Why HR needs to go mobile

April 30, 2018 Dennis Valkema


Recent studies have revealed that the average Brit checks their smartphone 10,000 times a year and that number is only going to grow, particularly as we become more reliant on them. Mobile devices play an increasingly important role in our daily lives – just a few of the activities we do on our smartphone include:


  • Maintaining our social media accounts
  • Online shopping
  • Streaming films and TV shows
  • Checking emails
  • Listening to music


We can no longer cope with day-to-day activities without our mobile devices. In fact, there is now a word which describes the anxiety we feel when we’re without our phones– nomophobia. We are used to being easily contactable and connected via our mobiles, and this is not going to change.


As such, companies need to focus their attention on exploring this channel of communication and, the HR department needs to explore how they can use the mobile to benefit their employees.


Here are three reasons why HR should have a mobile-optimised talent management strategy:


  1. The 24/7 economy is reality


The arrival of smartphones (and the national coverage of faster 4G networks) has created a new dimension for location-based work. We can read and respond to an email on our phone in the evening at home just as easily as we can on a computer in the office during the day. Whilst having this flexibility is great, it does mean that there is more demand for services to be mobile-friendly. Nowadays, we expect most companies and brands to have mobile-friendly website or apps so why should this be any different for our employees? There is nothing more annoying as an employee than having to use your PC in the evening because you forgot to fill out your timesheet - HR should be giving employees the opportunity to handle their HR affairs on their smartphone instead.


  1. Consumerisation in HR


Consumerisation has been one of the buzzwords in IT for a while now and is a way of reorienting a product or service to focus on the end user. Apps that most employees will be accustomed to using in their spare time, like Spotify or Netflix, have an intuitive interface and this should be the same for services at work. Therefore, it’s up to HR to make tools available and easily accessible for mobile phones but also make them easy to use. For example, provide a Netflix-like environment in which training and learning materials are available. And use machine learning and AI to suggest personalised training content.


  1. Mobile continues to grow


The growth of mobile will not stop in 2018. Google’s Larry Page once said in 2014: ""We are no longer in a mobile first world, we are in a mobile only world."" And his words are becoming more of a reality every year. In a very short time the mobile has radically changed our daily lives and stay up-to-date in this mobile-focused world, HR departments need to able to take up mobile as a central part of their strategy. Otherwise, they run the risk of alienating employees, which reduces their involvement and, as the ultimate consequence, staff will start looking for another job.


About the Author

Dennis Valkema

With over 20 years experience in the Human Resources IT industry, Dennis brings a broad experience from various senior management roles and has deep knowledge of the topics that make CHRO’s and CIO’s wake up in the middle of the night, making him an appreciated business partner.

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