Technology has now taken a major role in the human resource world impacting training, recruiting, data storage and retrieval, digital security, employee interaction, communication, and productivity. Overall, technology has had both positive and negative effects on the human resource world. It’s been said technology is “taking the human out of human resources”.
Training has become a more efficient process, online access to training eliminates the need for face to face meeting with trainers. New employee training as well as continuing training for current employees can be done anytime and at remote locations. Although face to face training might be a better way for some employees to learn, online training gives employees the time to learn at their own pace. Online training also makes it easier for the company to train a large number of employees at the same in different locations.
The other side of training is showing employees how to use all of the resources available to them such as HR online platforms, training programs, and ways of communication. Some of these tasks and programs can be especially difficult to teach the older workforce how to use. Companies now have the need for technical support to assist people who may not be technologically inclined.
The area of recruiting has been significantly impacted by technology. Companies can now spread job opportunities to a far larger number of people than before large scale use of the internet. With countless job posting websites, social media, websites like LinkedIn, and video interviews companies can have a large candidate pool and a better opportunity to find the right person for the job. Video interviews allow companies to have a face to face interaction with a large number of applicants helping them narrow down who they would like to meet in person. Overall the recruiting process is definitely more efficient due to the use of technology and more helpful to both companies and to people looking for jobs.
Technology has made the storage and retrieval of data easier from a human resource standpoint. Instead of cabinets, boxes, and piles of files, all the information can be stored digitally. Digital storage reduces space requirements, lost and misfiles, data retrieval time, and time spent filing. It also makes it easier to track and manage who is and can access certain documents deterring fraud and only letting people retrieve information that are meant to. It The downfall to digital storage is that previously a company would have to hire people to file, organize, and manage their files now a company can simply provide scanners and individuals can organize their new files digitally.
Digital security is a newer problem in the human resource world due to rapidly changing technology. The human resource department holds a lot of important and sensitive information about employees and many of the record keeping systems has now gone digital. Cyber security threats and data loss are new challenges faced by human resource departments due to the use of technology. Instead of information breech because of files being left out now we have cyber security attacks with large breeches of information. Companies are having to be really vigilant to maintain their cyber security by vigorously filtering emails, and making employees use passwords that are strong and unique and making them change their password often. The smallest slip could cost a company big, not only with money but with breech massive amounts of personal and sensitive information.
In the past employees would have to go to the human resource department to get information on payroll, retirement, workers compensation, benefits, medical problems, and training. These days most companies have an online human resource platform where employees can access and update information, submit claims, enter time, request vacation, do training, manage their retirement, as well as many other things they would have previously had to go to human resources for. Very few things have to be done face to face with the human resource department, HR has kind of lost its human touch. Although, ease of access for employees to so many essential tools is definitely a plus of technology advancement.
Technology has probably had the biggest impact on communication in the workplace. Communication is now emails, cloud sharing, and video conferences instead of face to face interaction. We can communicate instantly at any time from almost anywhere. It is changing the way that meetings, supervision, and office gossip were previously conducted. A downfall to instant communication is that employees can’t really have a work/ life separation when emails, texts, and phone calls can reach them at any time. What was previously an 8hr day/ 40hr week has turned into a constant stream of to-do’s that need their attention even when they are not at work.
Another pitfall of losing face to face interaction is that people seem to use the constraints of normal workplace interaction more loosely, even though their company has full access to all computer information. People who may not have previously found it acceptable to say inappropriate jokes or harass someone face to face may find it acceptable to send via email. From an HR perspective they are dealing with overworked, information overloaded, constantly connected employees.
Technology has made people both more and less productive at their jobs. Tasks are becoming more streamlined, and people can complete their jobs more efficiently. You can attend meetings across the country, ask question to someone down hall or your boss by simply sending an email, and even do your job from other locations without ever having to leave the spot your sitting. The downfall to technology at your fingertips is most employees have full access to the internet, time is being wasted on social media, online shopping, and useless internet surfing.
Technology has definitely made certain tasks in the human resource world easier but with the advances has come plenty of new problems.