It’s no secret that since the beginning of the 21st century, the industrial world has been embracing digital transformations as part of the great Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Artificial intelligence, Big Data and Cloud-based computing are just some of the progressive technologies that have become commonplace during this period. Their emergence and evolution are now helping businesses make smarter, better-informed decisions, and making processes more data-driven and efficient.

10 compelling reasons why HR should embrace digital transformation

HR and HR professionals can be some of the biggest beneficiaries of these new technologies. With HR a key player in designing, managing and improving employee-centric cultures within a business, digital HR software can help free HR teams from repetitive tasks, simplify day-to-day processes, and connect employees with both their data and each other.

If your HR team is yet to embrace its own digital transformation, there are 10 compelling reasons why you should…

1. You’ll be able to banish spreadsheet-based data

We know from speaking to our customers how much of a drain managing spreadsheet-based data can be. Duplicated files, inaccurate and incomplete data, little mistakes that can break an entire file… Sound familiar?

A digital HR software solution allows you to keep all your important employee data in one secure, organised place. In addition, core HR systems come with a best-practice HR database, helping HR teams to build out the breadth and depth of data needed to run HR effectively. And, with all your data stored in one place, reporting and analysis can be made a heck of a lot easier, too.

Going from spreadsheets and manual data entry where you couldn’t guarantee the data would be correct… we now have accurate point-in-time reporting, accurate employee data, accurate salary data… just everything! It really has changed everything for us.”

Christine North, HR Manager at Vision Direct

2. You can manage absence processes more efficiently

Logging staff absences and keeping annual leave records up to date can be one of the more arduous duties HR has to perform. If you’re still relying on those pesky spreadsheets to calculate entitlements, or perhaps using an email-based system to manage holiday and TOIL requests, it can become incredibly difficult to accurately – and quickly – keep track of who’s off and when.

The same goes for unplanned absences. Managing different absence types effectively – not to mention reporting on them – can be a nightmare if you’re having to rely on disparate or disjointed processes.

A digital HR solution that includes absence management software can do the job of unifying fragmented and inefficient absence processes. They help streamline every aspect of paid and unpaid leave – including staff holidays, sick leave, parental leave and time-off-in-lieu – and provide you with the vital information you need to guide your organisation’s absence management strategies.

Cezanne HR resolved all the issues we had previously with a lack of oversight and no ability to track absences or training across the company. The software is excellent, and it’s made all our HR processes a lot smoother. Having everything in one place is great, especially when spread across multiple sites. I can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t have this type of software.”

Andy Hobbs, Head of Operations at Sommerset Skills and Learning

3. Automation will create new efficiencies

Organisations that invest in digitising HR often make considerable savings on both time and resources. This is because paper-based processes, such as needing to print out, complete and submit for approval, holiday requests or timesheets, can become largely automated.

That type of automation means your HR team can be freed from time-consuming administration and instead, re-assigned to more strategic projects. Plus, shifting to a paperless HR system will mean you’ll no longer have to spend money on office supplies. This isn’t just a good deal for HR: it’s also a great deal for the planet!

4. You’ll be in a better position to develop your workforce

Having reliable and up-to-date information about your workforce is essential when it comes to being more efficient and responsive in overcoming business challenges. However, this isn’t possible if employee records are stored away in filing cabinets or nestled away on spreadsheets buried deep within a computer’s hard drive.

Digital HR software connects fragmented data and ensures you have complete, instant visibility over your people. Be it their training schedules, performance check-ins or progress against key objectives, with the right HR software, you’ll be better placed to understand the skillsets of your people and plan more effectively to overcome future challenges.

The visibility that Cezanne HR gives us of our workforce has really helped us manage our staff throughout COVID-19. It’s also been very useful in communicating and sharing information with our remote teams – being Cloud-based really helps. Cezanne HR has kept everyone connected, from an employee and a management perspective.”

Simon Miles, CEO of EDW Technology Holdings

5. You’ll see your data in a new light

Reporting and forecasting may be vital parts of HR, but they can also be some of the most time-consuming and complex tasks. They can be made even more complicated if you’re having to refer to multiple, un-connected data sources when trying to find patterns and create accurate predictions.

The digital transformation and rise of Big Data have helped HR systems evolve to include powerful analytical HR reporting tools. These make it easier for you to identify patterns and trends in your data, and provide data-derived alerts and predictions that can help you guide your organisation’s strategic objectives.

Whether you want to reduce staff churn or improve your workforce’s diversity, HR analytical tools can make data analysis, reporting and forecasting much less of a chore.

6. You can make your recruitment efforts more efficient and successful

Ineffective recruitment processes can be a huge drain on HR. If you’re still sifting through paper-based CVs, managing your organisation’s selection process manually or failing to measure the success of your recruitment, it’s likely you’ll not only be missing out on the best recruits, but also losing time and money!

Recruitment software solutions have been one of the greatest beneficiaries of the digital revolution. They can help streamline multi-step procedures and improve onerous admin tasks. The best recruitment software solutions often come with time-saving features, including:

  • One-click’ job advert publishing – meaning you can post jobs across multiple job boards and social media channels
  • Website integrations – allowing you to post job openings directly to your own website without needing to ask for IT’s help
  • Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) – these can automatically trigger certain actions (such as sending emails to candidates), and allow recruiting managers to review and feed back on candidates
  • Real-time data insights – helping you to; track key metrics, such as time to hire or time to fill, review which recruitment sources are working best for you, and keep an eye on your organisation’s recruitment costs

7. You can streamline the onboarding of new employees

Given its importance to a business, it’s surprising that so many businesses still rely heavily upon manual, generic and paper-based processes to support their onboarding programmes.

Digitising the onboarding experience is one way HR teams and their organisations can make that all-important best first impression. Switching up to a digital onboarding software solution can save you time by automating new joiner processes, providing a central hub for important documents – such as employee handbooks or policy documents – and creating a more personal journey for your new hires.

Our new starter process was just checklist, upon checklist, upon checklist… and then we had people forgetting to complete the checklists so the onboarding process was quite disorganised. Cezanne HR’s Onboarding module has streamlined and simplified all our new starter actions and the feedback from new hires has been really positive. It sets a great first impression of the Company.”

Jennifer Morgan, HR Officer at Dairy Partners

8. You can implement more effective performance management strategies

Poorly implemented performance management processes can be hugely costly to an organisation. If your performance management reviews are infrequent or disjointed, it’s likely that you won’t be getting the best out of your employees. Worse still, they may find the lack of regular check-ins frustrating and become disengaged with their jobs altogether.

Digital HR solutions that include performance management software can help make continuous reviews or regular check-ins much simpler for everyone. For example, by providing a central place where discussions about goals, aspirations and planned development activities can be housed and made accessible to the people who need to see them.

In addition, the latest performance management systems give line managers the tools to set objectives, schedule appraisals, plan career development and monitor progress. Better still, they provide an overview of the skills and abilities available within their teams, making it much easier for them to spot development gaps and plan for succession.

9. Your data will be safe and secure

Given that employee data is so valuable, and organisations have a legal responsibility to keep it safe, it’s in every HR professional’s interest to ensure employee data is kept secure. But, this can be incredibly difficult if your data is kept on paper records or unsecured computer systems. On the side of auditing, whether it’s for external auditing purposes or for general housekeeping, working through mountains of paper files is simply an inefficient use of HR’s time.

Modern HR systems are built with data security at their heart. They’ll also often be certified to ISO27001: an internationally recognised method of managing information security risks and data effectively. This means your data will be incredibly well-protected from criminal activities, such as cyber-attacks, and there will be set procedures in place to ensure your data is stored and processed in an appropriate manner.

Also, the Data Protection Act of 2018 and subsequent implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has led to an increased public awareness of how personal data is used, stored and managed. Having a Cloud-based HR solution will remove the requirement for paper files and will provide individuals with the reassurance that you are taking the security of their data seriously.

10. You’ll improve the employee experience for everyone

Lastly, digital HR technology won’t just improve the lives of HR professionals; it can also make the life of every employee that little bit better, too.

With virtually every conceivable consumer service now available online, why should HR be any different? Think about it: if you can use your mobile device to order anything – from a carbonara to a new car – then why shouldn’t you be able to use your phone to book annual leave, submit a timesheet or sign a document? When you make HR-related tasks easy and fuss-free for your employees to complete, you’ll create a better HR experience for everyone.

Paul Bauer author image

Paul Bauer

Paul Bauer is the Head of Content at Cezanne HR. Based in the Utopia of Milton Keynes (his words, not ours!) he’s worked within the employee benefits, engagement and HR sectors for over four years. He's also earned multiple industry awards for his work - including a coveted Roses Creative Award.

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