It seems nearly everyday we hear about a new gadget, a new piece of software, a new cloud base reporting system or a personality assessment that is, without question going to change the landscape in HR. I myself have written about the subject of predictive software. I, like many of you, have Siri help me everyday. Going forward though, I fear that there is so much noise in the HR space about an HRIS, an ATS, or an LMS, that is going to make human resources so much better, we are not seeing the longer term effects.
Here is the deal; none of those things will really make HR better. Only one thing can do that. People, people like you and me. The gadgets, the software, they can amp up the efficiency and help you squeeze another 20 minutes out of each day, but there is a cost to that. Often times, the electronic methodology, is efficient but it usually cuts out the human interaction. Long term, I see this turning into a bad thing.
Let me put it to you this way. Do you get out of your car and walk into a bank to interact with an ATM? I don’t. If I go in the bank, I want usually want to speak to someone about a particular issue or problem. For the most part, the people (tellers and bank officers) do a good job with things. We all drop the ball now and then, but even then we can apologize or offer an extra service or discount – an ATM can’t.
I understand the wisdom in efficiency, but lately I am felling like I could press more for more human interaction. Wouldn’t it be cool if a job candidate got a call back from the employer telling them that the Company had received their online application and the Company representative went on to explain the entire process. I will bet that even if that candidate was not called in for an interview, they would hold that Company in high regard. I don’t do that; I should. It has a cost, but I think we in our wicked electronic ways, are becoming penny wise and pound foolish. I will bet very few of us follow up with the majority of candidates and if we do anything it is a Dear ???? – Thanks for your interest in …. email.
Staying on topic of talking to people, I am beginning to find much wisdom in the Stay Interview versus the Exit Interview. Sure I want to know if we have bad things going on in the Company when people leave – BUT wouldn’t it be better to find out before they get ready to walk out the door. Turnover cost money – we all know that. I will spare you the details.
Never forget that it is the people that make the organization function. Don’t get caught up by the shiny objects (HRIS, ATS, LMS). They can help but if you don’t have good people, working for you who want to be there and do a good job, you’re just kicking out awesome looking charts and graphs showing how high the turnover is and how it is trending up. Take the time, talk to your employees – before they leave, engage your prospective candidates, take a co-worker to lunch – for no reason. These are the people of the organization and they belong to us in HR.