How can technology help HR achieve its goals?

VP of people at Novartis to speak at upcoming HR Tech Summit Canada

How can technology help HR achieve its goals?

Most HR professionals know that using various technological tools can help streamline various processes.

But what do departments need to do first in order to make a smoother transition into a more automated system?

It begins with a comprehensive look and evaluation at what is currently in place, says a senior HR leader.

“It’s critical that an organization starts with what I call the dirty work, which is to simplify and to standardize the processes first and then to see what role technology, data, AI, machine-learning can play, to extend the employee experience, as well as the experience of the HR professional as well,” says Ashley Sardjoe, vice-president people at organization at Novartis in Montreal.

Sardjoe will be part of a panel discussion during the upcoming HR Tech Summit Canada and he shared some thoughts about his topic: Seamlessly integrating technology to improve HR processes with Canadian HR Reporter.

‘It’s just a tool’

For many HR professionals who are currently tied up doing mundane tasks and processes, AI and other automated tools might offer some solace — but they’re not going to replace people anytime soon, according to Sardjoe.

“My overall view on this is that both AI as well as tools, it’s not the solution to most of the HR problems — in the end, it’s just a tool, it’s just the technology.”

Is open-sourced AI such as ChatGPT or Google’s Bard another technology that HR professionals need to consider? Yes, say other experts but they won’t be replacing human employees anytime soon.

When it comes to recruiting efforts, this is one area in which automation can make a big difference in the job market.

“The candidate experience in the recruitment process is critical: you have to make sure that you have a process that is quick, that is transparent, and that at all times the candidate knows where he or she sits in the process,” says Sardjoe.

“To do that, technology plays a huge role. Of course, it doesn’t stop with technology, it’s still the professional that needs to take the ownership but having end-to-end technology can really help to improve the candidate experience overall.”

Technology can also help manage the important employees, he says.

“What you can do is you highlight your critical talents, and you disproportionately invest your time in those talents; that doesn’t mean that the rest of the people are not talented but in order to do that in an efficient and effective way, what we can do is to leverage technology.”

By doing this, retention goals can be met, says Sardjoe.

“You basically leverage technology to continuously engage and opportunities to those other talents, so that they feel that the organization is continuously investing in their development as well, which is critical for retention because if associates do not see that your organization is investing in them, and is not providing opportunities to grow and to develop, they will start to look for other opportunities.”

What to ask

For HR professionals who wish to begin deploying technological tools to address issues, it starts with a simple but important question, according to Sardjoe.

“Don’t immediately jump to the technology piece: first try to identify ‘What is the problem that I need to resolve? What is it that I can do internally first?’ And then try to see which technology can best be added to enhance.”

This is key to finding a solution, says Sardjoe, who began his career in the HR IT part of the business.

“I’ve seen way too many companies investing in technology that in the end do not meet its purpose because they expected that the tool and the technology would resolve the issues, so there was no time and effort invested in first trying to identify what are the challenges,” he says.

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