LinkedIn was just the beginning. When the popular networking website launched in 2003, about 20 new members joined each day. Today, there are more than 450 million people “linked” through the career-management site.
In addition to serving as a networking tool, LinkedIn also gave job recruiters and human resources professionals a resource to review and recruit talented people. The site’s popularity is one example of how HR managers adopted digital technology to enhance their jobs.
Technology has transformed the way HR professionals do their jobs. It is now common to use sophisticated software to screen and onboard applicants, record attendance, manage performance appraisals, research compensation trends, ensure internal training is completed and more. Conversely, it is common for employees to use downloadable apps to check schedules, track hours and message questions and concerns directly to the HR team.
How Technology Has Transformed Human Resources
These newfound conveniences have come with higher expectations for HR professionals.
“Digital HR requires fluency with mobile apps, design thinking, video, behavioral economics and the use of embedded analytics,” writes Josh Bersin for Forbes. “We have to think about HR applications as ‘platforms’ and not ‘systems or programs’ – and we have to measure success by the rate of adoption, not through massive change management programs.”
In 2015, CB Insights, a research and analytics company, determined funding for HR technology surpassed $1 billion by the second quarter that year, marking an unprecedented high point. Much of those funds went to investing in startups that were developing new HR tools.
As a result, there have been major advancements in automating previously labor-intensive HR tasks such as managing employee databases, time-off records, productivity reports, payroll and benefits. Companies such as LaborTimeTracker, Netsuite, Zenefits, Namely and BambooHR are just a few of the businesses that have streamlined many HR functions, which has freed up human resources professionals to focus on employee engagement, retention, and development.
Meanwhile, web-based platforms such as Indeed, Glassdoor, CareerBuilder and Monster (amongst others) have emerged as trusted recruitment tools, where organizations can share career opportunities directly with job seekers. Would-be employees can sign up for email alerts, upload resumes, send direct messages to recruiters, read company reviews, compare skills with fellow applicants and see who’s viewed their profile online. This traffic makes it easier for HR managers to promote internal opportunities to millions of potential candidates, a capability that has transformed how organizations recruit and hire.
The Next Wave of HR Tech Resources
Brands like Glassdoor and LinkedIn are just a few of the more well-known tools available to HR professionals. New sites and technologies are constantly being introduced.
RecruitingDaily, an online resource for recruitment professionals, published its list of top HR and recruiting tools for 2016. The list included:
- Ratedly monitors anonymous employee reviews
- OnRecruit helps companies better target its recruitment efforts and build talent pools
- TextRecruit which is a text-based recruiting tool based on increase mobile usage
- Workplace, a Facebook-sponsored, ad-free space where workers and managers can connect and collaborate
As you can see, we are only at the forefront of understanding the full potential of digital HR resources.
“As human resource and recruiting professionals, we can no longer just wait for the right candidates to find us,” writes Laurie Zaucha, vice president of human resources and organizational development for Paychex, on HR Tech Outlook. “The days of placing an ad in the newspaper or online job board and waiting for the resumes to pour in are long gone. Technology has changed everything.”