Five Ways Technology Is Disrupting the HR Department

By / Feb 26, 2018 (phototechno/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

In the people-focused HR field, technology sometimes gets short shrift. But recent reports show that tech innovation holds a lot of promise for boosting recruitment and talent management and enhancing the way HR professionals work.

The world of human resources deals mostly in, well, humans. But technology can inform the approach that employers, including associations, take to solving human problems. In fact, it’s arguable that HR might be a technology driver within an organization.

Recent reports are revealing how tech has been redefining the world of HR:

1. HR tools are a defining cloud use case. Human resources tools often get short shrift in cloud conversations, which tend to focus on tools for content management and data security. But a recent report from Netskope [registration] found that HR-related cloud-based applications were the most used by organizations as a whole (139 of the 1,181 total cloud apps used at an average organization were HR-related). Among the most popular cloud-based apps are SuccessFactors, Ultimate Software, and Workday. According to a PricewaterhouseCoopers survey, 73 percent of HR departments are relying on cloud tools.

2. HR could benefit from the blockchain. The concept of distributed ledgers, associated with cryptocurrency, is drawing interest in industries as far afield as trucking, and human resources may be in the same category. The blockchain publication Distributed notes that the blockchain could be used to prevent credential fraud—i.e., the misrepresentation of a person’s work history or academic record on a resume. It could also assist in making freelance work more trustworthy.

3. More data can help HR professionals spot potential problems. While HR professionals are trained to see and fix problems as soon as possible, the right data might enable them to catch issues they might not see otherwise. At Employee Benefit News, writer Jordan Birnbaum notes that data can help patch holes in human resources coverage. “This data offers an incredible advantage: Clarity around the actual challenges that need to be addressed, not just the theoretical ones,” writes Birnbaum, who adds that combining data with behavioral economics, or the concept of tying decision-making to human behavior, could help strengthen an HR department’s work.

4. Artificial intelligence could inform recruiting techniques. From a distance, AI seems like an unlikely disruptor of the HR department, but as Associations Now noted in a recent post, there are a lot of ways it could improve HR work. In recruitment, for example, it could help automate processes for finding and targeting new potential employees. “Many of the most tedious, cumbersome, and time-consuming processes are gradually being automated, which means recruiting teams are getting the opportunity to be more strategic than never before,” Entelo’s Britt Ryan recently explained in a blog post.

5. Tech is giving HR professionals a view of the big picture. Talent management is a key part of a HR pro’s job, but often the tech tools used in this work have focused on the individual over the broader organization. A recent Deloitte report on 2018 technology disruptions finds that the trend of talent management software is quickly moving into the team management realm, with organizational needs driving the push. “In this new world, people may have multiple managers, work on multiple projects at once, and often ‘lend’ or ‘sell’ their time to others in the organization,” HR Technology Disruptions for 2018 [PDF] states. “Traditional talent management software was not designed for this world.”

Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. More »


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