How Mobile Technology Impacts the HR Industry

We use mobile devices for nearly everything, from shopping and researching to scheduling our daily lives. In fact, more than 85 percent of U.S. Millennials own a smartphone and use it frequently throughout the day.

Businesses are already optimizing their use of mobile technology to reach their customers, and to make their employees work lives more efficient, but there’s one area where they’re overlooking a huge opportunity: Human resources. 

Mobile Use for HR Needs

Considering how tethered many of us are to our smartphones, it should come as no surprise that employees appreciate mobile access to information as much as customers. A recent study by ADP found that 37 percent of mobile users rely on their smartphones to access pay information through an HR app. That’s a significant chunk of the workforce already turning to mobile solutions—and those numbers will only continue to grow.

I’ve said for years that the world is growing evermore global and mobile and HR has to be, too. To reach the right talent, you need to be mobile-friendly in design and ease of usage. HR should always go where the talent is – and these days it’s on mobile.

Harnessing the power of mobile—and cloud technology—will provide business with opportunities to make huge changes for the better.

Use Technology to Attract a Younger Workforce

Baby Boomers are quickly reaching retirement, and the new workforce is made up of tech-savvy Millennials—with the equally savvy Generation Z not far behind.

These younger professionals have a different perspective, work ethic, and set of expectations for employment. Mobility is their calling card; one study by Aruba Networks found that the “#GenMobile” demographic prefers flexibility when it comes to where they work, and when. An estimated 37 percent of workers telecommute full-time, with the average worker telecommuting two days a month. Technology has given us not just mobile devices, but also a mobile lifestyle.

Competition in the job market is fierce; businesses are clamoring to find the best talent, wherever it may be. Many companies are changing their HR processes to attract and retain workers—not just by tossing around perks like flexible hours or unlimited vacation days, but also through the smart use of mobile technology.

Mobile HR Apps

Mobile HR apps help put data at employees’ fingertips—but what does that really mean? Here’s an example: ADP’s mobile app already has more than two million downloads, and less than two percent of customers have opted out of the service. The ADP app allows employees to access data like pay information anytime, anywhere.

This kind of 24/7/365 connectivity is important to a generation of wired-in (or, more precisely, wireless) professionals. To take this example a little further, let’s have a look at what else employees can do with the ADP app:

  • View payroll statements.
  • Clock in and out.
  • Send messages if they’re running late or going to be absent.
  • Request time off.
  • Track their schedules.
  • Review benefits, savings accounts, and spending accounts.
  • Create or revise timesheets.

Mobile Recruiting

Mobile technology isn’t just affecting how employees access information; it’s changing the way businesses recruit new employees. According to Capterra, a free service to help companies find the right software, 2016 will be the year more HR tools offer mobile functionality and HR professionals use their mobile devices to apply, recruit and work. Capterra projects that those numbers will continue to grow in 2016 as more of online activities move to mobile.

According to Deloitte’s Global mobile consumer survey, 97 percent of adults aged 18-24 check their mobile phones within three hours of waking up and check their mobile devices an average of 74 times per day. The same research reveals that 50 percent of users of all ages check their phones one last time, 15 minutes before going to sleep. Mobile is where the people (and the candidates) are and where they will be in increasing numbers as time goes on.

Social media platforms, like LinkedIn and Facebook, are quickly becoming the go-to way for businesses to find and communicate with potential candidates. An Aberdeen study found that 73 percent of 18-34-year-olds found their last job through a social network and 89 percent of recruiters have hired an employee through LinkedIn.

Undoubtedly, mobile technology and apps have made a huge impact on both internal and external HR functions.

Consumer products and technology have conditioned us to use mobile for a variety of needs, and employees expect the same responsiveness and ease of use in workplace applications. Mobile apps are beneficial across the board: They bring your business into the 21st century, increase HR accessibility, and allow you to reach a wider audience for recruiting, communication, and marketing.

Mobile is fast becoming the rule rather than the exception. Businesses need to get moving on the implementation of mobile technology throughout all departments, especially HR.

A version of this post was originally published on

The Impact of Technology on HR and What’s Ahead

Rapid changes in technology have affected businesses in more ways than we can count, from globalization and organizational adjustments to a workforce clamoring for remote and mobile job opportunities—and human resources has had to adapt swiftly. If HR wants to continue to play a critical role in helping businesses anticipate and manage organizational change, it must have technology at its core.

With Millennials making up more than half of the current workforce—and predicted to make up 75 percent by 2020—HR is going to have to embrace and build on technological advancements to meet both employee expectations and business requirements. Talent analytics and workplace analysis will become more commonplace, and companies using the data available to them will be far more competitive. 

Get Smarter With Big Data

Compliance and risk avoidance are essential principles for HR, underlying every function and task. Because of this, HR has earned a reputation for being mired in time-consuming duties with significant amounts of paperwork.

But technology has changed much of that monotony, via new HR portals and platforms that digitize much of the information HR needs to process. Today’s technology gives HR professionals access to the power of Big Data—impacting the way businesses understand their customers, market to new audiences, and communicate with existing and prospective employees.

When combined with other technologies, Big Data provides a tremendous amount of insight and allows HR professionals to make decisions backed by concrete information and more efficient processes:

  • Big Data gives HR a fact-based view of the current workforce, identifying emerging trends so businesses can adapt.
  • Predictive analytics allow for better risk-management decisions. For example, they can identify employees who could benefit from additional training or highlight teams that may be struggling.
  • Analytics also allow recruiters to assess potential employees based on real information; by basing hiring decisions on facts instead of hunches, they can improve the quality and placement of new hires.

Clean Up Your Office with the Cloud

The cloud is another innovation that’s changing HR in a big way. Both collection and storage of data have always been a big part of HR’s function and, until the cloud, meant hard drive space, piles of paper, filing cabinets, and desk drawers. Naturally, this led to inefficiencies, security issues, data loss, and chaotic office spaces.

Today, all of this information can instead be stored in the cloud—documents and other pertinent information can be easily accessed online while data can be collected through simplified forms and automated processes. Employee information—like tax forms, payroll data, performance reviews, and contact information—can be archived and organized in one secure location.

Cloud-based systems and Big Data go hand in hand. All of this data can provide valuable insight if you know how to interpret it, which has already made a tremendous impact on HR. However, in the future, HR’s challenge will include the need for higher levels of interpretation and broader application of the insights cloud-based systems and Big Data provide.

Give Employees What They Want With Mobile Technology

Cloud security makes it easy to limit access to information. At the same time, cloud-based mobile platforms allow individuals to access their information more readily than ever before.

Imagine if you didn’t need to email HR every time you had a question about your benefits or paycheck; instead, you’d log on to a portal where all that information was at your fingertips. Imagine if you could use the same portal to request time off, change your mailing address, or confirm contributions to your 401(K).

Mobile HR apps make it easy for employees to access this kind of information anywhere and anytime. And that makes life easier for HR workers, too.

Many Businesses Waiting to Make the Change—for Now

Despite the potential impact, many companies still haven’t made the switch to modern HR systems—but I think it’s only a matter of time. As we barrel into the future of technology in the workplace, HR has a lot to look forward to; cloud computing, easier storage, better insights, and greater transparency are only the beginning. Because of efficiencies, cost savings, employee expectations, and the power of Big Data—for HR and organizations as a whole—technology is just too business critical ignore.

This post was first published on Huffington Post on  2/25/2016.

Why More Social And Less Stupid Are Music To My Ears

“You’re a big music fan, aren’t you?”

We stood there talking among other parents who mingled while kids ran around celebrating our Little League T-ball season.

“Yes, indeed,” I answered.

“You heard about B.B. King?”

“Yes, what a loss to the music industry. A living legend whose impact will live on and on. In fact, I saw that he had passed away via my Facebook news feed yesterday.”

The conversation continued, two dads talking music, one a guitar and Hammond organ player who had played in bands and had even cut an “album,” the other (me) an aspiring drummer who couldn’t stop gushing about the last big hurrah Rush tour – R40.

Soon after our conversation, we moved on to our spouses and kids, in between checking our phones for various “newsy” updates and social “pings.”

Ah, the bliss of instant connectivity to anything and everything all in the palms of our hands that some would say without really understanding the advanced intelligence and power we have access to. Some would even say this bliss sides with ignorance. Actually, Carl Sagan once said that we’ve arranged a society on science and technology in which nobody understands anything about science and technology, and this combustible mixture of ignorance and power sooner or later is going to blow up in our faces. 

I do understand Carl’s greater geopolitical context, but when it comes to everyday progress, I beg to differ. This is why the arguments in favor of the fact that technology makes us less social and more stupid are, well, stupid.

Okay, maybe it makes the stupid stupider, but I have to give the majority of us more credit than that. Smartphone technology has advanced dramatically and in the next few years smartphones will be smarter and continue to supplant desktop and laptop computers. In fact, the way in which people access the Internet has already been transformed as more people use mobile devices to go online practically anywhere today. There are now 5.2 billion mobile devices in use across the world, compared to only 789 million laptops and 743 million desktop PCs.

According to the Pew Research Center, Smartphones are used for much more than calling, texting, or basic internet browsing. Users are turning to these mobile devices as they navigate a wide range of life events:

  • 62% of smartphone owners have used their phone in the past year to look up information about a health condition.
  • 57% have used their phone to do online banking.
  • 44% have used their phone to look up real estate listings or other information about a place to live.
  • 43% to look up information about a job.
  • 40% to look up government services or information.
  • 30% to take a class or get educational content.
  • 18% to submit a job application. 

While it’s the higher percentage of all younger folk that embrace social networking, watching video, and listening to music or podcasts more than older folk, the same Pew Research shows growing utilization across the generations. So don’t let me catch you requiring your jobs for digital natives only. You know, those who’ve grown up wired to the Internet, as opposed to us older folk who adopted it. That kind of age discrimination can get you into hot water sooner than you think. Talk about stupid.

Plus, long gone are the formal protocols of the “offline” networking world. Mobile devices and social media have made connecting and networking so much easier to nearly everyone with an Internet connection. Rob Garcia, Silicon Valley product executive and co-founder and Chief Product Officer at ConnectUp, told us on the TalentCulture #TChat Show that we’re now in a hyper-connected world, those who are able to build, maintain, sustain and leverage their entire network outside of social, be more successful, and impact the world.

Along with that, we are becoming a more responsible global community of multigenerational digital citizens from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds not bound by the blatant ignorance of short-sighted governments and business leaders. That’s why those of us who are much more social and much less stupid can and do incite and sustain positive change.

And that’s music to my ears.

Workshifting Will Get Better Working Together

These days, I work from home. Mostly.

My “workspace” is upstairs in a special section of our master bedroom I call my corner office nook, complete with a window backyard and neighborhood view. My workspace is fluid as well, flowing into the living room, the backyard, even the bathroom sometimes.

What? You’ve never participated a conference call sitting on the toilet in the wee hours of the morning with your phone on mute? C’mon.

I used to have coworking space (leasing office space shared with other entrepreneurs, consultants, contractors, remote employees and startups). Plus, I did have my home office in the garage that doubled as a guest room, but then my mother-in-law moved in with us a few years ago. It’s okay, though. We’re close. Really. Really. Close.

Today if you ask my daughters where I go to work, they respond proudly:

“Daddy goes to work on an airplane!”

And this week, that would be true. I do, in fact, travel regularly. Not every week thankfully, but when I do, I use the same collaborative communication tools I use working from home for being a remote daddy and husband – the phone, FaceTime (video calls), texting and social media.

Yes, e-mail as well, that horribly inefficient communications tool; like playing air hockey blindfolded and you don’t even know when you’ve been scored on until the score is 100 unread messages to zero returns.

Screw the zero in-box. How about zero e-mail initiatives?

Sigh. Whatever. I know we’re still going to use e-mail for years to come, but my goodness, can’t we leave on the webcams and see the whites of each other’s eyes?

KWG UnicornAt least I have my magical unicorn on this trip, one of many delightful stuffed creatures my daughter’s have me take on my business trips. In fact, as soon as I get to my hotel and I fire up FaceTime, they cry out, “Show us [this trip’s creature]!”

And so it goes. I’ve worked in offices, commuted in arterial chokeholds, leased coworking space, worked from home in my pajamas, worked from parks (but not in pajamas), worked at the beach, practically anywhere (fully clothed, I promise), including Wi-Fi high in the sky at 36,000 feet. More of my peers, friends and colleagues – entrepreneurs, consultants, marketing and sales professionals, customer service professionals, programmers and engineers, artists and writers – are also working remotely these days.

Speaking of my peers, friends and colleagues, TalentCulture #TChat Show guest, Simon Salt, author of Out of Office, shared with me the following data points on what he calls “workshifting,” another term for virtual, remote or telecommuting work:

  • Self-employed workers were nearly three times more likely than wage and salary workers to have done some work at home on days worked—56 percent compared with 20 percent.
  • Self-employed workers also were more likely to work on weekend days than were wage and salary workers—43 percent compared with 31 percent.

Not a shocker for those of us who do it, I know. Plus, the Global Workplace Analytics and the Telework Research Network estimate that 20 to 30 million Americans work from home at least one day a week and 3.1 million people (about 2.5 percent of the employee workforce) consider their home their primary workplace. SHRM research shows that nearly half (46 percent) of all companies have at least some contractors, freelancers, or remote workers who rarely, if ever, come into the office.

According to an HBR article by Tammy Johns and Lynda Gratton, many experts have also projected that within a few years, more than 1.3 billion people will work virtually. They actually lay out the virtual workforce progression very neatly:

  • Wave 1: Virtual Freelancers: through home computers and e-mail
  • Wave 2: Virtual Employees: through mobile technology and global expansion
  • Wave 3: Virtual Colleagues: new ways of providing community, collaboration and shared space

The reality is that, if you are a remote employee, or manage remote teams, workshifting is messy, and I’d argue we’re somewhere in the riptide of Wave 2. Mostly.

Even when companies source for the right virtual fit – reliability, good communication skills, sound collaborative skills, emotional intelligence, cultural sensitivity – expectations and priorities can be unclear and incomplete from the start on both sides of the employment aisle. This can lead to confusion, frustration, unhappy contractors, employees and managers alike.

And that leads to Nowheresville, Daddy-O.

Thankfully there are many great frameworks to consider when hiring and managing a virtual workforce, including Tuckman’s Team Development Stages, Lencioni’s Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Belbin’s Nine Team Roles and others, but I’ll give you my simple two-step approach that I’ve learned working through all the combinations:

  1. Start With Face-Time Framing, Then Repeat Regularly. While it may not always be realistic or necessary when working with contractors (depending upon role and scope), companies should always try to onboard new remote part-time and full-time hires in person, even if it’s only for a few days. It’s invaluable to all parties to sit down together in the same rooms and set clear, actionable priorities; discuss how exactly everyone’s going to fulfill those priorities as well as how they’re going to report on them and review them; meet and mingle with their co-workers, managers and peers (if possible); and review all the equipment and systems at their disposal like WiFi hotspots and laptops and mobile devices (fluid virtual engagement), internal social networks (real-time virtual engagement), and collaborative talent management systems (continuous formal engagement) that will be used to enable work and connection. The face-time framing should also have some frequency throughout the year – monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or at a minimum annually (although since tenure is shorter these days, you should consider more than once per year).
  2. What Have You Done For Me Lately? Oooo, oooo, oooo, yeah. The push for continuous feedback must be redoubled for your virtual workforce and those managing them. Regular check-ins must be scheduled and adhered to – no constant cancelling because managers are just to “slammed.” Everybody’s friggin’ slammed and making the time to touch base, review projects and progress is critical to driving discretionary effort and business outcomes. And whatever you do, avoid defaulting all communication to e-mail; so much is lost in translation and cultural sensitivity is usually at an all-time low in electronic memos. Pick up the phone or jump on a videoconference, preferably the latter. In fact, I even recommend keeping the webcams on, at least during agreed upon times, so co-workers and managers can stop by and disrupt you collaborate with you on whatever.

Yes, I crossed out “disrupt you,” but remember, it is messy. There’s something to be said about the collaborative nature of working together in the same office, but the dark side of that can include more disruption than productivity (you know, the gotta-minute goblins – “Hey, gotta minute?”).

Pinch me – I didn’t really need to finish this, today, at my desk. Instead, I’ll just take it home because I don’t have a life. Many of you have probably experienced the fact that your most productive times are before work, after work, and on the weekend. Not really the way most of us want to hum the work-life mantra.

But those of us working from home feel a pain of another kind in the lopsided pinch, having lots of uninterrupted productivity while feeling an invisible expectation that we need to be available anytime since we have the distinct pleasure of conference calling in our pajamas. And yet, our employers are paranoid that we’re not actually doing anything.

Yes, messy mostly, but workshifting will get better working together because we’ll all figure it out, improving engagement and productivity while all parties reap the extrinsic and intrinsic rewards of the way we’ll work and the why of it all.

Daddy’s flying home from work now, girls. Keep the corner office nook warm for me.

photo credit: <a href=””>citrixonline</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>cc</a>

Mobile Hiring Hits The Fast Lane #TChat Recap

Several weeks ago, we started a #TChat discussion about the rapid increase in demand for mobile recruitment. Why?

Meeting Talent On Talent’s Terms

Smartphones and tablets are now essential tools for many of us, and statistics reveal just how prevalent mobility has become. For example, a report by Marketing Land indicates that nearly 40% of Internet use is driven by mobile devices. And Jibe found that, despite perceived obstacles, 86% of job seekers with a smartphone want to use that device in their search.

Recruiting consultant Michael Marlatt says the staggering pace of mobile adoption shouldn’t surprise us, because mobile devices offer a very personal connection. “It’s one of three things we carry. We never leave home without it. It’s the keys, the wallet or purse, and the mobile device.”

Mobile Hiring: Moving Beyond First Impressions

In this landscape, it makes sense for employers to offer mobile-optimized career sites and application management processes. Mobile-friendly recruitment enhances the candidate experience and gives employers a competitive edge in the quest to find top talent.

Recruitment certainly is a logical starting point. However, it’s only the first chapter in a much larger employment story.

What happens after a candidate is selected? In the critical timeframe between recruitment and onboarding, how can organizations leverage mobile tools to streamline hiring steps? And along the way, how can mobile engagement continue to solidify an employer’s relationship with new recruits?

Ignoring those questions can have costly consequences — for both employer brands and employee retention. So this week, our community expanded the recruiting discussion to look at how mobile technology can transform the entire transition from candidate to employee. To guide our conversation, we invited two experts in hiring process innovation:

Todd Owens, President and COO at TalentWise, a next-generation hiring platform provider, and:
Kyle Lagunas, Talent Acquisition Industry Analyst at Brandon Hall Group.

What’s At Stake For Employers?

Why is mobile increasingly vital for the hiring process? As Kyle recently noted, 22% of U.S. turnover occurs within 45 days of employment. If organizations aren’t fast and efficient at bringing new hires up to speed, they’re at risk of adding to those statistics. And with the average cost of turnover at about 20% of an employee’s salary, failure at this stage can have a significant impact on the bottom line.

So, how can HR organizations leverage the immediacy and reach of mobile to make the entire hiring process more efficient and effective? For wisdom from the crowd, check the resource links and highlights from this week’s events, below. Thanks to everyone who contributed ideas and opinions!

#TChat Week-In-Review: Mobile + Hiring = Good Match?

Todd Owens #TChat Preview Video - Mobile Hiring

Watch the #TChat Sneak Peek Video

SAT 11/9:

#TChat Preview:
TalentCulture Community Manager Tim McDonald framed this week’s topic in a post that featured brief “sneak peek” hangout video with one of our guests, Todd Owens. Read the Preview: “Hiring: Moving Forward With Mobile?

SUN 11/10: Post: TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro offered 5 guidelines for business leaders who want to make the most of mobile recruiting and hiring. Read: “Leadership Is Catching a Mobile Recruiting Wave.

MON 11/11 + TUE 11/12:

Related Posts: Two guest bloggers offered related insights:
Read: “Mobile Hiring: A Smarter Way to Seal the Deal.
Read: “HR Flashback: The Way We Worked.

WED 11/13:


Listen to the #TChat Radio show now

#TChat Radio: Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman spoke with guests Todd Owens and Kyle Lagunas about the business benefits of extending mobile recruiting strategies to the entire hiring process. Listen to the radio recording now!

#TChat Twitter: Immediately following the radio show, Meghan, Kevin and guests joined the entire TalentCulture community on the #TChat Twitter stream, as I moderated an open conversation that centered on 5 related questions. For highlights, see the Storify slideshow below:

#TChat Insights: Mobile Hiring — HR Evolution or Revolution?

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Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

GRATITUDE: Thanks again to  Todd Owens and Kyle Lagunas for sharing your perspectives on the increasingly vital role of mobile strategies throughout the employment lifecycle. We value your time and expertise.

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about hiring or mobile workforce issues? We welcome your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week we celebrate “community” in a big way — as we look back on 3 years of #TChat at a very special anniversary double header with Hootsuite VP of Talent, Ambrosia Humphrey.

Meanwhile, the World of Work conversation continues. So join us on the #TChat Twitter stream, on our LinkedIn discussion group. or elsewhere on social media. The lights are always on here at TalentCulture, and we look forward to hearing from you.

See you on the stream!

Image Credit: Pixabay

The Impact of Social, Mobile & Video on Workplace Culture: #TChat Recommended Reading

I thought it would be useful to our readers to include weekly recommended readings in preparation for #TChat.

We will give this format a whirl from now into 2011. Wow, did I just say that? 2010 has been such an interesting year for workplace culture innovation. As you may know, I’m in love with ideas. It’s no big secret after all. Technologies like Skype and trendy cool mobile applications are revolutionizing the ways we connect at the office and virtual environments. So much fun.

Our “greatest hits” reading list for tonight’s #TChat is brought to you by our collaborators at @monster_works and @MonsterWW – They will be joining the #TChat conversation live every Tuesday night with from 8-9 PM ET, 7-8 PM CT, 6-7 PM MT, and 5-6 PM PT.

We also welcome global input and hope you can join from wherever you might be. We certainly want to hear from you. We are committed to creating educational content and social community here at the Culture of Talent. Learning is continuous here and we are nothing without people. People (AKA: human capital) are the most valuable asset to any organization or community.

Read more from MonsterThinking (originally posted by Matt Charney) on tonight’s #TChat topic. The Impact of Social, Mobile and Video on Workplace Culture.














We will see you tonight and look forward! Thank you for engaging with us on this channel.

Happy Holidays from our Community! Cheers.