Role of technology in harnessing the potential of HRM

Technological advances have been associated with better outcomes for business organizations through such ways as promoting information efficiencies and synergies (Dewett & Jones as discussed in Haines & LaFleur, 2008, p. 527). Though human resource management (HRM) on the other hand has an important role of protecting and developing an organization’s human resources, its occupation with “administrative paper-handling” roles has curtailed its potential to transform business practices (Haines & LaFleur, 2008, p. 527). Development of technologies that support many HRM aspects such as recruitment, staffing, and remuneration however provides HRM practitioners the opportunity to engage in value-adding strategic aspects of the entity (Haines & LaFleur, 2008). Technologies that allow for automation of information sharing and processing would for instance drive efficiencies that could help strengthen the HR unit (Haines & LaFleur, 2008). Through better, more efficient hence effective information sharing approaches the HR department would have more time to focus on strategic business activities such as development of better talent management programs.

Automation potential is however not restricted to basic personnel administrative issues. HR applications with most potential to transform the business have been shown to be those that support additional business functions such as high-end forecasting (Haines & LaFleur, 2008). In HR areas such as audit and survey, IT has helped better surveys on employee entry and exit leading to important information that can be used to better HR approaches aimed to drive employee satisfaction and reduce turnover (Haines & LaFleur, 2008).  Similarly in HR planning and career development, IT solutions on such aspects as forecasting staffing levels have been useful in developing sound recruitment objectives (Haines & LaFleur, 2008). Through the potential of IT use in HR to drive efficiencies and provide timely information, HR practitioners can be enabled to participate more effectively in their strategic roles as business partners and change agents.


Haines, V. Y. & LaFleur, G. (2008). Human Resource Management, 47(3), 525-540. DOI: 10.1002/hrm.20230.

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