The Impact of Information Technology on HR Management: Opportunities and Challenges

Human resource management is a major determinant of an organization’s success. In order for a firm to have a productive human resource, it has to formulate strategies aimed at those who are recruited are satisfied while working in the organization. In the recent past, there has been rampant advancement in technology which has had a great impact within the business environment. Many organizations have incorporated these technological changes in their various processes of operation. One of these areas is in relation to human resource management. The discussion of this paper is aimed at illustrating the impact of information technology on human resource management with regard to opportunities and threats.

There are various impacts that information technology has had on human resource management.

Online Recruitment process

Organizational communication is one of the areas that have been greatly impacted. This is due to the incorporation of the internet in the communication process.

This has changed the execution of the personnel recruitment process by the management. For instance; organizations have been conducting their recruitment process by posting the recruitment adverts on the newspaper. Due to advancement in information technology, a new trend has emerged where many organizations are currently conducting their recruitment processes online. This has made the process to be efficient.

It has also become possible for the human resource management to efficiently conduct outsourcing of potential employees from a common database where resumes of applicants are posted online such as (Carol, 2007, para.2).

The applicants are required to update their resumes from time to time and those that are not updated within a given period of time are deleted from the system. This enables the human resource manage to only access the most qualified applicants

The internet concept of information technology presents an opportunity to the organization. This is due to the fact that the organization can incorporate this system within the organization. This is in the form of intranet. According to Kristin, intranet is defined as a computer network that aids the organization in the execution of its internal communication processes (1999, p.8).

The intranet system is only accessible by the organization’s staff hence making it a closed system unlike the internet (Kristin, 2008, p. 9). Integration of the intranet would make the internal communication process to be effective. The employees would be able to access information in a timelier manner. This is due to the fact that intranet would enable the organization to develop a database where all information related to the organization can be retrieved with ease. This would greatly motivate them since they will not feel alienated from the executive management managers with regard to formulation and implementation of decisions that affect them.

Challenges posed by use of intranet

Despite the advantages of incorporation of an intranet system, there are various challenges that the organization will face. For instance; the cost of implementing the intranet system within the organization is high. This is due to the fact that the software has to be specially designed so that it can be compatible with the organization. The management also has to train the employees on how to use the system effectively which might consume a lot of time. Due to the volatility within the technological environment, the management would be required to update the intranet system overtime. This means that the cost of maintenance of the system will be high (Kristin, 2008, p.9).

On the other hand, there is a challenge that is presented by the use of intranet within the organization with regard to security. For instance, the organization’s database can be hacked if the firewalls which are the security measures are not well implemented. This means that the management has to continuously update the security system.

Employee training

In order for the employees to be productive, the human resource management undertakes employee training programs with the aim of enhancing their skills. There is a new trend the organizations have incorporated in the execution of this human resource management role. This is due to the fact that information technology has resulted into training the employees through an online program. This has made the employee training process to be more efficient in that it is more economical. This is due to the fact that it is possible to make changes to the information when it is in electronic form than when it is in its hard copy form (Gerald, 1994, p.32)

The training efficiency has also been improved due to the fact that the human resource manager can integrate various training models that meet the training needs of the employees more effectively. For instance; the employees can be trained through the use of audio method. Some employees of the organization cannot be able to attend a training program that is conducted by an instructor. Through incorporation of information technology as a method of conducting employee training, it possible for a large number of employees to be incorporated into the training program at the same time despite their tight working schedules. This means that the firm’s competitive advantage is improved since the efficiency of all the employees is greatly improved.

Employee reward program

Human resource management is also involved with conducting employee performance appraisal. This is aimed at identifying the performance of the employees and rewarding them accordingly so as to motivate them. For a comprehensive performance appraisal to be conducted the human resource department ensures that it has the records of every employee. This would involve a lot of paper work for the organization which is inefficient. Due to the emergence of information technology, it has become possible for employee record keeping being more efficient. It is also simple to update the employee’s performance record which makes it possible to identify the trend (Carol, 2007, para.5).

Information technology has resulted into emergence of a new method of employee motivation. This method involves the recognition of employees’ important dates such as their birthdays. Through automation of the employees’ information, the human resource department is able to keep track of these dates and rewards them. This has increased employee retention.

Conflict resolution in organization

The organizations’ human resource department is also involved with solving organizational issues amongst employees. According to Carol, human resource managers spend approximately 30% of their time in trying to resolve various personnel conflicts (2007, para.4).This is costly to the organization and results into inefficiency in the operation of the organization.

There are divergent areas of employee conflicts such as negotiations related to labor, employee sexual harassment amongst others. Information technology has presented an opportunity to the management effective undertaking this role. This is due to the emergence of online mediators. These are third parties whom the organization can contact so that they can aid in the resolution of the conflicts. Through this concept, the disputing parties within the organization do not interact face to face. The concept used is that relevant documents containing the parties’ concerns are uploaded into the computer system by the third party where the disputing parties can review them. This enables the reduction of tension between the parties that results from their face to face interaction. This method of conflict resolution is very efficient in terms of cost than using a lawyer.

Challenges using formation communication as a means of communication within the organization

According to Jennifer, despite the increased trend in utilizing information technology in enhancing human resource management, the human resource managers are faced with a challenge (2005, p.56). This is due to the fact that the employees prefer dealing with a real person in presenting their issues. Incorporation of information technology results into creation of a virtual person. The employees may not appreciate the system despite its incorporation.

On the other hand, a large number of employees within the organization may not be able to access the information from the organization’s database due to lack of the technical skills. This means that the organizations effort to incorporate information technology within it human resource management procedures may be met with resistance by some of the employees.The result is that the integration of information communication in dealing with organizational issues such as labor relations may not yield the desired results.


Despite the challenges faced within the technological environment due to its volatility, the incorporation of information technology has resulted in a significant impact on human resource management. Internal organizational communication has been enhanced due to the fact that the employees are able to access organizations information through the intranet. The recruitment process has become efficient due to integration of online recruitment. The organization is also able to access the most qualified personnel to recruit. Employee training has also become more efficient leading to an increase in the firm’s competitive advantage in terms of an efficient human resource. It has also become efficient to conduct employee performance appraisal with ease. This has enhanced the organization’s employee reward program. The resolution of organizational conflicts has become more efficient and does not result into tension that can result into decline in employee’s efficiency.


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  5. Kristin, G. (2008).Intranet : Its usage and implication for communication in organization. Case study. New York : MA corporate communication. Web.
  6. Robert, L.M (2007) Human resource management.New York: South- Western College Publishers.
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