We read every day that we’re in the fourth wave of Industrial Revolution, and businesses are adapting and changing by the minute to thrive in this new dynamic. Technology has become an essential component of every business, including HR.
Digital transformation begins with identifying problems that can be resolved by technology; for example, maintaining records, data management, etc. When it comes to transforming traditional HR practices, digitalization has played, and will continue to play, a defining role, which is why creating a comprehensive Digital Transformation guide or playbook, right at the outset, is crucial.
Traditional HR focuses on personnel management, which includes basic HR functions like recruitment, performance appraisals, payroll administration, and managing labor relations. Technology has continued to evolve, and with it the traditional HR practices. We’ve moved on from the practices of cumbersome file-folder system to complete automation, from maintaining comprehensive databases to a single HRMS platform. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Digital transformation in HR is not just about using technology in HR function but using technology to manage the whole organization. Jeanne Meister of Future Workplace quotes Cisco to be a good example of this. Cisco makes use of HR tech products like YouBelong@Cisco app, which assists new recruits and their managers in on-boarding and Ask Alex is a chatbot that answers HR related questions of the employees.
Forward thinking HR departments have begun to reorganize the way they are structured to match the pace of the change, and here are some ways you can do that, too:
Attracting and retaining top talent has always been the primary concern of any HR department. The primary reason for that is a good workforce is all that’s needed to survive in this ever-changing environment. Recruitment process starts with basic networking and advertising. There are many job portals, job boards, etc. that are now used to advertise and source better candidates. Using the right tools and introducing an e-recruitment program will save time, expense, and attract employees with correct skills who would bring more development and productivity into the business.
It doesn’t take much more than a stable internet access and the right post to publish on the platforms of your preference to attract the right candidates.
This saves a lot of time of HR administrators and speeds up the application process by downloading files from platforms like LinkedIn. Moreover, publishing on online platforms also ensures that a large number of potential applicants get access to your post. Lastly, you gain more transparency and visibility in your hiring process, making the recruitment process more effective.
Another big step in the recruitment process is the assessment, which is done traditionally by conducting an exam on paper. Digital Transformation has eased this as well. Recruiters can now assess candidates by using a suitable online skills assessment tool. Candidates can take the assessment anytime, anywhere. The tools also help in monitoring the candidate while assessing. With the help of these skills assessment, recruiters can test all types of skills, i.e., technical skills and soft skills.
- Career Pages
Another way of standing out and attracting candidates that aren’t just fit for the role but culturally fit as well is by establishing your brand. They not only distinguish from your competitors; they also make employees feel ecstatic to be part of your organization. And adding a vibrant careers page would do just that!
Tell your employees what working there would mean for them, how their contribution would not just be impacting the organization but societies at large, and how their holistic development would be your priority as well.
For instance, Chegg’s career page lists out how their CSR initiatives have been helping the societies, their vibrant working culture, and it also shows their ergonomic office set-up, which is all driven towards inciting feelings of happiness and pride for working with Chegg. Therefore, how companies position themselves and advertise is also important when it comes to recruiting. It is a well-known fact that a happy employee is a productive employee. So, you’re not just appealing to candidates fit for the role, you’re also appealing to their value system, and this would ensure retention.
- Data Management
What once used to take an immeasurable amount of time is now just a matter of few clicks. Just a few clicks, and the applicant's data can be accessed and organized. Online processes makes the accepting or rejecting and answering to the applications quicker and easier.
An HR manager also has an added responsibility of acting as a bridge between an employee and the finance department. Cloud based software helps in managing expenses, payments, invoices, salary slips, etc.
Now, we have better measures to keep a repository. There are employee management apps and software to keep records. Not only can you keep records of important events such as trainings, promotions, and address changes but the software also sends notifications when updates are made by employees or managers.
Moreover, understanding data gives you insights about how your employees are situated, be it with their relationship with their individual managers or at organization at large. That information would become key in devising plans for the future and wider HR predictive analytics approaches (HRPA).
Cloud computing helps in managing the records and makes it easily accessible. The best thing about cloud computing is that there is no need for physical infrastructure or human personnel for the management of records. With the presence of cloud, any software can be easily adopted for the HR function. The data security is the biggest concern for HR management. Any data stored is highly confidential and software adds an extra layer of security.
As times change, technology changes as well. These cloud-based services keep updating and add more features every day, making the management process easy and more adaptable.
- Performance Management
It wouldn’t be impractical to say that with implementing greater technology, organizations expect higher productivity and efficiency. It is for this reason most modern HR practices are employee oriented. They mainly focus on the growth of employees, which doesn’t only mean increasing the strength of the team but increasing their skills as well.
HR teams can conduct online employee engagement program by starting a mentorship program. Also, it is easy to conduct assessments to evaluate on-boarding process, trainings, etc.
Skills assessment has fostered upskilling in companies and helped them identify their weaknesses or drawbacks. These tools have brought more visibility and transparency in the process of recruitment and development of the employees.
Digital transformation is a people-oriented process and HR plays a key role in its implementation. Focusing on adapting new trends in technology to bring improvement in your organization is what helps HR improvise its traditional practices. Transforming the experience of employees and improving company culture will lead to increased productivity, employee engagement, and foster innovation. It isn’t just for the sake of improvement one needs to adopt Digital Transformation in everyday processes, it is for the sake of survival as well.