06/20/2016 02:17 EDT | Updated 06/20/2016 02:59 EDT

What The HR Industry Can Learn From Disruptive Technology

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Businesswoman sitting next to coworkers at workstation in startup office working on computer

Like most industries in today's business world, HR is seeing a significant impact from disruptive technology -- a term coined by Harvard Business School professor and author Clayton Christensen to describe any technology that changes or disrupts an existing technology or creates a whole new industry.

Gone are the days when HR specialists posted newspaper ads, vetted hundreds of paper resumes and phoned potential candidates for interviews. Businesses now understand that recruitment speed and efficiency translate almost directly into profitability and, when there is a demand for more speed and efficiency, technology almost always follows. Predictive analytics tools are a good example of this, with many HR departments now enjoying increased speed and fulfillment accuracy thanks to almost real-time analytics and knowledge transfer.

The game is changing every day and, with access to the top talent at stake, the challenge for HR professionals is to navigate this new frontier of innovation and adapt at every step along the way. Fortunately, there is an abundance of information available and some great examples that provide valuable learning and benchmarking opportunities.

For example, while speaking at the 2016 Randstad Award presentation Gala, PwC's Innovation Leader, Ted Graham, shared some of the insights he gained as an UberX driver that are part of a book he's co-authored with Jason Goldlist, The Uber of Everything, to be released this spring. According to Graham, agility, not volume, is the new measurement of profitability and, for every product, industry, service or experience, there's at least one company claiming 'Ubership' of it.

Graham outlines how efficient, respectful of time and thorough Uber's onboarding process is (and needs to be) to manage a workforce so responsive to supply and demand. He also notes how their immediate and simple two-way feedback mechanism simultaneously empowers their customers and employees, creates a system of rewards and consequences and encourages engagement and effort. The insights are fascinating, and they allow us to look at our own industry through a similar lens, where we realize just how fast change is coming.

Today's technology is enabling more alternative working arrangements than ever, and employees are asking for these options as work-life balance becomes a growing priority. The 'sharing economy' is rapidly becoming the major motivator to entrepreneurial start-ups and more and more workers today are choosing to become independent contractors. These changes may cause concerns for some employers, but organizations that can find the proper balance of old and new school thinking will attract the next generation of top talent.

Learning from innovative thinkers and being ready to accept and plan for change is how HR leaders will set themselves apart. Putting innovative ideas into practice will enable organizations to attract and hire the smart, creative, inquisitive minds that continuously learn and possess the ability to not only think outside the box, but blow it wide open.

The new reality is that the way people want to work is evolving at an unprecedented rate and only organizations that evolve with it will find great success.

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