Digital HR and the rise of the Intelligent Employee.

Digital HR and the rise of the Intelligent Employee.

Two sides of a coin?

“The human being, facing the technological onslaught, goes back to look inwardly to find out what differentiates him from machines and tries to fully harness these characteristics so as not to lose his identity”. The irony in the changing dynamic of HR today is that the more digitized and automated HR operations become, the more we are compelled to return to what makes us human. The importance of soft skills such as Emotional Intelligence, Conflict resolution, Adaptability, Creativity, Networking and Design thinking has increased in recent years. As the tech-saturated workplace becomes more complex, organizations desire employees that can navigate these complex problems using the above mentioned soft skills. Smart employers are moving from filling vacancies with experienced educated individuals to snatching up talent with the right skills and attitude. So as a job seeker, how do you succeed in a tech-saturated workplace?

Soft skills take center stage

Soft skills have taken center stage of job description requirements. Tech-driven workplaces are characterized by low interaction between employees, especially where organizations have remote workers. Members of the organization mainly communicate via email and most are confined to their workspaces. Sound familiar?

As the workplace interactions become more complex, the Intelligent employee is one that possesses the following soft skills;
1. Emotional Intelligence to recognize others’ emotions as well as his/her own
2. Adaptability to adjust quickly to the ever-changing tech-driven workplace environment
3. Networking
4. Conflict Resolution
5. Critical thinking
6. Creativity and design thinking
They may sound simple, but these skills are not as easy to master and most organizations may not have the best culture to nurture these skills in the workplace.
Are you an intelligent employee?
Are you a smart employer?

The Catalysts

What are the drivers of this dynamic change?

Artificial Intelligence

AI is being infused into operations such as recruitment. With AI, employers or recruiters can automate candidate sourcing and candidate matching by covering larger bases than a small army of humans ever could. The AI-infused applications can analyze thousands of profiles at a time as well as send out personalized messages to candidates in the pipeline to keep them engaged. Also, AI can screen existing candidates in a pipeline to rediscover top talent for new job positions hence solving the problem of acquiring fresh new talent.

Generation Z

This is the group after Millennials. Organizations will find themselves recruiting more individuals from Generation Z if they are not already recruiting them for entry-level positions. This will most definitely spark changes in certain processes such as recruitment, onboarding, and training. Being the first fully digitized generation, recruiters must get smarter about engaging and retaining them. For example, recruiters may leverage YouTube as an engagement tool by uploading company videos on recruitment, onboarding, and other processes. Generation Z poses a high impact on the workplace. What are the pros and cons of hiring Generation Z employees?

Adoption of HR technology

Automation of HR operations has made certain tedious takes obsolete and will continue to catalyze change in job descriptions in the job market. Roles your employees are undertaking today may not be the same roles in a few years. For these reasons, an organization must adopt continuous learning programs for their employees. Continuous learning is a current trend that is being accepted by many organizations to develop transversal skills and competencies in their employees

Gig workers and remote workers

Mostly made up of Millennials and Generation Z, gig workers are those who choose to work online with flexible hours and do not belong to any specific organization. Outsourcing has become the norm in businesses today and gig workers are what employers are looking for. Today, organization workforces can be a mix of full time, freelancers and part-time workers. Remote workers also catalyze digitization of HR processes by increasing the need for real-time communication in businesses that do away with the traditional office setup.

Having understood the chemistry behind the dynamic environment of digital HR, what are some of the best practices businesses can employ to leverage it?

Best Practices

  • Implement mobile application systems for the recruitment of new talent that enhance the user experience
  • Use popular social platforms to engage potential candidates especially Millennials and Generation Z such as YouTube videos
  • Encourage coaching to allow the exchange of ideas and information between different generations
  • To ease the process of integration, hire Digital Adoption Managers. They are proficient in both tech and human interactions at the workplace
  • Implement continuous learning programs to allow employs to develop and reinvent themselves
  • Set employee wellness as a priority
  • Employ evidence-based HR decision making. Make decisions based on data rather past experiences or opinions of co-workers with prior experience
  • Diversify your workforce using AI-infused recruitment applications
  • Have frequent touchpoints with remote workers
  • Hire new talent with soft skills in addition to educational background and experience

In summary, the tech-driven workplace is also becoming extremely employee-centered due to the need for human beings to differentiate themselves from machines. Rapid changes in HR technology also demand that organizations continuously develop their employees and constantly reinvent themselves to remain relevant in the future. Businesses today must not remain rigid but get with the times and make the best of it by engaging in digital HR best practices.