By Nick Nooren, Head of Proteus Marketplace developed by Xergy
Over the last 12 months, there has been a significant change in the way people need and want to work. As our priorities shift and digital capabilities expand, the working world is moving to a more flexible model, one that is likely to outlast the pandemic.
A new HR landscape is emerging. Employees have seen behind the curtain and experienced a new way of working, and technology is the driver supporting this change. Aided by efficient workplace management technology, one that confidently explores the benefits of remote work and the gig economy. Ultimately improving the way businesses communicate with employees, evaluate staff data and improve performance.
As good HR management helps bridge the gap between employee performance and a business’ strategic objectives. Technology helps to streamline this process, creating further operational efficiencies that directly contribute to improved business development. It provides a reliable and productive “always-on” environment where employees can deliver their best work; it enables better measurement of productivity, improving user experience. A further benefit of the fast-advancing technology means HR can address the current skills gap, which will impact how organisations recruit and retain professionals.
Despite this, CIPD’s People and Machines research found HR activities appear less likely to use AI technology, with just 14% of businesses that had invested in this technology had applied it to HR processes.
Of course, as with any management system, there are some negatives to consider. One is the well being of employees. Giving employees access to the tools they need to do their jobs in a way that works best for them means they’ll be more effective and engaged. A good work/life balance is equally important for employee productivity, satisfaction and essentially mental health. In a world that is increasingly better connected, “switching off” becomes more challenging for workers. Remote work despite offering flexibility can also become isolating. Not to mention the inherent risk of cyber security and fraud.
There is a need for human resource professionals to consider how best to use AI and automation as they continue to improve and develop, rather than adopting technology for the sake of it. It must align with the needs of the business and the employees to have a positive impact on both organisational development and employee wellbeing. For businesses to thrive, they must be strategic in deploying technology and approaching AI with proper thought and care. Understanding the role it plays in the workplace is key to boosting confidence in its deployment.
Modern workplace technology also has a unique opportunity to drive a new style of leadership. One which embraces diversity, is open to change and encourages learning and communication. A successful leader anywhere in the world understands how much technology can help in managing people. It can aid in building highly talented teams and keep track of work across a variety of channels and platforms, no matter the location.
Artificial intelligence and secure cloud-based management systems have opened the doors to wide-reaching channels of communication. These tools have improved the ease of both internal and external communication. The new leader can now influence their employees, motivate their sales teams, build customer loyalty and connect with peers through various social media platforms and blogging. It empowers them to expand their reach towards new markets across the globe, something previously beyond reach.
Perhaps the greatest benefit technology offers to leaders is access to a global pool of talent and world experts for their projects. The result? Diverse skills and experiences at their fingertips and no longer confined by locality. The ability to filter through candidates at speed is also game-changing. Using skills-matching tools empowers leaders to spread their nets wider and start engaging with talent overseas. AI can ensure that employers can access talent of all levels and skill sets. Potential employers can put out a job spec (data set) to a pool of vetted candidates sorted, prioritised and based on accuracy, put forward as desired, candidates for consideration.
We believe that organisations will increasingly look to implement smart work management systems, which are simple and easy to use. These will be platforms that will allow employees to work just as effectively outside the office, and provide the ability for businesses to find, provision and manage talent globally. Implementing new ways of resourcing and delivering teams with tactics such as smarter AI-driven talent management systems will become a necessity. The increase in service demand will continue to transform our approaches to work. Technology adoption within HR and recruitment will continue to benefit organisations in their development and future growth.