HR & Digital Transformation: The Role of Human Resources in Achieving Digital Growth

March 22, 2023

In previous articles, we’ve addressed digital transformation and how different roles within the company can each participate in making the transition a seamless and successful process.

While the senior C-level executives formulate the strategy and oversee the transformation, middle management is responsible for the tactical implementation of their vision, optimizing customer-facing issues, and maintaining the team’s workflow while utilizing the new tech and tools. The data that managers gather from these activities allow them and C-level executives to spearhead change throughout the digital transformation as needed.

But digital transformation isn’t limited to the management’s initiative. In fact, every single employee across all departments within the organization has a part to play in the grand scheme of digital growth. Most notable of all is the HR department’s contribution to the process.

1- HR Challenges in a constantly changing digital world

The HR department is perhaps the most affected by the lack of an optimized digital process. This is due to the nature of their tasks and the effort that goes into achieving results that could otherwise be automated, or simplified through digitization.

Most importantly, Human Resources officers are the direct point of contact for employee difficulties and complaints, an aspect of their role that they share with mid-level managers. As such, they’re able to devise an intricate talent strategy that caters to the company’s need for technological change across the organization’s existing workforce and potential hires.

But the challenges that HR face in a constantly shifting digital world aren’t just tech specific. It falls to the HR department to acquire and retain digitally inclined talent that can advance the business’ digital revolution.

It’s down to them to map the company’s existing workforce and its potential for growth within and beyond the scope of each role. For example, implementing analytical tools and methods across all departments requires specific skillsets, and retraining employees to fit into the equation is part of HR’s effect in the workforce’s retention rate and professional growth.

Maintaining a flexible and adaptive workforce is one of the biggest challenges that the department faces. A well-devised talent strategy, however, can prepare the company for its future needs.

HR can contribute to the process of transforming the workplace by improving talent acquisition and retention processes, especially for candidates with an affinity for digital growth. There various internal opportunities to implement change for optimized HR functions, from implementing applicant tracking systems, carefully screening, and vetting candidates, to the bigger picture of the entire hiring process. Human Resources experts are able to determine the more important priority points from the management’s point of view and frame the conversation around that.

2. Digitizing HR sets the scene for digital growth

Improving the way a department operates eventually leads to reform and growth that affects the entire company. Thinking of the HR department as the element tying different employees, managers, and senior executives can reveal opportunities for optimization that can kickstart digital transformation.

Change towards a more digital nature can begin with the initial execution of the C-level executives’ vision. Crafting a well-devised talent strategy can help HR better manage the existing workforce, and plan ahead for new hires that are capable and equipped to contribute to the digital revolution.

Such a talent strategy allows Human Resources to view the company under the various opportunities for growth, such as training and re-training employees for different roles, new assignments, or even to spearhead change when a new department is launched.

HR optimization can be achieved internally (HR operations & tasks) and externally (employee needs & operations). Adopting digital processes is critical when employees -both within the HR department and without- begin to expect a certain experience as professionals in their field. Optimizing this aspect within the company leads HR towards a more developed candidate experience, one that orients new hires during the onboarding phase towards required digital change.

Human resources can lead the way to positive change by adopting new tools for their operations. This can be done by improving recruitment, data management, employee retention programs, and so many more HR functions. For example, utilizing an ATS (applicant tracking system) can remove the hassle of talent acquisition and onboarding altogether. For companies that rely entirely on their HR to source talent, this can be a time-saving exercise capable of raising the quality of acquired candidates.

Alternatively, HR can help improve functions beyond the scope of their role by asking employees well-placed questions. By gathering internal data, HR can create a list of areas in need of improvement for senior executives to review. Opinions, thoughts, and suggestions gathered from current employees can provide a clear vision of the bigger picture, to be leveraged when digital change is required.

3. Start Small With Visions of the Future

While the term ‘transformation’ conveys an aggressive change, companies need to be aware that change doesn’t need to happen all at once or at the same time. Pushing for immediate change on multiple fronts can lead to unnecessary challenges and complications.

HR can orient the transformation by constantly monitoring efforts and ensuring that the entire team contributes to the change on a recurring cycle in which processes are implemented, tested, and optimized.

In order to ensure that the development of digital transformation is introduced effectively, it’s critical to start small and plan for the long run. Outlining the various tools and efforts to be pursued over a period of time is a lot more likely to succeed than rushing through the checklist.

It’s important to approach these activities slowly and without undue panic. Taking any step to achieve digital transformation is better than taking no steps at all.  Starting small instead of remaining stuck on a certain activity provides insights into whether your initial efforts are yielding results, or whether adjustments are needed before the task grows.

At JB Hired, the talent strategy that our c-level executives and HR professionals devised is not only implemented for our clients’ recruitment campaigns, but to our own internal process as well. Recruiting the right talent for Human Resources can be a valuable asset in framing a company’s digital transformation.

As we’ve worked alongside SMEs and large corporations around the world, we’ve been at the forefront of the war for talent, digitally-skilled talent at that. The very process that leads to progress, growth, and a new perspective while orienting a company’s digital revolution can be traced back to the talent strategy implemented long before the campaign is launched.

In case you’re looking for qualified talent to help you on this aspect, get in touch with JB Hired and source the talent your digital transformation needs!