When the electronic spreadsheet came out, many feared bookkeepers would be a thing of the past.

They figured basic accounting could be done by machine, that there was no longer the need for a person to insert number after number into paper ledgers. But that wasn’t what happened.

Instead, the position just changed.

Now, bookkeepers can do deeper analyses with the touch of a button. They can make projections quickly, find areas where cost savings could be realized, see what’s working and what’s not. Instead of doing the same process over and over again, they became strategic thinkers who played a major role in the organization.

Human resources needs to do the same.


HR is one of the most technology-starved industries and, for that reason, it is also one with among the most administrative tasks. There are forms to fill out, phone screenings to conduct, etc; processes take up a lot of time in the department.

But that can change by implementing technology. Some of you have, and you’ve seen how much easier it is to do payroll with electronic timecards, for example.

But it is time to keep pushing forward, to keep using technology to remove nearly all of those administrative tasks. Stop making phone call after phone call to do candidate screenings – use phone screening software. Use an electronic time card. Let the machines work for you.

What’s going to happen is your job is going to change. No longer will it be processed-based, doing the same tedious tasks over and over. Instead, just like the bookkeeper, it will become strategy-based.

You’ll spend your time really drilling in on what people to hire. How to make employees more effective. How to reduce healthcare costs.

HR has been talking about getting a “seat at the table” for a long time. Using technology the right way is one of the fastest ways to get there.

Views: 77

Comment by Keith Halperin on June 23, 2014 at 8:21pm

Thanks, Paul. IMHO, what HR REALLY needs to embrace is the concept that anything they get paid a decent wage to do that can be done by an algorithm or someone 10,000 mi away for 1/8th as much money isn't a viable long-term career option, so  better concentrate on doing what CAN'T be no-sourced (eliminated), through-sourced (automated), or out-sourced (sent away)...


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