HR technology has come a long way in the past few years. For nearly every process, there’s an app—or a choice of apps—to make it more efficient.
Apps have a two-fold appeal: They cut down on paperwork, making it easier for you to do your job; and they improve the user experience, resulting in more job applicants and happier, more productive employees.
Here are just a few of the ways you can use technology to improve the HR experience for everyone—including yourself.
Statistics for employee engagement are bleak. The latest Gallup survey found that 34 percent of U.S. workers are engaged—one of the highest rates since the company started measuring in 2000. The bad news is, that means 66 percent of workers are not engaged. Over half are phoning it in and 13 percent are “actively disengaged,” that is, miserable and on their way out the door.
Seventy percent of leaders in a Gartner survey said engagement is critical to business success. Yet nearly half of HR leaders say managers are not effectively developing their employees. Fewer than 30 percent of employees feel that HR understands what they need and want.
Engaging employees is challenging in an age of short attention spans and constant entertainment on social media. It’s even tougher for the 63 percent of companies with remote workers.
A recent study found a lack of communication and loneliness were the two biggest drawbacks to remote work. And thanks to mobile technology, even on-site workers don’t socialize in the office as much as they used to. Yet they crave connection. A Slack study found that 91 percent of workers want a closer relationship with their coworkers, and 85 percent wish they could connect more with remote colleagues.
But how can you engage employees who aren’t there?
Technology has some answers.HR software platform Namely makes it easy for colleagues to connect and supervisors to offer appreciative feedback. BambooHR offers tools to measure engagement, cueing managers in when an employee feels undervalued or needs help.
Apps like Achievers and Beekeeper securely connect mobile workers and measure their engagement (Achievers also offers rewards for a job well done.) Quantum Workplace turns its focus to managers, giving them advice and tools like employee surveys to help their teams better and motivate people more effectively. Coaching apps like BetterUp provide individual advice that can help motivate people.
Gamification apps like Bonusly and Bucketlist allow remote and office workers alike to earn badges and rewards and congratulate one another on success. For workers who can’t gather around the water cooler, apps may be the next-best way to connect.
Thanks to Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant, and Cortana, people are getting comfortable with virtual assistants, also known as chatbots. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2020, predicts the average person will have more conversations with chatbots than with their spouse!
Job seekers are growing more comfortable with chatbots, too. In an Allegis study, 58 percent said they were comfortable interacting with them in the early stages of recruiting. So why not inject them into your HR processes?
“Application abandon rates are high. A chatbot engages with candidates and encourages them to stay. The longer you keep them engaged, the higher the probability that they will complete the process,” says Mary Cheddy, East Divisional Director for the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).
Chatbots can collect candidate information, ask screening questions, schedule interviews, and rank applicants thousands at a time. Bots can also answer basic questions about the job or the application process.
Neuro-linguistic programming and machine learning are making bots sound more human. Some can even use slang and humor, helping them to engage better with candidates.
Video interviews allow you to get to know a candidate before—or instead of—an in-person interview. They’re especially valuable for remote workers, where face-to-face meetings often are impossible. “If I’m interviewing someone in India, it would cost $6,000 to $10,000 to bring them in. You need to have good communication capabilities for remote work, and recruiters can assess that through video,” Cheddy says.
Make sure your video interviewing tool integrates with the recruiter’s and the candidate’s calendars, Cheddy cautions. Many say they provide scheduling, but without calendar integration, it’s not much help.
You can also make videos of your company to give applicants a feel for the work environment. Companies that attach a video to job postings get 12 percent more views and 34 percent more applications than others, a Glassdoor study found.
Keep your videos short. Those that get shared the most last just 15 seconds.
It’s hard to find what you need when documents are scattered in filing cabinets or separate software applications. Document management software centralizes your documents in one place, secures and organizes it.
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