IoT and advanced technologies are expected to replace all the conventional tools and systems at workplaces with their digitized versions by 2022 in all the top 10 economies of the world. Now the question arises – are the traditional businesses ready to adopt digital transformation? If ‘yes’, then are they prepared enough to exploit this transition efficiently and effectively? CEOs, COOs, or CXOs cannot reply to this question rightly and honestly. The right people to answer this question are the HR leaders of these organizations who do not just facilitate the transformation but are the people who create a digital environment in their respective organizations.
According to Ingrid Jenkins, Director, Human Resources, at Microsoft Australia, “Transformation is underpinned by a digital mindset that is a unique interplay of technology, people, and process, and technology can also be used to vastly improve HR processes for employees and managers, resulting in a snowball effect of positivity and paving the way for even greater digital transformation within a business.” So, beyond transformation, a business must go after setting up a digital environment because it is the environment that harvests change and welcomes growth.
Digital transformation means the inclusion of Big Data, cognitive augmentation, physical augmentation, collaborative augmentation, and the mass usage of advanced analytics throughout the organization. To use these technological inputs as factors of enhanced productivity, the transformation entrusts some new responsibilities to the HR department that have been discussed below.
Making the prospective employees aware of the culture of the organization helps them visualize their working environment. At the same time, the employer can also judge easily which candidate is tech-savvy and which is not. According to Jon Bischke, CEO of Entelo, “Digital profiles can provide far more insight into a candidate than a traditional résumé can, and many recruiters have realized that. Twenty years ago, the résumé was a piece of paper; now, it’s a collection of all [candidate] data that can be found online, like participation in online communities, conferences, and meet-ups. Recruiters can assess whether a person will fit, and learn if he/she has the right skills for a job.”
Right from the application process to interviews with the shortlisted candidates, HR personnel should employ all the latest digital tools and software in the hiring process. Social media can also assist a lot in this direction.
Virtual onboarding allows highly busy managers to address the new employees from remote locations because sometimes business visits cannot be postponed to ensure a presence in onboarding programmes. Through digital onboarding, managers can focus equally on both the tasks. Besides, they can make their presentations more impressive and impactful with the help of multimedia tools. This results in more engaging, interactive, and effective onboarding for new recruits. So making the onboarding digitalised is the additional responsibility of the HR Department in this evolving era.
Self-service tools lead to the active participation of employees even outside the workplace. They empower the employees with all the necessary data/information required to accomplish their tasks and job responsibilities. Organisations with offices in multiple locations can easily understand the importance of self-service tools and knowledge/data banks. These self-service tools keep employees informed about changes in work plans, schedules, etc. Hence, to maximize the productivity and efficiency of the employees, HR must equip them with the latest self-service tools.
Data analytics is the driver of digital transformation, and no data means no digitization. Data ensures accuracy, precision, authentication, and perfection. Useful to calculate current demands and effective to predict future trends, data science supports almost every department of the organization, irrespective of size and functional classification. Data specifies tasks, helps in setting targets, and assists in achieving these targets. From training of the employees to performance appraisal, HR managers use data to judiciously utilize organizational resources. So, fostering a culture of data-based operations is one of the key responsibilities of HR departments in digitally transformed organizations.
Based on the new and emerging norms of HR in digitally transformed companies, it is easy to foretell that the future of HR is loaded with digital mindsets and practices, and they are going to be real agents of digital transformation for smart businesses.
Abhishek Agarwal is the Senior Vice President, Global Delivery for The Judge Group.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)