‘Is there a better way to do this?’ Why HR teams should look for change

The world of work is changing, but is HR being left behind?  Lee-Martin Seymour believes HR professionals should be asking “is there a better way to do this?”

 

Despite the rapidly changing external environment, HR and particularly recruiting remains at the heart of any given business and its people. So it puzzles me that in the midst of such high-performing, high-tech teams, the industry often relies on tired and outdated approaches.

It becomes a worry when you consider the current landscape. From the increased competitiveness in the globalising war for talent, to the growing opportunities for fraud, data breaches, discrimination and poor hiring based on biased references, things are growing more complicated every day. Now more than ever, HR requires streamlined and efficient processes that deliver faster, more secure and insightful results, which provide valuable data and insights and free up time for the strategic decision-making that drives company-wide improvement.

 

Adjusting to the implications of a tech-driven culture

As things continue to move at lightning speed, innovative business leaders are realising the importance of taking the time to think about disruption. Not just external disruption, but how they can disrupt their own practices to ensure their function continues to add value: questioning how a task could be redefined for the better; challenging the norm; exploring new approaches.

Automating routine tasks to save time and resources – but also to gather more data on stakeholders to inform better decision-making. But as we gather ever-more data, one of the unintended consequences can be an increasingly suspicious end-user – one who is demanding assurances on how their data is used.

As consumers integrate technology into their everyday lives, they become more informed. For organisations, this means embracing technology and automation, but also taking a closer look at how their business is tackling this growing concern. Educating themselves on data privacy regulations and ensuring they comply matters more now than ever before. If information can be easily shared, it’s also easily lost. This is a particularly sensitive issue for the HR industry given the personal candidate, organisational and referee data it handles.

 

Automation: a blessing, not a curse

Changes to our culture, economy and industry are placing pressure on HR professionals to streamline commodity elements of their role and add more strategic value.

Automation is looming over many jobs and industries but, like most new innovations that are based on efficiency, fear is overriding opportunity.

Many see automation as a threat for HR professionals with the potential of ‘robots’ filling their role in the workplace of the future. It’s time we rewired this misunderstanding. The reality is that automated services are just what HR professionals need to demonstrate their value.

Business leaders who operate without leveraging big data and the resulting predictive insights are missing a huge opportunity for continuous improvement, and are relegating parts of their role to a commodity that will become increasingly vulnerable. As one of the last industries to employ staff in developed markets to manually collect information, with all the inherent bias and inconsistency that this brings, we must start asking why we’re on this island alone, and where everyone else has moved to?

The possibilities are endless. Our industry should be examining every aspect of what we do – especially the pain points – and asking “is there a better way to do this?”

 

Lee-Martin Seymour is CEO of Xref

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