E-hrm – a contemporary issue of human resources management


*H. Shamina , M.B.A., M.Phil.,M.Com, SLET.                                         


Technology travels with management of people in organizations. e-business is emerging, and therefore HR and HR professionals are faced with the challenge of performing in ways that are in line with the business. If HR’s role has been to deliver workforce support and management based on the needs of the business, the role of technology has been one of the enabler.  So in e-business, the application of intranet technology for HR is inevitable.


When HR departments make use of the Internet and related technologies, to support their activities, the process becomes e-HRM ( electronic HRM). E-HRM is the complete integration of all HR systems and processes based on common HR data and information and on interdependent tools and practices. Properly developed e-HRM could provide the data gathering tools , analysis capabilities and decision support resources for HR professionals to hire, pay, promote, terminate, assign, develop, appraise, and reward employees . 

E-HRM and HRIS are not identical:

HRIS (Human Resource Information Systems) is a term that possibly carries similar meaning to the term e-HRM. There is a fundamental difference between HRIS and e-HR in that basically HRIS are directed towards the HR department itself. Users of these systems are mainly HR staff.

E-HRM has the potential to change all traditional HRM functions. Employees in geographically dispersed locations can work together in virtual teams using video, e-mail, and the Internet. They all can receive the same information and training over the company’s computer network. Effective use of Internet enables companies to search for talent across time and distance constraints. Recruiting can include online job interviews, postings, applications, and screening the potential candidates from websites like naukri.com,monster.com and clickjobs.com.

E-HRM can contribute to enhanced performance of HR in four ways.

  1. Self service .
  2. Call centers.
  3. Productivity improvement.
  4. Outsourcing.

If the company facilitates internet, all the employees can self service many of their personal transactions such as updating personal information and changing benefits allocations. If a call center is created within the organization, HR professionals can answer questions from all far flung employees thus reducing the need for HR departments in each location.

E-HR Activities in Organizations:

Almost all HR activities have been automated these days and some of the major activities are e-Recruitment, e-Selection, e-Learning, e-Compensation and e-performance management.Companies already implemented e-HR Strategy are Dow Chemicals,  ABN-AMRO,  Ford Motor Company and  IBM .


This is also called as online recruiting which is being widely used as of now. Surveys show that 70 to 90 percent of corporate use e-Recruiting systems and it may increase over 95 percent in future. Cisco Systems recruit employees only through e- Recruiting. e- Recruiting offers several benefits to the firms practicing it which includes facility to apply online, wide reach often cutting across national borders, reduced costs, decreased  cycle time and reduced burdensome administrative processes. 

Common practices of e- Recruitment are as follows:

  • Adding recruitment to existing organizational websites.
  • Using special recruitment websites.
  • Developing interactive tools for processing applications.
  • Using software for online screening of applications.


E-Selection includes HR activities such as 800 numbers scheduling, web based testing, face to face interviewing and job offering. E-Selection has three major objectives.

  1. Achieving cost reduction.
  2. Maximum utilization of human capital.
  3. Sustainability.  

E-Selection helps cost reduction in several ways. Loss rates between events in the selection process are minimized, administrative costs are reduced, and costs of sourcing candidates into the employment become less. Maximum utilization of human capital is achieved through high retention rates, increased percentage of candidates who meet employment requirements and improved productivity after the new hires. 

E-Performance management systems:

Mr.Sandeep Kulhalli, Business Head, Retailing Services Group of Titan Industries has rightly pointed out that People in the frontline are the key to a brand’s success. It has initiated e-performance management systems for its sales staff, customer relationship officers, store managers and service receptionists. E-based systems tends to increase productivity, enhance competitiveness and motivate employees. It is possible through two ways.

  1. Technology may facilitate measuring an individual’s performance via computer monitoring activities.
  2. Technology may become a tool to facilitate the process of writing reviews or generating performance feedback.

Routine or low discretion jobs can be subject to Computerized Performance Monitoring (CPM) system that helps to generate performance data. Softwares are available to prepare appraisal forms and accompanying narratives. Performance management system can be integrated with an overall enterprise resource planning (ERP) software system. 


e-Learning refers to the use of an organizational internet to conduct training online. Large number of employees who need training has increased the significance of e-Learning . Wipro has 17,500 employees and out of them only 2500 are onsite and 15,000 employees are in off-shore centers at Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune and Delhi. Wipro has a policy of subjecting any employee for a two week training every year and hence it relies in e-Learning only. At Satyam Mahindra nearly 80 % of its 9000 employees are logged into the in-house learning management system. Infosys has almost 10% of its training through e-Learning. e-Learning is used to train soft skills for employees also.


Firms are increasingly making use of web seminars ( webinars) to organize training sessions to ramp up new hires and enhance soft skills when they have to deal with globally dispersed employees. Webinars help HR manager in communicating latest company policies and manage employee information.

Advantages of e-Learning:

v  It is self-paced. Trainees can proceed on their own time.

v  It is interactive, tapping multiple trainee senses.

v  Allows for consistency in the delivery of training.

v  Enables scoring of services or assessments and the appropriate feedback.

v  Incorporates Built-in guidance and help for trainees to use when needed.


E-Compensation represents a web-enabled approach to an array of compensation tools that enable an organization to gather, store, manipulate, analyze, utilize and distribute compensation data and information. Using internet, individuals can access electronically distributed compensation softwares, databases and analytical tools. HR professionals are able to gain access to knowledge management databases, best practices and competitive information. Web-enabled tools distribute compensation metrics to employees and managers for critical decision making.


E-HRM is a way of implementing HR strategies, policies, and practices in organizations through a conscious and directed support of and/or with the full use of web-technology-based channels. E-HRM is the use of technology to automate human resource activities and functions. Common e-HRM solutions include web-based self-service tools that allow employees to change their mailing address online, use the web to complete forms needed to hire a new employee or submit the documentation for annual performance reviews and salary increases electronically. Even though e-HRM appears as a challenge; it has gained much importance in corporate and is inevitable.


1.Ball, K. (2001), ‘The Use of Human Resource Information Systems: A Survey,’ Personnel Review,30, 6, 677–693.

2.Broderick, R., and Boudereau, J.W. (1992), ‘Human Resource Management, InformationTechnology and the Competitive Advantage,’ Academy of Management Executive, 6, 2,     7–17

3.Gueutal, H.G. (forthcoming), ‘A Guest Editor’s Introduction: Special Issue on Electronic Human Resource Management and the Future of Human Resource Management,’ Journal of Managerial Psychology.

4.Gueutal H.G., and Stone D.L., (eds.) (2005), The Brave New World of e-HR, San Francisco, CA:Jossey-Bass.

5.Reddington, M., and Hyde, C. (2008), ‘The Impact of e-HR on Line Managers and Employees in the Rue¨l, H.J.M., Bondarouk, T., and Looise, J.C. (2004), E-HRM: Innovation or Irritation?

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