The advent of new technologies has transformed almost every part of our lives. From how we watch TV to how we communicate with our colleagues; technology has transformed life as we know it. The world of HR is no different, as business leaders look to transform the operational HR department into automated, data-driven processes that save time, streamline tasks and allow HR professionals to better contribute to productivity and growth.
As a profession, HR is becoming increasingly tech-driven. With the right tools, HR professionals are reducing their time spent on admin, better supporting their employees and adding strategic value that directly contributes to business’ success.
Like many professions, technology can truly transform the efficacy, efficiency and contribution of HR to a business and allow business leaders to respond to challenges and opportunities faster.
Ensure data security and compliance
Ensuring compliance with legislation and safeguarding sensitive employee data is one of the most significant tasks for HR and IT professionals. Not only does technology make an HR department more effective, but it also supports compliance efforts and security.
As compliance continues to become more complicated and security threats become more real; dated systems for staying on the right side of the law and protecting your data are simply not good enough anymore.
Technology can help employers to effectively manage and simplify compliance with most workplace legislation; from the working time directive and minimum wage regulations to ensuring employee data is stored in line with privacy laws and the GDPR.
HR can ensure the security of sensitive employee data using technology. Vendors of HR software should be enlisting the most rigorous of security protocols for your data and empowering your business to ensure your processes aren’t a weak link for your cybersecurity. HR technology and IT processes go hand in hand to ensure privacy and system access. Research by SailPoint found that 47% of employees who leave a job still have access to their former organisation’s data.
To ensure your business’ security, automated workflows can be created to notify IT of leavers so that system access to revoked on their last day. Similarly, these workflows can ensure new starters are set up with the right levels of access to the tools they require to do their job and that they have the right assets to do so on day one.
Improve decision making
The last few years have seen a surge in the use of analytics tools that allow businesses to leverage their existing data to make smarter decisions. Unsurprisingly, analytics technology is now a key priority for many departments and data has quickly become the fuel behind most decision making.
For HR professionals, analytics and help to identify wider trends in their organisation and better understand their employees and what makes them tick. People analytics allows HR to take a more holistic, personalised approach to engagement, considering not only productivity and performance, but also physical and mental wellbeing, mood, and surroundings.
Historically, many HR professionals will have called on IT to help them export, manipulate and analyse their people data. But with analytics technology, HR teams are empowered to carry out their own analysis, without the need for any serious number crunching, formulas or in-depth knowledge of Excel.
Long gone are the hefty spreadsheets, pivot tables and macros that plague passionate HR departments. Professionals now have instant access to a plethora of actionable information in easy-to-consume reports, tables and graphs to visualise their entire workforce – without adding a burden to their IT team.
Become more efficient
The very nature of most technology is to help streamline or make our lives easier; and the technology that can be used in HR is no different. Removing the need for talented HR professionals to focus on tedious admin and repetitive tasks; technology gives them back the time they need to focus on their people.
Many of the mundane tasks that fall to HR every day can be automated. From providing updates to employees on outstanding days of annual leave to creating insightful reports for the C-suite; these tasks can be automated with the help of HR software.
In short, technology makes your HR department far more effective and allows them to focus on delivering value to their employees.
One of the most significant changes to ‘traditional’ HR management is the introduction of self-service tools that allow employees to manage their own HR requests, access their employee records, files and documents. With employee self-service (ESS) technology, employees can access and maintain their personal HR data and become more self-reliant for many HR services.
They can update their own personal information including their address and bank details, they can request time off and keep an eye on the amount of annual leave they have remaining. This saves a large amount of time for your HR team and makes it easy for employees to self-manage their employee file.
As such, the rise of ESS technology has completely transformed many HR departments, freeing up professionals to focus on more strategic people initiatives rather than processing admin for their employees. Allowing employees to self-manage some of the most common tasks saves time and significantly reduces costs for your HR department.