HR Digital Transformation – Why it’s accelerating during COVID-19



Just as the global pandemic has driven monumental changes in our workforce, the HR function has undergone a major reboot. With increased anxiety around health and safety, HR leaders understand that employees need caring and empathetic leadership right now. The most obvious change is in the rapid move to remote work. Tools such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams have become critical for geographically dispersed teams to communicate and connect.

Most HR leaders agree that broader digital transformation efforts have not only become critical, but now need to be accelerated in their implementation. In a recent webcast hosted by Josh Bersin, seven of the world’s leading HR executives agreed, “the multi-year digital transformation their company was doing was suddenly accelerated to a few weeks. Every system, tool, and enablement platform has to work now.”

So how can HR digital transformation help improve the efficiency and value of the HR function, and where is the best place to start? Once you are clear on how HR supports the broader strategic objectives of your business, the next priority is how transactional tasks can be automated.

Automation can stop you from drowning in admin

Do you wish you had more time to be strategic and add real value in your role, but are weighed down by a seemingly endless list of administration activities? There are some estimates that indicate up to 93%f HR tasks have the potential to be automated. In the area of recruitment, for example, many of the workflows, alerts, and background checks can be automated by technology. An online candidate portal can align to your organisation’s workflows, and also benefit applicants by informing them about job opportunities and where they are in the hiring process. Automation of transactional tasks can free up HR leaders to focus on how best to portray their company story on a candidate portal, as well as social media platforms like LinkedIn.

Align HR to the business through data and analytics

Automation allows HR leaders to demonstrate more value in their business by having access to excellent data and analytics to paint a bigger picture. Connecting data from multiple sources to form an accurate picture of your workforce’s Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) can be a challenge, but with the right technology it can be achieved. Up-to-date dashboards and visualisation tools can allow HR leaders to clearly communicate progress towards key organisational goals.

Onboarding best practice, for example, delivers a streamlined experience to new employees through the integration of payroll, eLearning and HRIS systems. HR leaders can also gain insights into the effectiveness of onboarding processes through reporting that shows tasks and training completed.

HR management technologies help to unleash human potential

The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly driven home the importance of “human” in the context of human resources. Empathetic leaders send company welcome packs to new employees whom they can’t physically welcome at the office. They find new and innovative ways to secure the best talent during a remote recruitment process. HR digital transformation delivers not just improved efficiency for HR leaders, but also a better employee experience overall. By freeing up HR leaders to focus on what’s important, we can reach our full potential.

For more information about HR Digital Transformation, visit our practical ebook guide here.


(1) Responding To COVID-19. Ten Lessons From The World’s HR Leaders, Josh Bersin, April 2020.

(2) The Practical Guide to HR Transformation, Acendre e-book



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