Article (August-2017)

Articles

The Future of Digital HR: Exploring HR App-lications

Asif Upadhye

Designation : -   Director & Chief Fun Officer

Organization : -  Never Grow Up, Mumbai

01-Aug-2017

The fact that technology has blazingly made its grand entrance into the domain of HR is no secret. What remains unexplored, however, even by the greatest experts in the industry, is the sheer scope of the potential of digitalisation in the HR sector. The more one thinks about it, the more this fact makes sense. The rapid advancement of technology is quite an elusive thing, nearly impossible to completely catch up with, especially when it involves reimagining scenarios that have firmly placed themselves in our collective professional conscience as 'standard procedures'.


Firstly, can we take a moment to acknowledge the greatest opportunity that we - the HR industry - is missing out on, even as it glares at us every day from our bright, lit-up screens? Applications or as they are better known, apps! According to a Deloitte study, there are over 7 billion devices in the world, and it is these devices that are driving more than 40 percent of the Internet traffic! While most sectors and industries have been quick on their feet to exploring the options that this opportunity entails, the HR sector is only just catching on to this trend, and is likely to continue doing so.


Apps have the potential to convert people practices and HR processes previously conducted on pen and paper, in uncomfortable rooms, working under the assumption that a fair share of work time would grudgingly need to be set apart for the purpose, into high-tech, real-time, convenient, user-friendly tools that are, before everything else, much, much more effective than anything we've previously accomplished. What a glorious time to be alive!


Simply put, the need of the hour in digital HR is efficient, user-friendly mobile apps that make processes such as collecting information, providing feedback, or stating/updating reports a norm of the professional world. For more opportunities, imagine applications that keep track of meetings and briefs, even attendance, aid in sorting and managing projects while helping one stay ahead of the productivity curve day-in and day-out and more importantly, imagine the scope of the automated data that these apps could possibly generate, being of the greatest aid to organizations during reviews and appraisal processes!

Not to mention the implications that extend towards some of the most essential processes carried out by the HR industry - talent and recruitment. An age where as a professional, sharing (as well as continually updating) details such as one's educational background, professional experience, skills and interests on online job - platforms has become not just a common but an integral practice for anyone looking to make a mark in their industry, talent management becomes easier than ever through technological means. The scope as well as ease of management of the talent profile database now available to organizations, particularly the HR sector, is a luxury never enjoyed by any of their previous generations. Meanwhile, for job seekers, processes such as job - hunting, application and even just reaching out to the concerned people in their organization of interest are more convenient than ever before - processes that are literally available at their fingertips, waiting for a tap.


It might take many by surprise, but a fun element also being explored by companies that have already caught on to the potential of HR-centric apps, is gamification. Why not, I say! You see, while gamification as an element has been explored in people practices before, the rise in popularity as well as familiarity of our generation with game - based apps has given birth to the idea of integrating them with HR processes. There is no limit to the possibilities in this scenario, as understood by companies such as cold Stone Creamery inc. whose game-app "Stone City" seeks to and succeeds at providing training to its servicing employees with respect to their day-to-day functions, such as portioning, scooping and serving. Keep in mind that while you may find this a tad humorous at first, the game - based app has been intricately designed keeping in mind the analysis of how missteps in these daily functions potentially affect overall productivity and profitability levels of the organization over time.

In conclusion, the age of Digital HR applications has indeed arrived and with all that it has to offer, it certainly is here to stay. With that being established there is only one way to look towards - forward. So, as experts in the HR industry, the one thing we need to do today and tomorrow and for the years to come, is to take a moment, as we go about our daily HR process, to think about this can be converted into an app!