HR is going digital: Are you ready?

HR is going digital: Are you ready?

Digital transformation is not only affecting every industry, but also every department of the enterprise. Human Resources is no exception. But what do HR departments need to know about going digital, and how and why do they need to make digital a reality now?

By the end of next year, close to half of all CIOs will prioritize digital over physical assets, according predictions from research firm IDC. Approximately 33 percent of chief executives will have at least five years of experience with technology leadership by 2021. People and processes, not just technology, are leading the internal push towards digital transformation.

HR’s role in digital transformation

As IDC’s numbers show, digital transformation is as much of an internal shift as it is an external one. While most firms are focusing on how to best meet the digital demands of current and prospective customers, this can only truly happen when internal processes and ways of thinking are digital, too.

HR, responsible for both staffing a firm and for providing key training, have a huge role to play in any company’s internal (and external) digital transformation. As a recent report from Deloitte noted, it’s not enough now for HR to do digital, but rather they have to be digital. Over half of businesses polled by Deloitte are retooling themselves internally in light of digital transformation, so it makes sense that approximately 56 percent of firms are redesigning HR from a digital perspective as well.

“We define ‘Digital HR’ as ‘bringing HR to where people work’ – which often means deploying apps, AI and intelligent systems that just ‘feel natural’ in the flow of work,” Deloitte Principal Josh Bersin said in an April 2017 interview. “It’s not just a matter of buying app-based systems, it also means using design thinking to study and understand the ‘journeys’ of your people. This gives them goal-setting, feedback, wellness and other tools which feel natural and useful in the flow of work.”

How HR can fully embrace digital transformation

So what does digital HR actually look like? According to Deloitte, here are a few ways HR teams are embracing digital today:

  • Ensuring that all tools used by prospects and by internal stakeholders are mobile friendly
  • Instituting chatbots to help answer common application queries or to guide employees through their advancement options
  • Using artificial intelligence to more effectively find and filter job applicants
  • Implementing apps that make giving and receiving feedback more transparent, effortless and effective

“HR technologies of the future are going to look more like ‘productivity tools’ and less like ‘HR tools we have to use,'” Bersin said. “Everything we do in HR has to focus on making employees life easier and more productive, and they have to operate in the flow of work. So technologies like apps, AI, cognitive systems, and soon wearables will bring HR systems into a more ‘intelligent’ light, making them more predictive and even fun.”

Since HR is at the heart of everything a company does, it will be critical for all the apps and other digital systems in place to be tightly integrated with the other solutions deployed throughout the enterprise. A fully integrated system of HR and non-HR apps provides businesses with the internal foundation they need to effectively facilitate and realize digital transformation.


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