It’s a good question, even for experienced HR Directors. Yet, there’s not a universal answer when asked ‘what does digitising HR mean?’, although the term is becoming more mainstream.
In a recent HR webinar co-hosted with Calimere Point Risk Advisory, we asked attendees to consider which of the statements are true of digitising HR:
A. Uses data and analytic tools to identify insights on people
B. Provides all the technical capability your HR team will need
C. Enables powerful predictive business modelling
D. Involves a high level of investment
E. Is a gradual process, with quick wins along the way
If you’re wondering, the correct answers are A, C and E.
Answer C, of course, applies once you’ve reached the stage where all your processes are automated and predictive with HR taking its place at the Board as a key decision-maker.
If we know what it delivers, what does digitising HR mean?
Quite often, a COO or CEO will understand what benefits digitising HR will bring to the business. But what does digitising HR actually mean? And how do you explain it to the rest of the team?
Well, it’s a shift of thinking. It’s not about digitising everything you already do. It’s about focusing on the employee experience rather than the HR process.
What do we mean by this? In simple terms, it is the consumerisation of HR. Viewing HR self-service as a truly user-friendly experience for employees for example. An experience that enables your organisation to find, retain and inspire the brightest minds and hardest working employees to grow the business. As the Global Human Capital Trends report from Deloitte, explains:
“Networks of highly empowered teams have shown impressive results in what were previously slow-moving organisations”
Digitising HR takes a data-driven, collaborative approach. It involves transforming the way your business collects, stores, uses and shares information for the benefit of all employees; making them feel more engaged, motivated, and productive.
Crucially, it enables organisations to deliver new insights and services at scale without inflating headcount or cost.
Whenever we meet with clients, we talk about the true value of digitising HR and what the sweet spot in HR automation looks like. It’s where data intelligence frees the HR professional to use evidence to reinforce their ‘gut feel’, enhancing employee connectivity for the wider benefit of the business.
It involves challenging and asking, ‘why are we doing this?’ for even the most granular data-driven process you plan to introduce.
A change of mindset
Digital HR uses data and analytics to measure progress during each stage of the employee life cycle; from talent acquisition to retention and even offboarding. This is with the intention of being able to quickly adapt when there’s a dip in performance or a need to respond to a wider business need.
HR digital transformation starts with a change of mind-set; not just within HR but across the business: to prioritise self-service, connectivity, real-time operations and automation.
The role of the CHRO
When delivered correctly, digitising HR is incredibly exciting for CHROs looking to redefine and reinforce their roles within business.
Advanced CHROs are now becoming champions of internal transformation with employee experience taking centre-stage. As a response to digitising HR, we’re seeing the CHRO title evolving into Chief People Officer or Chief Employee Experience Officer.
This new HR leader is working directly with senior management teams to educate them on why the employee experience – which brings together applications and data to better connect insights to actions – is crucial for the long-term health of their organisation.
So, where do you start?
For companies that are in the early stages of digitising HR – or haven’t even started the process – where do you begin?
As a barometer, our HR Digitisation Maturity Model is a good place. If you are in the very early stages of digitising HR, you are likely to be somewhere between the immature and conceptual stages.
If you’re about to start your journey, you’ll want to make sure you’re covering off the top seven essentials:
1. Ask yourself “what does digitising HR mean to your organisation?” Be clear on this explanation as your organisation progresses to the more advanced stages.
2. Decide who will champion digital transformation. Be mindful that digital HR is part of the greater landscape of digital disruption.
3. Map-out every HR process, across every department before commencing your journey.
4. Decide on the business/HR challenges you want to resolve. Digitising HR does not happen overnight. You’ll need to agree the order in which you will digitise HR processes.
5. Learn from previous digital adopters. Your colleagues in operations, IT and finance will likely have experience and best practice to share.
6. Place employee experience at the heart of everything you do. Technology is only useful if you introduce software your employees will happily engage with.
7. Integrate analytics and real-time reporting from the beginning. Not only will you be able to measure the value of your chosen HRIS, it’ll be far easier to justify further investment and software upgrades.
Not sure where you sit on the path to HR digitisation? Contact Silver Cloud HR to book an in-depth Digital Review of your organisations HR processes.