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Digital Transformation in HR

Ioan Profiroiu


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The main conversation we’ve been having with HR and recruiting leaders in the last 6 months is about adapting their hiring process to the new digital transformation circumstances. And it’s for a good reason, since I’ve seen many cases of HR tools and systems that look and feel like my first Pentium computer. 

However, transformation is a very big word, and for many it’s  just another buzzword, and real transformations don’t happen overnight, they usually take time. I know it’s an unpopular opinion, but technology for the sake of technology is plainly useless if people don’t understand its purpose, how to use it and how it is helping them. Digitalization of an HR process just for the sake of it is never a good idea. It leads to an expensive implementation of some technology that doesn’t necessarily meet the actual needs of the business and end-users. 

Alright, so there are multiple stages for a digital transformation to occur, no organization goes from being barely digital to being fully digital. Brian Solis has probably done the best research out there, discovering patterns of successful digital transformations and outlining the stages of a business in its transformation journey. It takes time, analysis, data, and a clear understanding of the internal status quo. For most businesses, digital transformation in HR becomes more critical due to: 

  • The improvement of workflows, communication and productivity: simply put, it’s about having the right technologies that put us away from repetitive and mundane tasks
  • Customers & candidates will notice: usually their frustration comes from siload processes and bad customer service or experience that will be hugely visible when it’s improving towards a digital direction
  • Costs go down: it’s nothing to hide here, we embrace this digital transformation because it’s ultimately cost related. Using cutting edge technologies is not just for the interesting, it’s for cutting operational costs. 


I’ll share some of the learnings and ingredients for a successful start: 

  1. Set a clear goal: Just answer the why, and the answer shouldn’t be just “because we wanna go digital”. Most of the time, the goal will be to solve an issue that recruiters or candidates encounter. For example, many of our customers started with a simple and specific issue: there are too many applications and recruiters spend too much time screening all the CVs, so we helped them automate 90% of these repetitive tasks.
  2. Get everyone on board: basically all stakeholders involved, from C-level to end-users and everyone in between. This makes it easier to have, as an organization, a common understanding of the challenge and the desired solution, which will facilitate a faster adoption and implementing process will move faster.
  3. Always start small: If we’re talking about the HR processes there are plenty of them (Preselection, Recruiting, Onboarding, L&D, Payroll and so on). Ask employees and C-level to set priorities in ideas, and don’t deviate from the goal. If there are providers that can cover more processes or parts of the process, start small, then expand cautiously, or maybe in a controlled way that you can then scale again, and keep going. Maybe this is a personal note for us at Jobful because we often feel like we’re doing too even as an end-to-end talent acquisition software. 
  4. Assess performance: Maybe one of the most critical parts of digital transformation is its being data driven, being able to look and evaluate, see what works and what doesn’t. The only way of advancement is to have better results in terms of the problem established. 


Now, on a final, I believe that digital transformation in HR isn’t optional. In post-pandemic world that showed us we can run and do our jobs in a virtual workplace, and it’s digitalizing on a fast pace, HR processes, employees and candidates can’t stay behind.

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