While HR Pros Sees Benefits of Smartphone Use, Few Have Practical Plans in Place

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By Martin Berman-Gorvine

June 25 — HR professionals recognize there could be many benefits for their departments if they started using smartphones for various purposes, but many have no actual plans to do so in the foreseeable future, according to survey results released June 18 by Bersin by Deloitte.

Of the 128 organizations surveyed, six out of 10 said they could see smartphone use would lead to “increased workforce productivity,” 59 percent envisioned more timely responses from users, 53 percent said there would be improved real-time decision-making and 52 percent thought employee engagement would improved (94 percent of respondents were based in the U.S., with the rest in Canada).

And yet, fully half of respondents said their organizations had no plans to use a mobile HR app to communicate with candidates, while 31 percent said they planned to introduce an app in the next 12 months and 18 percent said they use one today.

The figures were similar in six other functions; for example, 39 percent said they had no plans to ever let job candidates submit applications over a mobile device, though 35 percent said they had plans to do so over the next year and 27 percent said applicants can throw their hats in the ring via smartphone today.

Even onboarding support for new employees via smartphone is not on the radar at all for 49 percent of respondents (14 percent allow it today and 37 percent plan to make it possible within the next year).

The biggest obstacle to broader HR smartphone use is existing HR information systems and enterprise resource planning systems, according to survey report authors Katherine Jones and Sally-Ann Cooke, vice president of HCM technology research and senior research analyst, respectively, at Bersin by Deloitte. “HR professionals who are in environments with a deeply entrenched on-premise system that does not support mobile access often express both desire for mobile access and acceptance of the fact they felt unlikely to get it, given the applications deployed by their corporations,” they said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Martin Berman-Gorvine in Washington at mbermangorvine@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Harris at tharris@bna.com

A press release summarizing the survey results is available at http://www.bersin.com/News/Content.aspx?id=18663.