Those who have worked in HR for years and have lived through the ebb and flow within the industry, have raised the concern that technology is taking the ‘human’ out of human resources. In HR, technology has been comparable to that of an “apocalypse,” just like when we learned the world was round, or when midnight came and passed on December 31st, 1999 and we all shockingly woke up the next day.
We’ve seen it before, and we’ll see it again. The next apocalypse could show its face at any time, take the media by storm, and cause fear and frustration like never before.
I am young and unjaded. I am not affected by a long standing career. I have less experience to bring to the table than most of my industry colleagues. But, I am confident that with my fresh, unbiased existence in an industry as old as the sun, my perspective of the future may be different.
I believe new technologies, software and evolutions within HR are not disasters of cataclysmic proportion that will not take the ‘people out of the people department’ for one important reason: the people behind the creation of these technologies are very much the same as you and me. The people building the latest gadgets and gizmos are not robots, but rather, humans who understand, sympathize, and aim to optimize business processes for other humans.
It is these people who are pushing the industry…forcing it to evolve, and to truly do better.
I am fortunate enough to work alongside technologists, product developers and visionaries all of whom are pushing the industry forward, in small steps and in great leaps. My colleagues have asked about the challenges recruiters and HR professionals face in their line of work, and truly listened. They’ve asked the tough questions and envisioned a scenario where pain points could not not only be eliminated, but turned into key drivers of successful outcomes. They’ve gone back to their desks pondering, ‘What can we do to make this better?’ and spent hours, months, even years brainstorming the future. As a result, they have helped develop tools that aid and solve real business problems. I’ve seen it first hand.
And we are not alone. Numerous people are doing the same, helping our industry evolve by creating better technology. Video interviewing has not been developed to make interviews less personal. It serves to save time and money for recruiters who can’t interview every candidate face-to-face, allowing them to spend extra effort interviewing the most qualified candidates closer to a hiring decision—the ones most fit for the job. In the end, video interviewing isn’t taking the “human” out of the process, but is giving more humans a chance. Paperless onboarding does not eliminate the first day onboarding paperwork challenge - it makes sure that your new employees have all the required paperwork completed to have a productive first day. And applicant tracking systems have removed wasted paper, time spent sifting through boxes of resumes and allowed companies to focus on the human tasks: evaluating candidates, driving culture of a company by automating previously manual tasks, eliminating wasted time and effort, and streamlining processes that haven’t been streamlined before.
These are just a few examples of new tools and trends emerging in the industry; there are many more to come. We shouldn’t fear technological advancements in human resources, but continue to embrace them. It is the future, after all, and we can all benefit.