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Web 2.0 in Human Resources

Web 2.0 in Human Resources

I just returned from the IHRIM show in Washington, D.C.  IHRIM (International Association for Human Resources Information Management) is a long-standing and largely-unknown association for those of us who live at the nexus of Human Resources and Technology.

It’s an unlikely nexus, but for the 2,000+ members of our association, it is a valuable group for networking as well as learning about how technology can have a positive effect on the quality of Human Resources service delivery.

Quality of Human Resources service delivery is the price of admission in our business.  HR practitioners have long wanted a place at the corporate table, where corporate strategy is determined and the real decisions are made. And we should be there.  We know the workforce – how old they are, how educated they are, how well they perform, how long they stay – and we can measure the impact of certain decisions on that workforce.  But if you can’t knock out a payroll, or assign the correct Kronos payrules, or come up with an easier way for timecards to be processed, or get rid of the 10 zillion forms that a new hire has to fill out, then you won’t be taken seriously when it comes to strategic initiatives.

Enter Web 2.0. You know – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs, wikis - all that new stuff that our kids take to like a teeny bopper takes to Justin Bieber.  At our conference, we had a number of presenters who were extolling the virtues of Web 2.0 to our attendees. This stuff is real, and it’s effective. All it takes is a little creativity to see how it could work in your company or work group.

Do you work for a health care organization, and when a nurse calls in sick, you need to find a replacement? Why not tweet that open shift, and have the 15 people who have suggested to you that they’d like a few extra hours be the people who follow you on Twitter? You tweet the shift, they are immediately notified. Can you think of a faster way to fill that opening? Does Kronos Scheduler help with that?

Or what happens when a great applicant comes in, and you’d love to hire her? Today, you say that we’ll keep your resume on file, and when an opening comes up, we’ll let you know. How often does that happen? Why not have the candidate follow a twitter feed that HR sets up for open technology positions? When one comes up, it gets tweeted, and the prime candidate is immediately notified using a communications mechanism with which they are familiar.

Last example – job openings. You post what? A job description and a web link? I’m yawning already.  Why not get a corporate Facebook account, buy a flip camera, and do a quick video of the hiring manager describing the position? Take a walk around the office, show where the new employee’s office will be, the view out the window, a couple of potential coworkers talking about the company.  Put that on Facebook, along with a job description, and candidates who are up on the newer technologies (i.e. the type of folks you want to hire) will find it and apply.

Kronos was not one of the exhibitors at IHRIM. But they are doing some nice stuff with Web 2.0, specifically smartphone applications.  Just announced this quarter, you can approve timecards, enter timecard information, and do a few other functions from your iPhone , Droid, or Blackberry.  It’s not fully built out yet, but it’s more than just a toe in the water.  The more we, the Kronos community, encourage them in that direction, the better.

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