The Value of People: the future of Human Resources

It’s a crazy thought: human resources without humans. Already the discipline has been streamlined by innovative software providing for basic functions such as: benefits management, recruitment, time and attendance, professional development, security, and other day-to-day tasks. But now automation is superseding even these advancements, digitizing everything, literally eliminating the need for human involvement.

Or maybe not. Humans will still be needed when interaction is called for in meetings, interviews, disciplinary hearings, training, business direction, strategy formulation, etc, and of course, to run that automation function smoothly. So worry not. HR is up and running as fast as anyone else.

The strategic role of HR in business

The value of HR in driving strategic planning and growth is now recognised as a vital part of business leadership. There is ground-breaking change from traditional procedures with regard to sourcing talent, processing applications, and handling employees. These changes are redefining the nature of work itself, together with internal company relationships and strategies.

The introduction of automation on high volume and repetitive tasks, frees HR management to focus on creating higher value for the business, and increasing efficiencies. HR has gone from being ‘nice to have’ to a crucial shaper of the business.

For some, the changes are moving too quickly, and personnel are anxious about the effect on jobs within the HR domain. But because the dynamic is shifting from the mundane and routine to business strategies and goals, there is broader opportunity for HR specialists to develop their skills in more exciting programmes.

Technically speaking

Artificial Intelligence

AI will become invaluable in screening applicants, matching and evaluating skills, streamlining and reducing the reading of all applications. There are computer programmes that already handle these tasks – but AI will bring a level of strict analysis and accuracy that will not just match, but evaluate the application with impartiality, handle interactions up to interview level, and deal with regret communications. AI will improve interaction between the company and applicants, thus improving not only the results of recruiting, but also the company’s employer brand image.

Performance Management Feedback

A digital HR management platform allows continual evaluation without time consuming meetings – employees can receive feedback in real time, and issues can be dealt with on the job and quickly. It helps management keep a finger on the pulse, and it helps employees to get the feedback they need at the right time. It gives everybody the opportunity to have meaningful conversations about professional and personal development whenever either side needs this.

Time and Security

Biometric fingerprint scanning, facial or iris recognition verifies the identification of employees and has the following benefits:
• Minimises the risk of attendance fraud.
• Ensures hours are accurately attributed to the correct employee.
• Prevents the abuse known as ‘buddy punching’ where one employee clocks in for another.
• Automatically cuts off access to computer systems once the employee has clocked out, thus protecting the organisation against false claims to have worked off the clock.

The Search for Talent

The balance of HR focus will be as much on the employee as it will be on the business; it is up to HR to keep that connection vital and strong. And to do so they need to begin with innovative ways of finding the right people to drive the business forward. The demand for top talent is continually growing. The HR department is going to have to understand both the needs of the business and the needs of the employee. The days of simply filling positions with the candidate with the best CV, have gone.

Training and Development

Once good staff has been found, they should be nurtured and retained through constant upskilling and motivation. Feedback from employees will be important, as will recognising and rewarding achievements, mentoring, coaching, and taking cognisance of career expectations. With the assistance of AI, HR departments can handle far larger workloads with greater ease in shorter time, while monitoring and evaluating every employee’s performance on a more regular and personal basis. There will be increasing use of: predictive analytics, chatbots to answer common inquiries, faster access to data, and the use of virtual instruction that would allow employees to engage in greater knowledge and skills development while performing their jobs.

Culture, diversity and employee well-being

The new focus of HR is to ensure that the culture of the business is understood and comfortably assimilated by employees, and that the workforce remains fully engaged with core business goals. Opportunities exist to design specific programmes to ensure that everybody feels a sense of inclusion – and today there are precisely the right HR technologies to help with this engagement, from onboarding to exiting.

Creating exceptional employee experiences

Employees are now seen as valuable as customers – but what is most valuable is their engagement with the business. This is the area where the new HR can apply a truly creative approach. Mapping each employee’s career journey and contribution is going to present a more dynamic relationship. For a business to grow and succeed in the long term, employees will need to be as enthusiastic and committed as the business leaders.

The new value of Human Resources

At the HR Analytics Institute we believe there is a smarter way to get the best out of your staff and improve your business. Not only do we clearly see the potential to improve business through better relationships, but we are passionate about training HR practitioners to understand the value of their interface role between staff and management. Our practical courses will enable you to play a far greater role in strategic decision-making within the business as a whole.

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