The HR department holds huge significance for every organization no matter its size. It is this department that is responsible for handling a number of processes and activities related to potential and existing employees. Some of the activities that are associated with the HR department include hiring, training, and onboarding of employees; staff management, and handling issues and disputes arising from employment related things. Digital technology has played a very significant role in the evolution of HR over the years.
The structure of HR underwent transformational changes due to the pandemic as many organizations had to turn to newer models of work, which they had very little or no knowledge about. Remote working became the norm as organizations didn’t have any other way to stay operational during times when almost the entire world was under pandemic enforced lockdown. If it weren’t for digital technology, HR would have found it very tough to help their organizations survive the effects of the pandemic.
Digital technology has had some impact on almost every aspect of life, especially in the last few years. Hence, how it has transformed HR in recent years is not surprising at all. HR today has newer and more advanced ways to communicate with employees, evaluate their performance, and assist organizations in making their employees more productive. Digital technology has helped companies make amendments to their HR practices and make their department more efficient, systematic, and organized. However, if companies decide against using it or don’t use it properly, they may suffer adverse effects, which will not be good for the growth and success of the company.
If used in the right way, digital technology can help HR bridge the communication gap that usually exists between them and employees. With more advanced communication tools coming up every other day, it has become easier to communicate with the most important asset of an organization. HR these days have different mediums, such as text, email, voice and video calling tools, and other applications to communicate.
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There are many companies that have a fixed communication channel and online tools for transferring files and messages. Skype, MS Teams, and Zoom are some of the apps that have grown in popularity amongst HR in the past couple of years or so. These applications make it easier for HR to not only communicate with their own team but also make communication between different departments easier and faster. For instance, teams that are working from home can organize team meetings using these applications. This will not only ensure faster resolution of issues related to work but also drive employee engagement.
However, in order to make the most of what digital technology has to offer, organizations and HR will have to ensure that they are choosing the right tools and applications for their needs. If sending an email consumes lots of time, they could just easily communicate the same through video call and convey the same message in a few minutes. And nothing can beat the clarity that can be conveyed through face-to-face communication.
Digital technology has also made way for a new mode of recruiting new employees. HR can now interview candidates online, set up their interview with managers of their respective department, and do everything in between that is done in the recruitment process. Also, posting jobs on online job portals is a lot easier than getting the same done in newspapers or other print media. Once a potential candidate sees those online postings, they can easily apply either through the job portal or send an email to respective job posters highlighting their suitability for a particular job role. The online recruitment process is effective and it attracts more job applications, giving HR a larger talent pool to choose from.
This practice of hiring candidates online became more common post COVID-19 as it wasn’t viable to hold physical interviews due to the lockdown and social distancing norms. And with the results that companies are able to experience, remote hiring is here to stay.
Digital technology has also proved to be immense when it comes to managing employees and their performance. Managing employees, both who are working from the office as well as those who are working remotely, is very challenging. Managing employees and what they do on a daily basis is much easier when they are all in the office. One-on-one interactions make things a lot easier. This is why it is especially very difficult to manage remote employees. The lack of direct interaction with managers and colleagues could result in them taking their work for granted and not completing it on time. It may not hurt the company in the short-term, but it definitely has an impact in the long run.
HR and managers need to use digital technology to evaluate performance of employees no matter where they are. They can make use of employee monitoring and performance management tools to see what employees are doing on a daily, weekly, monthly, and annual basis. Knowing that their performance is being monitored, employees will be more motivated than ever to work diligently. These tools are great at what they do and can be used by small, medium, and large sized organizations.
Digital technology is also helping HR increase the overall efficiency of a company. The tools and technology available at the disposal of companies these days has brought the completion of almost every job down to just a few clicks. The generation and collection of data is more systematic and its accessibility easier than ever. Also, HR used to spend a lot of time on administrative tasks in the past, which is not the case nowadays. This leaves them with enough time to tackle issues that need their attention and are more important.
The way that HR used to function earlier has completely changed due to the advancement in digital technology. And the good thing is that HRs are embracing these changes with open arms. This is helping organizations to stay current with technology.
- How Digital Technology is Changing the Structure of HR | Talent Culture | Kyla Stewart | September 20, 2021
- How is Human Resources Evolving with Technology? | HR Technologist | Shawn Mike | Aug 23, 2019
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