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What is digital HR all about and how is it changing how we work and live? [VIDEO]


The world of work is undergoing a seismic shift. Technology is changing the way we work, communicate, relate and above all the way we live. Work happens during, before and after the real work hours. Work, life, and work life balance have all gained new meanings.

This interconnected evolution has made managing human and talent issues the foremost challenge of the business enterprises.

With over 64 per cent of Asia Pacific CEO’s being concerned about availability of key skills and 63 percent perceiving the likelihood that their organization will face an internal capability shortage in next three to five years, HR has a mountainous task at its hands.

In an era when the talent has already gone digital, digital HR is now a survival and transformative imperative for organizations. Contrary to the popular belief, digital HR is not just about process automation or digitization.

So what is digital HR really about?

Digital HR is the foundation for organizational transformation to make it future ready. Digital HR is technology enabled way of work that leverages new age sciences to make HR transactions and decisions intuitive, informed and inspiring to enable organizational effectiveness. It is an integration that embeds HR activities with business on a real time and real impact basis. For an organization, digital HR can be:

1. A lever for employee engagement

Modern day workforce is looking for a workplace that treats its employees as customers and provides similar user experience across touch points. They want their HR transactions to be managed from ‘always on, always available’ mobile enabled devices. A recent global survey reported that digital workforce enablement yields up to 64 per cent higher employee engagement.

2. An enabler of cultural transformation

While everybody seems to want to transform their organizations’ culture, few really understand the ‘trim tab’ of such transformation. As Gen Y and Gen Z enter the workforce, the idea of workplace is becoming redundant. Most of the work and interpersonal interactions happen in the virtual social world. Only digital HR can enable cultural transformation in the contemporary digital workplace.

3. An empowerment mechanism

It enables transfer of many processes like, recruiting, compensation management, learning & development and talent management etc to the managers and employees leading to much higher empowerment and transparency. Employees are more ‘in-control’ of their careers and work life which creates significant and measurable impact on various business matrices.

4. A competitive advantage in the war for talent

Delivering employee value proposition through digital channels helps organizations to attract and retain higher quality talent. A substantially high proportion of prospective employees today leverage digital channels like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook etc for their job search. 71 per cent of Companies reported better sourcing through social tools.

5. A source of insights and predictions

The seamless integration of real time employee data, inbuilt analytical capabilities and referencing to big data enable digital HR solutions to provide meaningful insights. It can even predict future events that may have mission critical impact on the business. An organization’s ability to predict attrition of individuals or their future performance, for example, can have a huge positive impact on its ability to manage its results.

6. A key to HR’s ‘seat on the table’

Like it or not but HR is still has a limited say in the formulation of business strategy. It is largely due to the subjective nature of HR initiatives and qualitative impact measurement. According to a BCG report, “There is a strong correlation between the use of KPIs and the strategic role of HR. HR Leaders who want a role in strategic discussions with business must be able to quantify workforce performance. This goes beyond “input” metrics, such as cost and head count, toward more sophisticated “output” indicators, such as productivity”. Digital HR enables this.

Understanding and embracing Digital HR will lead to a lot of HR aspects getting embedded in everyday work and businesses. The digital HR team can then spend more time on strategic initiatives, guided by insights and achieve higher workforce effectiveness. This will the enable measurement and monetization of all the value that HR has always promised to deliver but has often failed to display. “Go digital or perish” is the survival mantra for HR.

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Aaron Green is the Vice President of HCM, Oracle APAC. In this capacity, Mr. Green researches and identifies emerging trends in the practice of Human Resources and works to deliver industry-leading technology solutions. Prior to joining Oracle in 2004, Mr. Green held a variety of leadership positions in Human Resources at Sun Microsystems, Logitech and Lexmark International. Mr. Green previously held posts in Asia and Western Europe.

Aaron Green

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