Over the last few years, there has been an explosion of technology use in the Human Resources (HR) space. This has further escalated due to the worldwide pandemic, which forced many organizations to look at how technology can help enable their teams to still move forward with qualifying, hiring, and onboarding new talent while maintaining the existing cultural environment in a virtual setting.

This technology has spanned from streamlining hiring requests via end-to-end Human Resource Information systems (HRIS) like Workday or Success factors/SAP, to job description writing tools like Data people or TalVista, candidate sourcing tools such as SeekOut and Loxo, and candidate assessments like SHL and Self Management Group’s suite of tools or AI solutions like IDEAL. So it seems that no matter the stage of the HR cycle a candidate is in, new technology is available for use.

Robust system integrations can help manage candidates throughout the employee lifecycle and allow you to stay organized and remove the hassle of keeping up with hardcopy paper forms

With all the available technology, Human Resource teams have had to be more flexible than ever to absorb the rapid pace of change and the shifting landscape of ideas from globalization and organizational structures to individuals desiring more remote opportunities for work.

It is easy to lose sight of the candidate and employee experience and the human element in the HR process. This, in turn, can negatively impact an organization’s culture by creating disconnected employees and ultimately increasing negative attrition.

So, how do we leverage the available technology in this space and maintain a positive candidate and employee experience where people feel connected and engaged? There is no one simple solution, but it can be done.

First, we need to ensure that the technology is streamlined as much as possible. Clunky platforms that don’t speak to each other create data loss and take more time to use than manual processes. Robust system integrations can help manage candidates throughout the employee lifecycle and allow you to stay organized and remove the hassle of keeping up with hardcopy paper forms. Additionally, they can grant candidates and employees more autonomy to manage their information. If we agree that a companies most important resource is its people, then ensuring that they are empowered and have access to information for daily decision making is critical.

Secondly, establishing automated communication through technology allows candidates to know where they are at any given stage and provide prompt feedback in each step. Remember, candidates don’t mind that they are declined, but they expect a timely notification and a reason for it.

As well, feedback mechanisms are essential for both candidates and employees alike. For example, candidate experience surveys (like those provided by the Talent Board and the CandE Awards) help provide insight into what is working and where there are opportunities to raise the bar even higher. In addition, annual employee pulse surveys help ensure that any technology enhancements that were implemented meet the needs of the broader employee base, or at the very least, not negatively impacting them.

Understanding that the benefit of technology in many aspects of the Human Resource process is to create efficiencies, alleviate time and free up HR team member capacity. This, in turn, allows HR to spend more time with candidates and employees at critical phases of the cycle. In addition, more robust and in-depth interviews allow for meaningful relationships to foster, grown, and ultimately bring on the best talent for the organization’s needs. For employees, this means the ability to receive enhanced feedback and more meaningful dialogues.

The challenge is not to allow this newfound capacity gained through technology and automation to be used for HR teams to take on greater workloads.

While this is often where organizations tend to go, it misses the point of freeing up valuable time on administrative functions and enabling them to have more meaningful connections to people, providing a more personalized experience.

As more organizations embrace technology in supporting HR functions, the impact on the candidate and employee experience cannot be ignored. Instead, businesses should use technology to empower HR professionals, not so that they can ‘do more with less”, but to enhance and enable human activities that ultimately improve the quality of hires and employee engagement.