A clean work space is just one of the advantages HR technology can provide. Other goals of technology in business are to reduce costs by streamlining workflows, eliminating manual tasks, increasing accuracy and reducing labor. These concepts can apply to any employer and any discipline within that organization. Operations, accounting, human resources, etc. can all benefit from the advantages of technology.
Like most technology systems the concept of “garbage in, garbage out” applies. There is nothing automatic about technology. Solutions will only work well if the person inputting the data is doing a good job. Most technology in the workplace aims to either house data for quick reference, perform complex calculations and analysis, report on data, or eliminate transactional tasks. However, it still takes the human touch to leverage technology to its fullest.
HR Technology Solutions
In the world of human resources, enterprise-level technology often comes in the form of Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS), used to house and track large stores of information traditionally placed in a personnel file. On the other end of the spectrum, stand-alone software platforms that specialize in a specific aspect of human resources management (e.g. applicant tracking, employee onboarding, payroll, time and attendance, performance management and/or learning and development, etc.) will often cater to small- and medium-sized employers. Most HRIS solutions will boast an integrated approach that may meet all of an employer’s needs. However, there’s mixed opinions on any one solution providing all your needs–in a robust enough manner–and in an integrated fashion.
Another benefit of HR technology is that it can help you with compliance, record keeping and holding you true to certain processes that will ultimately reduce your risk of error. Human error in the HR world can lead to both compliance issues and poor decision making. This is especially true when it comes to hiring, as decisions are usually made on limited data that must be analyzed from multiple sources.
Fortunately, there are a number of HR technology solutions available that can reduce risk and streamline the recruiting effort. Luckily, using some of these technologies can result in quicker time-to-hire, better decision making and more accurate outcomes.
Applicant Tracking Systems
Application Tracking Systems are powerful tools that can both reduce risk and make the talent acquisition process more efficient and effective. As with any powerful technology solution, they are only as good as the user. The features a standard applicant tracking system can provide can sometimes be overwhelming if your technology partner is not focused on customized training and ongoing customer service. A seasoned recruiter with working experience of applicant tracking systems should be able to take advantage of these features fairly easily.
For starters, applicant tracking systems can streamline the hiring process by collating and storing applicant data in an easy to access and recall fashion. Often, an applicant tracking system will also allow you to search and filter applicants based on specific objective data. This can help with compliance as you take subjectivity out of the equation and base more of your decision on criteria being applied objectively to all applicants.
Other basic compliance assistance comes in the form of collecting EEO data and providing for the appropriate disclosures and releases to the applicant that may be required in your hiring process. The data from these forms and documents can be hidden from a hiring manager’s view while still maintaining compliance with regulatory requirements.
The ability to store and recall information in an applicant tracking system is one of the biggest benefits. No need to worry about retaining applicant records for a statutory length of time. Nor do you need to worry about printing all this information and keeping it in a file. Most applicant tracking systems will even allow you to purge applicant information of a certain age to keep your database clean.
There are a number of online assessments you can utilize in the hiring process to increase your odds of a successful hire and reduce your chances of a failed hire. These assessments can look at a number of things from identifying certain skills, the application of required knowledge as well as an overall personality inventory. Combining and using the results of these assessments can dramatically increase your ability to hire more effectively.
Personality assessments are one of the most useful tools in helping to identify information about a candidate that you may not be able to identify in a standard interview. Some of the benefits of personality assessments include the identification of work behaviors, personality traits and competencies. They can also provide an overall picture of how an individual may perform in your work environment and what type of conflict may ensue. When used correctly, assessments can paint a pretty good picture of an inevitable outcome.
You can reduce hiring risk by actually paying attention to the results of these assessments. Now, they aren’t an all inclusive decision making tool–and the law would agree. However, they are another set of valuable data that should be combined with all the other information you have gathered and used to make a more informed and accurate hiring decision.
Some of the more useful features of assessments are the ability for you to benchmark the results of an applicant against the results of some of your top performers in similar positions. After all, one of the main objectives of recruiting is to find people that are like your top performers so you can replicate that performance. Background and experience are only part of the equation.
Skill-based assessments are usually used in more technical roles and are structured as interactive tools aimed at identifying if an individual has the correct level of technical ability to perform successfully in the role. The best example of these types of assessments would be for software developers, graphic designers, etc. You would choose a solution that gives individuals a project that tracks certain metrics and results as they complete the project.
Another type of assessment, a knowledge assessment, can measure not only if an individual possesses a certain base of knowledge that you require, but can also apply it. Some employers who require a license or registration of some sort will use the fact that a candidate possesses the credentials as evidence enough that they can apply the knowledge. The trouble, is most credentialing programs do not test application of knowledge. As such, employers should seek solutions that measure an individual’s ability to actually apply this knowledge.
Assessments and applicant tracking systems are just two of the many HR technologies available to you, but they are two of the most commonly used in both reducing risk and improving results. ExactHire provides both solutions in an integrated fashion to help you achieve your compliance requirements and recruiting needs.
Photo Credit: Kelly Britto