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Why HR leaders need to fully embrace digitalization

Published: June 20, 2018

Use of information technology in recruiting is nothing new, and most medium or larger companies in Canada already use HR software in some form and shape. However, it is debatable how much the trendsetters in this industry have truly adopted a digital mindset. Old hiring practices are persisting in many industries despite ample evidence that a tech-friendly approach has numerous practical advantages. With the rising level of competition, ineffective HR policies that can lead to hiring mistakes simply can’t be tolerated any longer. That’s why HR practitioners would be well advised to consider all the benefits of digitalization, including:

Data-based decision making

It’s much easier to control the workforce effectively when reports about each employee can be generated with a press of the button. Digital solutions greatly simplify task management and improve decision making by allowing top managers to have direct insight into time needed for task execution and other essential parameters. In a tech-friendly environment, best contributors are recognized and rewarded, while underperformers are quickly removed from the team, resulting in a more cost-efficient work process and better interpersonal relationships. This is particularly apparent in large systems, where it’s virtually impossible for managers to have personal overview of each worker.

Diligent background checks

Too often, candidates are not being truthful on their job applications, claiming work experience in non-existent companies or failing to mention a criminal conviction. Those attempts at fraud are discovered almost instantly when the HR department uses online software that can easily cross-reference the quoted data with public sources. This way, safety in the office can be improved while companies can avoid major embarrassments that would surely follow if negligent practices were discovered by the Canadian media outlets. It is also possible to use digital tools to prevent outsiders from falsely referencing the company to third parties, thus protecting public reputation.

Long-term tracking of best candidates

Head hunting is a marathon, not a sprint, so companies able to track how the best experts are advancing their careers have the inside track to attract them into the fold. This is especially notable in the IT industry and other high-skill areas where top professionals can literally dictate terms to employers. Establishing a connection early, while the candidate is still in school, is a good practice that can increase the chances of landing the coveted recruit at a reasonable price. That’s why smart companies keep a database of prospective employees and maintain active contact with a large number of them through social media, preparing the grounds for a recruitment pitch down the line.

Integration with other data systems

Those days, most medium or larger companies have almost completely digitalized business operations and HR departments are forced to do the same simply to maintain compatibility. Modern enterprise software packages allow seamless integration of all business systems into a cloud-powered, all-encompassing set of tools. Human resource management is one of the areas that can benefit in a big way from deeper data integration, becoming more closely related to core activities. A switch to a fully integrated, SaaS model could streamline task management, reporting, payrolls and a number of other important personnel-related duties.

Statistical analysis and strategic planning

Companies need to understand their own capacities so they can take adequate steps to ensure steady expansion and revenue growth on the mid-to-long term. Projecting revenues is a less uncertain exercise when you have precise performance breakdown for each department and for each year. To have a clear picture about strengths and weaknesses, it is necessary to collect and process time and attendance data, as well as a number of other indicators that could impact future performance. This provides a strong motive to hurry up with digitalization, since any delays will render employee data for the current period inaccessible for later analysis.


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