The future of HR is here

Publication: Deccan Herald
June 1, 2021

As a majority of the workforce has shifted to working online over the past year, all HR activities including any welcoming, induction, team building activities, as well as training or appreciation, have been forced to shift online.

HR professionals have also gone digital and reconstructed company policies in order to accommodate newer methodologies, while retaining the long-established and accepted decorum of their organisational culture.

So what is Digital HR? How is it different from the regular (non-digital) HR practices? People Analytics or Digital HR is a method of work process optimisation where emerging technologies like social, mobile, analytics and cloud (SMAC) are utilised to make the role of HR more efficient, relevant, effective and people-centric, irrespective of the workspace demography.

With evolving trends, the HR revolution is inevitable. Leading organisations are focused on devising newer methodologies to create a disruption-free environment.

Regular HR practices primarily revolve around making the workplace more productive without overburdening the employees. Every aspect of the employee lifecycle usually involves the HR team being face-to-face with people. This was bound to change and the pandemic has only catalysed the induction of advanced HR practices sooner.

With increasing requirements in remote workforce management, implementation of advanced technology — Digital HR — is crucial.

The ever-evolving AI is incorporated to digitise the entire employee lifecycle (recruitment, induction, instruction, and termination of employees) making the HR professional more productive, increasing their bandwidth to focus on other pressing matters, and making them a most valuable resource.

Hiring process

Today, most professions are becoming increasingly data-driven and the realm of a People Analyst or an HR Analyst is no exception. Research by Kronos Incorporated (American multinational workforce management and human capital management cloud provider) shows that 36% of HR professionals blame inadequate technology for their inability to automate and better organise onboarding programmes.

With the workforce making an unexpected and sudden shift to homes and remote workspaces, this gap will be quickly erased to prevent work from getting hindered. Processes like training, appraisals, termination, general feedback, document verification, screening candidates, etc. are steadily becoming digital.

Analytics

Apart from these digital processes, advanced HR analytics has become an integral part of all organisations. Here the HR team collects, stores, analyses and reflects on data to help each team meet their strategic goals without compromising on the quality or team health. 

This elaborate process of data manipulation requires the HR team to be equipped with skills and know-how in artificial intelligence, machine learning, Excel, Python, Tableau, etc. Being an HR professional who is well-versed in advanced digital technologies will definitely put one on the pedestal for being able to deliver effectively and on time in a post-Covid world.

Skills required

The digitisation of existing HR practices is an elaborate and goal-oriented process that can be understood only with hands-on experience. The People Analytics & Digital HR programme in IIMs has been successful in revolutionising the arena of advanced HR Analytics. 

Analytics helps a team to effectively carry out all HR-related activities online, with the same efficiency of traditional HR practices.

The HR teams today are no longer a set of invisible people whose only time of contact with you is when you are joining or leaving an organisation.

Today, they are the driving force of any organisation and play a major role in ensuring the social, mental and economical culture of an organisation. With the need for them to go digital, most of their work tends to get automated, giving them enough time to focus on the well-being of the company’s employees and other pressing matters.

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