Technology’s Impact on HR: A Love, Fear Relationship

Let’s be honest: society both loves and fears technology. On the one hand, technology makes life so much easier, with its convenience and efficiency. But on the other, it is advancing so quickly that we can only wonder how it will impact jobs and operations in the near future.

One thing is for certain: HR departments are increasingly using technology to put metrics around performance and hiring, while also training managers to understand and use the information. This is the right approach, says Chris Phillips, vice-president of international marketing at talent management solutions provider, Taleo. “HR should be giving line managers the tools to manage their people,” he says. “A lot of what is assembled under the HR banner–things like training and recruitment–are things that line managers should do.”

How else should HR use technology to its advantage? First, it is important to avoid “automation bias,” the tendency to believe that technology is better than humans in performing various functions. HR should be a strategic partner with management and leadership within an organization. As a strategic partner, decisions have to made that require human judgment. Is it OK to automate tasks such as scheduling interviews with candidates? Sure. Conducting initial interviews with candidates? Maybe. Making hiring decisions? Probably not.

At the end of the day, using technology to automate transactional processes will free HR practitioners to focus on those areas where they can have a much greater impact on organizational success. So as HR practitioners, we shouldn’t fear the impact of technology, but embrace it and use it to our advantage.