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What is Digital HR?

What is Digital HR? Photo by Olivier Collet on Unsplash

In the old days, candidates mailed paper resumes to apply for jobs, HR culled through piles of resumes to identify potential hires, and copies were sent to hiring managers to review for interviewing. Then along came technology, and the process changed.

Mailed resumes were replaced by emails with resumes attached, culling candidates manually became a software program that scans and identifies good candidates, and in-person interviews turned into video conference calls. Technology had streamlined the hiring process. Now, digital HR takes it all a step further.

Like moving from paper to electronic applications, Digital HR is a way to use technology to make HR processes (recruitment or performance management) and services (employee training and development) more agile and user-friendly. The nuts-and-bolts explanation of digital HR is changes to existing services and processes to be Cloud-based, “insta” (immediate), and socialized.

Cloud-based Data Storage

In the past, individual employees were “keepers of the knowledge”, storing data locally on their computers. The information was inaccessible to anyone other than the user. Today, data storage to the Cloud makes HR functions easier to access or utilize. Consider the following Cloud applications:

  • employees can view data about themselves or the company
  • any hiring managers can retrieve information about candidates
  • software pulls from the cloud database for data mining and analytics reporting

Digital cloud-based tools and software make it easier for current or future employees to access and use information, and it’s easier for the HR department to collect and manage data about employees.

Instant Access and Feedback

Employees have become accustomed to instant feedback (think the “thumbs up” approval of Facebook), and digital HR better serves the need for immediate access to information. Digital HR also creates self-service opportunities that eliminate the burden on HR staff who historically initiated and tracked everything. Digital HR makes it possible for any of the following:

  • on-demand individualized training
  • emailed engagement surveys to collect and analyze performance indicators
  • online self-monitoring tools for employees to track progress of goals

Now, employees are customers who can access their accounts or data at any time, fulfill training and development at an individualized pace, and keep track of their own status updates or deadlines for meeting HR requirements.

Utilizing Social Media To Expand the Scope of HR 

Digital HR transforms traditional roles of HR by taking advantage of social media to advertise the company, inculcate an internal culture, and develop better recruitment procedures. Instead of the limited scope of interactions as an internal department, social media creates an HR presence that defines company culture for internal and external audiences and broadcasts information about the company.

Today, digital HR makes it possible to do any of the following:

  • follow a company’s feed on LinkedIn
  • see a post when openings are available
  • take an assessment to identify best fit

Bottom line, Digital HR brings new methods to the mix that will streamline procedures and broaden services for employees. The use of cloud data storage, instant access and feedback, and social media will transform HR into a more robust, functional entity within an organization.

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