How Can HR Professionals Understand Digital Innovation? by Devyani Vaishampayan

A recent survey of 15,000 Global HR professionals conducted by Frazer Jones and the HR TECH Partnership revealed some interesting results. 95% of the HR community believes new technology will allow HR to become more efficient and strategic while 77% believe digitization plays a key role.
However, less than 25% of HR professionals have actively adopted digital solutions involving Artificial Intelligence. While budget, training and lack of support from management are cited as key barriers many simply do not know where to begin or how to increase their understanding.

What can you do to actively understand what is happening in this space?
Reading about digital disruption certainly helps, however, a key issue HR professionals face is to figure out what is hype and what is reality. Here are some actual actions you can take:
Experiment and Use Start-ups/ Scale-Ups:
Using digital solutions by start-ups/ scale-ups is relatively a simple process. To start, identify a specific pain point/ issue you have, e.g. the reduction of the time you are spending around screening CV’s or having an intelligent employee feedback mechanism that proactively gives you a sense check around morale. You then source a product that specifically has a product around this.

Unlike large HRIS implementations, these start-ups are relatively low cost, can integrate easily with existing systems and can be deployed across small teams. There is no need for large budgets, organization wide deployment of unnecessary modules or extensive RFP processes!

Participate in a Human Capital Innovation Hub:
A relatively new concept is participation in a Human Capital Innovation Hub where an organization sponsors a start-up for approximately 6 months. The Hub is hosted by an established accelerator, which is essentially an ecosystem/hub where start-ups are provided with support ranging from IT &real estate along with the guidance of VCs /mentors and the opportunity to learn from each other’s experiences.

The HR Tech Partnership manages the entire program which includes sourcing the start-up, hosting the accelerator and ensuring that the individual organization’s needs are met. Corporates can focus on a start-up that has a solution to an existing problem or supports their CSR strategy or simply enables them to learn about a new technology such as blockchain.

What do organizations stand to gain?
The primary motivation to go for such a construct is the learning and exposure that it provides to the entire team around the “Future of Work”, newer technologies like AI and Digital Innovation. Being a tried and tested model, you can attract good quality start-ups. Outsourcing the programme management saves time and cross-industry insights are facilitated through the other participating corporates.

Invest in Digital Startups / Angel Investing:
The notion of investment being done only by VC’s/ PE firms/ wealthy individuals is no longer true. Crowd-funding now allows anyone to invest a relatively smaller amount of money in a safe manner via an organized platform.

The HR TECH Partnership uses the model of both bringing in angel investors and then taking the investing company to a crowdfunding platform. This helps everyone invest small sums in HR specific digital companies backed by senior HR leaders thereby reducing risk. Investing helps you sharpen your commercial acumen, improve your understanding of the market and learn about the changing digital landscape.

For example, our current investment proposition ‘RecruitmentSmart’ enabled the senior HR Angel Investors to get a deeper understanding of Artificial Intelligence, understand the huge leaps in productivity & costs that are now possible (it can screen up to a billion CV’s per day) and interact with a smart set of entrepreneurs.

The World Economic Forum has just released a report that shows 52% of human jobs will get automated by 2025 – which is just 6 years away! Getting more familiar with digital innovation is no longer an option but a necessary requirement for any HR professional who wants to stay ahead of the game.

You can watch the complete webinar on Managing Digital Disruption in the workplace in the News Section (KeyNotes) on www.hrtechpartnership.com

 

The Business Transformation Network has posted this article in partnership with HR Tech Partnership.

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Devyani Vaishampayan is an experienced Group HR Director and the founder of The HR TECH Partnership, an Angel Investment Fund where the investors are all FTSE 100 senior HRD’s and the investment is in HR technology start-ups. She has been named in the 2017 FT/Empower Ethnic Minority Leaders List and in the 2016 FTSE 100 'Women to Watch' list.

Having led Human Resources in over 70 countries for large multinationals such as Rolls Royce, BG Group, AT&T, Citibank and Price Waterhouse and lived in Singapore, HongKong, India and the UK, she is an international and multi-sector HR specialist. Her experience of managing the HR TECH Partnership puts her at the forefront of HR technology innovation in the start-up space.

Devyani has also been a Non-Executive Director of The HR Fund, The Singapore Association of the Deaf and Board Agenda.