The year of the pandemic is just about over. An HR digital transformation is at hand. The coronavirus pandemic, the switch to digital business models, and the hybrid work environment — triggered by working from home — have accelerated HR’s adoption of digital technology by years. The race is on. Do you have a path to the finish line?
The US economy is roaring back. Pent-up spending by consumers in coronavirus lockdown and nearly $2 billion in stimulus money is unleashing a US economy expected to grow by six percent — a growth rate that has not occurred since the 1980s. The job market is tighter than you think.
Recent unemployment claims numbers are at their lowest level since the pandemic started, and the unemployment rate has fallen to six percent. In February 2021, there are over 7.4 million job openings, more than 12 months previously.
This recovery will not be the same as others. HR will not be the same. The companies and HR departments that transition to the new world of hybrid work using digital technologies will be the clear winners in business performance and attracting and retaining the best employees.
HR Industry Analyst Josh Bersin is predicting that the previous record-low unemployment rates are likely to make a return soon — meaning competition again will be fierce among employers looking to attract and retain talent. “And that is where tech will make the difference,” Bersin said in a recent interview with Human Resources Executive. “The theme for HR technology in 2021 will not be recovery — most employers are already past that phase — but rather will be focused on transformation,” Bersin predicts.
What is your organization’s strategy for HR digital transformation and to be competitive in 2021?
New research released in February 2021 by The Hackett Group confirms the accelerated transition to new business models and HR digital technology. Prior to the pandemic, The Hackett Group research showed that only three categories of HR digital technology were being used in a majority of organizations. They include learning videos, employee online health services, and video interviewing. Two other categories of HR digital technology had 49 percent use. They were learning delivery platforms / libraries and collaboration tools, such as Teams and Slack.
What is most interesting is the Hackett Group’s prediction for 2021. Five other categories of HR digital technology are expected to move from what The Hackett Group calls the category of “Gaining Traction” to “Majority.” Moving into majority use are these technologies: predictive modeling, job candidate assessment tools, and chatbots to handle inquiries. Please see the chart below created by The Hackett Group, which is from their 2021 Key Issues Study.
Digital transformation often fails. This failure provides HR with another opportunity to lead in this year of transition. The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) found that about 70 percent of digital transformations in large companies fail due to “people dimensions,”—which is at the heart of HR’s role in the organization. Expanding on their finding, BCG observes that the technology is important, but the people dimension (organization, operating model, processes, and culture) is usually the factor determining whether digital transformation succeeds or fails. Organizational inertia from deeply rooted behaviors is a significant impediment.
As companies plan to change their business models and HR implements digital technology, HR has a second way to shine: being a driving force for leading the people dimensions in making the digital transformation.
Are you competitive for the tight labor force of 2021 with a transition to the hybrid work environment and HR digital technology? The success of your company may depend on it. Do you have a post position in the race for talent?
Victor Assad is the CEO of Victor Assad Strategic Human Resources Consulting, managing partner of InnovationOne, and Sales Advisor to MeBeBot. He works with companies to transform HR, implement remote work, recruit executives, and develop extraordinary leaders, teams, and innovation cultures. He is the author of the highly acclaimed book, Hack Recruiting: the Best of Empirical Research, Method and Process, and Digitization. Subscribe to his weekly blogs at www.VictorHRConsultant.com.