The human resources department is the lifeblood of a company. Everything from hiring new employees and getting people paid to document disputes and improving company culture runs through your HR department.

With so many important functions on the shoulders of HR, do you really think a pen-and-paper system is sufficient?

The labor pool is changing. By 2020, it’s estimated that millennials will make up 75 percent of the U.S. workforce. Additionally, there has been exponential growth in the software and digital tools available to HR teams. In fact, between 2017 and 2025, the Core HR software market is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 9.4 percent.

This means HR departments need to hire staff members who have a pulse on technology trends. The future of HR requires team members who can quickly learn and leverage new systems and who understand how to put data to use in everyday decision making.

Qualities to Look for in a Tech-Savvy HR Employee

Hiring a tech-savvy HR employee will not only revolutionize the way your company keeps track of important documents, but he or she can also leverage tech in ways that will open your company up to improved recruitment processes, better employee engagement, and time-saving efficiencies.

When interviewing HR job applicants, it’s important that they have a working knowledge of HR technologies including:

  • Human resource management systems (HRIS/HRMS)
  • Applicant tracking systems (ATS)
  • Social media platforms (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat, Instagram)
  • Employee document management systems
  • Talent management software
  • Employee chat and video platforms (Slack, Zoom, etc.)
  • Employee engagement systems (Culture Amp, 15Five, Qualtrics, etc.)
  • Gamification tools (Bunchball, CultureIQ, etc.)

Without a basic understanding of these important HR technologies, your next hire may require more training, costing your company time and money.

How a Tech-Savvy HR Employee Can Benefit Your Business

Here are six ways your next HR hire can utilize tech solutions to make your company stronger, more agile, and more profitable:

Find, interview, and hire new employees

Long gone are the days when you put an ad in the classified section of the newspaper, brought in a few local applicants, and handed the hiree a giant stack of documents to sign before beginning work.

Today, hiring needs to be faster and more focused, but you need an HR department with technical expertise to get you there.

There are lots of great apps—such as LinkedIn Recruiter, Rakuna and Workable—available for the purposes of placing your job listing in front of qualified people and sorting applications so that the cream of the crop rises to the top.

Additionally, digital communications software like Slack and Skype allows you to do better initial screening and expand your scope geographically and avoid the costly and time-consuming step of bringing in someone from a great distance who’s not the right fit.

Leverage cloud storage systems

Then there’s the document problem—and it’s not just for new hires. HR is inundated with paper, but it doesn’t have to be.

Using cloud-based programs (like CartaHR) to manage your employee documentation allows you to save time, space, and money. Everything is in one place, and the right software can make searching for the document you need very easy. These programs also maximize security and automate compliance with document retention regulations.

Introduce intelligent apps and tools to your company

Implementing digital platforms and tools in the right way across your company can do wonders for business efficiency—one of the primary goals of a good HR department.

Understanding how to roll out and utilize employee chat programs (Slack, Skype, Zoom) can build team camaraderie and make communication easier. And programs like Amazon Alexa are becoming vital parts of the modern workplace, allowing employees to avoid busy work and hold a conference call with one simple voice request.

If your HR department isn’t staying up-to-date with employee engagement apps and cloud-based tools that can help document and analyze employee performance, then your company may have less to offer top talent.

Optimize wellness programs

A key responsibility of HR departments at forward-thinking companies is conceiving of and executing wellness programs. Generally, these programs increase productivity, lower healthcare costs, and give employees an incentive to stay fit.

Some of the best wellness programs—like MoveSpring and Fitbit Care—involve tech solutions. They might have an app or gamification that increases employee engagement. These programs are often customizable for your company and the specific benefits it offers. Either way, having a tech-savvy HR employee in charge will make rolling out and keeping track of wellness programs an easier undertaking.

Connect more easily worldwide

Tech solutions allow your company to get creative with how you structure your “office.” No longer do employment hubs need to be contained within four walls, as remote employees can video-conference in regularly.

HR managers and employees need to be comfortable using video conferencing (like Zoom, Google Hangouts, and ClickMeeting) and other recruiting technology if they plan to expand where their employees are located. And hiring remote workers can also save companies big when it comes to overhead costs.

Automate time-wasting tasks

Being tech savvy allows your human resources team to put the “H” back in “HR.” Without having to devote so much time to manually producing and organizing employee documents—among other tedious tasks—they can focus more intently on engaging with and motivating employees and implementing the right technology solutions to move your business forward.

Andrea Palumbo has over 20 years of experience in the HR and Payroll industry as both an HRIS client and vendor. Her teams are responsible for implementing and maintaining critical HR technology, data and timely processing of payroll for over 1300 employees globally. Andrea’s in-depth knowledge of HR Technology and sensitive employee data allow her to convey the benefits of having a robust HRIS and data management systems working together side by side.