Frontline Intelligence: Technology - Mobile HR now a reality

by External27 Mar 2013


Increasingly, we are hearing about HR applications becoming available on smartphones and web-enabled devices. Is this just a fad or can real productivity gains be made by using this technology?


The pace of change across the technology landscape is breathtaking and it can be challenging to identify fads from those advancements that deliver real value to the enterprise and, more importantly, HR.

It’s difficult to ignore the popularity of the smartphone and web-enabled devices; adoption of these devices has accelerated in recent times. In fact, the number of smartphones in the Australian market is set to exceed 13 million by 2013, according to the latest figures from mobileSQUARED.

HR vendors with agile solutions are making versions of their software available for smart devices. The term for this innovative HR technology is ‘mobile HR’, and it is a key trend that will provide savvy HR practitioners with another tool to ease the tactical burden and improve efficiency.

With these devices so widely used, many tech-savvy organisations can harness this technology and drive productivity by providing access to their Human Capital Solution from smart devices.

The mobile workforce

As the workforce evolves and the way organisations deliver HR information matures, the use of mobile HR can drive productivity and deliver increased HR service levels to the enterprise.

Generation Y easily adapts to this technology and remains engaged with employers that can provide information in an anytime/anywhere format.

It’s no secret Gen Y has grown up in an instant world – where everything is available at their fingertips. With mobile HR, the ‘instant’ generation can become more engaged when their personal information, leave requests and payment advice are available via this innovative technology.

Talent acquisition is a growing concern in some industries and mobile HR can assist.

Recruitment is an ideal user of this technology. Imagine the time savings that can be achieved when job applications can be made from a smartphone or web-enabled device and interview requests or candidate updates can be sent via SMS. Many recruiters are using social media to advertise roles, and capturing applicants through this medium will increase the quality and quantity of applications. The employer brand is also enhanced by streamlining the process and being seen as an innovative technology user.

Mobile HR is a great fit with industries that have a dispersed and mobile workforce.

The ability to complete and submit timesheets or expense requests on the fly gives management real-time access to workforce costs and expenses.

Mobility for HR

Mobile HR transforms the HR function. No longer are HR and Payroll required to be at their desk to ensure workforce initiatives are executed and remain on track. With mobile HR it’s easy to manage approvals and change requests anywhere/anytime.


Management can also benefit from mobile HR capabilities. Line managers will discover productivity savings with the ability to approve leave requests and manage timesheets from anywhere. Reporting is also available at their fi ngertips, delivering 24/7 access to workforce data – when they need it.


Some organisations are cautious when considering using smart devices for fear that sensitive data may not be secure. As long as your Human Capital Solution provider has developed the solution with a solid security framework, there will be no increased data security risk.


With the growing use of mobile HR and similar technologies on smartphones, employers need to consider their smartphone usage policy to ensure everyone understands how the devices are to be used and what is expected.

In North America, there have been cases where employees have claimed over-time while using smartphones outside of office ehours. A well-documented usage policy will minimise the risk of litigation and ensure there is no expectation of unfair work practices.

Mobile HR represents an exciting evolution for HR – the ability to deliver workforce data to smartphones and web-enabled devices will revolutionise HR service delivery. The productivity savings that accompany this technology are enormous and should be considered by any organisation that is preparing a business case for the implementation of mobile HR.

Adopting this type of technology can remove the tactical burden from HR and provide more time for them to focus on developing workforce strategy and driving execution

About the author

Nick Southcombe is the General Manager of Frontier Software, an Australian-based global provider of HR and Payroll software and associated services. Nick can be contacted at or by phoning 03 9639 0777. Website: