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What stage are we at with digitizing HR in Flanders? – a status report

Jun 11, 2018
A straw poll among 180 HR professionals, spread over 110 companies, makes for discouraging reading: even though the importance of digitizing HR further is fully recognized, digital knowledge and actual implementations still lag behind. A status report.

The basic elements

The perception, within companies, that HR is not immediately regarded as a forerunner in new digital technologies, was, sadly, not invalidated by our survey:

  • The good news is that 1 in 2 companies has introduced a digital personnel file. In addition, there are a great many digital initiatives to report. The basic elements for a good digitization are, therefore, present to a certain extent.
  • What’s striking, on the downside, is the large degree of fragmentation. HR-digitization is spread over many diverse systems which severely hampers an integrated digital policy.
  • In addition, the main focus of HR-departments these days is still very traditional: filling job vacancies, skills development and holding on to one’s best employees.
  • The focus on new digital technologies, that could actually remedy many of the classic challenges, is very low down on HR’s list of priorities. Consequently, many digital opportunities in HR are missed.

Herein lies maybe one of the biggest challenges for HR: how to better integrate and deploy digital applications more rationally in order to better tackle the day-to-day tasks.

HR and new technologies

New technologies can make HR-tasks easier and more efficient. But how, actually, does HR currently embrace new technologies such as the cloud, mobile apps, the digital workplace, artificial intelligence (AI) and data reporting?

First, the positives:

  • 62% of the polled HR-professionals chose resolutely for software in the cloud. ‘Cloud’ is clearly front-of-mind among HR-professionals.
  • Mobile access to HR-functionalities is also regarded as ‘Important to Crucial’ for 88% of the HR-departments.
  • 45% of the respondents are actively developing projects concerning the digital workplace. This is positive in itself. The caveat, though, is the fact that only 15% have so far rolled this out.

As regards the new digital technologies, most striking were the suggestions for improvements:

  • AI can help HR-departments to achieve their own targets quicker and more efficiently, but just 1 in 4 HR-professionals is currently engaged in something related to AI.
  • According to the respondents, both HR and the employees within the organization are not yet ready for AI (69%). In addition to this, HR admits that the systems currently in use fall short as regards AI (80%).
  • Daily up-to-date reports are well integrated in just 1 in 3 HR-departments (37%). The predictive reporting tool harbors perhaps the single biggest efficiency gain for the HR-department, but only 1 in 8 (12%) is doing this already.

HR Digitization in Flanders comes from far but, even so, still has a long way to go. More details, all the figures and some useful tips for pursuing your continued HR-digitization can be found in the white paper: “HR-Digitization in Flanders – today and tomorrow - a status report and a look ahead to the future”.

This report, prepared by delaware and vacature.com, is downloadable for free, online.

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