The Digital Chief HR Officer

il 04/03/2023

Over the past two decades, human resource management is becoming increasingly digitized as artificial intelligence machines improve people analysis and extend human cognitive capabilities.

Machine learning helps in problem solving and changes the way employees can be managed.

Automation is reshaping the world of work and the skills required of human resource managers.

What is Digital HR

Digital HR is the digital transformation of services and procedures related to human resource management through the use of social, mobile, analytics and cloud technologies.

Digital human resources represents a momentous change in both approach and execution. The process aims to improve both the employee experience and the organizational success of the company by transforming the HR function from paper-based, reactive and time-consuming to digital-first, mobile and optimized.

There are two aspects of digital HR transformation: on the one hand, changing HR operations using technology, and on the other hand, transforming the workforce and the way tasks are performed in the workplace.

But successful digital HR transformation is not limited to optimizing HR procedures.

If done well,digital transformation should have a holistic effect and improve the company as a whole, thus also in terms of profitability and productivity.

Who is the Chief Digital HR Officer

This inevitable revolution has led to the emergence of new professionals who deal with Digital HR at various levels, both, for example, to bring employees closer to the new HR management and to technically manage the tools that this transformation uses.

At a higher level is the role of the Chief Digital HR Officer, the person in charge of digital HR who performs coordination and management functions while also having technical-digital skills.

The competencies of the chief digital HR officer

First and foremost, the Chief Digital HR Officer should have a clear understanding of using data and talent analytics to advise CEOs and other business leaders on change management, including workforce management.

In addition to having experience managing teams and budgets, Chief Digital HR Officers should also understand business analytics and should be trained in ethical business practices and be skilled in leadership, relationship management, and communication.

Chief Digital HR Officers are also responsible for selecting enterprise HR software systems that deal with human resources.

Duties of the Chief Digital HR Officer

In addition to the traditional roles of HR managers, in contemporary organizations, the Chief Digital Hr Officer plays a new role: to support, adopt, and manage the implications of digital technologies to carry out the operational tasks of human resource management in order to:

– Helping people’s growth;

– Realizing the People Strategy;

– Sustaining Engagement;

– Fostering Employer Branding;

– Manage HR processes in a Data Driven mode;

– Cultivate the right corporate culture;

– reduce costs;

– Intensify monitoring;

– Promote information sharing to employees;

The use of such technologies takes place, predominantly, in the areas of human resource planning, recruitment and selection, training and development, compensation, and performance/employee evaluation.

Advances in technology have redefined the scope of HR managers’ responsibilities, including tasking the Chief Digital HR Officer with assessing the impact of these changes on work organization, performance, productivity, human resource engagement, and the relationships between employees and the organization, between candidates and recruiters, and between managers and their subordinates.

Benefits and tasks of digital HR

The digital transformation of services and procedures related to human resource management, brings a number of benefits to companies, the responsibility for which falls to the Chief Digital HR Officer.

The most important tasks of Digital HR are:

– Time and vacation management

Manual time and vacation management can be disastrous for any organization. With digital transformation and automation tools, you are able to track relevant information and manage vacation requests, monitor remaining vacation days, and fully automate the entire process of managing work schedules and vacation breaks.

Information management
Digital human resource management simplifies access to all important employee information and facilitates decision making by making all data immediately accessible and up-to-date.

On the other hand, access to confidential information can be controlled so that the right information is available only to the right people at the right time.

Leveraging data and analytics

As companies begin to understand the value that data analytics can bring to the business, areas such as preselection, learning and development, and employee engagement can be measured through digital human resources. Chief Digital HR officers can benefit greatly by learning to understand and interpret this data.

Future-proof Recruitment

Frictionless mobile experiences, data-driven pre-screening processes and customized onboarding programs based on artificial intelligence-these are just a few of the many examples of the benefits of digital HR in hiring.

Shift focus to core activities

Digital HR can automate time-consuming manual processes, allowing HR managers to focus on more productive and important tasks.

Employee development

Digital technologies can help with training, learning and development activities. Regular evaluations improve employee morale and incentivize them to maintain high work standards: the software stores data on topics discussed, feedback given, and goals set together.

The digitization of human resources will change everything in the way we work, including the nature of our work, career structures, the knowledge, ambitions and expectations of workers, and the skills needed to do a particular job.

Employees in the digital age want an experience, not just a career, and they want to be involved in their work and their company-all of which the Chief Digital HR Officer must take into account.

Chief digital hr officer protagonist of the future

Culture is a key element of digital transformation. How does an organization’s culture become digital? It does so by becoming smart, modern and transparent.

Digital transformation creates a comprehensive approach to the workforce, beyond automation, with improved business agility, more comprehensive and effective use of smart services, and leveraging and empowering a more diverse workforce.

The new work culture is driven by the shift from cloud to mobile, the explosion of data analytics and artificial intelligence, and the emergence of recruiting via social media videos.

In all likelihood, human resources will play an even more important role in the immediate future, especially in terms of the need to have to draw the lines related to the strategy of the digital revolution.

Human resources will be called upon to attract, select, retain, train and enhance corporate personnel, setting up what has been dubbed in Anglo-Saxon countries as people strategy. It is a strategy that aims to significantly improve the well-being and satisfaction of employees, fostering the enhancement of their skills and facilitating long-term business sustainability.

More simply, people strategy is defined by HR management based on what is defined within the business plan and the vision of the business in relation to the impact of the digital revolution. The “strategy on people,” therefore, not only addresses skills, leadership styles and organizational models, but also supports the implementation of the entire process of digital revolution.

In practice, there are already several Italian companies that are focusing heavily on such an innovative approach in terms of human resource management. Specifically, these companies have already carefully defined their people strategy. In meetings and seminars focused on business organization, one increasingly hears with some insistence about Connected People Care, at a time when the totality of all HR practices, aimed at addressing specific needs, having to do with personnel and business, need to be defined. Their effectiveness has improved significantly, when compared with other models, because data collected from various sources and processed by increasingly sophisticated software and tools are adopted. It is a true precision approach that succeeds in positively transforming the experience of each employee, who is increasingly integrated into the organization of the enterprise and, consequently, into the HR processes that involve him or her. Thus, it is not far-fetched to assert that human resources must take care of the staff while remaining connected with the organization. The role of the HR Digital Manager, in fact, is change-oriented: employees are gradually expected to consolidate their digital background so that processes are improved.

Recently introduced digital tools will force HR to shift its mindset from that of simple program design and implementation to a more interactive, self-service-oriented feedback loop methodology with continuous iterations of the programs themselves.

This will increase employee acceptance, participation, and collaboration and result in a new vision of what the employee experience itself could and should be. These changes will have an impact in every area of the company, from the executive to the front line, and will certainly affect human resource management.

It is in this perspective that the figure of the Chief Digital HR Officer fits, a professional with hybrid and eclectic skills who will become one of the drivers of success for companies of the future.

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