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28-06-2018

Redefining HR in a digital age

The current digital age is but a stepping-stone in the evolution of a world enabled by the exponential use of technology in the workplace. The digital age is moving at such a fast pace that it is fundamentally transforming the way organisations operate, be it in the private or the public sector, and is requiring them to develop new ways of thinking about service delivery that influence the way operating models are designed. Hence the profound effects on the functions of the Human Resources (HR) departments in these organisations and their role in identifying new approaches to managing people.


A seismic shift in the working and communication patterns of the organisations has pushed HR leaders to build a solution to redefine employee experience. HR departments are looking for ways to create a seamless system to represent a new platform which will improve candidate experience. Apps combined with design thinking, video and mobile technologies are being used to enhance end to end user experience.


The new HR discipline influenced by the digitisation is reshaping the organisation’s digital identity; hence HR professionals need to be pre-emptive with regard to digital transformation to maximise the output. Technology has necessitated HR professionals to improve digital literacy and analytical skills to discard the traditional way of HR functioning and embrace the digital age. To meet the organisation growing needs of recruiting high demand talent, HR is utilising cloud solutions and the advent of new recruiting technologies. A digitally enabled process is bringing social, mobile, video and cloud technologies together to enhance candidates experience and leverage employer branding. Utilisation of digital tools has helped HR professionals to improve candidate engagement and provided mobile channels have shortened the overall time of the recruiting procedure. Having a digital backbone in the talent acquisition strategy has also helped in integrating right people in the right job, identifying gaps in skills, helping employees to gain capabilities and to understand new digital competencies.


Advantages of digital technologies have enabled HR professionals to integrate learning into the day to day work routine of the workforce. Availability of resources like video learning material, online support, user friendly apps have facilitated tailored learning framework which can bridge the gap between current and future workplace competencies. Digital tools have helped companies in advocating pay for performance culture and online tools are providing a different management approach to gain more and accurate strategic insights of all employees’ incentives.


HR’s concerns will soon be revolving around Disruptive technological trends and business models as increasingly greater role for technology has the potential to radically shift HR purposes and practices.

Industries are experiencing transformation which is shaping the future of workforce and giving rise to a gig economy corporate can see shifting organisational priorities which are creating a high demand for talent in specific fields leading to reinvention of recruitment and retaining processes.


A workforce including millennial or first-generation digital citizens is being perceived as the first consumer of the employer’s brand as the talent has already gone digital making it a necessity for companies to be socially connected and use technologies for recruitment, development, and engagement practices.


Digitalisation has provided impetus to HR to transform from a mere administrator to a strategic partner and key factors towards successful digital transformation lie within fostering digital skills and productive habits equally aligned with organisational goals, nature of business, industry, and workforce demographics. This is leading to an increasingly digitally empowered environment. Emergence of HR as the biggest influence in making data-driven decisions has accelerated business performance and led to a collaboration of employers and employees. HR professionals need to be more agile in order to cater competitive business environments to eliminate the risk of being non-existent and re-establish organisational norms to support a digitalised culture which also paves a road to easier and effective communication within the organisation.


HR has to step up in developing a philosophy of digitalisation, enabling digital mindsets, managing digital workforce, and building a digital culture. Hence every pillar in an organisation is expected to play its role to contribute to a successful journey. HR functions have a vital and critical responsibility to lead the change and translate strategic objectives into competencies that will have to be constantly revived to keep up with business challenges and market trends.


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