Battle Between Engagement & Automation in Human Resources Technologies

The Future of Human Resources Technologies

There is a war happening at your offices every single day.  Not a physical war in a sense but one that is lurking behind the scenes.  As a human resources professional, recruiter, or corporate leader you are conflicted.  On one hand, you believe that messages need to be delivered efficiently, effectively, and provide the organization with a competitive advantage. While on the other, hand you fight with transparency, authenticity, and separating your work life and personal life.  Sometime it is just too much.  The technologies in human resources are just too much.

Yet there are some ways for that same technology to act as a major advantage for those who work in HR. There are plenty of online services that will work with you and assist in making your tasks easier, while also ensuring that you do not neglect your human resources either. These services let you share certain portions of your work with expert HR consulting firms. Ultimately, this allows you to receive a high level of assistance in a number of matters related to your HR tasks, such as payroll and hiring expertise. Whether you’re working with a small or medium sized business, this service can provide some serious help.

Understanding the Benefits & Perils of Workplace Automation

For many corporate professionals who happen to be voluntarily or involuntarily thrown into the job market, they see these automated interactions and the business engagement struggle every day.  On one hand, we understand the need for pre-employment testing and workplace automation.   While on the other, we want nothing more than to talk to a real human being unscripted, real, and human.  Not just a LinkedIn InMail from a recruiter but a real, live, and personalized conversation.  Just something, a nugget of insights, engagement, and compassion that isn’t a canned or planned message.  Those canned messages are just fodder for the disengaged employees.

Most Americans realize that Presidential candidates do not write their own speeches.  That is in fact what speech writers are for, and that most CEO’s don’t read their own email.  The communications are analyzed, prepared, and a strategy is in play.  Corporate communication memos are drafted by PR and then prepared and sent by the corporate admin.  Business leaders believe that we must work efficiently and strategically.  Not that these messages don’t matter, we just don’t have the time.  So we automate the process or reassign said duties to someone else pretending it’s our thoughts and our voice.

I think we are struggling between automation using hiring algorithms, applicant tracking sytsems and the personal and human touch that we desire as consumers, employees, and candidates.  It’s the battle between workplace automation and engagement.  And it is happening squarely in HR technology.  These systems, softwares, and programs are designed to be efficient to drive productivity and putting our corporate minds at ease.  Except that you can’t fake engagement.  Sooner or later your audience gets wise and demands authenticity and individualism in the marketplace.

Employee Involvement Not Just Employee Engagement

I believe we’re at a cross roads in this industry.  Technologies in human resources and human capital management are and will remain an important part of our jobs forever.  Except that in my mind engagement is what drives innovation, excitement, and passion.  Companies that get this right are going to have a huge advantage recruiting, training, retaining, and selling to employees, consumers, and candidates.  It’s about employee involvement not just employee engagement.  That is no longer enough.

Certainly, mobile will continue to be important as our audiences are always on the go.  Companies will need to move to mobile websites and focus on providing great information and content to continue to build relationshiops with their employees and job seekers.  An HR technology company that develops a tool and software to accomplish this task will be celebrated and rewarded whether it’s recruiting-focused or employee-focused.  Internal communication will continue to be important as companies look to develop internal social networks in addition to going where their employees and families are. Different channels work for different individuals but companies need to remember that the majority of the workforce is now millenials not boomers who are most of the decision makers.  Companies who adapt and realize this will be ahead of the game in some many ways.

Creating a conversation that is meaningful and gives the job seekers or employee the insights, information, and help that they want while also balancing the “sell me” side of employment brand.  Your social network is more than a jobs feed or blog content stream.  A simple about page or white paper download is not enough.  Its a conversation so engage your audience whoever they are, and do it in a meaninginful way.  Focus on your disengaged workforce and employees.  Find the balance between engagement and workplace automation.  That’s the future in the human resources, recruiter, and human capital industries.

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell (@jmillermerrell) is a workplace change agent, author and consultant focused on human resources and talent acquisition living in Austin, TX. Recognized by Forbes as a top 50 social media influencer and is a global speaker. She’s the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource and host of the Workology Podcast.

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