What the Internet of Things Means for HR

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Originating from the ancient Personnel species, the field of Human Resources is now facing extinction. Or at least some aspects of it are. In a very Darwinian twist, the namesake “human” aspect is being replaced by things. From the evolution of the mobile job seeker, to implanting microchips in order to manage employees, the burgeoning Internet of Things (IoT) seems to be taking the humanity out of Human Resources and is certainly changing the way businesses operate.

By 2020, there are predicted to 50.1 billion things being connected to the Internet, with 40.9 billion of those being mobile devices. This hyper connectivity, and the massive amount of data that will ensue, has employers rethinking their operational game plans. One thing is certain - the mounting digital aspects of HR roles will continue to alter the ways we recruit and manage employees in unprecedented ways.

PORTRAIT OF A MODERN DAY JOB SEEKER

The description of a typical job seeker is changing as fast as the technology they keep in their pockets. With a heavy reliance on mobile technology, candidates demand access to reviews and other information in order to make any decision, especially when it comes to career searches. If you’re web presence is lacking, they’ll quickly lose interest. The connectedness they have come to expect results in opinionated professionals who expect convenience and immediacy during their job search and beyond.

The market, in terms of actual job duties, has been impacted by the IoT as well. For instance, SEO jobs are out, analytics roles are in. These new hybrid verticals take advantage of technology advancements to consolidate positions. Many applicants need specific tech skills, such as HTML5, marketing automation knowledge, and Google Analytics skills.

For HR, this perpetual escalation of required tech skills will make staying a step ahead of interviewees a whole lot harder.

A NEW WAY TO MANAGE YOUR TEAM

HR managers should be anticipating the disruptions that IoT will bring to their existing teams. Along with recruiting practices, benefits administration, organizational safety, and disaster preparations should all be reevaluated. The daily presence of IoT integration alone will probably cause some anxiety, not to mention tension between employees and the IT department. As employees bring Internet connected watches, fitness devices, and more into the workplace, specific policies will need to be developed for information security and personal privacy. Many of these potential issues can be avoided by proactive management and communication.

Managing the influx of big data is a whole other issue. Ensuring that the data is used efficiently and is accessible to those who need it will require a new crop of processes and operating procedures. Vulnerabilities such as privacy, authorizations and software protection, are serious threats that are common in 70 percent of IoT devices.

Ultimately, businesses that successfully implement IoT policies will likely gain a valuable reputation for radical adjacency. Leadership and the fluidity to step outside of your comfort zone to innovate and improve are the keys to greatness in this rollercoaster of a marketplace. How will your business respond to the changes brought on by IoT?

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