Using social media principles to improve HR practices

Embracing tech to make workplace processes easier and more fun can result in better service

In Singapore, there are 4.8 million active social media users - 83 per cent of the population.

Social media's ubiquity comes from how global networks like Facebook and Instagram are fun and easy to use.

They also increasingly leverage upon artificial intelligence (AI) and other emerging technology to serve users with content relevant to their needs and interests and provide a seamless gateway to online retail, travel, entertainment and more.

However, when people in Singapore and the Asia-Pacific countries step into the office, it is a different story.

Human resources (HR) and career path tools are frequently outdated in their user experience, making it complicated for employees to connect, collaborate and get the job done.

Some companies in the region are embracing emerging HR technologies to make workplace processes easier, more fun and intuitive, and drive deeper employee engagement.

UST Global, which provides technology and innovation services to businesses across 25 countries, has improved process efficiency by 30 per cent to 40 per cent since modernising human capital management.

Employees can now perform the same tasks with 20 per cent to 40 per cent less time, leading to a shift in employees' customer satisfaction and reducing on-boarding time by half.

In the Philippines, UnionBank is modernising HR practices with cloud technology.

With automated processes, employees now have more autonomy over managing their own development and performance in alignment with the business' goals.

The result has been more engaged employees capable of delivering better service.

From personalised updates via a newsfeed-style interface to chatbots that offer quick answers to HR questions, the next wave of workplace technology is set to revolutionise how businesses attract, retain and engage talent.

Chatbots have transformed the world of customer service on social media, and new HR solutions are likewise leveraging bots to make life easier for HR managers and employees.

With an office chatbot, workers can get their basic questions answered instantly.

How do I file a health insurance claim? How many days of leave do I have left this year?

A bot can provide instant answers to these sorts of queries; saving time for everyone, getting new joiners up to speed quickly and freeing up staff to focus on higher value work.

Enterprise technology inspired by social media, with AI at its core, will be particularly key to winning over high-value and millennial talent.

The younger generation of workers are in ever-increasing demand across the region, and they are also the most likely to expect a technology-driven office experience.

In a world where social media makes our lives more fun and simple, the "avocado toast" generation will not stick around an office that cannot make processes as quick, easy and intuitive as logging on to their favourite social network.

We will no doubt see AI and the social media experience continue to influence the best HR technology.

HR Magazine reported that three-quarters of recruiters in Asia Pacific say that using AI as a sourcing tool generates higher-quality candidates.

As emerging technologies based in AI continue to make HR processes faster, simpler and more joyful to use, businesses will have an exciting new way to attract and engage candidates - driving the future of the employee experience across the Asia Pacific.

The writer is head of human capital management cloud applications, Oracle (Asia Pacific).