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Mobile trends penetrating HR departments

Date posted:  9/1/15 09:45:00 AM More people are working on-the-go than ever before.

There is a growing number of mobile technology trends to keep an eye on, according to Business 2 Community. Mobile devices are becoming increasingly popular in both our personal and professional lives.

One area that mobile activity could see a major boost in usage is for HR departments across the nation. Developers continue to design and deploy new mobile talent management tools, and workers are urging their employers to provide more and better ways to utilize mobile devices.

Paul Belliveau, managing director of Avancé HCM Advisors, told Workforce that HR professionals shouldn't be scared to adapt to the new technologies being offered. Mobile tools can actually provide HR professionals with another way to increase productivity.

"Mobile isn't a new strategy, it is simply a new way to support the same strategies that you already follow," he said, referencing the move from paper personnel files to HR information systems. "That was a much bigger transition, and we all survived."

Mobile is coming in hot [Is this whole section just about letting workers be on their phones during work hours?]
Belliveau believes that some people already have mobile devices that are more powerful than their company-issued desktop computers. Yet some companies condemn outside access of mobile devices on their networks, meaning people can't log in on their mobile devices.

"Why wouldn't you want to leverage that technology?" Belliveau said. "You can't censure access to the outside world."

Instead, Belliveau is urging people in HR departments to allow employees to move effortlessly between their work and personal lives by offering people the ability to use their mobile phones. He said when companies install firewalls, all it does is annoy employees and hinder productivity.

With that being said, that doesn't mean a free rein for a company's entire workforce. Belliveau said HR leaders must come up with a policy for mobile-device use, providing guidelines for communicating on social media and rules for sharing communicating company information.

"Establish codes of conduct around ethical behavior, and make it part of their standards for performance," he said.

Simplicity is key
Too much information over a mobile interface can be awkward to use, which is why Steve Roth, senior director and mobile product manager for Automatic Data Processing Inc., told Workforce that HR leaders don't need to go overboard when allowing mobile devices onto a company's network.

"Most people want to use their mobile devices at work," Roth said. "But that doesn't mean every single piece of information on the company network needs to be accessible on their phones."

The majority of the tasks employees take on using their phones are quick to accomplish, fitting into some of those clear moments during the day such as waiting in line for food or sitting at an airport.

"They probably won't take a two-hour training course on a mobile device, but they may watch a five-minute policy update video."

Mobile HR by the numbers
A new study from Automatic Data Processing found that 37 percent of registered mobile users access their pay information through mobile HR applications, 14 percent more than those who use desktops and laptops.

Roberto Masiero, vice president and head of ADP, which serves 620,000 clients in more than 125 countries, said that's likely because mobile is becoming the preferred channel with employees.

"The human resources function is a key asset in today's business mobility landscape because of its ability to connect and inform the workforce in an easily scalable way," Masiero said.

Aruba Networks reported that 86 percent of respondents worldwide own two or more devices that can be connected to the Internet. Sixty-four percent own three or more mobile devices with connection capabilities. Mobile devices help provide freedom in the workplace, which is growing more important as 70 percent of respondents told Aruba Networks they prefer flexible work schedules.