HR in Times of Digitization

bei

 / 18. January. 2019

“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.”
– Lao Tzu

The world is changing, and there is nothing that can be done about that fact except to adapt and change with it. For Human Resources (HR), this is especially true since the act of finding and recruiting people for specific jobs and work has been changing with the increasing integration of digital technologies.
The process of changing operational HR processes to become more efficent, automated and data-driven is what is now called the Digitalization of HR. The Digitalization of HR is about transforming the 2 sides of the HR coin:

  1. HR teams taking up the challenge of transforming HR operations with digital technologies and processes.
  2. Transforming the workforce and the way work is done.

HR digital transformation is not just about the HR department and its process, but instead it is a metamorphosis that involves organizations as a whole, and includes changing with the way people now do their work.

Striving For A New Life

So why is the Digitalization of HR happening in the first place? It started gradually, with the introduction of the internet, then with Job sites being developed and maturing to provide workers with digital CVs and a way to send them to many HR departments. The next step was the development of low cost digital communications such as Skype and Google Hangouts that allowed for more workers to work remotely from anywhere in the world. There are many cloud based tools that help more workers do the work remotely, and so that the workers can be more efficient and productive either in-house or remotely.

The digital HR technology platforms that have been developed over time now offer extensive data collection, analytics and reporting. It is these features that have helped transform HR departments, by allowing them to determine what are the best recruiting channels, understand the skillset flow and the spread of candidates and to help develop automation to help select the best candidates for a requirement.
These new HR Digitalization tools and platforms allow employers to find the best person for any given job based on their interests, skills and actions. Big data and AI tools are increasingly being offered by HR platforms like LinkedIn and Monster.com to sift through candidates’ profiles and identify the best people for a position.
A result of these new digital HR platforms and communication channels is that HR departments are able to more easily process and select job applicants, and with the integration of advanced remote communication platforms into companies and their HR departments, the candidate pools are no longer constrained to the local geography.

Other transformations in HR are that work environments are becoming more focused on worker lifestyle needs and that HR has access to a wider range and depth of talent and skill than what just the local talent pool of available workers can provide.

For The Little Guy Too

A main benefit of the digitalization transformation of HR is that it is a very scalable business concept and it can be applied to very small companies as well as to the largest enterprise businesses.
In the Digitialization of HR, the workload of the transformation is actually split among the two parties; HR departments using digital tools and lifestyle to selects and recruit top talent, and talent (working people) using digital tools to find work and to live a flexible work lifestyle.
As the application of various digital HR tools become more developed, the costs go down and the integration efforts and requirements also become smaller and more manageable for smaller and smaller businesses. This effect will actually drive the acceptance and spread of the Digitalization of HR applications and social and business acceptance.
The Digitalization of HR has also transformed HR departments into becoming a corporate leader by fostering a culture that inspires digital change, innovation and focuses on employee job and lifestyle satisfaction. This is an important point; because one of the most important concerns of people looking for work in a tight skilled labor market is what do the company they think they are going to work for think about their workers and how they work.
The Digitalization of HR has now given workers a greater selection of where to work and when and how much to work, and so HR departments are going to have to become more flexible in what they offer to workers in order to be able to get the top talent.
Companies big and small are going to have to not only attract the top talent, but once they employ them they will have to help enable employees to deal with the change, the complexity, the speed, and the volume of today’s digital workplace. This means company’s key strategic focus should be to enable individuals to learn and grow, and leaders to engage and to develop great talent.

 

ScreamingBox

When we started ScreamingBox, our Digital Development agency, we decided to build the HR department using the latest digital HR platforms to globally recruit the top engineering talent. We did this in order to allow us to recruit talent with a minimum of cost and resources, while developing an HR department and process that will be easily scalable.
We built our digital HR platform based on Zoho Recruits and People, and utilized several different digital recruiting channels such as LinkedIn, Upwork and Freelancer.com. We decided that for our business model, we wanted to focus on more independent and self-motivating developer talent, who are more likely to be independent and freelance based workers.

The challenge in moving from a more traditional full-time office based HR strategy, to one that is based on a more flexible time and location based strategy; was that while the digital HR platforms had the flexibility to handle this change, the companies’ back-end operations and management was not as flexible. This meant that we had to spend a lot more time working internally on management transformation and developing the automation and integration for our digital HR, accounting and CRM platforms.
As a result of shifting our HR strategy away from a full-time office based HR strategy, we put ourselves in the position of having to recruit developers who had a lot of lifestyle demands. These demands included things such as: limited working hours, working hours on only certain days of the week, working from different time zones and locations throughout the year and other lifestyles requirements.
One of the biggest challenges with using more independent and freelance based workers, is that not everyone is good at being such a worker. As a result, initially we hired developers who were technically qualified, but personality and motivationally they were not good at the remote self-motivated workflow that is the basis our business model.

 

To Tell A Story

When we started ScreamingBox, our Digital Development agency, we decided to build the HR department using the latest digital HR platforms to globally recruit the top engineering talent. We did this in order to allow us to recruit talent with a minimum of cost and resources, while developing an HR department and process that will be easily scalable.
We built our digital HR platform based on Zoho Recruits and People, and utilized several different digital recruiting channels such as LinkedIn, Upwork and Freelancer.com. We decided that for our business model, we wanted to focus on more independent and self-motivating developer talent, who are more likely to be independent and freelance based workers.
This decision to recruit our developers as independent and freelance talent, was made because these type of workers are often the top talent. These are the mad scientists, the smartest people on the room and the more creative problem solvers – but they are also hardest to recruit because they don’t want to work in a traditional full-time office based employment.

The challenge in moving from a more traditional full-time office based HR strategy, to one that is based on a more flexible time and location based strategy; was that while the digital HR platforms had the flexibility to handle this change, the companies’ back-end operations and management was not as flexible. This meant that we had to spend a lot more time working internally on management transformation and developing the automation and integration for our digital HR, accounting and CRM platforms.
As a result of shifting our HR strategy away from a full-time office based HR strategy, we put ourselves in the position of having to recruit developers who had a lot of lifestyle demands. These demands included things such as: limited working hours, working hours on only certain days of the week, working from different time zones and locations throughout the year and other lifestyles requirements.
By setting up the business from the beginning to build our developer pool from independent and freelance talent, the company was able to quickly address and solve HR challenges since the solutions where always focused on what the developers wanted and needed for them to do the best work. The digital HR platforms allowed the company to quickly grow the developer pool and to scale the HR process into 7 different countries around the world without having to hire a lot of additional HR staff.

It’s A Small World

As the ScreamingBox developer pool grew, we integrated different digital technologies and platforms into our Digitialization of HR focus; because we realized that one of the ways independent and freelance developers differs from in-house based developers, is that the independent and freelance developers are more community based and tend to have lots of relationships with other developers.
This reality presented a opportunity to use marketing community building tools such as newsletters, meetups, internal contests and other communication channels to build an active developer community of ScreamingBox developers and all their friends. The result of this community building initiative is that our developer community has created a flow of candidates to HR from our own developer referring over their developer friends.

An End

Companies big or small are all going to benefit from the Digitialization of HR, but a companies’ executive management is really going to have to think ahead about how the Digitialization of HR is going to change their company and their workers. If applied correctly, this transformation of HR will allow companies to find the best talent in the most cost effective and scalable way.

 

Der Autor: Dave Erickson has 30 years of very diverse business experience covering marketing, sales, branding, licensing, publishing, software development, PR, social media, advertising, SEO, SEM and international business. A serial entrepreneur, he has started and owned business in the USA and Europe

Vorheriger ArtikelArtificial Intelligence & HR – Mitarbeiterzufriedenheit erkennen
Nächster ArtikelDurch Digitalisierung und den Einsatz künstlicher Intelligenz von einem „Lose-Lose“ zu einem „Win-Win“