Digitalization challenges for HR

The digital breakthrough as we have been engaging in for a few years is not a single technical evolution, it is all about cultural revolution. The core of digitalization challenge is not about learning how to use news digital tools, but how people deal with it and integrate the impacts of this digitalization in their way of living, of working day-to-day, of behaving from dawn to dusk. It is a disruption of habits, embedded in new communication means.
This article aims at showing how in this Digital trend applies in the professional sphere and more explicitly from an HR perspective.


Toward horizontal management :

Digital tools and practices have enabled more autonomy, better access to information, on-line training facilities, real-time adaptation possibilities for all employees, leaders and collaborators. This has deeply questioned the hierarchical models, favoring leaner, more transparent and horizontal management practices, much more Project based and driven.
Concretely collaborative intranets, web spaces or boxes, access to professional networks, forums  are now the standard of the 2.0 enterprises. Tasks, progress and issues are shared and opened.


Employer 2.0 :

With social networks, gathering information is faster, pre-selections are accurate, updates are real-time. Human Resources Managers use them on both ways, to recruit, seek for candidates and post jobs offers. Recommendations of profiles and skills are also a tremendous lever they can benefit of, from Linkedin or Keycoopt for instance.
It is important to notice too that beyond sourcing, digital applications allow individual or collective interviews to be carried out thanks to videoconferencing wherever candidate may be located. At cheaper costs both sides can get appropriate feeling and personal appreciation of the counterpart.
Last but not least, the integration process for new employees. Broad usage of speed networking, welcome workflows and queries, on-boarding tools enable new comers to step in their role quickly and efficiently.


People Development, evaluation, retainment :

Numerous digital tools allow employees to develop new skills. Development of interactive training courses are deployed and pretty well managed in various companies of any sectors. Doing so, companies objectives are to develop individuals and collaborative talents. Online access, self-assessment, certification programs are enablements that bring real value and strengthen the culture of the entreprise.
Same applies on the evaluation and recognition front. Give your employees the tools they need to understand their role, their objectives and their performance contribution highly contribute to the success of the business. Some companies like General Electric have rolled-out « Personnal Development » tools with open access to leaders, collaterals or subordinates. This allows real-time appraisals, feed-backs and identification of improvements axis.
Other concrete implementation is the  way to simplify and personalize compensation management. On the front line, Saba for example uses predictive analytics to proactively identify high-risk employees at the start, compares an employee’s retention costs to specific costs to replace that employee, and provides customized recommendations to retain your talented employees.
HR addresses transparency in a fair, responsible but pretty open manner. Before, the information and actions were treated rather anonymously, closed, confidential. Now, digital has helped to break down some barriers in favor of better visibility on what people are doing and what they really are.


Personal branding :

On the digital planet, online absence of your company is questionnable in a world of tough competition, where every entreprise is present and advertises its brand. There is a strong intimacy between the brand and the perception not to say reputation you are transmitting there. As an employer, you should always work on this image, update it along with your front lines activities. It is common interest of both individual and entreprise to build, share and promote this online reputation.
On the inner side, employees are now to be considered as first and premium internal clients. Having their total satisfaction, retain them for a common future is a real reward for the company. Why would a customer choose a brand that harvested bad opinions while its competitor is obviously more appreciated? Why a digital worker will stay in a company that does not offer his usual digital working tools or does not have HR spaces to manage his career ? Here again, in a demanding digital environment, permanent care on conveying a modern image of the enterprise is mandatory.  .
It is essential to define a digital HR marketing strategy that will allow the company to be attractive to external candidates and to promote a strong spirit of ownership of its employees and talents.


Caroline Pennelle


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