With digital technology playing a role in nearly every aspect of our lives, in status quo, no element of work stands immune to digital disruption. On one hand, digital technology is driving the decentralization of talent management as an HR activity—embedding it into the fabric of everyday business resulting in a fundamental change in the functionality of HR as we know it. While on the other hand, digital media is fast becoming a favorite amongst employee brand marketers as they find digital methods of employee communication and recruitment marketing to be faster, more versatile, practical as well as streamlined.
New digital technologies enable greater integration and flexibility—allowing employees to have a greater share of voice, and the ability to create their own work experiences. Digital is poised to radically disrupt HR, and redefine the future of the human resource function. HR and talent processes and the technology that enables them will no longer constitute their own domain. Rather, experts predict that many aspects of HR and talent management will become fully embedded into the future of work.
HR has explosive potential to bring digital capabilities in-house and drive business improvements—far beyond just using social platforms like LinkedIn for sourcing talent. For instance, digital has the potential to remake employee-enterprise connectedness in the same way that it is revolutionizing customer-enterprise relationships. Just as we see in consumer scenarios, digital enables more collaborative and comprehensive employee engagement, which in turn leads to higher levels of employee motivation and thereby higher performance. If social and mobile are the best ways to reach customers, logically, they’re also the best way to reach employees. Making social networking and collaboration available internally allows all employees to learn from one another and collectively problem solve.
The new digital enterprise helps you find out more about the people who work for you, or who want to work for you. Hence, to ride the wave of change, it requires every future ready HR professional to have a good understanding of marketing in a digital world. Like good marketers, future ready HR professionals should understand their brand/employee value proposition, target audience (21rst century employees), the frame of reference (competitive employers) and use digital marketing tools and techniques like employee social advocacy tools to disrupt the status quo.
By enabling HR professionals to find where expertise is hidden in their organization, the digital enterprise bridges the gap between the subject matter experts and the teams who need their expertise across the organization.
Furthermore, digital helps HR to become proactive instead of reactive. For instance, social listening and analytics can help HR professionals track employee satisfaction and intervene when problems are still small.
One of the successful examples of leveraging this trend of a multi-disciplinary approach to HR is HCL Technologies, which went a step ahead to investigate how in future there will exist a ‘zone of intersection’ where all three - HR, marketing and technology will be integrated to create a compelling employee experience.
‘Zone of Intersection’
Keeping the employee at the center, HCL has adopted a number of practices – in its various spheres of operation – which leverage digital technology in integrating marketing and HR practices. Some of these include creating a digital candidate experience “Farewell Day” and implementation and roll-out of a social advocacy tool that aims at engaging HCL’s workforce, with relevant employer brand related content (across functions & business lines), and allowing them to become brand ambassadors for HCL on social media. In a way, it extends their social media reach through the best brand advocates – their employees.
Such an integration of digital in marketing and HR enables HCL to not only run at par with the rapid advancements in technology but also helps in reducing marketing spends and hiring expenses, as opposed to costs incurred by companies adopting traditional ways.
In an era where software is eating the world, HR practitioners can’t afford to stay aloof and not learn from disciplines like marketing and technology for the future will belong to the brave ones.
Apurva Chamaria (@a1purva) is the Vice President & Global Head of Corporate Marketing at HCL Technologies. His first book “You are the key – unlocking doors through social selling” recently became a best-seller.