HCM: The Intersection of People and Technology

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Human capital management (HCM) is differentiated from human resource management (HRM) by one word.  For many HR professionals, it is also distinguished by an important difference in perspective. While HRM has traditionally looked at the people in an organization as a resource to be acquired, allocated and replaced as necessary (much like any other resource), an HCM  approach… 

“Perceives people as assets (human capital) whose current value can be measured and whose future value can be enhanced through investment.”[1]

While the underlying legal frameworks and the nuts and bolts of managing staff remain the same, execution becomes more strategic and less transactional if it’s founded on an HCM perspective.

Similarly, there may be only one word separating traditional HRMS and Social HRMS—but it is one word that carries a world of difference. Building on a base of essential HRMS functionality, today’s leaders in Social HR technology incorporate an array of social elements that reflect the preferences of a changing workforce and better support communication, collaboration, performance, employee development and engagement. Some key Social HR components include:

  • Social recruiting
  • Real-time, 360-degree feedback
  • Shareable peer recognition
  • Social profiles
  • Sharable goal tracking
  • Inline communication and collaboration tools
  • Mobile access

When social HR technology is combined with HR analytics and big data, it offers a powerful new framework for HCM that combines HR’s perspective of people as valued assets to be cultivated with evidence-based data to support the investments they wish to make in planning,  recruitment and employee development.

While some may argue that legacy HRIS systems removed much of the humanity from the human resources function by reducing people to numbers in a complex data management system, social HRIS is focused on putting the “human” back into HR. By adding a social layer to the essential data management functions of the traditional HRIS, these new tools become a platform for both efficiency and interaction; they become a pleasure to use, instead of a necessary tedium.

At TribeHR, our passion is vested in the intersection where people and technology meet. We refuse to believe that technology detracts from human interaction and communication. It simply adds another mode and, in doing so, opens up (literally) a world of opportunity for talent development, growth and performance.

We focus our passion on determining how best to use technology to support three key objectives:

  1. Reducing HCM drudgery with well-designed tools that simplify daily tasks.
  2. Building a high performance culture through enhanced connection and recognition.
  3. Leveraging technology to enrich human interaction and collaboration in the workplace.

The world is changing. Social technologies are a huge part of that change. As long as the people we recruit and manage continue to embrace these social technologies as their preferred means of connecting and interacting, HCM and social technology are an inevitable match. We happen to think they were made for each other.


To experience the impact of HCM with a social technology twist, sign up for a free TribeHR trial today.

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