Information Technology is one of the most aspects characterizing the developmental dynamics across various industrial sectors in today’s world. Every business organization specializing in different services and products finds itself embracing various Information Technology systems in the day-to-day operations in the pursuit to remain relevant as well as competitive in its particular sector. However, all business organizations in all sectors have one thing in common – the human resource department. In every business organization, the human resource department stands out as the epicenter – the core upon which all other agencies find a firm foundation. In light of the above, Information Technology integration in human resource management practices is necessary for optimal business performance. The integration of Information Technology into human resource management helps to improve the general architect of the organization, laying emphasis on communication and general critical process. The necessity of having ample knowledge, as well as human capital, makes the application of Information Technology the best solution for many challenges encountered by human resource management.
Current State of Information Technology in HR
In the present world, the integration of Information Technology into human resource management helps in the provision and delivery of the best services across every department of a business organization. By adopting Information Technology in human resource management practices, new and better human resource process come to life. The development of such new a method provides the best platform to characterize the current state of Information Technology in human resource management (Hendrickson 381). The new process can be explained as follows:
E-learning: The concept of e-learning, which is also referred to as e-training is training that utilizes the web technology. As applied to the human resource management, e-learning is currently used for both informal and formal educative services. Some of the technological tools used to the success of e-learning include e-mails, dashboards, mail lists, web pages, online courses, and select media applications (Gardner, Lepak and Bartol 160).
Virtual Recruitment: From the word virtual, the above refers to a situation where the recruitment process is primarily undertaken online. It is web based job recruitment incorporating dropping CVs online, virtual interviews, as well as taking psychological tests online. The existence of the above coupled with online announcements and advertisement of job opportunities make the recruitment faster and more efficient (Mishra and Akman 253).
Human Resource Portal Applications: The above are applications that allow the employees to perform various individual human resource activities at their convenience. It follows a self-service setup. Ideally, such self-service applications have the ability to feature over 60 percent of all human resource management activities. In businesses with active self-service human resource applications, the employees are in a position to easily see, analyze, verify, and update their personal information. In addition, using self-service human resource applications makes it easy for the employees to access corporate circulars, get information regarding internal vacancies, as well as timely receiving of critical notices (Hendrickson 383). More so, the managers in the business organizations can use the self-service applications too and thus easily make analyses of various profiles of job candidates, monitoring the absenteeism trends, as well as constructing salary and benefit program models. Human resource management portals, although standing out as very sophisticated tools, help in giving their users the best chances to customize and arrange their portal with respect to their personal preferences and job responsibility.
New Work Paradigms: By incorporating Information Technology in human resource management, several additional working improvements now feature in the world today. Some of the currently new features include project based work and teleworking. Under teleworking, the basic paradigm where the person goes to work changes to a new setup where the “work goes to the workers” (Ünal and Mete 250). Teleworking is an excellent alternative that proves to increase productivity, job satisfaction while reducing absenteeism and employee turnover rates. In addition, the incorporation of various Information Technology tools in human resource management helps in the collection of individuals who share similar complementary skills and interests. The corporation of such people turns out to be very crucial in the carrying out of both long and short-term projects.
The Impact of Information Technology in HR
Every kind of technology imposes various kinds of effects on the business organizations. Primarily, the effects feature the ability to access information as well as communicate it to different stakeholders electronically. With the introduction of Information Technology systems and tools in human resource management, the traditional human resource processes are no longer the same (Society for Human Resource Management N.p). A lot of transformation now characterizes the human resource management processes. Ideally, incorporating Information Technology systems and tools impacted the human resource management in various ways including:
The decrease of Costs: The aspect of cost reduction as an effect of integrating Information Technology in human resource management surfaces in a couple of ways. To start with, the costs of the process and general work operations reduce. To illustrate the above, the transformation from old human resources management practices to new ones involves the scrapping off of activity costs such as announcement costs, postage costs, as well as data processing costs (Ünal and Mete 249). Data processing costs are scrapped off with the introduction of human resource self-service portals. The presence of online recruitment reduces the staffing costs on the other hand. In addition, the use of self-service portals and applications enables the organization’s employees to update directly their details. The above means that there is no need to hire special workforce for update purposes.
Time Saving: The integration of Information Technology into human resource management helps the human resource professionals to spend less time carrying out routine activities. The rationale for the above finds its basis in the fact that under the improved human resource management practices, it is easy for them to get, evaluate and analyze critical information. For instance, the online recruitment procedures take a very short time compared to the traditional recruitment method (Ünal and Mete 250).
Efficiency Increment: Strategic Application of Information Technology helps to standardize the operation routines. In light of the above, the human resource professionals get time to focus more on information interpretation and less on following up on administrative activities. With the standardization of work routines, the human resource professionals have the ability to spend much more time focusing on other job aspects that guarantee efficiency. In so doing, they are in a position to get more information, avail timely responses to arising problems, as well as adequately evaluate all cases of complex information (Mishra and Akman 254). The reduction of errors on data, as well as the simplicity and of human resource management practices makes the integration of Information Technology result in the increment of efficiency in human resource practices.
Improving Collaboration and Communication: When Information Technology applied in any field, it acts as an excellent tool to foster both collaboration and communication. The leading tools that bring the above impact include e-mail, videoconferences, electronic workgroups, virtual teams, as well as teleworking. All the above tools enhance workplace interactions making it possible for the employees at all levels of the organization to collaborate and communicate with ease. Information Technology gives room for the improvement of worker skills with respect to decision-making and accessing information (Ünal and Mete 251). As a result, it becomes possible for decision-making to feature as an organization-wide activity. The application of web and other internet based technologies help in facilitating the responsibility of decision making across the structure and hierarchy of the organization.
Improved Management Competency: Upon using various Information Technology tools, the human resource management professionals acquire the ability to make more effective and objective decisions. It also enables them to make contact to a larger pool of candidates thus ending up with a perfect source of competent recruits. By shortening and improving the process of recruitment, the human resource management professionals manage to increase the competency of the incumbents. In light of the above, the Information Technology systems also help in building a strong human capital for the organization (Hendrickson 392).
Enhanced Knowledge Management: Ideally, knowledge management refers to the systematic ways and means of searching, capturing, creating, learning, and synthesizing information for the purpose of using it to make insightful decisions. Knowledge management under the Information Technology is integrated with all the human resource management functions for the purpose of sparking and maintaining developmental activities in the organization. The above helps the organization to prevent the loss of knowledge even with the loss of employees. The application of Information Technology tools such as data storage, intranet, and virtual collaborations, help to promote as well as improve the acquisition and dispersion of knowledge across the entire organization (Ünal and Mete 251). In light of the above, it becomes easy to empower different task areas through the facilitation of learning.
The Structuring of Strategic Human Resource Management Techniques: Human resource management consists of a primary strategic role that focuses on keeping the human resource strategies and activities aligned. The line and executive managers should, therefore, work collaboratively to achieve the above strategic position. Information Technology tools readily help in promoting the above vital role and making it easy to reach. The rationale for the above impact by the Information Technology tools finds its basis in the fact that they help in building stronger human resource management units that give room for engaging in more relevant establishment and implementation of strategic roles (Society for Human Resource Management N.p). Ideally, Information Technology tools provide place for perfect information interpretation, which fosters strategy development and paves the way for progressive transformation.
The Technologies to Embrace
Information Technology helps the human resource management professionals in the effective delivery of services across all the practices of the human resource department. Every Information System tool used is open for application in a different function by the human resource management. For example, the online databases and web sites are used for e-learning, work completion, and decision-making. However, there are strategic technologies that companies and human resource professionals should consider using for the best results (Ünal and Mete 248).
Human Resource Information Systems: Commonly referred to as HRIS; the above refers to a highly integrated system that is used for both the acquisition and storage of data. The acquired data is then used for analysis and decision making in various fields of human resource management. In today’s world, the technology behind HRIS is highly dynamic thus applicable as the best database for data associated with the performance of the employees (Hendrickson 392). In addition, it stores other relevant information such as employment status, characteristic of the job, procedures of work, corporate structure, individual and professional improvement, personnel training and performance appraisal. All the above data is later used for both complex and simple purposes.
Electronic Human Resource Management: This is a technological advancement that involves the application of Information Technology to connect or support at least two individuals or parties in the pursuit of pursuing some human resource management activities. The above is promoted by the fact that today’s world Information Technology tools incorporate web accessibility. Ideally, the above technology is more of an HRIS, which the human resource management professionals access to the intranet or the internet (Gardner, Lepak and Bartol 165).
With respect to the above technological requirements for the purpose of achieving the optimal success from the use of Information Technology, it is worth noting some important consideration. For the purpose of competently applying the above technologies, computer literacy stands out as a vital prerequisite skill to the human resource management professionals. For the business organizations to make the best out of the Human Resource Information Systems and the Electronic Human Resource Management technologies, the human resource professionals must be properly equipped with the necessary computer skills.
Information Technology is a very vital aspect used in today’s world for the purpose of realizing various human resource functions. Notably, the wide application of Information Technology in human resource management creates notable impacts on various aspects. The adaptation of Information Technology systems in a business organization changes the habits, the routine, as well as the business processes. As a result, the human resource management professionals require seeking and embracing new competencies for the purpose of handling the changes brought about by the establishment and application of Information Technology in the business organizations. Ideally, the application of Information Technology in human resource management functions produces a tremendous impact on human resource practices, so high that even the human resource professionals must develop new competencies to handle the impact.
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Hendrickson, Anthony R. “Human Resource Information Systems: Backbone Technology of Contemporary Human Resources .” Journal of Labour Research (2003): 381-394.
Mishra, Alok and Ibrahim Akman. “Information Technology in Human Resource Management: An Empirical Assessment.” Public Personnel Management (2010): 243-262.
Society for Human Resource Management. “How Will New Technologies Change The Human Resource Profession?” 2000. indiana.edu. 23 April 2015 <http://www.indiana.edu/~jobtalk/Articles/hrm/TechnologyChange.htm>.
Ünal, Ömer Faruk and Mehmet Mete. “The Impact Of Information Technology On Human Resource Practices And Competencies.” 3rd International Symposium on Sustainable Development (2012): 248-259.