Human resources going digital
In the era of ground-breaking IT technologies, Human Resources may seem to be following its own trusted footsteps, or at least that’s what outsiders think. Those who are more immersed in HR might have noticed however that the digital revolution has not overlooked HR processes. Have you ever heard of SMAC solutions? Thanks to them digitalisation in HR is happening right here, right now.
HR services constitute a large part of the Polish Business Services Sector and while other BSS companies go in line with the trends, HR departments and companies, by some considered outdated in this respect, do not want to stay behind any longer. One of the recent trends is following SMAC guidelines – technology solutions that are easier to understand once you decipher the acronym: Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud. The approach is applicable in various industries, but HR departments may be its biggest beneficiary. According to a survey by Deloitte, the trend of digital HR was considered important or very important by 74 percent of companies in Poland. This shows that if you want to work as a HR specialist in Poland, you should get acquainted with SMAC. Start with following the four letters…
S is for Social
Social media are now possibly the main object of focus in HR services, both globally and in Poland. For many companies willing to implement SMAC solutions, it is a good starting point and makes a lot of sense, since people spend in social media most of their Internet time. How many of you have been approached by a head hunter via LinkedIn? Have you ever clicked a job offer advertised on a Facebook sidebar? Do you follow any companies on Twitter or read their blogs? Even if not, you may have heard of one of these scenarios from a friend or colleague. Social media can be beneficial to employers and employees and HR departments are responsible for facilitating this processes for both parties. Considering a career in HR, you need to be a social media expert and quickly adapt to using new online tools constantly appearing on the market. In Poland, you will additionally need to research Polish social media used for business contacts, e.g. GoldenLine.
M is for Mobile
Social media are however not enough if one thinks of the broad spectrum of mobile solutions offered by some HR leaders. Mobility is one of the few words that accurately describes the digital world we live in, therefore mobile solutions are a must in every self-respecting HR department or company. How and where can they be implemented? First and foremost, experts point to various apps. Because of them HR experts are able to cooperate in real-time and this screams productivity. Payroll slips on your mobile device, time-off managers, expense reports and finally – recruitment and talent acquisition apps – are there on the market to make your HR team’s life easier. Can this be taken even further? Some companies organise video learning activities or instant messaging. What is important, all those apps and solutions are integrated into one system – a process often referred to as appification. System users move seamlessly from one task to another, get immediate responses and recommend one another content they find worth spreading with the tools they have.
If you still find it revolutionary and cannot imagine conducting HR activities without your desktop, think about the workforce that is about to enter the job market. If you want to manage mobile generations of people born already in the 21st century, you need to think like them. There is a whole army of mobile addicts out there, who prefer smartphones, tablets, and wearable technology, over PCs. HR does not have to fight them – it is better to befriend these young mobile ninjas.
A is for Analytics
The abundance of operations proves that modern HR entails great amounts of data: numbers of employees rolling in and out with their attendance, holidays, travel and work expenses, benefits and payroll. This part is dangerously nearing accounting processes and inflowing figures call for solutions enabling analysing them. In comes HR analytics, intertwined with Big Data analysis. Some departments may feel overwhelmed by this rapid change, but future experts must feel that it is inevitable and definitely more novel than simply incorporating new social media or apps in their day-to-day tasks.
Many HR companies hire business analytics to help them manage the influx of information. For newcomers it may be a good idea to take a closer look at this side of the business. Forget about vanity statistics, which look good on paper, but provide little informative value. Focus on quality predictive analysis, making its way into HR. Which employee deserves promotion? What targets should be set? How to calculate proper values of benefits? This all can be established with the use of modern analysis tools that up to very recently have been used in banking or investment, not in talent management. Those who have what it takes to extract meaningful information from numbers and figures, should combine it with their love for HR and develop in this direction.
C is for Cloud
Last but not least come the clouds. Cloud storage serves as a direct response to the already mentioned huge amounts of data. If big HR companies were to store all their files in physical copies, they would have drowned in papers a couple of years ago. On the other hand, moving all HR data to a cloud service can be as revolutionary as abandoning your PC for a mobile device. Nevertheless, it is happening. What can be done to make this transition smooth and painless?
HR departments switching to cloud storage carefully examine vendors delivering hosting services to them. Experts bear in mind that they are dealing with sensitive data that needs protection, so they choose wisely, considering different options and paying attention to legal regulations. Going for a cloud provider based in Brazil or Russia may entail different legal consequences. It is tough work, but once the wisest choice is made, HR department may be relieved to be assured of good maintenance service and further fruitful cooperation with storage provider.
Cloud storages are a go-to solution as they are perfectly in line with the three previous SMAC components. It takes a load off of HR minds struggling with IT systems, because usually vendors will be there to assure smooth storage, while HR experts worry about talent retaining. Clouds finalise the process of digitalising HR and in the times of employee market they allow for more mobile, employee-friendly experience. Working from home, video conferences, flexibility – all of these are already possible thanks to cloud storages.
Introducing SMAC into HR management can be assisted by one more trend – convergence of different areas. Going digital clearly covers IT & technology, while more and more often HR experts are required to know a bit about programming or software development. This versatility of HR experts is not restricted only to IT, but also marketing and PR strategies. HR becomes multifaceted, fluid and ever-changing, so be ready.
SMAC philosophy in HR
S - SOCIAL: Seek social media presence and become thoroughly familiar with all social media platforms. In Poland they are used by 97% of recruiters.*
M - MOBILE: Open your HR department to smartphones, tablets and wearables. Think about younger generations who find these solutions simply natural.
A - ANALYTICS: Crunch the data you work with. Make it meaningful and draw relevant conclusions. Differ between what’s important and what’s not.
C - CLOUD: Discard all your fears towards cloud storage. This is the future, so get acquainted with different IT solutions and find the
best one for your HR activity.
* LEE HECHT HARRISON DBM POLSKA REPORT (2015)