Human Resources

Make Room for New HR Tools

From co-working to social recruiting, technology is enhancing human resources.

August 16, 2012
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Social media platforms that foster collaboration and innovation will continue to develop. As technology improves, business use of mobile devices and cloud computing will continue to expand, especially in the human resources (HR) arena, according to CUNA’s 2012-2013 Credit Union E-Scan.

CUNA’s annual strategic planning resource outlines several technologies and tactics that are helping HR professionals do their jobs. They include:

Video conferencing. As the cost of video job interviews and video conferencing decrease, their use in recruiting and interviewing job candidates will become even more widespread.

HR applications for mobile systems, including recruiting, job applicant tracking, and payroll administration. Employers are using software as a service (SAAS) for salary planning, talent management, and employee data housing.

It’s easier for employers to measure productivity levels and success rates of HR initiatives by housing data in analytical data warehouses, E-Scan reports.

Cloud technology. Many view cloud computing as better, faster, and cheaper than loading software on a personal computer. Plus, freedom from long-term investments in equipment and software allows for a more fluid, adaptive business environment.

Even businesses with lean budgets can use cloud software and applications that provide pay-as-you-go flexibility.

Personal mobile devices. Workers will find new ways to use mobile devices at work. Those accustomed to mobile apps that provide convenience in their personal lives will expect mobile apps to provide convenience in their work lives, too.

If your credit union allows employees to use smartphones and tablets, however, develop policies governing use and access.

These devices have become so ingrained in workers’ daily lives that asking them not to bring them to work isn’t realistic. And policies that restrict personal electronic devices can backfire—even causing some workers to seek employment elsewhere.

Social recruiting. This practice will increase, especially among companies having trouble finding job applicants with particular skills. Although recruiters will continue to rely on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, new recruiting apps undoubtedly will appear.

Co-working facilities. The virtual workplace is becoming more common as new technologies emerge. Co-working facilities—or shared work spaces—could be a step between the traditional office and the virtual office.

Co-working allows for both face-to-face and virtual office interactions while allowing employees to manage their own schedules and workflow. The reduced office space lowers employers’ fixed expenses.

Cloud computing, business mobile applications, and social media are reshaping how organizations conduct business, CUNA’s E-Scan reports. Expect credit unions’ use of these and other new technologies will grow in the coming years.

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Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory ( will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

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