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4 Technologies That Free HR to Work With People Instead of Just Their Paperwork

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From automated emails to applicant tracking systems to video interviews, provides essential tools for HR teams today. A 2014 survey by The Starr Conspiracy revealed that more than half (57 percent) of the 210 companies surveyed said they plan to invest in some type of HR technology solution in the coming 12 months.


As more companies integrate into everyday HR processes, the risk increases that some will lose sight of the human aspect of . But embracing tech doesn't mean dropping the human side of HR. When used right, technology enables businesses and HR professionals to be even more personable.

Here are four facets of HR where technology is commonly used and how to make the most of that tech without neglecting the human side of :

1. Talent acquisition.

The hiring process is a key function of human resources that has been largely affected by technology. Applicant tracking systems (ATS), for instance, help HR professionals manage their candidate pool. Once that pool is narrowed down, it's to begin screening applicants, and many companies are now relying on video technology to paint the perfect candidate picture.

While applicant tracking systems have made hiring managers' lives easier with keyword filtering and video interviews , do applicants feel the same way?

How to Humanize: ATS software and video interviews are designed to aid the hiring process -- not take it over. The goal of a keyword search is not to turn up the best candidates, but to eliminate as many candidates as possible. Keyword search shouldn't be used if there are only a handful of applicants.

Instead of replacing traditional face-to-face interviews with video, consider using video technology during the screening process. Video interviews make the screening process more personable by allowing candidates and hiring managers to connect visually.

Related: The 3 Essential HR Technologies for Filling Your Talent Pool With the Right People

2. Employee onboarding.

Automating certain aspects of the onboarding process just makes sense. It makes onboarding simpler for both employers and employees by making it easy to assign, track and store new hire paperwork, training and tasks. However, from automated welcome emails to online paperwork to training videos, the human in human resources can get lost in the tech.

How to Humanize: Automating time-consuming administrative aspects of the onboarding process, such as new hire paperwork, means HR professionals can spend more time with new hires. It literally puts the human back in human resources.

To further humanize the onboarding process, consider assigning new hires a mentor for their first few weeks on the job. While training videos can be helpful, they don't replace learning from a seasoned employee.

Related: Your New Employees Will Want These 6 Things When They Come on Board

3. Open enrollment.

Open enrollment is often the cause of benefits-induced headaches, especially when relying on outdated enrollment systems. Modern enrollment technology simplifies the enrollment process for all parties involved by enabling employees to easily select and manage their benefits online.

How to Humanize: While automating the enrollment process can help take some of the pain out of open enrollment, ongoing communication is the key to making the process run smoothly. People trump tech when it comes to helping employees make more informed decisions.

By automating open enrollment, more time can be spent conducting benefits fairs, lunch-and-learns, and meeting with individual employees. More tech, more time, more communication.

Related: How Small-Business Owners Can Win the Health Insurance Game

4. Talent management.

According to 's Global Human Capital Trends 2015 report, performance management is changing. Of the 3,300 organizations Deloitte surveyed, 89 percent changed their performance management process or plan to change it within 18 months. We can expect tech to play a more prominent role in the process.

How to Humanize: Talent management technologies, like automated feedback and transparent goal-setting, help bring out the best in employees. But that tech should supplement the performance review process -- not take its place. Continue to meet with employees in an informal, one-on-one setting to discuss goal progress and development.

Related: Measure These 5 Talent Metrics for Greater Success in Hiring and Managing Employees

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