How The Pandemic is Accelerating Digital Transformation in HR

The global research CEO Outlook 2020, conducted by PKMG during the Covid-19 crisis shows that 80% of executives that took part in the study declare that say the pandemic has accelerated digital transformation, with the biggest advance in digital operations, where 30% say that progress has put them years ahead of where they would have expected to be right now.

Digital transformation went from being a future plan to a current reality to many companies. These forced changes that have happened since the start of the global health crisis also brought to light the complexity of processes within Human Resources.

Changes that were only a trend before are now the norm, and can bring genuine lasting benefits to this area, by modernizing internal processes. In order to satisfy the new demands brought on by remote work, for example, new tools have become essential to teams. Similarly, the adoption of Artificial Intelligence to optimize hiring and management processes can be key as economies and companies recover from the effects of the Covid-19 crisis.

Changing Traditional Processes

The main objective of digital transformation is to provide more agility to internal processes, increasing overall productivity and making more assertive and efficient decisions. As companies leave bureaucracy behind, they gain more autonomy and agility to face unexpected challenges, and increase the odds of their success in the long run.

This metamorphosis requires a change in the company’s culture, in the mentality of leaders and employees as a whole, so that the changes can be accepted in a positive way throughout the entire organization.

One technology that has been making waves is Artificial Intelligence, which is being applied to several different areas, from Sales to Product Development, and HR is no exception: AI can drastically change the way hiring processes are conducted, resulting in faster and more efficient results.

A report by the Mckinsey Global Institute estimates that by 2030, the companies that use AI technology in their operations will double their cash flow, while companies that fail to do so may see losses of up to 20%.

Meanwhile, Gartner, a global leader in business research, conducted an inquiry in September 2020 with over 200 professionals in tech and business. The results where the following: 24% of organizations increased their  investments in AI, while 42% maintained the same level of 2019, even with the ongoing pandemic. 75% of those interviewed declared that they will either continue or start new AI initiatives as the economy recovers from the effects of the current crisis.

According to the same research, 79% of the professionals said that their organizations were exploring or testing AI projects, while 21% claimed AI projects were already fully implemented.

Agility, Cultural Shifts and Financial Gains

Digital transformation in HR should include all actions of the department, using the available technologies to collect and analyse performance data in real time. With the right information, leaders can identify pain points within teams and start dialogues and actions with unsatisfied employees. Having accurate information also helps team leaders understand what is happening in their areas, and gives them the predictability they need to formulate strategies that can solve current and future problems.

Automating more mechanical or repetitive tasks not only reduces the time to complete them, as well as decreases the number of mistakes. As a bonus, it also frees up the time of Human Resources employees to work on more creative and strategic projects and tasks, which are more likely to bring professional satisfaction.

However, HR should go beyond incorporating the newest technologies: they are responsible for building a culture that embraces this digital transformation across the entire company, combining strategy, information and knowledge to increase workplace satisfaction and productivity.

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