Internet of Things (IoT) is the trend that is significantly gaining on importance in the past several years. It represents the network of physical items and devices in a digital world. Its long term goal is to connect everything around us to a singular digital grid. Because of all this, IoT found its way to many appliances in our everyday lives (ATM machines being one of earliest and most recognizable examples) and it constantly pushes its own limits. This is why some speculate that in a couple of years, it might completely replace traditional HR. Here is an overview of that notion.
Devices are Getting Smarter
It is interesting to think that some scientists compare the structure and function of the internet to that of a human brain. First, you should observe devices all over the planet as neurons. In the earliest stages of the internet’s existence, these devices were meant to operate independently, just like neurons in primitive organisms. Soon, however, they found a way to evolve by connecting to a singular network. This connection between them is mutually beneficial since it strengthens both the network and the device itself. For this reason, phones in 2016 are more potent than even the strongest computers were just a few decades (even years) ago.
Convenient for Smaller Enterprises
As a workforce organization system, human resources has to deal with a lot of different individuals and their particular needs. Furthermore, the number of different tasks that HR performs, as well as the number of situations it faces on a daily basis are ridiculously high. Because of that, some would argue that human touch will always be indispensable in this area.
Unfortunately, small businesses and startups can rarely afford to keep an adequate in-house HR team. Luckily, today they can invest in quality employee management software and resolve this issue in the most cost-effective manner. By automating some of the most tedious tasks, duties that previously took hours to complete could now be finished in a moment’s notice. One more thing, although traditional HR has its advantages (as we have already mentioned), it also has some drawbacks. For instance, it always leaves room for human error. Needless to say, this simply cannot happen with software.
Not Completely Automated (At First)
At this rate of progress, it is not unlikely that, in the nearest future, HR will be completely automated. Nevertheless, with software as it is today, Internet of Things-based HR still needs human management. Contextual problem-solving is something that only true AI would be able to deal with, but even in most optimistic (or apocalyptic, according to some people) estimations, we are decades away from it. Furthermore, operatives from one particular company’s HR are usually quite familiar with that line of work’s language and practices, which makes them completely indispensable.
The next thing that raises a major concern is the nature of 21st century office which is growing more digital by the hour. HR that is in Internet of Things would be connected to computers and mobile devices in the office. This way, employees could select a flex workspace through IoT, HR could optimize the effectiveness on a workday and even do an objective performance management. The last one is particularly important, since every evaluation done by people is mildly subjective at very best. Conversely, a digital tool with a powerful algorithm could make an unbiased assessment of the staff.
Alertness and Attendance
In some lines of work, alertness on the job can be of key value, especially in a situation where your employees’ alertness can put lives in danger. Pilots, drivers and even surgeons could, in this way, be scanned for fatigue. If their alertness level isn’t high enough, they can simply be put on hold and someone else could take their place. Furthermore, although the clocking system is pretty much outdated in most parts of the world, no one can deny its effectiveness. This is why, RFID (radio-frequency identification) chips can be used to modernize it.
All in all, as a replacement for traditional HR, Internet of Things brings few new features to the table. Hiring, monthly evaluation and attendance checking were all things that HR measured even before the era of the internet. This is why one could say that digital HR rests heavily on shoulders of numerous 20th century business practices. The only difference being that it does them all much, much better.