COVID-19 has undoubtedly devastated businesses of all sizes across the globe, but it could not dampen the people's spirit. These situations have given different perspectives that they would have otherwise never imagined. Sometimes, it seems right that necessity is the mother of all inventions. Technology in HR and Payroll made good progress and continues to surge ahead with new trends. This crisis has made even a small business realize the importance of adopting new technologies for growth. Regardless of industry, be it IT or Education, everyone is embracing technology and automation to continue business-as-usual in this pandemic situation. Communication platforms like Zoom, Skype, Cisco Webex, Microsoft Teams, Google hangout has become integral to every company. As the numbers of COVID- 19 positive cases see dreadful spike every day, companies realize that employees need to work remotely for longer.
Therefore, companies are focusing on setting up efficient virtual workplaces as a long-term solution to this crisis. Organizations today cannot shy away from investing in intelligent HR technologies to manage the new remote working ecosystem.
While we stress that HR is all about bonding, the current situation kept us all apart, and it looks to be continuing for a more extended period. Companies turned to stream platforms for communications like Zoom, Skype, MS Teams, Google Meet, etc. Team meetings and discussions continue to be held remotely from wherever each employee is located. Presentations and product displays are virtually possible through these media while the business-related tasks such as data file transfers (SFTP) and API continue to occur.
As we know, robots have supported the manufacturing sector, including pharma, in a big way. It is not far from the day that this technology will also rule non-manufacturing areas. As it is, employee interaction processes have already been 'robotized' by some companies. Hi-tech bots are designed to do the heavy lifting for the crucial HR tasks like CV shortlisting, recruitment, onboarding, recording important employee information, etc. These bots can be fed with necessary conditions to make intelligent decisions with minimum or no human interaction.
Training is another critical area that has seen a massive transformation with technological advancement. Virtual and Online training programs have gained popularity in the current times owing to its self-paced program model. As organizations are emphasizing on upskilling the employees on-job, these virtual training programs are in ideal option. It helps professionals upgrade their skills and knowledge and gives them the liberty to do it at their convenience. Companies are generously investing in MOOC (Massive open online course) platforms like Coursera, Udemy, Upgrad, etc. for training and development.
Small, Medium, and large-sized companies struggle daily to keep up with hundreds of data points or documentation in sorting, filing, retaining, discarding, retrieval, reporting, updating, distributing, analyzing, etc. These transactions follow the same pattern of entry->process->exit method without any change. This process is monotonous, stressful, and error-prone.
In the above method, errors will continue to occur; quality is compromised regularly, risk of data loss/omissions persist, confidence, and trust in people and systems will erode over time.
Automation is the solution in almost all aspects of HR, while revolutionary technology such as AI & ML will fit in easily. Beginning with recruitment right up to Payroll, AI has made its entry with a big bang since both HR and Payroll are vastly transnational functions in nature, and AI is the perfect tool for it.
Let us take an example of a talent search process where AI helps. If you are a recruiter and in regular need for software programmers, you need not specify the skills required, experience, job profile, etc. to candidates each time or scan for such skill sets from hundreds of applications. The system will browse, perform a mix and match for you and select only those candidates that match these requirements. Cool, isn't it?
The other smart technology is ML, where the system studies the pattern of queries or standard policy/law references from various employees and helps create an FAQ list. It would also consider the design of responses or links provided to make suggestions for Payroll to reply or to automate the process. Another example in Payroll could be for employees to submit their tax exemption investment plans, travel claims, etc., where the system will suggest options based on previous entries.
Likewise, each company must identify such areas to introduce smart technology to enhance employee satisfaction ratios and boost business productivity. In today's scenario, when the world moves towards virtual platforms, the digital transformation of human resources is not optional. Clinging on to the traditional processes would mean staying behind the curve. At the same time, choosing the right technology that fits your business requirement is vital.
To ensure that you pick the right technology 1) define a clear goal, 2) Get all critical stakeholders on board, 4) Prioritize requirements, 5) Do not over-complicate things, 6) Assess output,
The digital transformation in the HR department would directly impact other areas like Recruitment, Payroll, Employee satisfaction, Performance Management, Learning, and Development. Hence, there can be multiple reasons for a company to switch to HR technology.
Digital transformation is not only revolutionary, especially in Human Resource Management, but it is continually evolving. This shift is not only technological but has a significant impact on the overall culture of an organization. HR teams who have been blindly relying on excel sheets until very recently, find it extremely difficult to come out of their comfort zone, and adapt to new technologies and automation.
Today, the HR department is more than recruitment and employee engagements and plays a strategic role in business operations. Managing Human Capital and aligning them to the business goals surely needs a well-structured process and requires a balanced and robust collaboration of technology with human elements.
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