Monday, 25 February 2019 18:58

HR Transition: From the Traditional to the Digital Domain

Written by Mansoor Sarwar

By Mansoor Sarwar, Technical Director at Sage Middle East


As competition gets tougher and complexities in workplaces continue to surge, successful businesses will need to seamlessly integrate technology and talent to transform existing ways of working. Significantly, this digital transformation within a business must span all departments and areas of operation, including Human Resources (HR).

While the scope of digitalisation of the HR department is no doubt extensive, this process can help companies achieve everything from talent insight and recruitment to employee welfare and retention. People are the most valuable asset of any business and play a vital role in supporting their success. With the help of technology, businesses can establish an environment that optimises HR operations, goals and productivity.

Talent and technology inevitably go hand in hand. Today’s uncertain economy poses formidable challenges for HR. Without leveraging insights derived from data analytics, it has become increasingly difficult for employers to target and recruit qualified human capital. In addition, competitive workforces today also continually seek upskilling, training, mentorship and opportunities to grow.

How do HR specialists track talent and employee satisfaction?

As technology continues to transform the recruitment landscape as we once knew it, deploying and using innovative tools and solutions such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), as well as analytics and mobility via Human Capital Management (HCM) suites can optimise the entire process. While there’s some fear around technology, it is time that HR departments turn the abundance of tools available into services that can enable them to do their jobs better. It is time to move away from legacy systems and work in tandem with modern technology to achieve optimal results.

According to the 2018 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends report, the implementation of automation, robotics and AI have witnessed an upward trajectory. Approximately half of the survey’s respondents claimed that their organisations are involved in automation projects with 24 per cent using AI and robotics to perform routine tasks, 16 per cent doing so to augment human skills and 7 per cent leveraging these advanced technologies to restructure their work. The survey data also revealed that 46 per cent of the respondents were considering using AI to automate their recruiting processes, while 51 per cent expressed confidence in using machine learning to inform their hiring decisions.

Talent acquisition specialists can leverage technology to learn more about their employees and engage with them more effectively. It will aid them in creating a more contented and focused workforce. To ensure that organisations are onboarding the right candidate, hiring processes need to be made more automated and data-driven. Through harnessing AI solutions, recruiters can conduct text-based interviews and automated scheduling and use intelligence tools more strategically in their hiring process.

While the HCM suite offers solutions that streamline the core HR functions, it can also help organisations attract, develop, engage, retain and manage their employees. By creating a digital workplace, companies enable employees to not only be digital natives but also increase the efficiency of their operations. Automation is especially useful in eliminating repetitive, low-value tasks, freeing up employee capacity to focus on more value-added work.

Access to online learning portals created by the company for its people is another good start to empowering employees. Providing e-learning platforms, training programmes, and online courses are small steps in creating a digital workforce. Such efforts will support employees in becoming tech savvy and increase their levels of engagement with the organisation.

To stay relevant today, it is imperative that organisations are agile, flexible and create collaborative and empowering work environments. Furthermore, to truly ensure successful digital transformation, companies need to facilitate cross-department collaboration and discussions to build synergies. The decisions made by HR essentially impact all departments and the overall business objectives. This is where the Chief Digital Officers (CDO) comes in. More than ever, CDOs need to play a vital role in enabling innovation and eliminating limitations. CDOs need to ensure that digital transformation takes place consistently across all departments to align business goals.

While technology is at the heart of digital transformation, the people involved in the process are equally, if not more important. Instead of fearing technology or using it to intimidate employees, organisations need to leverage its benefits to maximise productivity.

An ideal digital workplace should aid employees, across departments, to work productively. Businesses need to ensure that computers, mobile devices, collaboration applications, artificial intelligence, and analytics are tools that ultimately help shape immersive workspaces and develop innovative employees.

In today’s digital economy, organisations with strong digital capability comparatively perform significantly better than those without.