Paul Swaddle, Co-founder of Pocket App delves in to how mobile is changing HR in enterprise – and explains why he thinks HR ought to be at the heart of the digital transformation.
I think it is needless to say that in the last decade, workplace outlooks and behaviours have changed drastically. The typical workforce is far less deskbound than previously, with many employees now working from home and ‘hot-desking’ fast becoming a popular option for work spaces.
This is certainly not a new concept, as other industries have been working this way for many years, but for the Western and UK market, it is a relatively new shift in attitude. This move is part of a greater focus on employee engagement, and as we develop our approach to the modern workforce, we should consider the importance of mobile enterprise apps in transforming our industries to seamless operators.
Mobile apps are increasing efficiency
Led by innovators and technologists rather than HR experts, the enterprise sector is starting to carve a niche for itself with mobile apps. By mobilising and streamlining some of their daily activities, employees can work more efficiently, increasing productivity. Mobile apps are bringing radical benefits to Human Resources, as businesses continue to adopt apps to help them recruit, develop and engage employees. These apps can help across a whole host of enterprise departments, from payslips to travel and even engaging with freelancers and contractors.
Apps mean candidates are self-tested before shortlisting
For instance, in the recruitment process, apps allow potential employees to assess and test their own skills before they are even shortlisted. They make them aware of their suitability for roles and give them confidence in their skills to apply for these roles. Yet equally, if they lack the necessary skills, it takes away the pressure on HR departments to process unsuitable CVs.
These apps are an excellent way to attract and train employees. Training apps in particular are proving successful, as the multimedia nature of tablets render well to training videos, while an app can help companies track an employee’s completion progress on a given training program. Another reason that enterprise apps are so successful, is because of “gamification” features, which make things like training and recruitment into a game, adding a fun element. The ease in which these training apps can be used encourage existing employees to engage higher with learning materials, ensuring that they expand their knowledge and take a greater interest in learning.
Payroll and benefit tracking
HR departments are also benefiting from apps that allow employees to track payrolls and benefits. Valuable time is saved by not having to fill out lengthy administration paperwork and payslips for those in the HR department, and it also allows for less discrepancies, as employees are able to track their own payslips, which can be pulled up immediately by them in the case of an issue. At the touch of a button, employees can have access to their personal records, with the ability to review retirement saving accounts.
Also, improved employee engagement is permitted through apps that allow employees to request time off work, where availability and request processes can be tracked, without HR departments having to manually log this information or spend time deciphering whether the leave can be granted.
Should we find a universal app?
Ultimately, a successful universal app should be easy to follow, helpful and worth to turn to, and fun and interesting to use. Therefore, it’s necessary to focus on 3 main success factors: convenience, value and entertainment. So far, the use of apps within HR has been highly beneficial, spanning across all success factors, when we consider elements such as training and payroll in particular. This is an industry that has uncapped potential to benefit from apps, with the guarantee to reflect positively on working life.
The use of apps can also be beneficial to engaging with contracted or freelance workers. It is unlikely that these staff will receive the same benefits as permanent staff, when it comes to equipment such as laptops and tablets. However, useful apps mean that fluid staff are able to remain in the loop with company actions. Contracted staff will more likely use hot-desking when working for different companies, so it is useful to implement apps that reveal free desks and also pinpoint where different department employees are located. It creates ease and fluidity for a non-concrete workforce. Also, mobile working has simplified processes where contractors would have previously had to use the intranet or download file servers.
HR really ought to be at the heart of digital transformation in the enterprise. Reinventing every aspect of the current HR processes and technology platforms will allow enterprise to stay competitive and cutting edge. But the main benefit of enterprise apps is the potential of enhanced employee engagement and performance, as well as the smooth running of everyday work place actions.