Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Digital human resource strategy - the next frontier

Mar 27. 2015
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By Suvit Chansrichawala

"Star Trek", the original 1966 TV show about the interstellar adventures of the star ship Enterprise, helped us visualise the scientific and technological possibilities of the future. So too does the book "2020 Workplace" by Jeanne Meister and Karie Willy

They will be times in which your employees begin to check your “reputation score” before deciding whether to accept your job offers. Times where chief executives are required to be bloggers in the style of the archetypal blogging CEO Richard Branson.

Video games and virtual reality simulations are now a part of the corporate learning curriculum. Corporations now have “app stores” providing tools to facilitate a work-life balance. Ladies and gentlemen, the time may soon be upon us when e-mails are extinct, replaced by corporate social networking.

Three mega-trends stand out in particular, which should form the core of your organisation’s human-resources strategy.

l Generations – By 2020, millennials (Generation Y) will account for 2.5 billion of the world’s population, 60 per cent of whom will live in Asia.

l Mobility – There are currently more mobile connected devices than there are people on planet Earth. By 2019 there will be more than 11.5 billion such devices, according to Cisco.

l Social – The number of people using social networks is set to more than double from 1 billion users in 2010 to 2.4 billion users in 2018, according to

These forces are disrupting human-resource practices. Digital HR strategies are now a vital component of any talent management programme, strategies such as the following.

l Recruitment marketing – Find talent rather than wait for talent to come to you. At present, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube are where your future employees hang out. Meet them there and build a long-term a relationship with them. Court those who are currently looking for jobs and befriend those who might come to you in future.

l Social learning – Help your employees learn from each other, because they learn best not from training sessions but from their peers and bosses. Set up the digital infrastructure to facilitate peer-to-peer learning and let your employees run with it. One such piece of infrastructure is Alfresco, an open-source content-management platform.

l Recognition and encouragement – Don’t make fun of stickers and stars. This is how the new generation pats someone on the back and raises a toast to their team for a job well done. Software like Rypple allows managers to recognise employees’ efforts by giving out icons, stickers and stars. There is even a free app that is designed to do just that called Tap My Back.

Digital HR is indeed the next frontier, a strange civilisation into which we should boldly go. There are risks ahead, but these risks can be mitigated and fortune favours the bold.

Ignore Digital HR at your own peril.

Suvit Chansrichawala is next-generation HR consultant under the brand Serendipity & Co, partner of the Curve Group in Thailand.

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