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Refreshing Insights

It’s difficult to remember what the average job was like before modern technology and online tools entered the scene. Technology has changed every aspect of business, making processes more efficient, improving data management and increasing productivity.

It’s also allowing Human Resources (HR) professionals to meet the challenges of the modern-day workplace and its employees. Analytics and metrics are driving business decisions like never before by improving how an organization manages workers, empowers them to grow and learn, and ensures compliance with ever-changing regulations.

Here are ways innovative and forward-thinking HR departments should be leveraging technology to manage the myriad of employee and business functions within their organizations in 2018.

1. Employee Self-Serve Portals (ESS)

Employees want to be informed and in control of their information. In the past, if employees wanted to check the status of a time-off request or inquire about their 401(k) contributions, they’d have to go knocking on HR’s door to request the information. The HR professional would either have to stop what he or she was doing and take the time to look it up, or get back to the employee at a later time. Either way, both employees ended up losing productivity and becoming frustrated.

An ESS online portal empowers employees by allowing access to their personnel files through a secure, cloud-based platform. They can pull up benefits and pay histories, change W4s, view remaining vacation days and more while at work or at home on their own time.

2. Performance Management Redesign

Companies are changing how they conduct employee reviews. They’re seeing the value of providing continuous performance feedback rather than waiting for an annual review to reward a job well done or address issues. Employees no longer want to look at a year in review; they want to look forward and establish incremental goals throughout the coming months. Technology can provide metrics based on performance standards, include benchmarks, and help provide more continuous feedback — both positive and constructive — by encouraging greater involvement and interaction among peers and supervisors.

3. Recruitment Tools

The war on talent has made it necessary for HR to become more strategic in its recruiting efforts, and technology plays a big role. Management tools are available to track potential hires and online applications, provide feedback, set alerts and manage data like never before.

A major initiative for many organizations in 2018 is to strategically pursue passive candidates who aren’t even looking for a career change. Social media networks like LinkedIn play an important role in targeting potential candidates who may have relevant work experiences or job skills listed on their profiles. Online career sites remain a vital source for finding recruits, and employers are increasingly doing “blind” hiring, a practice that strips resumes of demographic data to reduce any bias and find the best candidates.

Another valuable recruiting tool for many employers is video, especially for those that can show a healthy and vibrant culture. Once the ideal candidate is found, technology continues to play a role in onboarding, training and making the transition as smooth as possible.

4. Corporate Learning

One aspect of technology that has been met with some criticism is its ability to replace job functions once performed by humans. The shelf life of worker skills is just five years, and it’s estimated that 60% of jobs that will be in demand 10 years from now don’t even exist today.

This shift requires a new breed of corporate learning that helps future-proof employees and equip them to learn new skills or fill other roles. A machinist, for example, may need to learn how to do quality control or quoting in the event robotics replaces his or her previous duties. Virtual classrooms, online learning, peer-to-peer collaboration platforms and other technologies will play a major role in equipping workers to transition into new responsibilities.

5. Gamification

As younger generations enter the workforce, employers are leveraging their desires for interaction and engagement through competitive game formats. Technology can allow one department to compete with another to find innovations or drive down costs. Such an approach can engage a new group of employees and make it fun to discover new opportunities or improve processes.

6. Compliance

Keeping track of changing regulations is the nemesis of many an HR professional. A Human Capital Management (HCM) system can help ensure compliance by tracking important regulation information related to benefits, ADA, discrimination, FLSA and more. In the event of an audit, all the data can be easily extracted to demonstrate compliance or areas of improvement.

7. Integrated Functionality

Data is power. Technology is driving so many metrics that HR could never have managed it all in the past. Some organizations are still working with multiple platforms, using one software to manage payroll, another for recruitment and others for onboarding, training, performance tracking and more. Extracting data from one system and manually comparing it with data from another becomes inefficient.

A major trend is using a platform that integrates all these functionalities into one system. Some technology solutions claim to have “Best in Class” for an individual function (e.g., payroll); however, a “Best in Suite” application is a smarter approach. A Human Capital Management system integrates all the various functions so that data can flow freely between modules to eliminate inefficiencies, duplicate data and errors. It also can automate an employee’s entire life cycle — from recruitment and hiring to payroll and performance, and everything in between. What used to fill file cabinets to the brim can now be securely stored electronically, allowing for more accuracy and timely administration.

If you can’t measure something, you can’t improve it, and innovative technologies are the tools that can help your HR department enhance employee engagement, ensure compliance and fuel growth. McClone’s HR services can equip you with the technology you need and, just as importantly, the people who’ll provide personalized guidance, customized HR strategies and share best practices. Take a moment to reach out to us to see if the solutions we have to offer would benefit your organization, and be sure to check out the comparison guide below with additional considerations.

In-House vs. Outsourced HR Comparison Guide

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A collection of articles from the McClone team with the helpful knowledge and insights to ensure your organization is well protected.