95 % of everything changes. Constantly. What is the most fundamental change of this decade? Probably the blurring lines between functional and theoretical technology. A lot of theories that seemed unattainable in the past, are now being developed into – sometimes astonishing – functional designs, smart solutions. The transition time between theory and real life applications is becoming shorter. Our ecosystems are more or less enforcing this evolution to take place and society seems to quickly adopt the new developments that this evolution brings along. But are we able to live up to that accelerating cycle? Will the human capital of our businesses be up to speed in time? No, at this point not yet. We need to drastically modernise our education system, that incorporates the societal and entrepreneurial consequences of this technology era. After all, if the future is about talent, the battlefield will be the schools and universities.
© Accenture Technology Vision 2015
In February Accenture released their Technology Vision 2015, which can provide leaders of organisations relevant ideas to stretch boundaries in their journey to become a digital business. What was standing out for me in the first place, was the alliance of the trends. It shapes the ideal business. The Internet of Me is the demanding party that forces the delivery of results in an outcome economy. This economy is built in a platform-based ecosystem, that runs on software which continuously learns and adapts and is operated by a workforce that entails the flawless collaboration of humans and machines. It starts with people and it ends with people. Although society saw technology often as the evil destroying monster in the past, it is now (hopefully) starting to realise that it is in fact our salvage. The vicious circle of people can connect through ideas; innovative thoughts. Around it there are the technologies, platforms, tools, devices and interfaces that help those people operate, innovate and improve.
Technology has changed the way we do business, how we focus on business development and especially how people do their jobs. Also, the way recruiters and talents find each other in their job pursuit has shifted from the traditional face to face encounter to meeting via an online social network meeting. The Human Resources (HR) areas of recruiting and training have already benefited from enhanced technologies, but they are still behind if you look at the possibilities that lurk. So, is HR ready for disruption by the mobile mind shift and big data?
If you look at how individuals connect to jobs and how HR managers and recruiters find individuals with the right skills for open positions these days, you see a true revolution going on – mainly caused by the internet. Online social networking and recruiting has opened the door for a next step that will be enabled by innovative (mobile) technology. This revolution has just begun.
HR Mobile Self Service
The role of HR is evolving and technology has, and will continue to have, an impact on the changing way HR drives business outcomes. It is about future-proofing your HR practice, preparing for when big data lets the big bang errupt. Social and referral recruiting, talent analytics, assessment science, online learning, and mid-market core HR systems are tools to help companies manage employee communications, engagement, recognition, and recruitment. While finance, marketing and supply chain organisations have been implementing analytics solutions for decades, HR is now just starting to get serious in this area. With the current developments in online and mobile technology companies and job seekers are getting more and more independent from recruiters and old style HR consultants. With the right equipment (potential) employees will be able to serve themselves 24/7 in the future.
And why not? Easy is the buzz word for customers, so why not for our employees? Let’s look at typical HR applications that would be very suitable for mobile devices and apps:
- Time and attendance tools
How convenient to fill in your sheets while waiting for a train?
- Employee goal setting
Ideas don’t derive from 9:00 till 17:00 hours. Why not being able to complete and update goals outside the office?
- Online learning facilities
The retraining certification or compliance training coming up? What better time to learn than when sitting on a train or plane, even while waiting at the doctor’s office?
- Employee directory
In most cases we will phone or email someone through a mobile device, so where is the full employee directory?
- Internal communications
People are more likely to read a newsletter or email on their phone during off hours. Twitter, feed or phone reader.
- Job application and social recruiting
E-mail and feeds on mobile devices just need a small step towards applying for a job via that same device, even standing in line at the supermarket. Why not combining this with an recruitment app?
Talent’s choice: you or your competitor?
Really, the software itself is more and more like a commodity. Value for decision-making is driven by the data and analytics. Our data-driven lives also effects the way employees and employers would like to connect. Why not use their mobile devices more efficiently at work and during travel time? Is the risk of blurring the lines of work and home life and how it will affect people that frightening to us? People will learn to handle that like they do with every disruptive change. Then again, it might as well be the HR business being afraid for their changing role or maybe even for losing their positions.
But this revolution effects people’s choice to work for your brand (or not). How easy is it today for your potential employees to connect with your company? How easy can talents engage and recruiters grasp that engagement for you? It’s up to HR to change their operating model to the new (upcoming) standards shaped by the consequences of big data and new technology.
Papers, books, research, etcetera show us the strategic information we have about people’s characteristics, personal development, job experiences, assessments and real time data. Science is delivering the right data to companies. This data gives you a huge advantage in making decisions about who to hire, how to improve performance and business outcomes, how to reduce labour costs, and so on. Today’s HR systems should be fully “data driven” applications, not just data repository. However, the HR analytics issue is simply one of investment, for most companies that is.
There will be a geek who will amaze the world by connecting an unexpected set of technologies and solutions. It will be fully embraced by its users. And once the big bang is heading your way, don’t duck, anticipate. Basically, you will already be too late. So act now.