Andrey Koptelov is Technology Observer at Itransition.
IT industry resembles a huge sandbox where everyone should play by the same rules. If HR professionals want to build a successful career in a software engineering company, they need to learn certain skills.
One of the key requirements for working in IT, for HRs included, is being digitally literate and using technologies to boost productivity. The pandemic intensified that requirement even more making HR personnel do all their activities remotely and digitally.
Advanced HR platforms not only free up time and digitize HR processes but also serve as integrated hubs that connect employees, C-suite, partners, vendors, and job applicants, reducing administrative and IT support expenses.
What’s more, the technology allows companies to quickly reconfigure their workforce management when there’s an urgent need to respond to a critical event and adapt to its consequences.
In order to connect people and make these connections visible to all stakeholders, HR managers need to have a good command of such systems and know-how to make the most of them. As a rule, the more functions the HR system is able to cover, the more difficult it tends to be in use. However, when mastered properly, it can help enhance HR functions in a way impossible with Excel spreadsheets and other disparate tools.
Let’s look at three areas that are key to human resource management in IT and that are best developed with the help of an HR platform.
HR platforms are designed to automate repetitive and time-consuming tasks, significantly cutting on manual efforts. Such tasks shouldn’t necessarily be of low value—it’s possible to streamline critical workflows when delegating them to built-in AI.
As a rule, HR personnel can automate administrative activities like those connected with data entry, time, and calendar management as well as more critical tasks like candidate pre-screening or payroll processing.
Here is the list of activities that HRs should delegate to an automation platform in a way that improves productivity and speeds up time-to-hire:
Recruitment management. The system can be integrated with various candidate search channels that will make it possible to automatically post job ads to multiple sources, return relevant matches, pre-screen applicants’ CVs, and filter out those that don’t meet the minimum requirements. The platform can also capture, parse and store candidate data with no losses.
Employee management. The system can allow employees to use self-service tools to go on vacation, take a leave, or apply for available benefits, while the HR team can receive relevant notifications about any of such activities or requests. Plus, HR managers will be able to track attendance and/or logged hours, assess employees’ performance, and spot any areas that require more attention, like skill gaps, mental health issues, work-life imbalance, etc.
Payroll management. The system can help streamline salary calculations taking into account taxes and insurance deductions depending on the country, hours worked, sick leaves, bonuses, and more.
Document management. The system can store documents electronically, send job offers online with the possibility to e-sign them, allow filling in forms and applications online.
Notifications. As HR managers have to juggle multiple responsibilities at the same time, they can set up automated alerts to remind them about important events and due dates, like upcoming performance reviews, new or leaving workers, job anniversaries, repeated training, and more.
Digital collaboration and communication. Working and hiring remotely, HR managers need to capture the specifics of video communication and master online engagement via video conferencing tools, be it interviews with candidates, online talks with employees working from home, or remote training.
The HR software can be integrated with any convenient video conferencing tools, be it Skype, Zoom, Slack, Microsoft Teams, Webex, or Google Meet. However, working in the new conditions is not as simple as it seems. It doesn’t mean that once all the habitual offline processes are virtualized, everything will work as it did before. Instead, HR managers need to create new workflows and rules shaped around the virtual environment and promote the new ethics of online communication (cameras on or off, etc.)
Naturally, there aren’t any sure-fire ways that will work 100% in the new reality so HR managers are free to continuously experiment to spot challenges and find out the best scenarios that work particularly well for their company.
HR processes involve loads of data so HR managers need to learn how to interpret it, tap into its insights, and, what’s more important, use it for decision-making. As HR personnel mostly deal with employee management, it’s important to not only rely on emotions and gut feeling but combine them with analytics in pursuit of finding optimal workarounds for various situations, be it attracting the best talents, motivating employees, aligning people’s expectations with the company’s goals and possibilities, or avoiding biases.
HR automation platforms offer many tools that democratize analytics, allowing HR managers to query data, visualize it, and generate reports without IT assistance.
With the data consolidated and analyzed centrally on such a platform, HR managers should find it easier to see the overall portrait of the company’s employees when it comes to skill sets, education, personal traits, problems, and more.
At the same time, they can drill into the smallest details of a person’s profile to understand more about a certain employee, use predictive algorithms to get warning signs about possible burnout or difficult onboarding, and choose a personalized approach to them, which is particularly useful when people work offsite.
Almost all professions have to change in order to adapt. HR teams, being an important part of any organization must develop digital skills.