Staffing Management

How technology fits into an HR manager’s job description

Andie Burjek

21 April 2020

While human resources used to be a more functional role, over the years it has become more strategic, with more HR executives earning a seat at the table. On the front lines, HR managers also have an evolved job description, increasingly relying on technology to take over the automatable parts of their job so that they can focus on more human tasks.

Just as employees are expected to grow with the times and learn technology skills like data science and programming that make them more attractive to employers and relevant to the jobs of the future, HR managers must do the same. 

Technology is gaining a larger role in many traditional HR duties, from recruiting to scheduling to performance measurement. This has been happening for a while and means that HR managers must be prepared to learn new systems and skills related to the software an organization uses. Relying on current skills is not going to get an HR manager far. They must be willing to be flexible, show curiosity and learn new skills. 

Also read: HR 101 for new human resources managers

However, if an HR manager is tech-savvy enough to manage various HR technology systems, ultimately they will have more time to focus on the HR duties that require timeless skills like tact and empathy.

Programs enabled with artificial intelligence, for example, can help answer common employee and candidate questions, leaving HR professionals time to focus on other responsibilities rather than repeatedly answer the same common, basic questions. Chatbots can’t answer more complex questions, but they can alert a person to answer those queries.

HR tech; hr manager; workforce management software

In the recruiting context, technology can help HR managers quickly review resumes. This has both advantages and risks. On one hand, employers don’t spend as much time going over resumes. On the other hand, recruiting technology may make biased decisions if it has been programmed with biased training data. Still, with appropriate training data, this has potential to make the recruiting process better. 

Also read: How the talent acquisition game has changed in the past decade

And with scheduling, workforce management software can help HR managers create schedules, even considering compliance laws that make scheduling complicated. Different states and localities have varied regulations regarding paid time off, sick leave and overtime. But the appropriate software can take regulations into account as someone creates a schedule for its workforce. 

Meanwhile, some HR tasks should always retain the human touch. Managers should always terminate employees face to-face, avoiding doing so via text message, email or other forms of virtual communication. Managers also have key communications responsibilities — for those times as common as the annual open enrollment and as unique as a crisis or global pandemic. Being able to effectively, strategically and sympathetically communicate information is part of the HR job description that does not change with the advance of HR technology solutions.

Given these tech-enabled and human-centric HR tasks, when a company is looking for a new HR manager, employers should include certain responsibilities in their job description. Some of these skills are constant:

  • Consults legal counsel to ensure that policies comply with federal and state law.
  • Develops and maintains a human resources system that meets top management information needs.
  • Oversees the analysis, maintenance and communication of records required by law or local governing bodies, or other departments in the organization.
  • Advises management in appropriate resolution of employee relations issues.

Other responsibilities can likely be streamlined through technology:

  • Recruits, interviews, tests and selects employees to fill vacant positions.
  • Responds to inquiries regarding policies, procedures and programs.
  • Administers benefits programs such as life, health and dental insurance, pension plans, vacation, sick leave, leave of absence and employee assistance.
  • Prepares budget of human resources operations.
  • Responds to inquiries regarding policies, procedures, and programs.

Additionally, the rise of technology solutions adds extra responsibilities to that list, like understanding how to use several types of tech tools. These include:

  • Knowing how to use social media to post jobs, research candidates and communicate with employees.
  • Knowing how to use an applicant tracking system.
  • Using talent management software and learning management systems can help you streamline hiring, onboarding, training and retention processes.
  • Using time and attendance software to quickly and efficiently create compliant, fair schedules.

While HR practitioners are expected to do more than ever before, they have more technology and tools available to make their jobs more efficient in many ways. 

 

Written by Andie Burjek

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