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Internet’s Impact on Human Resource Management
Internet’s Impact on Human Resource Management
The role of a human resource manager is seemingly never ending. It is a position, according to Nicholas Bloom and John Van Reenan’s, “Human Resource Management and Productivity,” designed to maximize employee involvement and efficiency . This job requires constant effort and observation on the part of the HRM. HRMs are also involved in the management of policies and systems within a company, as well as how they are run, which can be equally exhausting depending on the size and efficiency of the company. With the many responsibilities of a human resources manager, the advent of the internet was both a blessing and a curse. While it helped with some aspects of the job, it made other aspects more difficult. More interesting still was the impact the internet had on human resource management departments from the side of the employee. It appeared that no facet of the department was left untouched by the arrival of the internet.
One of the most important jobs of a human resource manager is to oversee the recruitment of new employees, as stated by Alan Price in, “Human Resource Management .” HR is responsible for each new employee that is hired into a company and, therefore, they are responsible for ensuring that employee is qualified and reasonably responsible for the position they are hired for. The internet has deeply affected HR’s handle on recruiting for several reasons. To begin with, according to Hamid Tohidi, prior to the internet most of the recruiting process relied on print ads in newspapers or magazines, or word-of-mouth . The internet has allowed an open networking system of job postings, which gives job applicants easier access to unfilled positions. Furthermore, prior to the internet, fewer individuals applied for open positions. This is likely because one was forced to drive to the location to submit a formal application or resume.
Today, thanks to the internet, all one needs to do is electronically send a resume to a company’s HR team in hopes of being hired. There are advantages and disadvantages to this new technology for HRMs. Human resource managers have easier access to a wider range of applicants and, because the resumes are sent to them electronically, are able to sort through them quicker. However, because they only have electronic files to make an impression, it can be easy to disregard a potentially good employee and interview a bad one because, thanks to the internet, HR has no contact with the individual until they are being hired . This is negative for potential employees, as well, as many individual rely on their personality to make an impression. Few individuals understand how to make solid impression on a resume or job application; while they may be qualified, they may be passed over because of this. Despite the drawbacks, the internet has made posting an open position more effective than it was before electronic networking was available. According to, “Strategy, Human Resource Management and Performance: Sharpening the Line of Sight:” HRMs are able to post job openings on networked sites that can be seen by up to hundreds of thousands, or even millions of people at one time. Job openings can be filled almost immediately if the HRM so chooses.
Once a position is filled, new employees must be trained. Old employees also sometimes require training if a company acquires a new piece of equipment . The internet has made training new employees, as well as old, more efficient than ever before. Human resource managers are able to alert employees in advance via e-mail to training programs in order to prepare them for what is to come. Moreover, some training can be done through the internet. Internet training has been most helpful when HRMs need to train new staff working in remote locations . Scott Snell and associates’, “Managing Human Resources,” exemplify this with the recent oil industry boom in the United States and Mexico. Many employees working on oilrigs are in remote locations with little access to other individuals . In some situations, teams have no trained staff on hand to teach them about new equipment or procedures. In these situations, HRMs enable the use of internet videos, and even connect teams with experienced employees directly in order to teach them new procedures as a form of training. Similarly, employees working in remote locations, away from corporate sites are able to access company information directly thanks to the internet.
The methods save human resource managers time they can be spending devoting to other things. Prior to internet advantages such as these, HRMs were expected to oversee these training programs directly. If the internet did not exist today, an HRM would be expected present at every remote job site for every training session. Specifically pertaining to the example involving oil drilling, waiting for available human resource managers could hold up operations indelibly. Virtual training also allows a larger number of employees to be trained at one time. Physically, only so many employees can be put in a room and taught efficiently. Virtually, from the comfort of their own home or cubicle, it is a different story. Endless amounts of employees can be trained at the same time, saving HRMs even more time to focus on more pressing matters. Internet access, however, does not halt all interactions. Some will always be necessary on behalf of the company, as well as employee safety and company legalities. The only disadvantage appears to be if internet connections are not available or if questions need to be asked on behalf of the human resources manager immediately. Many have wondered how appropriate it is to train individuals over virtual lines of communication, as well as how safe and accurate it is. In order to ensure its accuracy, as well as its safety, computerized testing programs or often administered after each testing session, according to John Stredwick’s, “An Introduction to Human Resource Management .”
Perhaps most important of all jobs a human resources manager is expected to is, is oversee an employee’s job performance, as well as enhance it. The internet has not only allowed human resource managers to oversee job performance in an easier and more efficient way than ever before, but it has allowed them to create a forum, not unlike a social network for their company, wherein they can collect feedback from employees as a way to improve the company . Sarah Kiesler, author of, “Culture of the Internet,” affirms that many perceptive human resource managers are using the internet to their advantage in the grandest way possible by taking it for its greatest downfall, and turning it into something useful . Essentially, what this means is many employees have been fired for what they say on social networks. Human resource managers often monitor employees, potential and current, on social networking sites as a way to document how they will represent the company . Many individuals are unaware of this and, as such, do not bother censoring themselves or adjusting their privacy settings. As a result, if employees act out aggressively or in unsavory ways toward the company, about the company, about fellow employees, or in related manners, they are often fired.
Many human resource managers have seen this as an opportunity to grow as performance managers. They create their own social networks, allowing employees to post professional responses to questions, as well as suggestions they believe will help point the company in a better direction. Many HRMs have found this method to boost employee involvement, as well as improve overall employee performance, even from those who lacked generally in this area . The feeling of interconnectivity allows the work environment to feel less like work; social networking gives employees a greater feeling of comradery not only with each other, but also with their HRM, allowing them to bring problems to the individual. Thus, the internet has effectively made human resource managers more approachable and, therefore, more capable of assisting in enhancing performance management. Moreover, several software programs allow human resource managers the opportunity to monitor employee performance while at work. Many of these are best used in computer-based companies; the software allows HRMs to collect data into programs stored on the internet. The data shows HRMs what websites employees visit, for how long, and even if their emails are company oriented or not. This is all in an effort to stop timewasting and improve performance.
In sum, while the internet has made the employee’s job more difficult, it has made the human resource manager’s job much easier. Some would even argue that the introduction of the internet has only forced the employee to do their job properly, rather than waste the company’s time while occasionally defacing the company’s image. The internet allows human resource managers to reach more applicants in less time, as well as review more applications with less effort. Open positions can be filled quicker, while new and old employees can be trained faster and more efficiently. Most importantly, the internet helps HRMs monitor job performance and even protect the company’s image both while the employee is at work, and even when they are not. Each of these tasks used to be very time consuming, and led to the inefficiency of the human resources department in several areas. Over all, the internet as completely revolutionized the human resource management field, making it easier and more efficient than ever before.
Bloom, N., & Van Reenan, J. (2011). Human Resource Management and Productivity. Handbook of Labor Economics, 1697-1767.
Buller, P. F., & McEvoy, G. E. (2012). Strategy, human resource management and performance: Sharpening line of sight. Human Resources Mangement Review, 43-65.
Kiesler, S. (2014). Culture of the Internet. Boston: Psychology Press.
Price, A. (2011). Human Resource Management. Boston: Cengage Learning.
Snell, S., Morris, S., & Bohlander, G. (2015). Managing Human Resources. Boston: Cengage Learning.
Stredwick, J. (2013). An Introduction to Human Resource Management. London: Routledge.
Tohidi, H. (2011). Human resources management main role in information technology project management. Procedia Computer Science, 925-929.
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