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HR and Technology Robin Sronce, Ph.D., SPHR 2009 Main Concerns for HR Departments Questions we will answer in this unit. Why should HR professionals be concerned with new developments in technology? What are some of the new technologies associated with Web 2.0?

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Hr and technology l.jpg

HR and Technology

Robin Sronce, Ph.D., SPHR 2009

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Main Concerns for HR Departments

  • Questions we will answer in this unit.

    • Why should HR professionals be concerned with new developments in technology?

    • What are some of the new technologies associated with Web 2.0?

    • How can HR professionals incorporate these technologies to improve performance?

    • What should HR professionals consider before adopting or allowing employees access to these technologies?

©SHRM 2009

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Lesson 1

In this lesson we will:

  • Identify HR trends that encourage adoption of these new technologies.

  • Describe features of the new technologies associated with the term Web 2.0.

  • Explain how HR professionals can use these new technologies to improve information monitoring, dissemination and collaboration.

©SHRM 2009

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HR Today

  • HR responsibilities:

    • HR provides less transactional support than in the past.

    • HR is a strategic partner in company planning.

    • HR monitors current trends and legal developments.

    • HR disseminates information to the organization.

    • HR communicates with and supports employees at different physical locations.

©SHRM 2009

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New Technologies

  • Web 2.0 technologies focus on collaboration and community.

  • Web 2.0 technologies are digital, mobile, personal and virtual.

  • Examples of Web 2.0 technologies:

    • Social networks.

    • Video sharing.

    • Blogs.

    • Wikis.

    • IMs.

©SHRM 2009

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Monitoring Information

  • HR professionals monitor information:

    • Developments in the field.

    • Changes in legal requirements.

  • Sources of information:

    • Field-specific:

      • SHRM -

    • Government sites:

      • DOL – Department of Labor -

    • Blogs:

      • People Persons: Top 50 HR Blogs

©SHRM 2009

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Disseminating Information

HR professionals disseminate information

  • Traditional methods:

    • Email.

    • Newsletters.

    • Reports.

    • Bulletin boards.

    • Employee handbooks.

  • Web 2.0 applications:

    • Blogs.

    • Wikis.

    • Social networks.

©SHRM 2009

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Information Dissemination Comparisons


Web 2.0



Easily modified.

  • One-directional.

  • Static.

  • Difficult to update.

©SHRM 2009

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Discussion Questions

  • Do you know anyone who writes a blog?

  • Do you follow any blogs?

  • How do you keep track of updates on the sites you want to revisit?

  • Have you visited Wikipedia?

  • What rules do professors have about using Wikipedia? Why?

  • How do you judge if information is reliable?

©SHRM 2009

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Application – Technology Tool

  • Tool to follow blogs and news web sites.

  • RSS (Really Simple Syndication).

  • Aggregated updates from news and blog web sites.

  • Symbol:

  • Register to receive updates from the site.

  • Information is delivered to the RSS reader.

©SHRM 2009

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Encouraging Collaboration

  • Document sharing allows for work across time and distance conflicts.

  • Multiple contributors encourages collaboration:

    • Global offices.

    • Telecommuting.

    • Use virtual teams.

  • Examples of tools available include:

    • Sharepoint

    • Googledocs

    • Wikis

©SHRM 2009

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Discussion Questions

  • Do you think these types of sites would be helpful for group projects? Why? Why not?

  • Have you ever used one of these sites?

  • What would encourage you to try these tools?

©SHRM 2009

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HR and Web 2.0

  • Web 2.0 can help HR professionals be more effective and efficient:

    • Monitor information updates.

    • Disseminate information.

    • Encourage collaboration.

  • HR professionals need to take advantage of the tools available.

©SHRM 2009

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Team Homework Assignment

Collaborative Internet Tools Assignment

  • Form the class into groups and distribute activity instructions.

  • Activity.

  • Googledocs:

©SHRM 2009

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  • Break

©SHRM 2009

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Lesson 2

In this lesson we will:

  • Explore how Web 2.0 technologies affect the HR functions of recruiting and selection.

  • Describesome applications of Web 2.0 to recruiting.

  • Discuss cautions when implementing these technologies.

©SHRM 2009

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HR Functions and Technology

  • Examples of applications of new technologies in HR to the functions of recruiting and selection.

©SHRM 2009

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Technology and Recruiting


  • Sources:

    • Current employees.

    • Referrals from employees.

    • Former employees.

    • Career and job sites.

    • College recruiting.

    • Customers.

    • Employment agencies.

    • Print and radio ads.

      • (Gomez-Mejia, Balkin & Cardy, 2004)

©SHRM 2009

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Types of Applicants

  • Active applicants:

    • Present favorable organization image.

    • Provide access.

    • Job sites and postings.

  • Passive applicants:

    • Best people often are not looking for jobs.

    • Recruiter has to actively search for the person.

    • Search engines provide information.

    • Social networking sites provide access.

©SHRM 2009

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Technology and Recruiting

Job search sites

  • General sites:




  • Microsites:

    • Boeing

    • McDonalds

    • Proctor and Gamble (P&G)

©SHRM 2009

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Using Web 2.0 Technologies in Recruiting

  • Video technologies

    • Examples:

      • Google Recruitment Video

      • Recruitment videos

©SHRM 2009

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Discussion Questions

  • What information did you find helpful in the videos?

  • Do you think these are realistic job previews? Why? Why not?

  • Is there a risk in raising expectations about working at these organizations?

©SHRM 2009

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Benefits of Video Technology

  • Demonstrates a commitment to community.

  • Reinforces company brand.

  • Emphasizes a commitment to diversity.

  • Attracts new, younger employees.

  • Provides a realistic job preview.

©SHRM 2009

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Technology and Recruiting

Video recruiting decisions

  • Involve IT department:

    • To help decide where and how videos will be posted.

    • YouTube.

  • Options for video production:

    • Check for resources in the organization.

    • Marketing department.

    • Employee involvement:

      • Employee contests.

    • Outsource.

©SHRM 2009

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Discussion Questions

  • Do you watch videos on YouTube?

  • Have you made a video and posted it on YouTube?

  • What types of videos have you watched on YouTube?

©SHRM 2009

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Recruiting Passive Applicants

  • Networking is an important source of leads about passive applicants.

  • Social networks:

    • LinkedIn.

    • Facebook.

    • MySpace.

©SHRM 2009

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Technology and Selection


  • Using technology for screening.

  • Video resumes:

    • CBS video resume clip

  • Social networking:

    • Reasons HR does not use these sites for selection.

    • Verifiability of web site profile information.

    • Respect for applicant’s privacy.

    • No relevance to work performance.

    • Questions about legality (Bates, 2008).

©SHRM 2009

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Selection and Social Networking Sites

  • Information that contradicts information provided to employer.

  • Information that would affect hiring recommendations.

  • Involvement in volunteer or civic groups.

  • Involvement in professional societies or organizations.

  • Pictures related to romantic exploits.

    • (Bates, 2008)

©SHRM 2009

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Discussion Questions

  • Should organizations use social networking sites for recruiting and selection?

  • Is there anything on your site you wouldn’t want a future employer to see?

  • Will you change your site based on the information you just heard?

©SHRM 2009

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Guidelines for Recruiting and Selection

  • Remember that nondiscrimination rules apply.

  • Documentation and support for decisions.

  • Privacy protections need to be in place.

  • Time and access requirements.

  • Consider the job.

©SHRM 2009

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Homework Assignment

  • Homework activity: Interview people on technology use.

©SHRM 2009

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  • Break

©SHRM 2009

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Lesson 3

In this lesson we will:

  • Discuss employee expectations about Web 2.0 technology.

  • Explorehow Web 2.0 can enhance employee connections.

  • Identifyguidelines and policies for Web 2.0 technology use.

©SHRM 2009

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Discussion of Generational Differences

In your small group, discuss the following:

  • What kinds of technology are the people you interviewed using?

  • Are there differences among the types of technology based on generations?

  • Did the different generations report different comfort levels with technology?

  • Your group should come up with three observations about technology use.

©SHRM 2009

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Networked Workers

According to Pew Internet and American Life Report:

  • 62 percent of working Americans use the Internet or e-mail at work, making them “networked workers.”

  • These workers also use technology at home:

    • 93 percent own a cell phone.

    • 85 percent own a desktop computer.

    • 61 percent own a laptop computer.

    • 27 percent own a Blackberry, Palm or other personal digital assistant.

©SHRM 2009

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Networked Workers

  • How these workers use the Internet:

    • 76 percent shop.

    • 53 percent watch videos.

    • 41 percent send instant messages.

    • 33 percent read blogs.

    • 35 percent use online social networks:

      • 75 percent of online adults ages18-24.

      • 57 percent of online adults ages 25 -34.

      • 30 percent of online adults ages 35-44.

      • 19 percent of online adults ages 45-54.

      • 10 percent of online adults ages 55-64.

      • 7 percent of online adults 65 years and older

        • (Lenhart, 2009).

©SHRM 2009

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Employee Expectations

  • Employees want to use these technologies at work.

  • Employees will use these technologies with or without employer support.

  • Recruiting and retaining employees will require providing access.

  • HR needs to communicate employee expectations to decision makers in organization.

  • HR needs to be involved in setting policies for use.

©SHRM 2009

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Reasons to Adopt Web 2.0 Technologies

  • Application in work setting:

    • Emergency contact.

    • Instant messaging and communication services.

      • Twitter

      • Yammer

  • Collaboration in a 24/7 world.

  • Building community within the organization.

©SHRM 2009

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Resistance to Adoption of Web 2.0 Technologies

  • Employees will spend all their time on these sites.

  • Employees will release private information.

  • Security concerns.

  • Harassment.

©SHRM 2009

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Discussion Questions

  • Do mobile technologies and social networks enhance or detract productivity?

  • Have you ever sent or received a text message during a lecture or at work?

©SHRM 2009

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Employee Relations

Employee Relations

  • Social networks:

    • Access to information and knowledge.

    • Social connections.

    • Communication about who you are.

    • Recommendations.

      • (Bandel, 2008)

  • Company examples:

    • Deloitte – D Street.

    • IBM – Beehive.

    • Best Buy – Blue Shirt Nation.

  • ©SHRM 2009

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    Policies and Guidelines

    • Issues to address:

      • Purpose for using technology.

      • How will it be monitored.

      • What behavior is allowed.

      • What behavior is not allowed.

      • How these policies fit with existing computer use policies.

      • Ethical constraints.

        • (Kaupins, Burwell, Spitzer, 2007)

    ©SHRM 2009

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    Technology and Work/life Boundaries

    • Personal mobile devices increase employee availability.

    • Concerns that they add pressure on employees:

      • Blurring line between work and personal life.

        Of the “networked workers”.

      • 45 percent do some work at home.

      • 18 percent work at home daily.

    ©SHRM 2009

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    Overall Conclusions

    • HR professionals need to stay current on developments in technology.

    • Information monitoring, disseminating and collaborating.

    • HR professionals need to adapt technologies to enhance functions such as recruiting.

    • HR professionals need to acknowledge employees expectations about technology availability.

    • HR professionals need to be aware of effect of technology on employees lives.

    ©SHRM 2009