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August 2017, Vol. 5, No. 4

HR metrics and analytics tools propel human resources into hyperdrive

For those of us who can remember, something called a personnel department was the go-to place to apply for a job, fill out the necessary paperwork if hired, pick up your paycheck, change your benefits and update your W9 tax exemptions. About 35 years ago, the term personnel -- perhaps not seen as "personal" enough -- quietly morphed into a designation that sounds, well, more human and all-encompassing. With the help of metrics and analytics applications, human resources has been catapulted into hyperdrive and is now considered a strategic business function. Beyond its traditional tasks, HR is charged with performance management, employee recruitment and retention, social media, healthcare portals and e-learning, to name just a few responsibilities essential to any company competing for a post position in the global market race.

August's Business Information opens with our editor's note and a strong reminder that, amid the metrics and analytics, workers are still a company's most important asset and need to be treated primarily as individuals, not as statistics. HR metrics and analytics management tools are available to do just that.

Along those lines, our cover story examines a new generation of multidimensional HR tech tools, including health management software platforms, wellness and fitness apps, and online benefits exchanges, to increase employee job satisfaction and improve their productivity. In another feature, we take worker productivity one step further and explore companies that use HR metrics and analytics to encourage continuous feedback and set tangible goals -- all the while gathering a treasure trove of metrics to identify and nurture job skills, elevate performance and increase employee retention.

Also in this issue, an artificial intelligence guru believes AI can humanize HR, and he's introducing three bot creations to prove his point. And in another feature, we ask which is easier, searching for extraterrestrials or finding the perfect job candidate? The answer could be out of this world.

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