Information technology is advancing at an alarming rate across different fields and practices. One major area of concern is how information technology is developing in the HR management practice. Based on the works of Ball (2005), technology in the human resource management, IT has been very important in all the practices. In fact, it is realized that the development of technology has advanced a great revolution and change in the HR management field. Basically, there are opportunities and challenges that come along with the advancing technologies in the HR management practice. These are the main points of concern in this essay, which will be outlined and discussed as based on what previous scholars have presented. The essay looks into how IT has had an impact on HR management practices including recruitment and job placement, communication, job flexibility, problem-solving, and multitasking among other major practices.
Impact of IT on Recruitment
As Broderick and Boudreau (2001) observed, Information Technology is a platform for the management of recruitment practices in major organizations. Martin et al. (2005) further noted that the recruitment practice is important because it includes the outsourcing of the right manpower in the labor force. In such a context, organizations have found the solution to effective recruitment practice in introducing advanced information technology. David (2006) highlighted in his works that in most organizations, there is need to recruit manpower beyond the borders. In this case, exploiting the global market to get the right labor force is critical. Therefore, IT has been adequate in introducing and using a system that can easily facilitate the activity.
A case example is where organizations have been required to advertise various positions and reach out to different professionals with the required skills globally. Four decades ago, such an activity was a major challenge as organizations could not be able to reach a global population following the high dependence on print media. In the modern context, Ball (2005) observed that with the use of the Internet, companies have been able to develop websites from which they advertise the positions available and receive applications from all over the globe. It is with such a context that Martin et al. (2005) observed that IT development has provided the organizations with a huge opportunity to outsource for labor.
Impact of IT on Selection
Beyond the recruitment practice, Broderick and Boudreau (2001) also highlighted that organizations are also able to conduct interviews and assess the qualifications of a potential recruit online, without having to meet them physically. Broderick and Boudreau (2001) observed that there are tools available in advanced IT systems that organizations can use to gauge employees’ personalities, and test their skills with respect to the available job opportunity. Therefore, with such tools, organizations are able to narrow down the interviewing exercise to a few people, who can then be easily vetted physically. It is an opportunity that eases the selection process and at the same time, delivers effectiveness in selecting the right candidates for the job.
However, it is also worth noting that IT has presented the challenge of physical contacts between the managers of an organization and the potential employees (Ball, 2005). This might also result to a selection of less qualified individuals who might be highly qualified in the theoretical aspects and knowledge but lack the practical aspect of the work. In fact, Ball (2005) observed that online recruitment does not give a chance for the selection panels to identify talents among individuals, which might also have a positive impact on the productivity of the organization.
Impact of IT on Training and Development
From a different perspective, David (2006) looked into the training and development practice, which is a major role of the HR department within an organization. In this context, David (2006) explained that the modern organizations have exploited the great opportunity that IT has provided for the human resource management practice. In this context, it is possible to train employees who require more skills without compromising the time they need to be productive in the workplace. A case in point is highlighted by Broderick and Boudreau (2001) who observed that following the increased development in IT, organizations have ceased the opportunity of using long-distance training. This is a type of training where employees of an organization can be trained away from the workplace for instance at home. In this case, the employees engage in some form of training during non-work hours.
This has eased the HR management in the context that employees do not have to sacrifice their time at work, to engage in different training sessions. The biggest challenge in this context is observed in the works of Ball (2005) who noted that some training may require physical presence of the trainee and the one being trained. In this context, some practical works may not be trained online and thus IT in such a case may not adequately apply in providing effective training.
Impact of IT on Monitoring and Evaluation
Additionally, once an organization has recruited people to work and play different tasks, Martin et al. (2005) observed that the role of monitoring the individual performance and making the right decision is also a huge challenge. However, Martin et al. (2005) observe that organizations have found a solution in the use of modern technologies to facilitate the monitoring practice. It is also synonymously argued in the works of Ball (2005) who found out that organizations used to spend huge resources including human resource and financial capital in performance monitoring.
The reason for this is, the companies mostly relied upon individual supervisors within the workplace to monitor daily performances of the employees. In such a context, Bondarouk (2008) observed that the monitoring process has to be slow and ineffective because of the fatigue among the supervisors and their inability to handle the huge number of employees. However, Bondarouk (2008) further noted that modern technologies including CCTV cameras and other monitoring devices have been available for major organizations to ease the monitoring tasks. As Ruel and Bondarouk (2008) explained it, a single supervisor can monitor a huge number of employees within a defined workplace within the walls of a locked office. This is facilitated through the use of CCTV cameras, computers, and advanced audio systems, which have been dominant in the IT market.
Based on the works of Ball (2005) such ease in monitoring is a huge opportunity among organizations to reduce the costs involved and the energy. It is also a huge opportunity to ease decision making in promotions and rewards, which are key decisions in motivating the employees and improving performance. From the perspective of Broderick and Boudreau (2001), through IT, monitoring among organizations can be effective thus effectively allowing organization to make unbiased decisions on promotions.
The supervisors in charge can effectively provide reports on employees’ performance through unbiased records and performance evaluations as enabled by the new IT systems. In further contributing to this issue, David (2006) observed that through advanced software, it is now possible for most organizations to quantify output of employees, which can be quantitatively interpreted and decisions made in respect of incentives to be provided among the employees for their contribution.
Impact of IT on Communication
Finally, the issue of communication is also highlighted as one of the major aspects of the HR department across organization. In facilitating this practice, HR managers have different approaches, which are all geared towards achieving effectiveness in the running of the organization. Martin et al. (2005) were among the scholars who observed that, IT has been a major and important tool in facilitating communication within organizations. In this context, IT has been used widely to solve major communication problems of inefficiencies and delays. In fact, Broderick and Boudreau (2001) found out in their study that through different IT systems, problems of distance have been solved within organizations.
In such a context, Ball (2005) had given the example of organizations that has branches within and outside its headquarters. In this case, the communication between managers and assistant managers across the respective departments has been eased by new IT systems. David (2006) synonymously argued that new IT technologies have improved the top-down and down-up communication within organizations. It is through such IT systems including mobile devices, and the Internet, that managers can communicate effectively on issues based on management within the organization.
Generally, IT has had a huge influence on HR management within organizations. A discussion from respective scholars reveals that IT has had an impact on HR management practices including recruitment and job placement, communication, job flexibility, problem-solving, and multitasking among other major practices. Among the key practices that have been influenced by IT include recruitment, interviewing, training and development, monitoring and evaluation, and communication.
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