The Positive Impact Of Mobile Technology On HR

Mobile phones have become a huge part of our lives. According to Wikipedia, over 160 million Nigerians own a mobile phone.

With the number of internet users growing every year, mobile phones have become an important means of communication between businesses and their customers.

I read an article last week on SEO and it turns out that Google will punish you with low search ranking if your website is not mobile friendly. Amazing, isn’t it?

We can see that this technology isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. But what impact does it have on Human Resources? Let’s find out;

Related: Why HR Technology is such a Big Deal 

Easier Access To Information: It is true, HR Technology has made it pretty darn easy for employees to access their information  but the integration of smartphones has made it even easier. Now your employees don’t always have to be close to a computer to access necessary data, all they need is their smartphone and an HR app.

I also have to add that this really improves employee retention because by providing them with easy access, you are empowering them.

Related: Why your Business needs to go Paperless

Attract Younger Employees: Millennials are currently the largest group in the workforce compared to Boomers and Generation Xers. Apart from the fact that they were born between 1985 and 2004, they are also very tech savvy; they thrive on interactive technologies like smartphones, apps, social media and so on. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise for you to see companies attracting young talent with the use of technology.

If your business is still attracting talent the “Old School” way, it may be time to consider the incorporation of mobile technology. Just like the old saying goes “You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar”.

Related: Three Trends Nigerian Businesses should adopt

Communication: I know I have talked a lot about communication in the workplace. Well, that’s because it is extremely important. Not only does communication improve company culture, it also motivates your employees which in turn increases productivity.

Related: How to improve your company culture

There are many mobile-based collaborative and communication tools that HR Technology now provides which bridges the communication gap between employees and managers. With mobile technology, communication is not longer limited to using a computer; It provides a more flexible means of communication.

Mobile technology is taking over every aspect of our lives and that does not exclude HR. Businesses that are willing to be innovative and successful should be prepared to implement the use of mobile technology.


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Misrepresentations & Background Checks: How Well Do You Know Your Employees?

Just last week, Walmart chief spokesman David Tovar announced he was resigning his role as vice president of communications. David was being considered for promotion to Senior Vice President until a routine academic record check revealed David never received the Bachelor of Arts degree he claimed to have on his resume. Such fraudulent claims are not isolated to Walmart alone. In 2012, Yahoo! Inc.’s CEO Scott Thompson stepped down after falsely claiming to have a degree in computer science. RadioShack Corp. ousted CEO David Edmondson in 2006 after findings contradicted his claim to theology and psychology degrees. In 2007 MIT’s Dean of Admissions, Marilee Jones, resigned her role after it was revealed that she misled the Institute on the academic credentials she presented in 1979.

Before hiring a new employee or engaging the services of an independent contractor, many businesses run background checks to ensure the potential employee does not have defective credentials or extensive criminal records.

Examples of common employee background checks conducted by employers:

  • Education Verification
  • Work History Checks
  • Criminal & Legal History Checks
  • Financial/Credit Checks
  • Reference Verification
  • Nationality Confirmation

Is Background Screening Necessary?

While many employers conduct checks for peace of mind, others are in industries that simply consider background screening a prerequisite to employment, this is typically the case in banking, financial and security services where employees handle sensitive, confidential and valuable information on a daily basis. The implication of faulty or inadequate background checks can be quite severe. Beyond reputational damage, fraud incidence and loss of client’s confidence, employers may also be exposed to negligence law suits. Sensitive client data can be misused, stolen or sold to criminal elements. Hence, it is imperative for employers and HR managers to review the background of potential employees.

Benefits of Conducting Background Checks

The primary advantage of a pre-employment background checks is that it ensures a better pool of applicants. Proper screening eliminates from consideration applicants who are unsuitable for hiring, given the red flags in their histories. At the very least a thorough check will discover fraudulent applications or or discourage fraudulent applicants. Statistics have shown criminals are more attracted to organizations in which they are least likely to be discovered – a phenomenon known as adverse selection.

Background screening also helps employers ensure that candidates are qualified for the jobs they are seeking. This is especially important given that two-thirds of respondents to a survey conducted by HireRight’s report at least one applicant who lied about material facts on their resume.

The right background screening policy also help employers avoid the lost time and costs of making bad hiring decisions and dealing with the resulting employee turnover. Background checks also protect current employees from possible security threats.

Tips on Conducting Proper Background Screening

  • Employers should embrace the “prevention is better than cure” mantra.  Conduct background checks prior to hiring. It is a much less expensive, time-consuming and potentially dangerous exercise to conduct a background search during the hiring process, as opposed to conducting an investigation after an employee has been hired.
  • Inform and obtain written consent from potential employees before conducting background checks. It is necessary to fully disclose what information will be obtained and how it will be used. This will protect employers from breaching applicant’s privacy.
  • Choose specific background checks related to the position being filled. For example, an individual who is applying for a financial position should likely submit to a credit check and a Facilities Cleaner need not be submitted to an Academic Background check. All employees, regardless of position, should however be required to undergo a criminal background check.
  • Background checks should be conducted by trained HR professionals or credible independent organization that specializes in this type of service. Employers must ensure the screening reports are accurate and obtained legally.
  • Take advantage of free online social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to conduct background checks. Though not fool- proof, information on these sites can reveal more about a client’s personality and whether they will be a good fit. It can also reveal bias that are not consistent with your corporate policies. However, be upfront with applicants and notify them that checks will be conducted on their social media profiles.
  • Establish a fair and standard background check policy with your organization. This will eliminate inconsistencies and ensure that the information obtained is relevant to the role. It will also provide direction to HR staff on the type of checks to be conducted.
  • Once a screening policy is determined, it should be reassessed consistently to determine any vulnerability.

So next time you are asked, how well you know your employees – feel free to back your answer up with revelations from  a background check.