Human Resources (HR) is going through unprecedented transformations. New and improved HR processes are more efficient and sophisticated than ever before.
The catalyst behind these innovations? Digitalisation, robots and Artificial Intelligence (AI). HR managers are making the most out of digital advancements to streamline processes and make data-driven improvements in recruitment, talent retention and talent monitoring.
With technological advancements, HR tasks that are typically tedious and mundane can now be automated. Cloud platforms have redefined employee experiences through various means including employee self-service apps and virtual training programmes. HR personnel can reap the benefits of convenience, improve productivity, and focus on more strategic activities just by leveraging on digital HR solutions & data analytics.
At West Monroe Partners’ human resources department, a robot programmed into a Lenovo Thinkpad was used for data entry tasks. Such tasks which would typically take 25 minutes for a human to complete can be completed in less than 5 minutes by a robot.
It is imminent that pre-programmed robots will handle the bulk of repetitive tasks, thus, saving time and costs by enhancing efficiency. Other non-digital tasks which requires the human touch can be delegated to HR personnel instead.
A crucial part of HR roles includes taking care of employees’ well-being and growth in the company. When it comes to dealing with talent, sometimes, mere numbers cannot tackle problems or explain a situation, such as one’s behaviour or even project future scenarios for HR departments.
So, does digital HR mean we’ll be replaced by robots? Not really. The key is perhaps understanding what are the benefits these robots can bring to us, leverage on that, and be better prepared for it.
Here are 5 ways to navigate the digital HR game:
1) Proper training & onboarding
For a company to fully adopt digital solutions, it’s senior management will first need to be familiar and comfortable with digital solutions. Retrospectively, employees that are reluctant to adapt to rapid changes, or not able to envision the benefits of digitalisation also struggle to keep up.
Such reluctance is possibly caused by the fear of the unknown. The solution would be to offer training programs to upskill the workforce. Once employees are well versed with the new processes, they will be more adaptable to changes. There should be a smooth transition for employees who are accustomed to traditional processes to adopt digital solutions. This brings us to the next topic…
2) Strong support system
Digital HR solutions are effective only if there is a concerted effort by the different stakeholders in the company to operate these solutions smoothly. Strong ongoing IT support is crucial and should be made available if a company has decided to go fully digital in HR processes.
To help the HR department kickstart any digital HR solutions, vendors must also be kept up to speed by dedicated onboarding teams and trainers. After the launch, the trainer may not still be around to provide guidance. The company should consider training existing staff or maintaining a close working relationship with the vendors for ongoing IT support. Any digital HR solutions will only reach its full potential if proper guidance and training is readily available.
3) Implement where it is needed
When implementing digital HR solutions, it does not mean that everything has to be converted to digital. Implementing digital solutions on HR processes without proper planning could jeopardize a company’s productivity, let alone waste valuable resources. HR managers need to identify manual processes which can be addressed by digital HR solutions & create the most positive impact.
Examples of processes that can be digitalised include:
- Recruitment and retention – where the use of AI can match the job description of a vacancy to the existing pool of talent.
- Responding to HR inquiries – where the use of chatbot can replace HR personnel at the front desk.
- Compensation & benefits – where payroll and medical benefits can be automated.
4) Bringing in the right reinforcement
Digital HR solutions will create a new breed of talent; digital experts. These experts will need to be tech-savvy enough to guide and train HR personnel on digital HR processes. Hiring digital experts is an investment, rather than a cost. Once these experts understand the company’s mechanics, they can create new and specific digital HR solutions to fit the company’s needs. This will directly boost a company’s success in talent management and possibly become a trendsetter in digital HR solutions.
HR analytics is where data is mined from a pool of resources to define employee behaviour and performances. Identifying these trends through analytics is vital to counteract any mismanagement or troubleshoot problems. A knowledgeable HR personnel will be able to utilise data analytics to help the company make data-driven decisions and improvements.
5) Cybercops and security
One of the best outcome of HR digitalization is moving data into a cloud platform. Cloud platforms enable HR departments to go paperless and makes information easily searchable with just a few clicks. However, these data is also susceptible to cyber attacks. Once compromised, employees’ personal information is at risk.
When you decide to work with any digital solutions, always inquire on the vendor’s security measures. Top digital solutions have frequent “penetration tests” by employing cybersecurity companies such as Firmus to test the security measures in place.
Besides that, computers used must be installed with top-notch web security or antivirus software to sniff out data phishing that can compromise a company’s data. A good security system must be in place before implementing digital HR solutions in a company.
Robots vs Human Touch
There is still one major responsibility of HR personnel that can not be replaced by robots, which is interpersonal communications. According to Totaljobs, HR managers and heads spend a huge amount of time communicating with people. This includes meeting with staff and stakeholders and engaging with employees to develop closer working relations among them. This is one example where human touch between colleagues and peers cannot be replaced with robots or AI.
Engaging with employees helps to assess and motivate employees emotionally and mentally. Engaging personally with employees also helps with employee monitoring, which ensures a stable career growth for the employees as well as builds a healthy talent pipeline within the company.
While digital HR solutions are impossible for companies to ignore with its plentiful benefits, now but companies must also be strategic in identifying which processes can be replaced by technology and which ones still require the human touch. Technology cannot completely take over all processes. The good news is, it is possible for both to coexist.
Utilising technology to automate tedious, unproductive tasks will surely help HR departments focus on more strategic tasks instead. It is definitely possible and necessary for both to coexist. Go ahead and embrace technology, it will only take your company’s HR department to the next level!
Do you have what it takes to go full force on digital HR solutions? Learn how to tackle HR Digitalisation with our FREE ebook now.