What are the benefits of technology in HR?

The rise of technology has transformed HR departments as they can now collate a range of information about the workforce.

With data-mining, talent search and hiring tech all now available, organisations are keen to roll out these systems in an effort to improve the functionality of HR.

Laurence Collins, director of HR and workforce analytics at Deloitte, has already urged HR leaders to embrace analytics or risk being left behind by other departments such as finance and supply chains. Indeed, research by his company found that only eight per cent of businesses currently have strong HR analytics capabilities.

He added the technology has the potential to add real value to the HR function, as long as it is implemented in the right way. For example, he thinks it will be a while before HR analytics can be used as a predictive tool.

With a survey by Bull Information Systems finding that 66 per cent of business decision makers feel they currently have poor quality data, it's clear there is room for improvement in this area.

Bearing all of this in mind, what benefits can new HR technology bring?

Improved employee user experience

By selecting the right technology, HR departments can deliver a simpler, faster and smarter user interface as part of a human capital management (HCM) system. According to a report by the Information Services Group, more than 50 per cent of survey respondents have chosen or plan to choose a cloud-based software-as-a-service system when it comes to HCM. Doing so allows organisations to put productivity and engagement at the heart of the process, which in turn should foster staff loyalty. Developing a simple and intuitive user interface that can be accessed either by desktop or mobile means employees can interact with each other and management in an effective and useful manner.

Real-time talent assessment

The annual review has been a staple of talent assessment for a number of years, as it provides both staff and management with the chance to catch up, review progress and set out some future goals. However, in today's digital age it means valuable learning opportunities can be missed. Thanks to big data analytics, companies can now carry out continuous real-time assessment of their staff and feed this back immediately. It means HR departments can identify areas of improvement and develop plans to address these issues straight away. By effectively harnessing data, staff members can always be improving, while companies will be ideally placed to provide the resources and support they require in order to achieve their goals.

Coordinating secondary benefits

With employee benefits packages being scaled back by many organisations, companies are looking to keep staff happy by offering a range of secondary benefits, including food deals, flexitime and gym memberships. By developing a hub that offers information about all of these perks online, it's much easier for people to take advantage of them. This in turn should boost staff morale as individuals are more likely to feel cared for and about. Focusing on perks that promote good physical and mental health is advised.