Carsten Funke is the CEO of Picavi USA. He is a global expert in the field of logistics processes using AR (augmented reality) concepts.

CEOs, CFOs, CTOs, VPs of operations, logistics professionals and even purchasing have had a seat at the technology decision-making table for decades. But suddenly, there is a new technology influencer at the table: human resources. Until now, HR mostly only held the responsibility of onboarding new employees and sometimes training existing staff on how various warehouses, distribution centers and manufacturing technologies were to be used. Safety meant that environmental health and safety (EHS) leaders interfaced with HR and met both company policy and complied with OSHA rules and regulations. After a quarter-century in logistics leadership, HR professionals have not always been part of the conversation. Admittedly there was some skepticism if this was genuinely a trend or merely a fad.

Recently, a type of question I have heard over and over again is whether a new technology like wearable technology will attract more employees or dissuade those who have to learn a new system. I personally believe exciting tools that entice a workforce to apply for a position are golden these days. But when it comes to predicting what will work, the person who is first interacting with potential employees is the HR manager. The person coping with any rapidly exiting employees is also the HR manager. No wonder their input is rising to the top for technology decision-makers.

At the height of the pandemic, HR professionals had to acquire a whole new set of skills to ensure that employees met local, state and federal rules and regulations which changed with regularity. The position in the organization elevated their clout, respect and responsibility in the C-Suite. From a mid-level management job, HR personnel are seen as vital, especially when up to one in six American workers will quit their job in the first 90 days.

HR professionals are having to turn to recruitment and employee engagement methodologies not on the radar just a few years ago. Getting a TikToker to endorse working at a distribution center, 3PL, warehouse or manufacturing facility requires innovative thinking. Dancing with Google glasses to pick and pack merchandise is how folks in HR and marketing have to view technology as a fun attribution for working at one company versus another without technological incentives.

Likewise, from what I have seen, the more game-like the work experience, the better to get the next generation of workers on board. Young people have had access to gaming their whole lives. While other generations may spread their leisure time on other entertainment, video games are often how younger generations socialize, have fun and pass the time. If work resembles gaming and utilizes technology to make the work more approachable, it’s another hook to enroll people and keep them on the job.

Until the great resignation of 2021, few saw technology solutions as an HR issue. Now it is central because HR professionals need something else in their toolbox to take down the help wanted signs. I see the HR seat at the technology selection table as a permanent fix within this very tight labor market.

HR executives also are using mentorship programs along with professional development opportunities by paying dues for participation in professional organizations such as the American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS), Material Handling Industry (MHI) or the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP). This encourages career-minded commitment to growth in the industry. Some are even planning on bringing new hires to MODEX, a showcase for technology software and system solutions, next year.


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https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2021/12/21/hr-professionals-innovate-hiring-using-technology-to-entice-warehouse-workers/