“HR bytes” refers to human resources technologies being developed, deployed and adopted at a breakneck pace. New and innovative software applications are making the delivery of HR services better, faster and simpler.
For years now, large Fortune 500 companies have invested in HR technology that streamlines back office processes, enhances learning opportunities and simplifies employee procedures. Now, though, progressive HR service providers are expanding their service offering beyond mere administrative and tactical HR to include more strategic services and the systems to support them, giving smaller companies access to these tools as well.
Time and labor management
Automated Web-based time and labor management systems are replacing antiquated time clocks and swipe cards rife with inefficiencies, and the potential for cheating. Web-based systems provide companies advanced online tools to monitor and manage their employees.
In addition to tracking employees’ time and attendance, some systems allow employers to tap into real-time labor data on demand so managers can assess immediate staffing needs and adjust employees’ schedules accordingly. Such systems can also seamlessly integrate with a company’s internal or outsourced payroll systems to streamline processes and eliminate inaccuracies.
Automated applicant tracking systems assist HR personnel by providing access to applicant databases, creating accurate job descriptions, screening applicants, assessing candidates’ skills and automatically communicating with applicants.
By streamlining this time-intensive process, these programs significantly reduce recruiting costs and help better identify candidates who are likely to contribute value to the organization.
Online benefit enrollment
Benefits enrollment, once a tedious and labor-intensive process, is now conducted mostly online. With 24-hour Web-based access, employees can log onto enrollment systems at their convenience and review plan options, compare features and pricing, and of course, make or change benefit elections.
This allows HR teams to focus on addressing employees’ questions and managing the more complex issues that may arise during benefit enrollment.
Employee self-service is perhaps the most prevalent advancement in HR technology. Web-based systems allow employees online access to their individual employee data, such as payroll information like tax withholdings or 401(k) contributions, so they can adjust withholding levels or contribution amounts as needed.
Self-service expands to supervisors too, allowing them to manage tasks such as scheduling or performance evaluations.
Technology is delivering fully integrated solutions that help businesses manage their employees from the time they are hired to the time they retire.
From training and career development to performance management and succession planning, talent management programs allow companies to be more responsive to their employees’ professional needs and improve overall retention.
Web-based training programs offer employees a wide range of options to further develop their professional skills. Employees can take convenient online courses when and where they wish and complete them at their own pace.
Some programs also offer the opportunity for cyberspace interaction with instructors and other participants through message boards and chat rooms. With access to the same advanced technology as larger companies, smaller businesses can optimize their workforce and their HR processes to enhance company performance and productivity. •
Name: John Allen
Title: President and COO
Company: G&A Partners is a Texas-based HR and Administrative Services company that manages human resources, benefits, payroll, accounting and risk management for growing businesses.
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