks and running down information.

Technology should be assessed based upon the needs of the business and utilized to support organizational strategy and goals.

I have learned over time to purchase technology that is scalable.The world of HR is evolving everyday and I don’t want to be left behind because of antiquated systems that can no longer provide me with the solutions needed to support my organization’s strategic goals.

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