Working Towards Digital Global HR Practices

By Nicole Dominique Le Maire – CEO, New To HR

Technology has transformed the power of HR, shifting concentration from long days filled with admin duties to speedy online recruiting and processing. Although new technology has allowed us to achieve more in a shorter time period, has it led us to neglect the “human” in HR?

Jobvite Social Recruiting Survey showed that to beat their competitors, hiring departments planned to invest 73% more in social recruitment, and that recruiters who used social technology to acquire talent can see a 44% increase in talent quantity and quality.

Clearly the digital revolution of HR is benefiting the function in some areas, but it brings significant challenges, too.

With more and more hiring managers relying on the web to recruit new employees to save time and scour a larger pool of candidates, Talent Management an online HR magazine, reports that “computer algorithms are ignoring perfectly suitable candidates. We have all heard the tale of the CEO who could not get through his own company’s screening mechanisms. The computer screening process determined that leader didn’t have the necessary skills to be successful.”

Have we lost the human touch by relying too heavily on computers to do our jobs? Hiring managers should remember that although technology systems are improving their time management, they could also be limiting their performance by skipping over potentially brilliant talent, and should still consider using resume agency recommendations from time to time.

Can you be 100% sure that a candidate would not benefit your business because they botched one question on an online survey? Technology has robbed us of forging that human connection with some interviewees in a meeting, or at least a phone call.

Email notifications that look clearly like automated, copy and paste messages can also drive candidates away, lacking the personal touch altogether and making them feel that your organization lacks interest. Many applications force potential employees through hours of online surveys, personality tests and eligibility exams – look at it from their point of view, they spend a substantial amount of time getting through the application just to receive a pre-written paragraph in response.

Businesses tend to overlook HR’s need for technology when allocating their budget, favoring direct profit-making schemes, which has stunted the growth of digital HR in the mainstream marketplace.

With many organizations now realizing the need for better systems in this department to manage their talent, too many are rushing in computer processes and software quicker than their team can navigate them. This diminishes the idea of the “human touch” as traditionally face-to-face practices are replaced with online ones.

The concept of shared service HR call centers for large, multinational companies has removed many on-site HR departments, completely slashing the personal approach. Can your organization manage people without physical interaction?

While it may be cost-effective for the company, at the same time it could be detrimental to your employee base who simply feels that they cannot talk to a ‘real’ person, which is the complete opposite of what your department hopes to accomplish.

Technology has vastly improved many areas of business, but without stopping to examine what it might be affecting, we could lose the “human touch” all together.

Nicole is the founder of The People Engine Ltd with the brands Human Resources Global and New To HR. Join Nicole at the HR Summit & Expo in Dubai this November, where she will be facilitating a complimentary workshop on these topic areas.

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