technology-driven-hr
Data and Technology Driven HR

Do you like being told how to behave? No, not even me. That’s why, in almost every organization, it is very easy to find critics of HR. Harvard Business Review very nicely captured general people’s perception about the HR practices in its July/August 2015 edition, with a very PROVOCATIVE HEADLINE: “It’s Time to BLOW UP HR And Build Something New.” Articles, published in this edition, are thought-provoking but not as intriguing as the headline suggests. This is almost two months old story now and during these months, we were patiently reading and listening experts’ take on this spicy story. We observed that this debate is all about ‘Strategic HR Solutions‘. In addition, this debate is also about ‘How Seriously Organizations Are Taking HR Technologies‘?

HBR-July-August-2015
Cover Page of Harvard Business Review

It’s high time, change your mindset

First thing first, HR is not only about HR. It is high time, change your mindset. Browse leading organizations’ HR job profiles and you will observe that HR department is now shaping up business value. Apparently, the good business scorecard of these organizations is their HR scorecard. These organizations dared to experiment with the traditional role of HR because they acknowledged the value propositions every HR professional offers:

  1. HR department is the one unique place that is very well acquainted with the complicated metrics of talent market and human behavior.
  2. HR department also knows strategic direction of the organization and core competency of organizations’ human capital.

Experts observe that the acknowledgment of said value propositions can do wonders. It opens a new avenue and can change the fortune of all kinds of organizations, viz. Manufacturing, Service Providers, Retail, etc. They explain that this acknowledgment apparently expose the disconnect and inconsistency in traditional job profile of HR. For example, HR professionals had access to information such as talent market and human behavior but were not allowed to analytically study this metrics. Now, leading organizations are allowing them to do these micro analysis, and they term these activities as ‘Strategic HR’ job.

So is HR more dependent on technology?

First of all, what’s wrong if someone is using technology? Do you think that HR technology makes an individual’s HR competency redundant? Certainly NOT.

Technology just helps improve productivity. Smart tech-powered recruitment, training, and performance measurement seamlessly streamline administrative work of HR. Subsequently, HR technology facilitates better business results by eliminating bureaucratic processes and red tape culture with simple and integrated solutions. For example, modern HR technology can be a good substitute of manual performance appraisal processes because it brings accountability and transparency, supported by e-records of employees.

Author’s take

It may appear a bizarre jibe for some people but gradually HR departments are establishing themselves as professional services units within their organizations. HR executives and managers in their organizations are now more seriously taking their role of service providers and treating other departments (within their organizations) as their clients. With this approach they are effectively demonstrating their competencies that ultimately deliver business results, and definitely it is not a good time to BLOW UP HR. Data and tech-driven HR is certainly the WAY AHEAD.