HR technology key to HR’s work through the pandemic

HR technology has played a crucial role in dealing with disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, according to research by XpertHR.

Its survey of 144 HR professionals found that over the past year HR technology, such as employee benefits software and communication platforms, has been used to enable the rapid shift to remote working, especially in the private sector.

The majority (76%) of respondents who detailed using additional HR tech during the pandemic were from the private sector. 

HR tech has been mainly used for employee administration purposes since the start of the pandemic, according to 91% of respondents.  

It also helped to assist HR teams to process much of the extra work the pandemic created, such as redundancies and the handling of furlough. 

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Yet HR professionals' skills may not be keeping pace with the use of HR technology. 

Only half (47.2%) of respondents said the current level of technological capability within their HR function is adequate for current needs. A further two-fifths (41.7%) described it as basic, and just one in 10 (11.1%) as advanced.

XpertHR HR practice editor Sheila Attwood said organisations won’t be making the most of their HR management systems if HR teams don’t fully understand the functionality. 

Speaking to HR magazine, she said: “Employers need to take the time to train staff and ensure that not only are they familiar with the day-to-day tasks, but are utilising the more complex processes that will set them ahead of their competitors. 

“In sourcing the right solution, organisations should look beyond their current needs to how a system could also help them in the future.”

Online HR resources have also been used to provide material on mental health and updates on the job retention schemes, plus government guidelines on remote working.