After spending a lot of time working on HR technology, I have just tried to collaborate some of the technology knowledge that any HR Manager should know.
1. The Era of Excel is over, its no more the most Powerful tool.
There was a time when Excel Geeks were highly in demand. Everybody will approach them for a solution. However, with the arrival of softwares like SAP, where HR can ask the software team to create personalized reports, Excel has been moved to the corner. With the amount of analysis and metrics that appear today, Excel is just insufficient. Added to it is the cost of acquiring MS Office. Open Office and Google Docs have appeared as the free alternatives to Excel. Sharing Excels sheets is fun with Google Docs. Though none of these serves as an alternate to customized HR software.
2. Locally developed softwares are out of fashion.
The technology is growing at such a pace that the small and one-room-run software vendors are unable to infuse the technology and dynamics that world of HR needs. Don’t you remember the important updates that you required but your software vendor was unable to do. People are changing, become more tech savvy, blogs are swarming all over – so how can you expect your employees to appreciate your locally developed software. And then there is no need to worry, the latest SaaS technology offers high degree of customization to develop a system meeting your specific needs.
3. Web based Software is the new affordable tool
The huge success of Monster.com, Salesforce, EmpXtrack, SuccessFactors, etcetra is enough to prove that the era of web 2.0 has begun. Most of these, especially, EmpXtrack provides updates to the software at the fly, the price of these softwares is unmatched and no need to keep in-house support staff. So why would anybody keep the old, poorly interfaced software in HR. Would you? Click here if you want to see how a web-based HR software works.
4. Books are not the only resource of knowledge
The web 2.0 has changed the way the knowledge was store. Gone are the days when you need to read a complete book to know what you need. There are blogs (like this one), forums, communities where you can interact with people of similar interest and read their articles, opinions and blah blah. The ones that I frequent often are Cite HR, and Recruitment Blogs.
5. Email is not the only communication tool
The nightmare of writing e-mails and then waiting impatiently for the response is over, and off course of missing an important e-mail id in your list. Thanks to chat software, blogs, SaaS software, twitter, forums – you can send your message to your employees, juniors, seniors seamlessly. Web-based softwares provide employee portals for easy communication of information like News and Events to employees. Use these to make your life better.
6. Virtual Office is no more merely a ‘Good Thought’
Its a reality! Employees can work equally well from home using virtual office softwares, where they can share their important files, documents, projects with your team. With the rising cost of travel, why to bother your employee to ask them to travel to office daily, when they can do the same from their home-office. Read ‘How Virtual Office Works’ at How Stuff Works.
7. There are freelancers exchange forums to get the job done
Sometimes your project managers needs an expert to do a urgent job, that is not part of their regular activity. What to do? No matter whatever you did in the past, there are sites that allow freelances and the HR managers to interact. HR managers/ project managers can post their jobs or choose a freelance of their choice to do the job. Like Elance.
8. Job sites are not the only place to find right talent
There are social sites like Facebook, Linkedin, Ecademy, communities like Orkut, yahoo groups, and blogs etc. where people post their portfolios. Try using these, they are an alternate to the conventional job sites. They are almost free.
9. New Generation employees are very tech savvy – catch with them
The latest generation of employees is very tech savvy. They play with gadgets, iPods, write blogs, create communities and interact in so many ways. HR needs to catch up with them, else they will find a place that suit their tastes. Given them web based softwares, blogs, and forums to be engaged – it will energize them to use their creativity for organization.
10. Technology cannot do magic! It is not a replacement for man.
Technology can do wonders but only to the extent of helping people to do their tasks better. It cannot replace the intelligence that man carries with him. Even the best technology cannot replicate the convincing HR manager who can motivate an employee to give his best, understand complex Human problems and provide solutions, show empathy to employee Et cetera.