Human Resources (HR) digitalisation and incorporation of robots / Artificial Intelligence (AI) in HR processes like recruitment, talent retention and talent tracking are definitely the current trend. HR managers are banking big on digital advancement to meet demanding expectation and deliver results. The technological incorporation into these HR processes has transformed traditional HR into modern and sophisticated operations that boost one’s company’s effectiveness.
For example, automation in tedious HR tasks, cloud platforms that store millions of employees’ data, or virtual reality training programmes have given employees redefined working experiences while HR personnel reap the benefits of convenience and data analytics using digital HR solutions.
At West Monroe Partners' human resources department, a robot that was programmed into a Lenovo Thinkpad, helps with entering data into the system.
The job takes 25 minutes for a HR personnel but the bot only took five.
It is imminent that the bulk of work will soon be handled by pre-programmed robots, thus eliminating the need to waste human resources while non-digital work can be delegated to HR personnel.
Do bear in mind that one of the important part of HR roles includes taking care of employees well-being and growth in the company.
So, when it comes to dealing with talent, sometimes, mere numbers can not tackle problems or explain a situation such as one’s behaviour or even project future scenarios for HR departments.
Does digital HR means we’ll be replaced by robots? Really, there is no definite answer for it, at least for now.
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The key is perhaps understanding what are the benefits these robots can bring to us, leverage on that, and better prepare for it.
Moving to the age of the geek
One of the challenges where HR departments cannot fully utilise digital solutions in HR processes is its employees, who do not understand how the benefits of digitalisation. Often times, senior management in the company are reluctant to learn or even get familiar with digital HR solutions.
Such scenario happen because these employee groups fear to explore what they do not know and the transition should include trainings to help them to understand the functions of the digital systems and the benefits they can get from it. They need to know that times are changing and so are the usual HR processes.
There should be a smooth transition for employees who have gotten used to the traditional HR processes and properly transit to working on digital HR. This brings us to the next topic…
Thorough support system
There is nothing we can get from digital HR solutions if we do not know how to operate it. So, a thorough IT support should place an utmost importance on implementing digital HR solutions.
Although most vendors that were engaged by companies should have packaged in dedicated tutors or trainers to help the HR department kickstart any digital HR solutions, but the crucial moment lies in what comes after digital HR is fully implemented in the company where trainers are no longer stationed in the company to teach employees how to use it.
Therefore, ongoing IT support should be made available if a company has decided to go fully digital in HR processes. The company should also consider training an existing staff or maintaining a close working relationship with the vendors, should the company need assistance in IT support. Without guidance and training, any digital HR solution would collapse without fully utilising its potential.
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 jeopardise a company’s productivity, let alone waste valuable resources.
HR head need to identify manual processes where digital HR solutions can bring change and transformation to the existing processes and boost company’s productivity.
Some of the examples 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 a HR personnel at the front desk; as well as compensation purposes, where medical claims and benefits can be automated from the side of HR and the clinic or hospital.
Bringing in the right reinforcement
Preparing for digital HR solutions needs someone experienced to guide and teach HR personnel on how to activate digital HR processes. It can be seen as an investment to hire new talent who are already familiar with such digital processes and by understanding the company’s mechanics, new and specific digital HR solutions can be created to fit the company’s needs. This will directly boost a company’s effectiveness in talent management and possibly become a trendsetter in digital HR solutions in the industry.
This will help in digital HR analytics where data was mined from a pool of resources to define employee behaviour and performances. Identifying these trend through analytics is vital to counteract any mismanagement or troubleshoot problems. An experienced HR personnel will also be creative in coming out with the cross references and categories in analytics that will help the company further.
Cybercops and security
One of the best implementation of HR digitalisation is the storage of huge data on the cloud platform, but it is also susceptible to cyber attacks. Cloud platform that enables HR department to declutter physical forms and worksheets while moving data storage to a virtual space.
But once compromised, all personal information of the employees will be at risked.
Thus, HR department must have a top notch web security or antivirus 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.
But there is still one major responsibility of a 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, which include meeting with staff and stakeholders, engaging and meeting with employees to form closer working relations among them. This can not be replaced with robots or AI, otherwise, communication among peers and employees will become emotionless and lose the human touch.
Engaging with employees helps to motivate, if not assess employees emotionally and mentally to find out if one is happy with the responsibilities given to them. This helps in employees tracking, which ensured a stable growth of the employees as well as drafting talent pipeline in the company.
Digital HR solutions is the trend now but companies must be smart to identify which processes need to be replaced by new technology within their capability.
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