The digital era of HR is upon us. Today’s human resources professionals have a myriad of tools at their fingertips to better manage the countless number of HR processes of which they are responsible. What were once great solutions in search of requirements, today have practical application to enable HR to better support the organization. For example, collaboration tools can help employees share and consume knowledge much more effectively developing them than traditional (and expensive) classroom training. The ability to use technology to easily create content by anyone and publish it for consumption for anyone else offers the promise of much more effectively knowledge sharing across any enterprise. Networking and communities are playing a huge role as well, particularly in recruiting, which is perhaps one of the strongest examples for HR as winning the war for talent is top of mind for their CEO counterparts. Access to external networking tools like LinkedIn can provide access to candidate pools and even provide insight as to whether they would be a fit for the organization, helping practitioners make informed hiring decisions. Not to mention many other sites may provide potential candidates with information that may influence them one way or the other whether to join an organization like reviews on culture and growth opportunities.

So, similarly to a CMO’s job to track brand image and commentary about their organization in public forums, CHRO’s must monitor public sentiments about their organizations as employers.  Negative commentary about being a poor work environment won’t help win the war for talent.  Finally, big data is everywhere. Ever increasing automation of processes and ability to mine and consolidate data across multiple sources can provide all kinds of insight about workforce trends in general – and potentially each employee.  While this is not necessarily new, the kinds of thing we can learn – and even predict – are.  Insights such as identifying causal relationships between HR strategies and programs as well as desired business outcomes can be brought to life and actually help HR prove what has been lacking for so long: quantifiable return on investment. Slicing and dicing employee data across a wide variety of data types and data sources can provide new clues as to all kinds of individual employee profiles from who are really the most influential employees in the organization, all the way to who is the highest flight risk.

As the business demands more from HR, understanding and embracing these new tools – similar to how their CMO colleagues have done – will become a mandatory skillset for everyone in HR. To learn more about how CHROs will need to employ these strategies and tools to achieve business success read the recent report from the EIU: http://www.sap.com/solution/lob/hr/featured/offers/talent-management-tools.html

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