Where HR Meets Technology
In February’s edition of HR Leader Magazine, Ari Kopoulos (National Sales & Marketing Manager) offers insight into where HR meets technology in the workplace today. You can find the article in hard copy form in Issue #192 on page 28.
Q. Given the growing emphasis on technology in a highly connected world, how is the HR Managers role changing, and what competencies are required to get the most out of HR technology?
A. It’s pretty clear the continual evolution of HR technology is transforming the HR professional’s role in a radical way. The technology itself is characterised by workflow, automation and embedded analytics, as well as the Internet with its focus on delivery methods, and connectivity to social networking sites. As such, HR technology delivers faster, centralised services to the business, with lower transaction costs, and information that that is complete, accurate, and delivered in real time to the decision maker. The end result is a HR professional spending more time making strategic decisions with a clear, direct and measurable impact on business results.
This changing role requires strong emphasis on competencies that bring out the best in implementing and managing HR technology, as well as interpreting the patterns of information delivered. Of these, the most obvious is, understanding and, effectively using HR technology. This is critical to the success of all HR professional leveraging technology and, based on the take up rate of HR technologies in large and small businesses alike, it’s set to be a mandatory requirement.
A key requirement for any HR professional is the development and execution of policies and processes that support the overall strategic business plan and objectives. This means the HR professional needs to be a strategic leader. This not only means making the right decisions at the right time, but understanding and interpreting the relevance and impact of information on the business, as well as communicating the idea effectively. Tactically, HR professional requires a deep knowledge about the design of policy and processes in which people are recruited, developed and retained and rewarded. This strategic-tactical relationship impacts HR services and the translation into the technology solutions, such as Recruitment, Learning, Talent, and Remuneration Management.
The very nature of technology is to bring about profound change whilst the basic nature of most organisations is to resist change. As such, the HR professional needs to constantly evaluate and assess the effectiveness of the HR policies and processes, and respond accordingly. This means having knowledge and ability to execute successful change strategies and linking them to the strategic needs of the business. As a change champion, an HR professional needs to create a vision for change that includes the mission, values, goals and action plans with measurement criteria. This also means sponsoring change in other departments and work practices by challenging accepted practices and motivating others through creating openness to change and overcoming resistance to change.
The main drivers in the use of HR technology will continue to be faster, cheaper transactions, as well a platform for strategic decision making. The way technology will support and deliver this is only getting smarter, so monitoring developments in HR technology and developing their competencies in this domain will be key factor in determining the success of both the HR function and HR professionals.