Are your HR and IT departments working together?

Startup hubs departments
Tim Griffiths


written on January 12, 2018

A CTO explains why HR and IT departments should collaborate more closely, and ways they can do that.

Human resources professionals are multitasking masters, juggling a variety of responsibilities for businesses on a daily basis. But the workload means HR professionals often find themselves burning the candle at both ends, resulting in a fatigued and less productive team.

Although, in a “traditional” working environment, HR and IT teams wouldn’t typically work closely together – other than when the email system goes down and everyone is sent into a blind panic – some of the challenges faced by today’s HR professionals could be quickly alleviated with the helping hand of your colleagues in the IT department.

Those who embrace new technologies, platforms, and ways of working with your IT counterparts now, will be much better placed to meet both employee expectations and business requirements, while also maintaining the productivity of your teams, into the future.

The perfect match

According to a 2015 Deloitte Insights study, Reinventing HR – An Extreme Makeover, today’s HR teams must be agile, business-integrated, data-driven, and deeply skilled in attracting, retaining and developing talent. It’s simply not possible to do all of those things well, without technology on your side. IT can support these functions and ensure improved HR and business decision-making as a result.

By collaborating HR and IT can even tackle the challenge of employee satisfaction. Autonomy, flexibility and choice are important drivers of employee happiness. Workplace IT has an important role to play in delivering the benefits of a flexible, agile workplace. If deployed successfully, these can make a significant contribution towards staff engagement and retention.

Cloud-based computing systems, for example, enable employees to securely access files from anywhere, and embracing these tech systems will enable all staff to get out of the office from time to time, soak up some vitamin D and work when and where they are happier and more productive.

Identifying and securing talent is obviously one critical deliverable for an HR team, but it can often be over-complicated, delayed and made unnecessarily difficult by resource-intensive processes. Online talent management systems, onboarding programs, recruitment platforms and automated reference-checking solutions can help streamline these tasks, and ensure the business can efficiently recruit and retain the best people to represent your brand and culture.

As HR tasks continue to broaden beyond traditional business management and employee transactions, it’s important that operational approaches evolve at the same rate, in order to maintain efficiency in all processes.

Recognising value and working better together

Beyond the efficiencies it will offer, tech adoption also opens up a wealth of insight and information. As mentioned above, by teaming up with IT, you will be able to make better use of this data, but you will also benefit from a level of assurance and peace of mind you simply cannot guarantee with people-driven approaches.

With only traditional HR processes in place, organisations are open to the risks of human error, misinterpretation and inconsistency. Not only does this mean they could be making personnel decisions based on ill-informed insights, they also risk a potential legal battle due to a data privacy breach, or a discrimination claim.

Rather than simply viewing the IT team as a service provider, HR needs to move towards a partnership model; embracing the potential for IT to support your key strategic concerns including workplace satisfaction, productivity and – one that may be an addition to the list – data optimisation.

As HR finds its place at the boardroom table, it is coming under greater scrutiny than ever. Now is the time to get the processes right and robust.

Tim Griffiths, is the Co-Founder and CTO of Xref.

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