Information availability and quality are rapidly defining efficiency for modern day businesses. With the ever-increasing reliance on information, business professionals are demanding access to information systems anytime and anywhere. Starting from the need to connect with prospective talent to accessing enterprise records, more and more HR professionals feel the need for accessing information to meet the pressing issues of their business constituencies. From the supply side, more and more developers are building apps to meet this ever-increasing demand for anytime, anywhere HR. Apps are standalone products built for any kind of computing environment (desktops, mobiles, tablets) and are typically characterized by rich features and a friendly user-interface for efficiently executing a specific set of tasks. Many confuse apps under the broader cluster of social networking; it has to be understood that apps are actually engines for executing tasks within a medium and that they’re not necessarily the medium themselves. Owing to their specificity, apps are easier to navigate and fundamentally faster than a full-service web site or a social networking platform, thereby making them popular tools for quick and efficient information access. Some of the common app families popular with HR professionals are as follows.
Recruiting: These apps cater to specific components of the recruiting lifecycle. While the most popular ones are those that help screen resumes, there are other high-end apps that can browse through various social networking sites and shortlist prospective candidates. Still others are built to promote the employer brand through interactive communications with prospective talent. Some of the popular recruiting apps available include JobSpeek, Jobvite, and mResource.
Productivity tracking: HR professionals typically employ these apps to keep track of and generate real-time reports of workforce productivity. These include apps for time and attendance, leave management, and scheduling. Some of the popular productivity apps among HR professionals are Vortex Mobile Connect, TimeStation, and Rypple.
Payroll and benefits: These apps allow HR professionals to access, review, and manage payroll and benefits data of the organization. Along with access, these apps also offer functionality to generate reports in real time in mobile and tablet devices. Some of these apps also act as an interface between the organization and employees, allowing them to check payroll and benefits information, submit queries, and access specific information requirements. Some of the popular payroll and benefits apps among HR professionals include Ascent, ADP Mobile Payroll, and HR Concepts’ Mobile Benefits.
Workforce analytics: These apps gather and analyze information on the enterprise workforce based on organizational metrics and standards. These apps allow HR and business leaders make informed workforce decisions through real-time reports. Some of the popular workforce analytics apps include Kronos Workforce Mobile, Oracle Mobile Workforce Analytics, and SAP Mobile Enterprise.
Social networking: Social networking apps prove extremely handy for HR to communicate with the employee base and propagate information quickly and efficiently. While many organizations host facebook and twitter pages for their social messaging requirements, there are many that create their own internal social networking app. Some of the popular apps available in this space include Connections (IBM), Zoho, and PeopleHub (an internal social app built for MindTree by Microsoft).
As mobile applications get more widespread acceptance in the talent market, provisioning HR apps will become an important channel for attracting, engaging, and retaining talent, as well as managing HR organizations of the future. To have an idea of the importance of mobile apps for talent management of the future, Apple stated that between 2008 and 2011 there were 15 billion job application downloads from its App store; the same number took the iTunes store twice as many years!