Digital HR: What it is, and why

  • It is a survival and transformative imperative for organisations
  • Digital HR is the key to HR’s ‘seat on the table’

Digital HR: What it is, and whyTHE world of work is undergoing a seismic shift. Technology is changing the way we work, communicate, relate – and above all, the way we live.
Work happens during, before and after the real work hours. Work, life, and work-life balance have all gained new meaning.
This interconnected evolution has made managing human and talent issues the foremost challenge of the business enterprises.
With over 64% of Asia Pacific chief executive officers being concerned about availability of key skills and 63% believing that their organisation will face an internal capability shortage in next three to five years, HR (human resource) has a mountainous task at its hands.
In an era when the talent has already gone digital, Digital HR is now a survival and transformative imperative for organisations.
Contrary to popular belief, Digital HR is not just about process automation or digitisation.
So what is it?
Digital HR is the foundation for organisational transformation to make it future-ready.
Digital HR is a technology-enabled way of work that leverages new age sciences to make HR transactions and decisions intuitive, informed and inspiring to enable organisational effectiveness.
It is an integration that embeds HR activities with business on a real time and real impact basis.

Digital HR: What it is, and why

For an organisation:
1) Digital HR is a lever for employee engagement
The modern day workforce is looking for a workplace that treats its employees as customers and provides a similar user experience across different touch points.
They want their HR transactions to be managed from ‘always on, always available’ mobile enabled devices. A recent global survey (PDF) reported that digital workforce enablement yields up to 64% higher employee engagement.
2) Digital HR is an enabler of cultural transformation
While everybody seems to want to transform their organisations’ culture, few really understand the ‘trim tab’ of such transformation.
As Generations Y and Z enter the workforce, the idea of a workplace is becoming redundant. Most of the work and interpersonal interactions happen in the virtual social world.
Only Digital HR can enable cultural transformation in the contemporary digital workplace.
3) Digital HR is an empowerment mechanism
It enables transfer of many processes like, recruiting, compensation management, learning and development, and talent management to the managers and employees, leading to much higher empowerment and transparency.
Employees are more in control of their careers and work life, which creates significant and measurable impact on various business matrices.
4) Digital HR is the competitive advantage in the war for talent
Delivering employee value proposition through digital channels helps organisations attract and retain higher quality talent.
A substantially high proportion of prospective employees today leverage digital channels like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook for their job search. 71% of Companies reported better sourcing through Social Tools.
5) Digital HR is insights and predictions
The seamless integration of real-time employee data, inbuilt analytical capabilities and referencing to big data enable Digital HR solutions to provide meaningful insights.
It can even predict future events that may have a mission-critical impact on the business. An organisation’s ability to predict attrition of individuals or their future performance, for example, can have a huge positive impact on its ability to manage its results.
6) And finally … Digital HR is the key to HR’s ‘Seat on the Table’

Digital HR: What it is, and why

Like it or not, HR still has a limited say in the formulation of business strategy. It is largely due to the subjective nature of HR initiatives and qualitative impact measurement.
According to a BCG report, “There is a strong correlation between the use of KPIs (key performance indicators) and the strategic role of HR.
“HR leaders who want a role in strategic discussions with business must be able to quantify workforce performance. This goes beyond ‘input’ metrics, such as cost and headcount, toward more sophisticated ‘output’ indicators, such as productivity.”
Digital HR enables this. Understanding and embracing Digital HR will lead to a lot of HR aspects getting embedded in everyday work and businesses.
The Digital HR team can then spend more time on strategic initiatives, guided by insights to achieve higher workforce effectiveness.
This will the enable measurement and monetisation of all the value that HR has always promised to deliver but has often failed to display.
‘Go digital or perish’ is the survival mantra for HR.
Yazad Dalal is senior director of HCM Strategy and Transformation at Oracle Corp.
Related Stories:
Millennials and digital transformation: The HR question
The workplace of the future: Reality vs myth
Riding the digital workforce wave
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