From standard to strategic: How technology is enabling the HR function
While the customer-centric functions are using technology to deliver a superior experience to the customers, support functions like Human Resources (HR) have also turned to technology to automate and streamline key processes of an employee lifecycle including hiring, on-boarding and training
By Harshvendra Soin
Technology innovation has been the cornerstone of the economic revolution that the world is currently witnessing. Businesses across sectors have drawn massive benefits – like process efficiency and increased production – by incorporating latest technological interventions into their routine processes and automating the operations. While the customer-centric functions are using technology to deliver a superior experience to the customers, support functions like Human Resources (HR) have also turned to technology to automate and streamline key processes of an employee lifecycle including hiring, on-boarding and training.
Until a few years back, HR was defined by standardised roles of recruitment and employee engagement, often categorised by piles of paperwork related to compliance, hiring and employee information. However, today emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotics, Augmented Reality and Blockchain have vastly impacted human resources function by transforming key processes like hiring, talent management, and payroll. Another big area that technology has helped the organisations with, is compliance. While earlier organisations had to rely on IT storage servers for this, today cloud-based solutions have streamlined the process and reduced the paperwork.
As per a recent report by Grand View Research, the HR software market size is predicted to exceed 10 billion USD by the year 2022 globally. Experts believe that the use of such HR technologies can help businesses improve their productivity and save cost by optimal use of human resources.
Hiring goes hi-tech
Recruiting is a time-consuming process considering the humongous back-end work it entails. Today, cognitive recruitment solutions have made a foray into the HR industry and organisations are leveraging the power of AI to carry out the recruitment process, thus leading to faster, smarter hiring decisions. In certain cases, bots are even assisting in the screening process.
Innovations ranging from automated resume screeners, to digital job boards and social media to online interviews (Skype/Web-Ex), have freed recruiters and HR professionals from tactical tasks and has enabled them to conduct soft-skill and culture based evaluation in a more structured way.
Mundane out, interesting in
Today, the perspective has changed from “recording data” to “engaging with the people”. Tech innovations have been incorporated across mainstream HR functions. Processes like talent, performance management, payroll and Human Resource Management System (HRMS), have been migrated to cloud and useful service-based applications have been introduced. This has rendered the HR function more accessible, trackable and impactful. In many companies, Chatbots have replaced traditional employee desks, resolving common queries related to leaves and entitlement.
Analytics drive better performance management
Technology has significantly transformed the performance management function by taking the entire review process online – right from mapping goals, capturing progress, collecting 360 degree feedback, and identifying training needs. It has also provided access to huge amount of analytical data (like rating history, grievances, leave records) that is further being leveraged to identify emerging trends/risk factors.
Such data driven analytics also help companies to stay focused on the organisation’s diversity mandate.
The 3 Cs – Cost-effective, Consistent and Concise
The automation of routine processes and efficient data management through technology results in up to 65 per cent gains in time and cost for the HR administration function. Such significant cost savings are a great reason for HR to go the Tech-way and it makes the operations more efficient and transparent.
Tech Mahindra being one of the leading providers of digital transformation solutions across the globe today, realizes the appliance of smart technologies into the HR vertical. As a part of its TechMHRNxt initiative, we are continuously looking to develop and invest in futuristic tech enabled possibilities for the benefit of our employees, which would serve them throughout the employee lifecycle and help build the workplace of the future.
We have implemented an Artificial Intelligence based Facial Recognition System to register the attendance of employees that has drastically reduced the time spent by an associate in updating the timesheet. We have also introduced Talex – the world’s first AI-driven marketplace of talent that maps skills of the existing talent pool – including each employee’s profile, country, language skills, education and gender.
Technology has and will continue to disrupt the world around us. For businesses, to leverage the true benefit of this digital revolution, it is important to be agile. The HR department thus needs to embrace technology to successfully adapt as per the ever-changing landscape. It needs to travel the distance from being standard to being strategic.
(The author is the Chief People Officer at Tech Mahindra)