How Disruptive Technology Makes Fireworks for HR and Talent

Anti creativity intellect
Published November 5, 2015

Today the UK commemorates the discovery of a plot on 5th November 1605 to destroy the Houses of Parliament.

Guy Fawkes’ historic movement for radical change was scandalous in its time when change was not as much a constant as it is now.  We’re continually referring to change as something that businesses have to adapt to on a day-to-day basis in occupational psychology.  But how often does something come along that seeks to completely revolutionise the way things are done?  What is the ‘gunpowder plot’ of Human Resources and Talent Management?

Undoubtedly, one of the most significant recent game-changers for HR and Talent Management is technology.  Originally coined in 1997 by Professor Christensen of Harvard Business School, the term disruptive technology has recently resurfaced and is more prevalent now than ever before.  Christensen defined it as “emerging technology that unexpectedly displaces an established one.”  Quite simply, disruptive technology is something that has exploded with growth and innovation.

Mobile technology is the most obvious example. There are now over 4.5 times more mobile devices than laptops and desktop computers globally. In fact, with advancements in phone capability, the term ‘mobile’ is almost synonymous with ‘internet.’ This means that your employees are far more likely to be motivated to access typical HR applications on a mobile device, if it’s easy and quick enough to use.

Timesheets, as an example, can be made much less fiddly and clumsy through a mobile interface, which would inherently be designed to be as simple as possible. As another example, Adobe discovered that response rates to their employee feedback surveys dramatically increased by five times when put onto a mobile platform.

As far as professional development is concerned, e-learning has never been more suited to mobile distribution, with the amount of commuting, travelling and waiting around that people endure for work. For similar reasons, neither has goal setting.  Even in recruitment, Forbes estimates that half of all corporate job responses originate from a mobile advertisement. The value of mobile technology in HR continues to grow and continues to be something big companies cannot ignore.

However, disruptions don’t only come in the form of apps.  The science of assessment and development has become more advanced in recent years. Consultancies that are leading the way in this space now have tools that can create and store big data on all kinds of job-relevant skills and behaviours.

Whether we’re talking about gamified processes or virtual assessment centres, these sleeker mechanisms of delivering talent acquisition and development are providing organisations with the equipment they need to carry out the true revolution in HR and Talent.  I’m talking about the way they use data to inform their practices and to ensure greatest certainty of business impact from what they do. It’s an empowering time for a business function that has traditionally been seen as a cost centre but is now beginning to get the recognition it deserves as a source of important change and disruptive innovation. More positive than the gunpowder plot, that’s for sure!

Author: Jordon Jones

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