Talent Circles

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Why HR & Information Technology Departments Should Play Nice

By Jessica Miller-Merrell  

In our day and age, it’s nearly impossible to be a part of society without embracing technology. Everywhere we go, there’s a smart phone firmly planted in our hands and at usually at least one other, maybe more, electronic devices within arm’s reach. And if you aren’t someone who treats their devices like a close member of the family, you no doubt know a handful of people who do. We have become one with the technology around us, and that’s not changing anytime soon.

This same technology that has changed the way we communicate and even function has also been making its way to our professional lives over the last several years and has become almost as essential to HR as the iPad we don’t dare leave home without. Aside from what this means for the way we do business, it has an overreaching implication that has been a long time coming: HR and IT, it’s time to become best buds.

The move towards a tech-centered workplace
Long gone are the days of HR and IT functioning exclusively from each other, speaking different languages and steering clear of one another because they’re not necessary to the other’s role. We’ve entered a whole new world where HR won’t be able to function without the support of their IT department. Going a step further, it won’t just be necessary for HR to look to IT for support, it’ll be in their best interest to lean on them at other times as well.

Filling the need for analytics and reporting
One of the most basic ways HR and IT can work together is to develop analytics for your career site and any other recruiting-related technologies. If you’re currently functioning without analytics, you’re on a journey without a map. Analytics can help you shape your strategy and gain insights about potential candidates. It’s an invaluable tool that your IT department should be able to implement fairly easily if you’re using a tool like Google Analytics. Trust me when I say that you’ll wonder how you managed without analytics once you have it.

The other main advantage of analytics is the ability to access reporting. It’s not only useful for you but also your managers and executives as you explain how your online recruiting works and the value it provides. Implementing analytics and accessing reports isn’t overly complicated but for most of us in HR, it’s not on our radar. That’s where your IT team comes in. It likely is on their radar and their expertise will be more than welcome here.

The potential for collaboration
HR and IT aren’t exactly known as the dream team at most companies, but there’s no reason that can’t be the case! Both parties bring major assets to the table and have the ability to combine an understanding of the needs of candidates and employees with the expertise to develop tools that meet those needs. It’s a win for both and an opportunity for HR and IT to make a real impact on the company.

Collaboration also gives HR the advantage of anticipating needs and developing proactive strategies for recruiting and building a candidate pipeline. In fact, there is a place for IT expertise and product development in nearly every aspect of HR.

Technology isn’t something fear in HR but instead is something we should embrace as it can only make our work stronger, sharper and faster. We are moving towards a more tech-centered workplace and recruiting space, so now is the time to play off each other’s strengths.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s is the Chief Blogger & Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @jmillermerrell 

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