Mobile apps and digital tools are making it easier for business owners to recruit workers, issue communications and manage scheduling, time sheets and payroll functions. These tools can help businesses save time, improve efficiency and trim labor costs.
More than three-quarters of Americans (77%) own smartphones and an even higher percentage (92%) of young adults (ages 18 to 29 years) own a mobile phone. As a result, more people are using their smartphones for job searches and to stay connected with their employers.
Business-focused mobile apps are multiplying as many companies have moved their operations and human resources (HR) systems to cloud-based platforms. This shift enables the next stage in HR transformation where mobile apps can be used for HR processes, learning, project management and employee engagement.
Business owners are using mobile apps and digital tools for a variety of HR functions:
- Hiring – Google’s G Suite now offers small- and medium-size businesses Google Hire. This application uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to optimize the process of identifying potential talent and matching candidates to jobs. It offers capabilities to build strong candidate relationships and manage the interview process from start to finish.
- Scheduling – Cloud-based scheduling tools such as OpenSimSim for restaurants enable business owners to contact workers in real time on their mobile phones. The tool includes templates for creating schedules and enables workers to list their availability, ask for days off, apply for extra hours or switch shifts with other workers.
- Performance management – Mobile apps are revolutionizing the performance review process by enabling managers and employees to give and receive continuous feedback instead of once-a-year appraisals. The apps allow employers to gauge employee satisfaction and provide employees with social recognition from their peers.
- Payroll – Payroll software providers such as Intuit are adding mobile app features to make payroll functions easier to manage. These features enable HR managers to create paychecks and pay workers by direct deposit, create tax forms, and set up email reminders for payday and tax deadlines.
Before companies adopt mobile apps for HR functions, systems experts advise them to perform security assessments to understand how the app will interact with other company systems and ensure data transmitted to mobile devices remains secure.
 “Record shares of Americans now own smartphones, have home broadband,” by Aaron Smith, Pew Research Center, Jan. 12, 2017. Available at: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/01/12/evolution-of-technology/
 “What’s behind Google Hire?” by Cliff Saran, Computer Weekly blog, July 21, 2017. Available at: http://www.computerweekly.com/news/450423073/Whats-behind-Google-Hire
 “The latest in tech: Scheduling, delivery and automation,” by Lisa Jennings, Nation’s Restaurant News blog, May 22, 2017. Available at: http://www.nrn.com/technology/latest-tech-scheduling-delivery-and-automation
 “Mobile apps to take over HR technology,” by Bill Goodwin, Computer Weekly blog, Oct. 25, 2016. Available at: http://www.computerweekly.com/news/450401664/Mobile-apps-to-take-over-HR-technology
 “MDM, human resources mobile app strategies prove essential to workers,” by Tony Kontzer, Tech Target blog, Feb. 27, 2017. Available at: http://searchhrsoftware.techtarget.com/feature/MDM-human-resources-mobile-app-strategies-prove-essential-to-workers
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