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Over the past year, increasing numbers of organisations have invested in cloud-based technology to replace their expensive – and generally difficult-to-use – on-premise human resources (HR) IT systems.
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Businesses are rapidly moving to HR self-service, which allows employees to keep their own HR data up to date. In the past it could take weeks or months for HR departments to audit the workforce of large global companies – and the results were invariably out of date and inaccurate. Now cloud technology is giving managers instant, accurate information on the skills and structure of their workforce. And they can access the data through dashboards on their mobile phones and tablets.
This is undoubtedly helping companies save money. Organisations no longer hire contractors or staff simply because they don't know about the people with the right skills they already have. Technology is also making life better for employees, who benefit from targeted training, designed to help them reach their next career goal – delivered in the form of short videos or tutorials – when they need it.
But this is just the beginning. The combination of HR technology, mobile devices and analytics is presenting businesses with the opportunity to learn what makes people excel at work, and how to recruit the best employees. Add to that technology that enables selection panels to interview candidates over video, even if they are not all present at the same time, the burgeoning use of virtual reality for training and recruiting, and recruitment for social media, it is clear that HR is going through a seismic shift.
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HR technology is moving away from managing staff in favour of helping them become more productive, as a new wave of innovative technologies starts to arrive in organisations.
Deutsche Bahn, Germany’s former state-owned railway company, has turned to virtual reality (VR) to recruit employees in an increasingly competitive labour market.
The trend is clear: IT and HR departments are working increasingly closely with cloud suppliers to develop and improve cloud-based HR systems.
Alcatel-Lucent expects to have its cloud HR platform used in 62 countries by the end of the year, replacing aging on-premise HR IT systems.
Cloud services company Workday is setting its sights on growth as it expands from cloud HR, to finance, learning and analytics.
Financial Services company, Société Générale, says relocation software is helping it attract talented employees.
Telecoms company Talk Talk is, for the first time, providing its managers with accurate information on head count, job vacancies, overtime and salary costs after replacing seven HR IT systems with a single, cloud-based service.
The £74bn turnover company aims to harness the capabilities of augmented reality to train 10,000 employees in 170 countries.
The recruitment company, with revenue of £700m a year, has begun a series of IT upgrades that will see it replace older Oracle, Siebel and SAP-based technology with cloud services that will manage sales, HR and employee bonuses.
Equinox, a luxury health and fitness club chain, has turned to digital technology to allow it recruit employees quickly, following a period of rapid growth.