The world is going digital, and we’re acclimatising to new ways of working, shopping, sharing and accessing information and communicating. As businesses attempt to modernise in line with changing consumer trends and demands, HR departments are also undergoing a digital transformation. As companies adapt and embrace digitalisation, HR employees play a valuable role in preparing businesses for the future.

The digital transformation in HR

HR has always been an instrumental cog in the wheel of successful business management, but in today’s ever-changing landscape, it is perhaps more important than ever before. As companies switch to digital, HR departments play an integral role in bringing about seamless transitions, in preparing employees and selecting suitable talent, and in future-proofing. The digital transformation in HR is crucial for the shift towards digital across the entire business. As the quest to be a digital enterprise becomes more pressing for forward-thinking firms, HR leaders are taking on the mantle of facilitating change.

Digital transformation within HR is required because the role of HR experts is changing. Far from being merely a support system for employees, the modern HR department acts as an interactive hub, which is essential for the day to day running of a digital business. 

How is HR changing?

There are three main ways in which HR is changing as a result of digitalisation and advances in technology. These are:

  • Building a digital workforce
  • Creating a digital workplace
  • Embracing digital HR techniques

Building a digital workforce

Not everyone that works for an organisation will have the necessary experience, skills, knowledge, qualifications, and insight to understand the process of going digital. There will almost certainly be people who have limited experience of working with cutting-edge technologies, and the challenge lies in transforming the way the business works without leaving people behind or disrupting processes or displacing vital cogs. HR departments play a critical role in providing and organising training, offering support, and overseeing the process of change. The aim is to try and encourage universal acceptance of innovation without rocking the boat.

Creating a digital workplace

A modern workplace is very different from an office that would have been used 20 or 30 years ago. The introduction of digital technologies has revolutionised businesses, and today’s workspaces are geared towards capitalising on the benefits of new technology. The goal for HR experts is to work with teams to design areas that use modern means of communication and engagement to make business processes more efficient and cost-effective, to boost employee morale and wellbeing and to increase the chances of achieving overarching business objectives. 

Embracing new HR techniques

As digital technologies become more influential and companies modernise the way they operate, it’s wise to take a look at how the role of HR is changing, and how a business can prepare for the future by adapting HR practices and embracing new techniques. This involves finding new ways of recruiting talented individuals and looking into different training techniques and methods, for example. According to research conducted by Deloitte, over a third of firms are already using AI as part of their HR strategy, and this is a trend that will continue to grow. 

The main aim for modern-day HR departments is to build and prepare for the future. Technology is advancing at lightning speed, and this means that it’s never possible to stand still. For those looking into the crystal ball and focusing on the future, here are some steps to take now:

  • Analysing current skills and highlighting gaps: before digitalisation can occur, businesses should ensure that they have the right people in place to bring about a seamless transition. There is little point in having brilliant plans if the current staff team lacks the talent, experience and skills to implement proposals. 
  • Using digital HR tools and systems: the range of tools, systems, apps, and platforms used by HR experts is expanding all the time. HR departments can now utilise the latest technology, including AI, to recruit, search for talent, organise and oversee training and track employee performance. From chatbots that are there to discuss career opportunities and apps that showcase the latest job offers to AI tools that create targeted job adverts and descriptions, there’s a broad spectrum of HR solutions on offer. Not every app or programme will be suited to every company, and HR staff can narrow down options and tailor decisions based on the individual needs and preferences of the business. 
  • Communicating and providing clarity: HR departments have a crucial part to play in communicating with employees across different teams and ensuring they understand what kinds of changes will be implemented, and how they will be affected. 
  • Reassessing roles: just as HR is changing, so is the way businesses run. Digitalisation is likely to impact the kinds of jobs a company offers and the type of talent employers are searching for. It’s important for business owners and HR teams to work together to establish what kinds of roles will be required.
  • Using digital HR tools and systems: the range of tools, systems, apps, and platforms used by HR experts is expanding all the time. HR departments can now utilise the latest technology, including AI, to recruit, search for talent, organise and oversee training and track employee performance. From chatbots that are there to discuss career opportunities and apps that showcase the latest job offers to AI tools that create targeted job adverts and descriptions, there’s a broad spectrum of HR solutions on offer. Not every app or programme will be suited to every company, and HR staff can narrow down options and tailor decisions based on the individual needs and preferences of the business. 

The role of HR is changing thanks to advances in technology and the ever-growing importance of digital ways of working. As businesses undergo digital transformations, HR departments have a valuable role to play in preparing for the future and ensuring that the transition is as seamless as possible. HR experts can work with existing employees to ready them for change, as well as focusing on adapting traditional HR techniques and embracing new recruitment solutions and tools to attract new talent. As companies go digital, HR departments are heavily involved in creating digital workplaces and establishing teams that are confident and comfortable in a digital environment.