Happy Birthday Internet
Posted by Jane on May 13, 2014
The CIPD acknowledged the 25th birthday of the internet in March 2014, noting how it had changed the way we ‘do’ HR just as it has transformed pretty much every other aspect of modern life. The article pointed out six ways in which HR has evolved thanks to technology. Let’s see if we can add a few to the list…
First of all, the CIPD article falls into the classic terminology trap of equating the “Internet” with the “World Wide Web”. The internet has actually been around a lot longer than 25 years, being the actual structure that links together networks and computers all across the globe. The web is what sits on top of that structure, it’s everything we see and use to share information across the internet: web pages, hyperlinks, browsers and so on; it’s actually the WWW that recently celebrated its quarter century.
6 HR Game-Changers
Here’s the CIPD list:
1. Online recruitment – from agency websites to jobs boards to social media recruitment campaigns, the number of ways in which employers and potential employees find each other has exploded.
2. Digital CVs – no longer just two sides of A4, candidate CVs and resumes might be electronic, video, tailored and transmitted in an instant.
3. Employer branding – with the rise of social media, employers are much more aware of how they present themselves; reputations are made and lost in instants in the viral environment.
4. Online learning – online means onsite and now instantly accessible bite-sized training and development is available to all.
5. Real time tax – since 2013, HMRC expects real time payroll reporting; despite inevitable teething troubles, the system seems to work.
6. The spread of remote working – out of office is no longer out of touch, with many of the practical obstacles surmounted by technology, teams no longer have to sit in the same room.
A Few Additions
All of the above are undoubtedly true – genuine paradigm shifts in HR practice driven by the web – but let’s add a point or two to the list:
• The cloud – as with other applications (CRM, ERP, etc.) HR systems have taken to the cloud like a duck to water, bringing flexibility and cost savings to businesses.
• Social learning – not simply online but also collaborative, through social media tools, training and development has well and truly left the classroom.
• Open all hours… – the web brings instant, anytime access to HR systems.
• …and open to all – businesses have the option to open up their HR information to all employees via web channels.
• Self-service – web-accessible ESS and MSS tools (Employee and Manager Self Service) are now a staple feature of HR software, directly engaging the workforce in HR processes and procedures.
• The global workforce – instant communication via web tools such as VOIP conferencing facilities enable tight teamworking across time zones.
Let’s see where HR is after another 25 years of web working…
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