HR Technology Conference to Explore How Tech Is Changing the HR Industry

When it comes to business costs, most entrepreneurs focus on the big expenses or the most recurring ones such as inventory, office or warehouse space, wages, marketing, and the like. However, take a look at research and opinions from around the world and you’ll see that choosing the wrong employees can cost companies a huge amount of money (and morale) over both the short and long term.

computerFor example, according to recent findings from Erik Van Vulpen, founder of Analytics in HR, a bad hire typically costs a business five times that person’s annual salary to replace them. He also says it can take up to a whopping 32 weeks (a good proportion of the year) for a new hire to develop proficiency in their role. Whats more, the interview process used by many ventures is said to be around as successful as tossing a coin.

It is no surprise then that more and more businesses are choosing to outsource human resource functions to companies specializing in the area. A particularly growing trend, too, is the use of technology when it comes to hiring and managing employees.

In fact, according to research by Bersin by Deloitte, the whole HR software market is worth more than $10 billion and growing, with many segments of the market expanding at double-digit rates. Such interest can be seen in the upcoming HR Technology Conference, which is set to host more than 400 software companies and attract more than 8,000 attendees over four days.

Keen to see how you can save time, money, and stress by utilizing technology for your HR functions? If so, read on for the rundown on how tech is changing the industry and how you might utilize it today.

Software Automatically Sorting Applicants

A big change that has affected not just human resources managers and businesses but also job candidates is the increased use of software to analyze and track applications for roles. Today, more and more recruiters are using software to do the filtering of applicants for them in the first instance.

ComputerWith so many jobs receiving hundreds of applications these days, human resources staff would be chronically overwhelmed if they had to manually sift through each person’s resume and cover letter one by one. With technology, software can be used to automatically screen candidates based on input fields, and therefore weed out those people who don’t fit certain criteria (such as possessing a degree or having particular experience).

Software Used to Match Applicants to Roles

In addition, electronic application programs can be used to conduct background checks on applicants, and to track each candidate’s online activities. This not only helps HR workers to save time as a lot of the screening process is done for them, but also allows them to ensure they find the right fit for the company advertising the role.

Many firms are using artificial intelligence to scan people’s work samples, and to go through their social media posts and other internet activity for potentially red-flag raising behavior. Software that uses natural-language processing can conduct automated web searches on job applicants to scan blogs, news coverage, and sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the like for signs of negative behavior or comments. For example, programs may scan for signs of illegal drug use, violence, or bigotry. On the other hand though, the software can also scan for positive attributes as it goes, such as a history of volunteer work.

Machines are also now being used to match the right candidate to a role and a company by analyzing facial expressions and word choices during interviews. HR managers can receive data on an applicant’s signs of empathy, engagement, and motivation, to name a few.

Similarly, there are also programs that can gauge a persons impact skills and personality (with traits such as curiosity, grit, and polish analyzed) to find out if a candidate is likely to excel at a company and fit in with top performers.

Digital Training Programs

Technology is also making it more time-efficient and cost-effective than ever for human resources companies and managers to efficiently train groups of workers in new skills, or new employees when they join a firm. It’s now easy for top-quality digital training programs to be designed and run remotely, which frees up time for current staff members and ensures that training stays consistent across workers and offices.

Virtual training programs are perfect for training larger numbers of people at once, no matter where they might be located in the world. It can also track the progress of each trainee via computerized testing.

Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn’t know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.