Adele Png, Head of Talent Acquisition, KONE Asia Pacific
Changing Landscape for Human Resource Practitioners
Looking back in the past, Human Resource (HR) practitioners will vividly remember this scenario taking place every time a recruitment process starts:
Put up job advertisements in the papers, potentially receive up to hundreds of applications, and go through the laborious process of sifting through them in the hopes of picking up a few gems. Next, shift into administrative mode: coordinate and schedule interviews, ensure all documents are in order, make calls to the right stakeholders to do the necessary reference checks and on-boarding preparations.
Today I am excited to see the transformation in HR practices, as business leaders understand the impact it can create in and for an organization. This realization is what is helping organizations to invest in smarter technologies and adopt a cost benefit approach.
Cost Benefit Approach
Time is key when it comes to smart ways of working and hence the benefits can be both tangible and intangible. I would like to emphasize that the intangible benefits are quite large. Hence the return on investments should not be measured only in terms of purchasing costs but should necessarily include the change management process, time and other resources spent in implementing the technology, integration costs with existing related systems and finally the training and development of relevant competencies needed to use it effectively.
Aside from costs considerations, there are so many great technological applications out there in HR, that it would be remiss for me not to include some examples of positive advancements made possible by incorporating technology into HR practices.
With the advent of social media tools, recruiters can now easily reach their target audience with thoughtfully developed campaigns; made so much easier with branding platforms that the audience find relatable
More Effective HR
Two functions that I have seen technology play a big part in advancing HR is Recruitment and Human Capital management.
We now have access to applications that improve every aspect of the recruitment process: From reaching the right target audience in the right channels for available positions, performing criteria-based search and filtering of potential candidates, communication and engagement with shortlisted candidates, to even candidate profiling and assessment.
These tools have drastically altered the landscape in which recruitment takes place, greatly turning the process from one that was largely manual and laborious, to one that is faster and more efficient. It is also helping HR practitioners increase the possibility of finding the right candidates who are the best fit for the roles available, whilst giving recruiters back the time to fine tune the screen for culture, personality and aptitude.
With the advent of social media tools, recruiters can now easily reach their target audience with thoughtfully developed campaigns; made so much easier with branding platforms that the audience find relatable. Considering the fact that close to 80% of job applicants now use social media in their job search (Glassdoor), social media is one tool which has helped to cut down on time and resources spent in reaching the right potential candidates.
There also a variety of HR software that automates transactional HR processes for the employee, for example compensation administration, leave management, performance management tracking, learning and development, enrolment and delivery and even onboarding. This greatly simplifies the job of the HR practitioner and frees them up to focus more on business partnering and helping to facilitate better organizational performance.
It is people who contribute to the organization’s success and HR plays a crucial role in hiring the right candidates and helping them succeed. With respect to this scenario, employee assessment is another area in which technology has proven helpful: With the advent of Artificial Intelligence platforms, organizations can now analyze high-performing employees to understand better the key factors and behaviors that have led them to success. This invaluable information can be utilized for coaching and developing existing employees and assessing candidates during hiring thus helping to save time and increase quality.
Digital technologies are transforming the way we work and hence the speed to adapt and change dictates the success of an organization. Every function in the organization plays an important part in creating value for the business and HR has a significant contribution to this. Technology is an enabler for HR to embark on that path but in the end, it is crucial to focus on what are the real business goals: delivering what is needed by the “customers” to the “customers”, be it internal or external; elevating the value of the HR function from transactional to extraordinary.