Evolving of HR management is inevitable. Business is changing rapidly so HR has too. Embracing technology is the proper way to free your time for the part of the business that need HR attention.
If we go through simple examples of evolution of HR from only pure administration up to business partners it will show us how much technology helping in this process.
Early 80 in Yugoslavia only few factories have been using punched cards, the rest of them have been using only written time sheets. Salary calculation could be done only when all time sheets collected and checked. In the late 20th century, punched cards started to move away from the mechanical machines to computer-based, electronic time and attendance systems. The employers have introduced magnetic stripe card or other electronic identifiers in order to control access, keep time record and enable identifying employees. These systems are developing every day and linking with different systems and databases. Now we have eye or fingerprint detectors for some access controls with high security risks. Different positions have different time keeping e.g. drivers have driving seat sensors calculating time spent in the car, office based employees sometimes using computer usage based time recording, factory (or any other closed perimeter facility) based employees using contactless magnetic time cards. Process is pretty simple now, daily presence and absence record is in some database and will be approved by manager on daily /weekly/monthly basis so salary calculation can be done last day of the month because database is up-to-date.
Before implementing user friendly applications personal records have been received, recorded and kept only in hard copy. Contracts have been written each time when company filling some position and they have been delivered few days after all necessary documents received, holiday leave requests/decisions have been traveling from employee, through HR department, to their line manager, back to HR department and at the end back to the employee, different documents had to be kept in the metal cupboards so whole process was time consuming. Different reasons pushed up the change in personal record keeping process: speeding up administration, records security risks, control of the access etc.
Now employees can send scanned documents, enter data on their own in mobile application and enable HR admin person to validate and lock entered data so contract can be drafted in few minutes’ process. After data validated and original documents sent to protected facility different decisions, solutions and reports can be drafted by employee and received right after electronic validation by their line manager: holiday leave request and decision, employment confirmation for the bank, salary slip etc.
Few years ago this process demanded presence of both sides, employee and manager, at one place, hard copy planning and validating, than new meeting for evaluating and approving. Often databases (if they existed) for business tracking and PM process have not been linked so data collection and preparation process was time consuming.
Due to fact that business can be tracked on daily basis now, performance management (PM) can be done on daily basis too. If PM database is linked with business data managers can follow their subordinates and make/update/communicate weekly goals easily. When agreed PM cycle finished feedback can be given even to remotely employees so next period can be improved. Improvement of this process helping also speeding up incentive scheme payments to successful employees and making payment relevant to finished period.
Not long ago recruiters had to receive and read all CVs to do CV screening preselection. Now we have vacant positions and candidate databases where applicants can enter their data needed by potential employer so their recruiter can avoid reading data from candidates that not fulfilling position requirements. Some companies are using also CV reader applications to speed up the process and get the best candidates. Those databases can automatically send replies to rejected candidates in any part of the process in prescribed date for the reply.
All these improvements helping HR professionals to focus on business needs, building more functional organization, improving processes and to be there for managers that need help in improving teamwork, coaching people and developing training calendars for individuals in areas where they have development needs.
Now we have HR business partners in different areas of the business. They have matric managers HR and business too. They have to know more about business area they covering so they can talk with people easily and help them make processes more efficient. HR business partners have to understand process and project management so all those who want to stay in HR business should invest in development in these areas. Understanding and improving of different teams is also one of the focuses for HR these days so team coaching methods are area for development too.
Embrace the changes and be part of them!