The greater proliferation of computers provides greater access to the internet and quicker information flows and enhance communications technology in an organisation. Technology have impacted the HR function dating back a decade ago and has brought about a number of threats and opportunities to the role of the HR professional, Hendrickson (2003) studied the negative and positive impact of adopted technology on HRM.”
HR technology can be defined as “any technology that is used to maintain HR support, administration and optimise HRM” Bulmash (2006). In the past companies seeking to recruit new employees through the recruitment process would have to post their vacancies in the local news paper which was very costly and time consuming. Today, social media has largely influenced the recruitment process for example, posting job vacancies online has proved to be very efficient and effective. Recruitment can be done using company websites and other social media mediums such as facebook etc. The computer has made it possible for companies seeking recruitment to attract a greater pool of qualified individuals.
It has become much easier to schedule interviews with individuals as compared to the frustrating process, which was very time consuming in the past. Decades ago the HR personnel had to deal with the land line telephone disadvantages for instance, not being able to reach the individual on the number provided, not having a record a message option, time zone differences and running the risk of qualified candidates not showing up for interviews. As a result, the company would have wasted valuable resources, time money, and effort. Therefore, the introduction of interview scheduling software has made the interview scheduling process more flexible and relaxed.
Technology have broken down geographical boundaries such that an individual can be hired from a different country. There have been recently introduced methods for interviewing candidates called video interviewing. In the instance of overseas hiring this method is proven to be vey effective and efficient. Video interviewing saves travel and accommodation cost and time while still allowing the interviewer and interviewee to hear and see each other.
Technology has positively impacted the aspect of employer branding for companies. Most business today pay an IT specialist to monitor and manage their organisation’s social media websites, manage blogs, tweets and homepage content. Information concerning the company such as; the vision, the mission, the values, its products/services provided etc can be uploaded onto the company’s webpage. The undertaking would seek to attract job hunters and at the same time attract talent and qualified individuals who will add value to the organization.
Technology has permitted for data analysis and creation of databases to assist the HR professional in making informed decisions such as; determining training needs, performance analysis etc. the HR professional also benefit from technology since administrative efficiency can be achieved for example; easy retrieval of information, accuracy of information, reduction in paper work, increase office space, the ability to perform audits etc. The use of technology can also improve communication both globally and within an organisation. Some of the communication mediums used in the workplace include; use of mobile smart phones, tablets, laptop computers, video conferencing services, intranet, email and employee self- service (ESS) which is “an information system which allows employees to maintain and update own data and preferences” ABE Handbook (2017).
Some of the threats brought on by technology facing the role of the HR function include; the increase cost for hiring information technology specialist, error in dada entry, invasion of privacy due to unauthorised access to computer system, computer hacking, malfunctioning of equipment, high cost associated with technology updates and software, technology negatively affects interpersonal interaction at work, can cause distraction at work and make employees lazy.
Companies must move speedily to improve access to technology and use the opportunity provided to reduce cost, improve customer experience and service delivery. The computerisation of internal processes and procedures is an urgent need to ensure business survival in an increasingly competitive and changing environment.