Buzz-word or reality? You may feel you’ve heard the term ‘digital transformation’ discussed a lot in the last four years or so during which the term has been in play. I can’t blame you for a little IT industry hype fatigue.
At the same time, while you might feel slightly jaundiced about the term, I don’t believe any objective observer can say the trend it describes isn’t real. And we are definitely not making as much progress as we might have hoped: a recent global CapGemini survey suggests digital transformation has turned out to be more complicated than people originally thought it would be. For example, 39% of business leaders today are convinced that the digital capabilities they seek in order to compete are at the same level as they were in 2012 .
Still a paper HR shop?
And here’s the consequent problem. And it’s a major one. While financial, production, and other company departments have converted to digital working methods for quite some time, HR is still a laggard. Indeed, it’s really not going too far to say that HR departments often bring up the rear in companies when it comes to the level of digitisation. Instead of developing personnel strategies, HR people are often confronted with administrative, manual tasks, such as searching for and providing documents as well as the management of extremely sensitive employee data.
If your new hires are all digital natives that you expect to work with 10 year old technology and no Twitter – then you face a problem.
An HR Management System may be the answer
There is some good news, however. In the last ten years, HR departments have developed increasingly into service providers who support the other organisational departments. That suggests tremendous opportunity still there to be grasped by digitising your personnel management processes now so as to make a major contribution to the success of the company.
Yes, but how? Our main guidance is that the HR function needs to go from administrative in focus to digital strategist. What would that look like in practice? It has to be about a single, unified, totally paperless and electronic and superbly-structured HR Management System, we believe.
We believe – and our customers tell us. A case in point is recruitment, and especially of those digital natives born between 1980 and 1999. These are the first real digital natives, and they are flooding the job market. They have high expectations for their employers and as early as the application process. These eager, talented new hires grew up with the Internet and smartphones and so you need to make a good first impression as early as the initial contact – in the recruitment process.
The blunt truth is that it’s those brands nimble enough to “digitally establish themselves” and present themselves as a modern employer will have the edge this Summer, as Universities put their classes of 2018 onto the market.
Carpe Diem. Digitise your HR now! It’s without doubt going to be the best basis you will have for real digital transformation – and the best way to please both your most senior and newest colleagues at the same time.
The author is Director of Sales & Marketing at EASY SOFTWARE UK
For more information and to get a copy of the EASY SOFTWARE White Paper on this topic, go here