HR: The synthesis of human and tech


If data is the new oil, then HR analytics is the refinery that distils the resulting insights into liquid gold writes John Skelton, chief people officer The Capital Hotels, Apartments and Resorts and 2022 CHRO Awards nominee.

In a world awash with transformative technologies, many industries are experiencing profound shifts in how they do business. For organisations that embrace the potential of technology, the benefits could be massive and HR is showing how game-changing these new advances could be.

In the midst of AI's ascent in business, culture still remains paramount. A company's core values, shared beliefs, and human connections form an unshakable foundation. While AI advances processes, it's our culture that guides decision-making, fuels collaboration, and nurtures innovation. It's the glue that binds teams, infusing purpose into our work. We know technology will evolve, but a robust culture is equally as powerful and is the ultimate driving force behind an organisation's successful evolution with the integration in the data driven world. With a spotlight on recruitment, workforce management, data-driven insights, and personalised learning, taking a tech-focused approach to HR has helped us stay at the leading edge of our industry.

Recruitment redefined

In today's fiercely competitive business landscape, securing talent is an enduring challenge. That means that the recruitment process often stands as a cornerstone for any successful endeavour. By being able to harness data-driven insights and AI platforms we have been able to curate a powerful recruitment strategy that keeps us ahead of our competition. At the heart of this strategy is an AI-powered platform that navigates through oceans of data from potential candidates and helps businesses find the best ones. Job Crystal's algorithm allows companies like The Capital to quickly and seamlessly analyse candidate data, employee performance metrics, and market benchmarks to sculpt a profile of the ideal candidate. This data-driven approach ensures a perfect synergy between the candidate's skills, values, and cultural fit with the company's ethos. Not only does this speed up the hiring process, but it also steers the organisation away from some of the biases that mar conventional hiring methods. It has helped tremendously and meant that, for us, recruitment is not just about filling roles but building cohesive and high-performing teams with specific core values in mind.

Mastering workforce management

Efficiency in workforce management is the holy grail of HR. Getting it right can be the difference between being part of an innovative team that is at the forefront of their industry or just another part of the pack. Using smart rostering platforms like Roubler is a game-changer in this regard. Traditional rostering can often feel like it teeters on the brink of chaos. You have to try to juggle employee preferences, compliance with labour regulations, and operational demands. By equipping our human teams with AI-powered tools, we have been able to boost productivity without sacrificing employee wellness. The results of this are borne out in our company results.
Roubler transforms the usual rostering juggling act into something infinitely more manageable. By harnessing AI, it predicts staffing needs based on historical data and forecasting factors. It also makes light work of processes like leave management, employee onboarding, compliance, and payroll. The result is a roster that aligns with business demand and employee aspirations. Not only does this ensure optimal coverage, but it also boosts employee morale by creating schedules that respect their work-life balance.

Data-powered insights

If data is the new oil, then HR analytics is the refinery that distils the resulting insights into liquid gold. Recognising this potential, many forward-thinking HR practitioners have begun equipping their teams with the tools to make data-driven decisions. Through advanced analytics tools, teams are now able to sift through data to uncover patterns, correlations, and predictive models. This, in turn, allows them to anticipate workforce trends, fine-tune training programs, and predict turnover before it is too late. This data-driven approach transcends the confines of HR, making it an essential partner in the organisation's strategic decision-making. We live in an information age and the advent of AI means that we can now analyse more data, faster and deploy that information strategically. Not only does this give us a business edge that few can match, but it also allows us to be a business that prioritises the people who work here. Through the information we gather we can incentivise employees in meaningful ways.

Learning reimagined

In a rapidly evolving world, continuous learning is the cornerstone of adaptability. By embracing platforms like Moodle, organisations can help ensure that their staff complement is always at the top of their game. Moodle is a dynamic, open-source, learning management system that allows employees to constantly improve their skills. It caters to employees seeking to upskill, offering bite-sized modules for quick proficiency gains. Simultaneously, it also caters to those craving comprehensive qualifications by offering flexible learning pathways. A key benefit to living and working in the digital era is that learning is no longer linear. There are now as many ways to learn as there are courses available and technology can help open up an entirely new frontier in that regard. Many learning experiences are now being reimagined as engaging games, complete with achievements, leaderboards, and rewards – akin to the allure of mobile gaming. This gamification of learning transforms mundane training into immersive experiences and thus encourages employees to seek out continuous improvement.

A future envisioned

When organisations take a tech-focused approach to their HR strategies and execute it well, technology stops being a threat and starts becoming a valuable tool that can nurture talent, inspire growth, and foster innovation. Through AI-powered recruitment, smart rostering, data analytics, and personalised learning, we are now able to rewrite what we want our HR roadmaps to look like.
Contrary to much of the current fearmongering, technology is not something designed to replace human capital. Instead, think of it as something more like the relationship between Batman and Robin. While Batman can do his job alone and Robin can also function as a lone crimefighter, if necessary, it is when they work together that each does their best work. Both can and do learn from each other and the result is an elite crime-fighting duo. Similarly, organisations that fold innovative technologies into their ways of work stand to reap incredible rewards and operate at their maximum potential. Those that do not, will wake up one day and find that the world has left them behind.

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