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Will Technology Replace the "Human" in HR?

Posted by FGP Intl. on 07/08/10 -

by Caroline Callison

As HR consultants, one of our primary goals when we enter into a partnership with a client is to reduce the stress and strain on the person who is handling HR needs. One of the most common dilemmas we see relates to the use of technology within HR.  HRIS systems are so comprehensive that many companies will actually use them in place of an HR professional. Many of our clients are concerned if this is the best way to go, and we understand that concern. When the most important resource is your workforce, you want to manage it with care and efficiency. For most of our clients, the most efficient and accurate way to manage your “human capital” is by allowing technology to help.

Contrary to many preconceived objections, technology doesn’t have to take the place of human interaction in the workplace. It can actually provide more time for face-to-face communication and individual attention if used correctly. We typically recommend a thorough evaluation of the available technology in order to determine which technological application will work best for your company.

A blend of technology and human interaction allows HR management to manage their quantitative information while still assessing qualitative variables such as talent and performance. HR Solutions, such as Human Resource Management Systems (HRMS) and Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS), are a great way for management to have employee data at their fingertips. These Systems include individual history, skills, capabilities, accomplishments and salary as well as benefits administration, payroll, recruiting and training, and performance analysis. You can rely on internal or external IT consultants to manage these systems.

Before implementing a HR Solutions system, management must have a good idea of how the system can help their business and what needs they have. Our HR Consultants typically recommend a business assessment to help determine what systems would work best for an individual company. We spend time in each company, learning the daily routine and what it takes to properly manage employees. The consultant then evaluates the needs of the business and matches it with a system that will provide the most efficiency.

Another great option is to allow employees to manage their job-related tasks themselves, giving upper management more freedom in the process. Employee Self-Service allows employees to update their personal information and access important company information such as employee handbooks, emergency procedures, and benefits. Employee Self-Service is usually done through a portal such as an intranet or a kiosk and allows employees to have access 24/7. When employees manage these tasks on their own, HR staff and executives are allowed more time to focus on strategic functions.

When the “headaches” like record keeping, payroll, and data tracking can be done electronically, why not give them up to technology so you can focus on your greatest asset, your people?

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