Human Resource – Core of any organization
Human Resource Management (HRM) is often perceived as the broader process of planning, organizing, managing, and controlling personnel or human resource for any organization. For any organization to be successful and competent in a highly competitive market, it is essential to have skilled, motivated, and efficient people or workforce, as we call it. Does that imply that HRM only focuses on optimizing their human resources to be able to meet an organization’s objectives? Or does it go beyond that?
Well, HRM is a tactical and methodical approach for effective, efficient, and knowledge-based strategic management of human resources in an organization. It broadly deals with managing activities related Recruitment, Onboarding, Induction, Orientation, Learning & Development, Performance Management, Compensation, Well-being, Benefits and others, and spans right from ‘Hire’ to ‘Retire.’ It is shaped and designed primarily (but not restricted) to:
- Maximize employee’s performance and satisfaction
- Drive better organizational productivity
- Manage people and workplace culture and environment
- Meet organization’s strategic goals and objectives
How does Information Technology fit in?
Over the last decade or so, there has been a paradigm shift in the way HRM departments manage their routine, manual and administrative tasks. They have been acting and performing in the capacity of a ‘strategic partner’ of the organization’s overall vision and strategy. There is a significant transformational change in the way HRM has been storing and disseminating voluminous information and making that available to organizational leadership for better and well-informed decision making. It is also imperative for people who support these broad spectrum of HR processes in an organization to not just be responsible for mastering traditional HR skills and knowledge but concurrently having a profound responsibility to apply that knowledge! And that is where Technology comes to our rescue!
Organizations are moving in swiftly to digitize their human resource operations and functions with some of the niche technologies available in the marketplace. This allows HR professionals to allocate time to more strategic work than manual and repetitive tasks, which are the foremost targets for automation. Think about a real-time situation where the Business Manager and HR Manager (or Resource Manager) strategize together for reviewing an employee’s availability in the next couple of months for him/her to be staffed on a future project opportunity. They would have to evaluate the current and future demand, whether or not to train the existing professional for the skill gap, and the decision to recruit any candidate with a higher level of skill and required knowledge to support and supplement the business need. While a lot of this requires significant effort and time, it is important for individual HR departments (here the Resource Management) to improvise their processes, procedures, and controls for creating an edge for their organization. While most of this could be achieved manually in the traditional way, the differentiator would be the use of inbuilt or vendor-based customized HR Information Technology tools that enable this process.
Identifying the best-fit solution for HR needs
A majority of organizations include technology implementations in their overall HR and Innovation Strategy budget, year on year. A couple of these could be tackled by building in-house technology solutions through a dedicated Information Technology department, though it may not provide solutions for the broader HR organizational landscape. Engaging with some of the market-leading, external vendor-based solutions could be a more cost-effective and expanded coverage, and if necessary, could be integrated with inhouse tools for a complete HR solution.
Automation – The big leap
Transforming innovation though technology in HR processes will not only save a lot of time for HR professionals but also would give them the bandwidth to be able to:
- Gather detailed insights
- Reduce manual and erroneous errors
- Take informed and data-driven decisions
- optimize costs and skill sets, and
- Promote efficiency and scalability
Robotics Process Automation (RPA) can be leveraged for transactional, repetitive, task-based, and rule-based processes (with little or no human intervention) and some of these could include resume sourcing and screening, interview scheduling, employee onboarding, payroll processing, attendance tracking, to name a few.
Imagine a scenario where an employee is greeted on their work anniversary date as they login: ‘Hi Rob, Congratulations on your job anniversary. Wishing you many more successful years with the firm.’ Wouldn’t that be a great personalized experience for an employee, and do you know that an HR Chatbot can really make that happen? This is just one of the many examples that could be cited, but the essence is to make the job easier for various HR Managers here. Chatbots are Artificial Intelligence-based software designed to replace human users with an online interface, and yes – they greatly improve the employee experience.
Automation in HR is here to stay and has deeper impacts on a culture of innovative collaboration, amplifying the employee experience, rationalizing decision making, creating efficiencies, and driving transformation.
No wonder once we return back to workplaces, we may just find physical robots welcoming us to the facility! I can’t wait for that elevated experience with an element of personal touch, can you?
- The article was originally published in Career Ahead April 2022 issue.
Samta Tahilianney is senior level executive working with a leading industry giant managing Human Resource Automations. With around 17+ years of experience in the IT industry, she has worked with leading technology and product-based clients to drive business transformation, strategic change management, design thinking and to develop strategies for supporting technology-based innovations across multiple domains. Outside of work, Samta likes to spend time interacting with and coaching people to develop, evolve and build individual and team motivation, team engagement and team performance. She also takes interest in sharing parenting and child psychology tips through her blogs.