Potential of digital HR

HR and digitization: The undiscovered potential

In terms of their degree of digitization, enterprises in different industries are on greatly varying levels. While some, insurance companies for example, are already well along in digitizing their business processes, businesses in other industries are still catching up. They all have one thing in common: they cannot escape the digital transformation. And they often forget their HR departments in the digitization process. Yet, the HR department in particular holds tremendous potential for advancing the entire digital transformation in a company.

Human Resources bringing up the rear in digitization

Company digitization processes are also in the hands of the HR department, since their employees are significantly involved in looking for new talent and organizing, promoting and training employees. Thus, the work of HR staffers begins with recruiting and is far from over once specialized training is on the agenda. But whilst other departments are already embedded in global supply chains and looking at augmented reality or Internet of things, are many HR department still busy, managing their operational workload.
This is the sore point. HR is forgotten during digitization and is not equipped with the necessary tools. But a personnel department which is stuck in the processes of the past cannot sufficiently ensure that the company and current employees are ready for digitization. This is particularly true in the acquisition and integration of new employees. That is the conclusion of a study by the EBS Business School in cooperation with the digital association Bitkom. In a survey of 100 personnel specialists from a variety of industries, most indicated that the digitization of the human resources department is not an independent project in their company. The paradox is that the lack of ability to change is probably due to understaffed departments. HR employees simply have too much to do to also be able to deal with new processes and tools. Therefore, the impetus must come from above. After all, 90% of those surveyed are of the opinion that the digital work environment is not compatible with the existing structures in their company. Hierarchical thinking and clinging to familiar structures result in digital processes not being implemented. As always, the digital transformation of HR is also a cultural change.

How a digital HR department solves your problems

The employees of the human resources department are so occupied with their administrative work, inefficient processes, and the constantly changing legal framework – such as the European General Data Protection Regulation (EU-GDPR), which goes into effect on May 26 – that they have no time left to dedicate to strategic topics such as gaining new employees or the productive use of employees from different generations. That is why digitization, setting up an electronic personnel file for example or automation of operational processes, is a prerequisite for dealing with sustainable strategies.
Looking at the future, we see that the most important problem is a lack of skilled employees. Employees have long since become one of the key resources  when it comes to competitive advantages. Under the heading of employer branding, the human resource department wants to see to it that their company is perceived as an attractive employer in order to win over the best talent for themselves.
It is obvious that paper personnel files and analog, decentralized processes can reduce the efficiency of an HR Department. Analog, time-consuming processes quickly become a problem, especially when companies grow.

Summary

With digitized processes, you have the option of viewing and processing all data from anywhere centrally in one storage location. Recruiting tools structure the talent search, and all processes, from onboarding to automatic creation of letters of reference, can be regulated quickly and easily. All data can be found at any time, while compliance guidelines are maintained. You save time and money in the company. In addition, you get satisfied employees, whose routine concerns – whether it’s the approval of a vacation, the creation of references, or a travel expense report – can be processed quickly. Last but not least, you are left with enough time to tackle strategic tasks.
With regard to the digital transformation, you do your company a good turn when you don’t forget about your HR department, because they are the ones who provide you with new talent and are vital to your company’s success.