How The Role of HR Has Changed
The role of HR has changed dramatically over the years. Traditionally, the role of HR consists of internal policy development and paperwork, logging employee hours, handling employee complaints, and drawing up contracts for new hires. Today, HR has transitioned into key decision makers in the boardrooms of small and large organizations all over the country.
This role change has come at a time where technology and software solutions have revolutionized the way that HR operates. Time-consuming, manual tasks that would usually occupy the days of HR professionals are now automated, freeing up valuable time for HR to be a part of strategic decisions that positively impact the direction of their organization.
No Longer the ‘Middleman’
For decades, HR have been the go-to department for employees that want to make alterations to their benefits, 401K, insurance, payroll, or basic personal information. Employee self-service software has completely changed the idea that HR is needed for these types of administrative tasks.
A recent article in the Huffington Post describes this new phenomenon by painting a picture of ease and simplicity, saying, “Imagine if you didn’t need to email HR every time you had a question about your benefits or paycheck; instead, you’d log on to a portal where all that information was at your fingertips. Imagine if you could use the same portal to request time off, change your mailing address, or confirm contributions to your 401(K).”
By not handling such activities, HR are now focusing their attention on more important tasks, allowing them to have a much bigger impact on their organization. Nathanial Sinclair, HR Consultant at Lean Support Solutions, reveals "Until the widespread use of HR technologies in the past decade, it was rare to see a HR department engaged in much more than daily transactional functions. This shift towards self-service has allowed HR to put more resources into specialized functions such as benefits administration, leave management, employee relations and more." Clearly HR technology is the key driver in the role’s recent evolution.
Creating Culture That Works
HR also plays an enormous role in company culture. As Millennials and Generation Z continue to flood the workforce, it has become evident that company culture is something all organizations need to focus on in order to compete for top talent. Since, HR still acts as the department that handles employee issues, they’re usually the first to know if there are issues with employee engagement or organizational culture.
HR has the best understanding of what’s needed to make culture their organization’s key selling points. Given HR’s close relationship with management when it comes to employee issues, they have the power to make beneficial changes to the office environment.
Recruiting was never an easy process for organizations for the introduction of modern HR software. The process of posting ads in local newspapers and waiting for resumes to trickle in are long gone. Technology has completely changed the way HR approached recruiting
by streamlining the entire recruiting process, from posting a job all the way through to the new-hires first day. This allows them to recruit more strategically, and find talent that not only fits their job description, but also their organization as a whole.
With the help of technology, HR can view applicant’s resumes online, assign scores to each applicant, and pass them on to management for review with just a few clicks of a mouse. Once approved, HR can then send electronic documents such as the offer letter and an i9 to the applicant before they step foot into the office their first day.
As more technology is introduced and becomes more available to organizations, the role of HR will continue to evolve and grow in importance. Moving forward, HR will continue to increase its presence in an impactful boardroom decisions. Technology has freed up valuable time for HR to help their organization grow and serve more clients and consumers.