The cloud has had an incredible impact on business operations in today’s modern economic environment, and Millennials, who represent half of the working population and could represent three in every four workers by 2020, are at the forefront of the cloud computing revolution.
HR is one area of business that is seeing the need for change with a focus on integrating technology at its core. In fact, up until the end of October 2016, there were 350 investment deals worth just under $2 billion in HR technology companies according to CB Insights.
This highlights how investors see value in technology to help HR departments adjust to a new working environment and improve business operations.
So how has the cloud revolutionized the HR industry?
Access to Big Data
The biggest benefit to all businesses, whether big or small, is improved access to big data. The more data a company can access, the better it will be at predicting future trends and adapting to new situations.
With the cloud, not only does big data become more accessible, it can be delivered in real time, no matter how large the organization. This means that your business can be more responsive in crises and minimize damage caused by incidences.
For one example, big data can show when employees aren’t performing as expected. These employees can then be assigned more training. Big data can also identify poorly performing teams so business leaders can be informed and action taken to discover the barriers to success and then processes implemented to reform their performance.
Big data can also be used to help with the recruitment process. Most candidates will have similar traits that can be quantified, and using big data can help hiring managers and HR departments to identify key candidates with the potential to succeed within the organization.
Better Introductions to the Company
Research highlights that a candidate can take months to reach full productivity and be integrated into a corporate culture, and the later you start the process, the longer you have to wait. Michael Watkins, in an article on the Harvard Business Review website, discusses how research has shown that employees typically add value after six months in the job.
However, there are ways to shorten the employee onboarding process and this is where the cloud can support your efforts. As soon as a job offer has been made and accepted, an email invitation can be sent to the candidate’s personal address from an employee onboarding software platform. This email will invite the candidate to create a profile and provide information that will auto-populate to online forms and documents that may be signed and approved electronically, as well as tee up training materials and courses for the candidate to complete before starting.
Therefore, when new hires begin work in your organization, you have a chance to integrate them immediately into the team and get them started – no wasting time by having them complete and read information they could do at home.
More Streamlined Work Spaces
One of the major issues with HR departments has been their reliance on having to keep notes, paperwork, and copies of documents nearby. All those filing cabinets take up a lot of room, and HR workstations can get messy. Not only does it look unprofessional, it also poses a significant risk of data loss or theft as well as office inefficiencies.
The cloud has removed a lot of that hassle. With digital documents stored in the cloud, there is no need for filing cabinets. Work can be done on the computer with little need for the printing of documents. Work spaces remain clear, and this better organization can help create a positive mood within an office, increasing productivity, and improving the image of HR departments.
Also, human resources processes that used to take up a significant amount of time are reduced to mere moments. After all, bringing up the right document to work on through a cloud system using a search function is a lot quicker than an employee leaving her desk, going to a file cabinet (in a locked room), searching for the file (which may be missing) and then going back to her desk.
Mistakes can also be picked up and rectified a lot more quickly with cloud computing. When you had paperwork to check, it could take hours to find a mistake and correct it. With a cloud computer system, documents can be brought up and checked in seconds or mistakes avoided with the right custom hiring software installed.
HR Departments Can Contribute More
HR professionals in the United States are experiencing above average job satisfaction. While only 38% of US employees are very satisfied with their job, 45% of HR professionals are happy with their current job and organization.
One of the reasons for this is that they feel they can contribute more to the strategic business decisions and add value to the company. In fact, in the report by SHRM, the job satisfaction deal breaker for many HR professionals was knowing if they were adding value or not. When HR professionals are performing more administrative tasks, there is less satisfaction in their work.
The cloud can, therefore, help HR departments to do the same volume of administrative tasks in less time so they may shift their focus to help business leaders with their strategic goals for the organization. They can be part of the shaping of the future of the company and support its growth.
HR is often seen as a cost center for business, but it should be a department that adds true value to an organization. In the past, it was hampered by paperwork clogging up desks and administrative tasks that took hours to complete.
Now the cloud system is providing HR professionals with more time, enabling them to contribute more to the success of their organizations, and helping them to become part of the strategic drive to grow the company and attain corporate goals.
Image credit: Clouds CC by 2.0 by Daniel Boyd (contact)