How Technology is Changing Human Resource Management


image_10Technology is changing every sector of the economy at a rapid pace. One of the biggest changes is in the way that information is shared. When human resources managers are seeking to recruit staff members, post jobs or keep track of applicants, technology is interwoven throughout every process. Consider these three ways in which technology is changing the way that your organization finds, evaluates and trains new people to work in your organization.

Recruiting Through Social Media

More than 92 percent of human resources officers report that they use social media as a recruitment tool [1]. Most adults actively participate in at least one social media network. Human resources teams can post job openings through a variety of methods on social media. They can use a person’s university affiliation, experience, likes and interests on social media as recruitment techniques. Social media also allows for the implementation of viral recruiting techniques. For example, if your company has dozens or hundreds of seasonal jobs to fill, shares and retweets on social media are fast ways to recruit the staff you need.

Digital Job Postings and Applications

Long gone are the days when you had to fax a job advertisement to the newspaper, wait for them to print it and then wait for applications to come in through snail mail. You can now use technology to almost instantaneously deliver job postings to dozens of recruitment websites, university posting services, professional networks and social media outlets. Applicants do not have to carefully print their applications. They can deliver them to you through your platform or send them electronically through email, allowing you to get responses within minutes of posting an opening.

Information Storage and Retrieval

When your recruitment strategies on social media are successful, you could end up with hundreds of applications. Technology facilitates the storage and retrieval of all of this information. When you have another, similar job opening, you can refer to your database and see which qualified applicants might fit the bill. Cloud computing makes it easy and cost-effective to store a great deal of digital information for recruiting.


Determining Whether an Applicant Tracking System is a Necessity for HR Professionals


image_05Before you make a decision about whether or not to use an applicant tracking system, consider what has happened to give rise to their use.

Gone are the days when job applicants typed their resumes, wrote a cover letter, mailed it and went through the same process for the next job. Now, applicants can post their resume online, and in just a short session at their computer, they can submit their resume to 10, 20 or more jobs without even considering if they meet the job requirements. The result? Recruiters are buried in online submissions.

To counter the enormous influx of resumes, many from clearly unqualified candidates, companies have resorted to applicant tracking systems to cull the number of resumes by identifying keywords that must appear in the resume before an actual recruiter sees it.

Often, a company will receive 250 or more resumes for an open position. Their applicant tracking system will only allow about 25 percent of those to move forward, but are they the right 25 percent? While the numbers support the success of using these systems, when you dig a little deeper, there’s often a gap between the use of keywords and the actual skills required for the job. Just because an applicant’s resume is worded to “beat the system” doesn’t mean he or she is qualified.

Applicant tracking systems are increasing in use, and they serve a real purpose, but there are some characteristics that should be considered before purchasing and installing one:

  • Make sure the system you purchase is mobile friendly. If it isn’t, you could be losing qualified candidates who move on to a more mobile-friendly application process at another company.
  • Ensure that your system allows qualified candidates who aren’t hired to go into a recruiting pipeline.
  • The filters in your system should not be too restrictive. For example, while an MBA may be preferred, a master’s degree in another area might be acceptable as well.

Many HR professionals see more value in a well-trained recruiter who can scan a large stack of resumes and sort them quickly into “unqualified,” “maybe” and “call for phone screen.” As job seekers become more familiar with the system, they’ll get better at presenting themselves as someone who uses the right words instead of someone who can do the job.

How HR Analytics Can Transform the Workplace


Analytical data can be used to improve many aspects of business. In the HR department, the efficiency of employees will directly impact the success of the organization. According to a 2013 survey by talent analytics software vendor SHL, 77% of HR professionals are unable to determine how their enterprises’ workfimage_015orce potential is affecting their bottom line, while less than half (44%) use objective data regarding talent performance to guide business decisions[1].

By scrutinizing data collected using HR analytics in reference to hiring costs, compensation platforms and turnaround rates, HR professionals can develop a detailed report giving them an edge when it comes to finding and retaining quality candidates. This information can also be used to predict workforce performance and identify potential high-quality members.

Performance Versus Responsibilities

In many cases, exceptional employees in one area could be weaker in others. By analyzing the information available, you can place specific employees in positions where they will excel. Putting a person in an area he or she is not familiar with could be setting the employee up for failure. Assigning positions based on strengths and demonstrated abilities from employee performance reviews can enhance the workplace. Although you may hire someone for a specific task, you never know what he or she is capable of in other locations.

Strategies Are Only as Good as the Data Collected

Not every HR staff member knows how to collect and collate various forms of data in order to develop a strategy. Companies will often turn to workforce management solutions and applications to help collect the information. Analytical software for the HR department will do all of the necessary calculations for you making it easier to spot flaws in the system. For example, do you know how much money is wasted when a new hire fails and is let go? These platforms may also show where that employee failed in his or her responsibilities in the first place.


Tracking Candidate Source Data and Measuring Cost Per Applicant and Cost Per Hire to Determine ROI


image_30Measuring the cost per applicant and cost per hire helps human resources departments determine the cost-effectiveness of their candidate recruitment strategies. This candidate data can be gleaned through a variety of methods. Once the statistics have been compiled, managers and human resources staff can then evaluate whether they’re getting their money’s worth, what strategies proved too costly and which efforts can be expanded upon.

Collection of Candidate Source Data

Begin by automating the candidate source data. This can be done within the human resources information technology (IT) department. An applicant tracking system can be implemented by the IT department and used to track basic data for each applicant, such as the source of his or her application or the website where the recruitment ad was placed. This data can then be analyzed by the human resources staff to determine the frequency of applicants from each source.

Data Analysis

Once reliable candidate source data has been gathered, managers can then begin calculating cost per applicant and per hire to determine the ROI. Use the automated program to run reports for “applicants by source” and “hires by source.” Other reports to run include raw applicant and hire volume. Compare these against the costs and fees charged by each source. Factors such as the hours spent by each human resources staff member or hiring manager may be difficult to calculate; however, these also add to the cost per applicant and per hire. Now, you know which of your recruitment ads and methods have produced the greatest ROI.

Making Adjustments

Knowing your ROI for each applicant and hire source allows you to make adjustments as needed. Because recruitment budgets may change on a quarterly or annual basis, you may need to adjust your recruitment media and marketing on a similar schedule. Once you have identified which source or sources are giving your organization the best ROI, you can focus your budget and contracts there. You’ll also have the data to show different recruitment websites and venues so that you can get better ad placement or more services for your employee recruitment budget.


Why You Should Not Neglect Applicant Tracking Systems


image_016While some estimates are higher, a conservative estimate of the percentage of companies using Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) is 75 percent of large organizations and 60 percent of mid-sized companies [1]. Unfortunately, you could be missing out on some qualified candidates if your system appears to be out-of-date. Statistics show that 40 percent of mobile candidates will forgo the application process if the ATS is not mobile-friendly [2].

Job Order Tracking is an Important Part of Applicant Tracking

A job order tracking feature acts as a central repository for recruiters, allowing them to quickly identify and share open jobs on social media or job boards. Most applicant tracking systems can produce job order reports of successful placements, source of hire, time to fill, and diversity. Weekly monitoring can provide valuable metrics to help identify recruiting efficiencies as well as weaknesses.

Managing All Those Applicants

With the average number of applicants per job opening at 250, your recruiters can’t afford to review and contact all that would come up in a search. With an ATS, you can thin the qualified candidate pool by as much as 75 percent, allowing your recruiters to focus their time on those with genuine potential [3].

Successful recruiters understand the value of networking with a core group of professionals who were qualified applicants that for one reason or another didn’t get the job. Checking in with that group can sometimes produce an equally qualified referral. Most ATS’s allow recruiters to create personalized groups to easily access these valuable but often overlooked contacts.

Time is Money

Taking full advantage of an ATS streamlines the process around applicant comparisons, makes it easy to match candidates to open positions, and keeps your candidate pipeline flowing. The time-savings that come from a robustly used ATS can be proven through the many reporting tools available and can even justify ROI if your Human Resources department is thinking of upgrading.

Bottom Line

An ATS can positively affect your bottom line by reducing your hiring time, improving the quality of new hires and easing the recruiter’s workload. With the reporting tools available with your ATS, your can measure the results for yourself.






Using Technology to Streamline Your Interview Procedures


image_018The interview is one of the most vital elements of the hiring process, and no new applicant should be signed without a face-to-face meeting. However, the traditional route of several office interviews is not the most time-effective or cost-effective option for a business. The following are key ways that technology can help to streamline your interview procedures.

Invest in Recruitment Software

According to Josh Gerbin, a writer for Forbes, corporate recruiting software is now a $1.5 billion industry [1]. That is because recruitment software can be an effective way to handle hundreds or even thousands of resumes without getting overwhelmed. Resumes and applications from sites like LinkedIn, and other similar job-hunt websites are automatically organized through the software, which highlights top candidates you should focus on. It also eliminates applicants who do not meet the minimum hiring requirements. Recruitment software is a departure from the idea of networking, but it is an exceptional way to pinpoint candidates who qualify for a video or in-person interview for the job.

One-Sided Video Interviews

Video interviews conducted over platforms like Skype are certainly not new in the recruitment industry. However, taking it one step further is the idea of a one-sided video interview [2]. Interviewers can send out an email with video questions of their choice. Then, the applicants who receive the email can respond with their recorded answers. This lets both parties conduct their interview when it best fits into their schedule and eliminates the problem of a poor or inconsistent Internet connection on either side.

Applicant Tracking Systems Ensure OFCCP Compliance

For companies large and small, a major concern is meeting hiring guidelines set by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance, a subset of the Department of Labor [3]. In order to guarantee equal opportunity employment, interviewers need to stick with the same questions from applicant to applicant. Rather than maintaining piles of paperwork and checklists for each person that steps into the office, an applicant tracking system helps you see which information has been gathered, which questions were asked and whether you are following federal regulations throughout the interview process.





Managing Perceptions in the Intergenerational Workforce


image_04Due to the tough economy since the Great Recession, many people of retirement age have elected to remain in the workforce. At the same time, new college graduates are entering the workplace, creating a dichotomy of older experienced employees and young tech-savvy workers. Managing the perceptions that each generation has of the other helps to ensure that the intergenerational workplace is one of productivity and respect.

Changing Attitudes Through Mentoring

Human resources personnel can set up mentoring programs within the workplace by pairing a more experienced senior staff member with a new employee. The young person gains inside knowledge of the company’s policies and politics while the longstanding team member can learn about the use of social networking and the newest tech advances in the workplace. Mentoring helps different generations gain appreciation and respect for each other.

Judging Books by Their Covers

While the Baby Boomers and older generations may be clean-shaven and accustomed to wearing business suits or ties to work, younger employees may be strolling into the office with multiple tattoos, body piercings, colorful hair, torn jeans and hoodies. They may perceive the older staff as stuffy and boring, while older workers may see the new team members and find them to be disrespectful or even lazy. Accepting differences in appearance and setting basic company dress codes helps to manage perceptions and underlying attitudes about competence and intelligence.

Speaking Their Minds

Members of the newest generation of workers often feel free to speak their minds in any situation. This may cause older employees to become stressed and frustrated because they were taught to keep their opinions and politics outside of the office. Human resources personnel can encourage communication by writing easily understood policies on the voicing of political beliefs in the workplace and coaching staff on appropriate workplace expression and conduct. Positive reinforcement is preferred over discipline.

Recruiting Industry Trends That Should Have Your Attention


image_17Are you looking to sharpen your talent-hunting skills? To stay competitive in today’s market, keep up with how technology affects candidate job hunts and widen your search umbrella to as many corners as you can. Take your cues from big brand HR and diversify your hiring techniques with the biggest industry trends.

Going Mobile

A 2014 survey by LinkedIn found that 72 percent of working professionals visited a company’s career page using a mobile device [1]. Whether you utilize apps or a mobile-optimized website, mobile has become essential for keeping tabs on the talent pool.

Adding Analytics to Your Toolkit

Choosing from a pool of candidates can be a challenge, but big data analytics can help alleviate some of the burden. By scrutinizing trends, successes and failures, analytics provides guiding insights into your team-building decisions. One Accenture survey found that business reliance on analytics has tripled since 2009 [2].

Aggressive Sourcing and Branding

Experts agree that aggressive sourcing is becoming a driving force in recruiting. Reaching out to “passive” talent is as important as seeking active candidates. In turn, strong branding and company culture is essential for luring talent away from its source. As Susan Strayer LaMotte, founder of branding consulting firm Exaqueo, told Monster, “You have to focus on what’s yours — what makes your company great that’s different from everyone else [3].”

The Power of the Blog

Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are merely the basics of social media recruiting. Young talent appreciates the authenticity of an employee-run blog, the creativity of a well-composed YouTube video and the wit of Tumblr posts. Create your own content to promote via social media and harvest talent from intrigued followers.

Anticipatory Hires

Widespread technology is forcing companies to evolve faster than ever. Hiring for today’s goals alone will leave you with an outdated team tomorrow. Corporations are taking stock of what lies ahead and grabbing up specialized talent before smaller businesses know they need it.

Big corporations recognize the success of startups and small businesses in today’s market. While they rush to stay ahead, take your cues from their techniques and you will come out on top.





5 Abilities Your CRM Software Must Provide


image_16Your human capital investment effort will benefit from a comprehensive CRM solution to acquire and track talent and manage employees from recruitment to retirement. Ensure your CRM software is up to the task by determining if it offers these six key features:

Equally Capable Web and Desktop Interfaces

HR staff should see the same CRM functionality and interface regardless of whether they are telecommuting or sitting at their desk. Interface differences require additional training and increase the risk of miscommunication. Be sure the software addresses the additional security risks of online access.

Social Network Integration

Social job websites such as LinkedIn and Monster provide an indispensable reservoir of applicants. Your CRM software must integrate with such services to assist recruiters searching for talent and applicants seeking new positions. It must interface with Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and other prominent social networking sites to increase visibility for job openings.

Open Resume Acquisition and Management

Recruiting efforts are tarnished if your CRM solution cannot absorb applicant resumes in a variety of document formats, including Word, PDF, Rich Text or mark-up languages. The resumes must be converted to a consistent format internally and indexed for keyword access.

Communication and Collaboration Tools

Your CRM package must account for the fact that talent management is a team effort. Clients, agencies and managers need visibility throughout the hiring process and the employment lifecycle. This communication is enhanced if your CRM software provides relevant and customizable templates.

Useful Analytics and Reporting

Insight into your talent management efforts will be murky at best if CRM reports are limited or are unable to be customized to present data in a meaningful fashion. The software must provide analytical tools and guidance to extract the most value from HR’s database.

Weigh Flexibility vs. Complexity

Find CRM software that is complete but expandable as business needs grow. Beware of CRM packages with basic functionality that requires additional, expensive components to be useful. If a vendor stresses that any missing features are possible with customization, remember that the other side of flexibility is complexity.

Generational Issues in Technology


image_11Generational differences in the workplace are real, especially in regards to technology. Baby boomers are less comfortable with technology due to the frequent changes and overload of options. While some of these differences can cause miscommunication and strife, they also present opportunities for businesses to take the initiative for employees to work together and build stronger teamwork skills.

Training and Experience

Older generations of workers may lack up-to-date skills for using technology. They may also lack the confidence and initiative to learn new technological skills on their own. Employers that offer on-the-job training such as self-directed learning modules and in-person training sessions may be able to boost the confidence and skills of these workers. The baby boomer generation generally has less confidence and use for technology in the workplace, typically preferring in-person interactions. Employers that would like to boost technology and innovation may need to encourage baby boomers to consider ways that technology can help them communicate with their younger coworkers such as by pairing an older worker with less technological training with a younger worker who has plenty of experience using different technologies.


Baby boomers are less likely to make use of the newest innovations in workplace technology. This even includes older technology such as email, with baby boomers 27 percent less likely to use email than members of Generation X, reports the LexisNexis Technology Gap Survey [1]. The baby boomer generation is also less comfortable than younger workers in using laptop computers, smartphones, text messaging, tablets and apps. The lack of comfort of baby boomers means that these workers may be more difficult to reach after hours, are less likely to network with coworkers and may engage in less frequent communication with supervisors and other staff.


The baby boomer generation generally has a lower regard for the use and importance of technology in the workplace. They tend to be more interested in in-person meetings, face-to-face conversations and telephone calls. Human resources staff and supervisors may need to emphasize the benefits of technology in the workplace such as increased productivity, enhanced creativity and easier problem-solving.