The Human Resources (HR) operations have undergone a sea-change in the last few years. This is evidenced by the metamorphosis of the Chief Human Resources Officer’s (CHRO) role from that of human capital management to a consultative one tasked with the responsibility of identifying, recruiting and nurturing quality enterprise talent, to steer the organization forward. In order to fulfill their responsibilities, HR departments have begun to leverage technology like never before. Big Data Analytics, Predictive Analytics, Social Media and Mobile Technology among others, have pervaded into the HR space, bringing about a radical change in the working culture of HR practitioners. The use of advanced technologies in HR space has been a milestone development, for it has offered greater visibility into the productivity of employees. This has enabled HR personnel to identify the areas they can help employees improve, so as to help them increase their productivity. To facilitate learning, organizations have hosted a range of domain resources in the enterprise clouds that employees can access to improve their performance.
Disruptive Use of Cloud and Mobile Technologies in HR
A productive engagement of the workforce essentially requires the HR department to act as a connective force between the enterprise and its employees. Cloud technology has come to the organizations’ rescue. A cloud environment allows the HR wing of organizations to follow a prescriptive method in responding to their employees’ needs anywhere, anytime. Further, the support to access enterprise cloud environments through mobile devices, has been a major development, for it has allowed employees and HR personnel to connect with each other, even during travel.
"A cloud environment allows the HR wing of organizations to follow a prescriptive method in responding to their employees’ needs anywhere, anytime"
An example of the marked improvements brought by HR clouds was noticed in the customer engagements by sales personnel, due to the grant of access to cloud based systems through mobile devices. Sales teams are able to refresh their knowledge of the company’s products and services, before communicating to a client, which improved the outcome significantly. Mobile technology has been immensely powerful in enabling learning, when required.
HR Consumerism: A Growing Trend
Another major trend that is catching up fast is the HR Consumerism that seeks to create a consumer-style experience for employees by leveraging advanced technologies like the cloud and mobile. It is aimed at marketing the enterprise brand to employees for instilling in them, a sense of pride in contributing to the organization and turn them into brand advocates; this is critical to achieve high workforce productivity and therefore, maintaining an exceptional position in the market.
For marketing the enterprise brand successfully, organizations have begun to support the use of social and collaborative tools in business, for providing the required boost to HR Consumerism. Social and collaborative tools have also benefited the HR departments in marketing their brands in the job market for attracting quality talent into the organization. The overlapping of roles for HR and marketing departments for popularizing the enterprise brands internally and externally to retain and attract talent, is a new trend in the HR arena.
Future Trends in the HR Domain
Although the line between HR and marketing wings of an enterprise is blurring fast, the core objective of HR departments remains unaltered—to identify the people with skill sets and capabilities who can add value to the organization. Therefore, the transformation of HR domain is not entirely technical in nature; technology has only changed the HR departments’ approach to the overall life cycle of an employee in the organization. In days to come, there could be a single portal that allows all HR personnel to check in totality, the employees across companies to assess their performance, personal achievements and compensation details, to examine their potential to add value to their organizations. Being able to integrate job descriptions and the prevalent work culture to the candidate profiles on social sites like LinkedIn, to attract the resources into the company would be the most wonderful thing to happen.
Expectations from a CIO
The shift in the role of HR department from a purely administrative function to a consultative one has happened for the good. This requires HR personnel to be more dynamic in nature and prepare themselves to help managements understand what the organization would need in terms of human resources and capital as it moves to new business units. The capability to measure a candidate’s skill components and turn that measurement into development for the organization’s benefit would emerge as a key part. In this connection, keeping abreast of new technologies in vogue to assess candidates’ aptitude and proficiency, would go a long way.