Nokia rings changes in HR with mobile phones

giant Nokia is introducing self-service HR for 7,500 managers through its
mobile phones.

Nokia’s global HR director Lynn Rutter said it is a mobile intranet system
that will also allow managers to access staff reports. The pilot will be phased
in over the next year and will enable managers across all business units to
authorise job transfers, promotions and pay reviews remotely.

The pilot uses WAP technology and will be rolled out to all employees if
successful. Rutter explained, "We do not want to try something with 60,000
staff until we know we have it working."

She said a key driver in developing the pilot was the strong demand from
managers. "Staff and managers do not want a system where they are dealing
with high volumes of paper," she added.

The system will allow the HR team to streamline the level of administration
they have to perform and avoid unnecessary duplication, explained Rutter. She
said, "We also want to want to act as ‘change agents’, looking at the
changes in the organisation. We believe that part of the HR role is to
facilitate that."

The system is ideally suited to Nokia’s off-site managers, said Rutter.
Managers working on projects often end up in different countries from their
staff. "The system allows a fast response regardless of time zones, which
is important in this new global way of working," said Rutter.

If successful, Nokia’s staff will be able to gain access to information such
as job history, training information and undertake basic functions such as
updating their addresses using the intranet.

Staff can already perform activities via their mobiles such as checking
train timetables.

Brett Walsh, head of human capital at Andersens, commented, "What’s
being done by Nokia is the cutting edge of e-HR. It’s a further development in
the digital wireless field."

By Karen Higginbottom

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