By Dean Mathews

Technology is present in every fiber of people’s lives. It comes as no surprise that more people are expecting a seamless transition from how they experience technology in other facets of their lives to how they experience technology in the workplace.

This is especially important considering that 75% of the workforce will be comprised of millennials by 2020. This generation who grew up in the era of the Internet wants nothing less than a technologically-capable workplace.

Human Resources have to swiftly adapt to these changes to continue helping businesses anticipate and manage organizational changes. Every HR department needs to have technology at its core — embrace and use technological advancements to meet both business needs and satisfy employee expectations.

How is technology changing HR and what lies ahead?

Digitized HR Portals Reduce Compliance Paperwork

At every step of the way, HR needs to consider compliance — labor laws, payroll regulations, PTO requirements, tax laws, and the long list goes on. Regulatory compliance is necessary, but it’s mired with time-consuming paperwork.

Technology breaks this monotony and makes it easier for teams to ensure compliance without getting buried under a ton of paperwork. HR portals and platforms offer digitized regulatory information that is easier to process, which eliminates the bulk of the work. Document preparation can also be done in systems that automatically alert HR managers of potential regulatory infractions. For example, it’s easier to track the time of both exempt and non-exempt employees, allowing HR professionals to comply with overtime compensation laws.

Artificial Intelligence Eases Hiring Pressure

According to LinkedIn’s 2018 Global Recruiting Trends, 35% of HR managers agree that AI will be the top trend that will influence their hiring practices in 2019:

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Further, the HR managers who were interviewed said that the following are the major areas where AI can help in hiring and recruitment:

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According to the report: “The truth is that Artificial Intelligence (AI) has taken a strong foothold in recruiting and will likely continue to take over some of the more repetitive aspects of your job. For example, there is already software (including LinkedIn Recruiter) that lets you automate candidate searches and quickly find prospects that match your criteria. Other technology can help you screen these candidates before you even speak to them. Chatbots can respond to candidate questions so you don’t have to.”

Amazon was one of the companies that experimented with AI-driven recruitment. However, the project was shelved because the technology showed a bias against women, and not because AI technology inherently favors men. It just happened that the algorithm that was fed to the AI platform was based on the resumes of successful tech professionals, which were mostly men.

Nonetheless, it was proven that AI-powered recruitment and hiring is possible. AI holds the future for recruitment as it makes the entire process significantly faster and cost-efficient.

Cloud-Based Solutions Streamline Data Collection and Storage

A crowded office lined with filing cabinets, littered with documents everywhere, and where computer hard drives always have insufficient storage.

It’s easy to conjure this image of HR offices around the world. Fortunately, the cloud is changing this — for the better.

Data collection and storage has quintessentially been a core element of HR. Before the cloud, workplace data collection and storage was characterized by chaotic office spaces, unnecessary data loss, serious security issues, and inefficiencies.

Today, personnel and workplace data can be stored in the cloud. Documents and other important information can be accessed online. At the same time, data can be requested and obtained using simple online forms and automated processes.

Mobile Apps Catalyze Employee Self-Service and Empower Remote Working

Imagine if there’s no need for employees to bother HR every time they need to access their paycheck data. Instead of disrupting managers from doing more pressing tasks, employees can just access the paycheck information they need from a mobile app. Furthermore, from the same mobile app, employees can file for PTO availments, check their 401(k) contributions, and access company standard operating procedures.

Aside from self-service HR portals, mobile apps also improve remote work systems and protocols. Given that 42.5% of the total global workforce will be working remotely by 2022, mobile apps make HR-related tasks delivery more remote-friendly. For example, time tracking and productivity monitoring apps ensure that HR has eyes on how employees are spending their time no matter where they choose to work.

HR Technology is NOT a Bandwagon

Using HR technology is definitely not a fad nor a preview of a far-away future. It’s the current reality of HR best practices and will continue to shape HR gold standards in the coming years. This is because, with a proper strategy and mindful execution, technology changes HR for the better. As expert Anni Suen notes: “I believe technology is going to drive 3Es – efficiency, effectiveness, and engagement in the HR operation.”

It’s no longer a question of whether HR needs technology, but how well HR uses it. Right now, HR has a bit of leeway to wait and see, but it’s not going to be long before the use of technology becomes mandatory for HR to thrive. 

Dean Mathews is the founder and CEO of OnTheClock, an online employee time tracking app that helps over 8,000 companies all around the world track time.

Human Resources stock photo by eamesBot/Shutterstock