HR has been through a remarkable journey in recent years, with innovations transforming many aspects of the function, turning it into a hotbed for emerging technology and radical improvements. Industry research shows that in 2017, organizations have at least one HR process in the cloud.
A few years back, it was hard to imagine devices interacting with each other to the degree they do today, now generating “zettabytes” of data – and yielding unprecedented opportunities to integrate and analyze business processes. It’s a reality with an estimated 8 billion devices connected through digital systems that share and communicate with each other…globally.
HR is a central function that thrives on information access, analysis and sharing. Proficiently gathering, managing and converting it into meaningful outcomes is what continuously advances the profession. HR now has the ability to take that value well beyond the confines of traditional IT barriers. Just as Big Data opens new doors, however, privacy protection controls must be more rigidly enforced than ever, adding to the already-demanding data management and documentation challenges. GDPR compliance, for example, isn’t an option. It’s an imperative with no margin for error.
A simple question surfaces from this complex backdrop: Where’s it all leading?
Many agree that profound answers will come in the form of IoT breakthroughs. Again, HR is expected to embrace such advances sooner than other aspects of the enterprise. Part of the reason is that digital-era tools are cross-functional, and HR’s central role can foster the right processes and practices on a multi-country basis.
Gartner projects IoT will encompass 20 billion devices by the year 2020. This has profound implications for society and business culture, from daily internal and external communications to overall human capital management, down to payroll processing.
Consumerization of HR Through IoT
Among the most salient overall technology trends is the adoption of consumer-oriented innovations in the workplace. The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) phenomena increasingly contributes to this reality. IoT developments certainly correlate to what’s happening on this front. In other words, your HR function needs to take these complementary factors more deeply into account.
Time and attendance tracking are ripe for advancement. Meetings and training sessions, for example, can be automatically captured through applications that track attendance based on location settings. The outburst of data through IoT can personalize these events further by leveraging dynamic analytics that lets the user exclusively filter availability by date and time on their calendar for personal and official commitments.
Succeeding in delivering valued and personalized employee-services to today’s diverse workforce of contingent and mobile workers means that employees are more engaged and empowered. Delivering consumer-oriented user experience and user-friendly solutions can be the short cut to managing a vibrant workforce.
Micro and Nanotechnology
Innovations in microsensors and network connectivity are creating endless combinations of systems and tools that can generate data for better decision making.
Microchips, to a large extent, are being used in sports and fitness. Sensors built in sports equipment and fitness gadgets are being leveraged to analyze player movements and patterns. Data insights gathered can be stored and recalled when needed. Important information and feedback that can improve the overall game and team performance can be tracked in real-time.
In HR, such sensors are progressively being utilized to ensure the health and safety of employees without affecting privacy or security. The ability to source data through WiFi-enabled systems allows HR to gain collective insights into employee productivity, travel, communication patterns, business and client dossiers.
The utilization of devices in business is expanding at an unprecedented rate. Mobile gamification, e-Learning and interactive apps have already started taking over the realm of businesses. Especially in recruitment, where mobile job hunters are increasingly contributing to the share of online sourcing, it becomes easier for recruiters to collect relevant employee data through IoT feeds. Recruiters needn’t manually scan and update candidate profiles; the process can be carried out online through HR portals that match applicants to skillsets and education requirements prior to HR review. This saves time, and shortlisted resumes can be more accurately aligned with job pre-requisites. Tasks like these that conventionally might need ten steps to fulfil can be automated and completed in just one or two steps.
VR and AR
Virtual reality and augmented reality create a fast-track to digitalization. These technologies are creating breakthroughs in businesses. The latest iteration in this innovative arena is virtual chat rooms. Along with real-time 3D capturing and AR lenses, real-world experiences can be created in any environment. Meetings can now be made more interesting and interactive. Time and money can be saved in physical transportation, and a virtual meeting room can be created anywhere and at any time needed.
Job interviews, webinars and live meetings can be captured and recorded to be played later for reference and to assess potential candidates.
Interactive devices have already forever altered our future. Related innovations are redefining everything from home appliances to office systems, with smart technology saving energy and driving remarkable efficiencies. Information sharing, through mobile devices, televisions, sensors and more, enables an enriched user experience. A three-letter acronym says it all…IoT.
Acceptance and implementation of IoT has also already begun to reshape the future of people management, recruitment and development. In today’s digitally supercharged world, every company needs a practical strategy to turn IoT promises into conventional realities. The formula should be relatively straightforward to maximize flexibility, increase workforce capability and develop core competencies that effectively build up organizational agility. Get it on the right track with a two-letter acronym that says it all: HR.