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Reimagining HR for a digital native workforce

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/gpointstudio)

Digitisation has left its mark on all aspects of our lives. Whether it is shopping online, booking taxis or checking your bank balance, consumers demand seamless and uncomplicated digital experiences. This has inevitably created an expectation amongst digital natives that technology should always simplify processes that would otherwise be inefficient. And that’s not just in their personal lives – it’s even more critical when they’re at work. So what does this mean for businesses as they look to recruit and retain talent that is highly technologically minded? 

As people enter the workforce, they require easy access to knowledge and data so they can do their best work, regardless of their geographical location. Cloud content management tools enable businesses to deliver this to employees, further breaking through informational and organisational silos by enabling collaboration and integration with existing apps and platforms. When tools are securely integrated with each other, teams can work together more easily – even when operating across different geographies, departments or roles. Having this level of flexibility can prove critical for horizontal departments such as Human Resources (HR), which serve multiple functions to support the entire organisation. 

HR in the cloud

HR teams have varied and versatile roles, working on everything from employee engagement initiatives and recruitment, to performance management and more. With such a broad range of responsibilities, HR personnel need to be able to easily collaborate, navigate and securely file information in the cloud – whether it’s benefits, payroll or performance details. Given the sensitivity of such data, HR departments must ensure that confidential employee information is protected with granular permissions and access controls.

As digitisation transforms how HR departments operate, organisations not only need to think about maintaining their employees’ confidentiality but ensure they are compliant with new rules and legislation, such as GDPR. The evolving compliance and regulatory climate demands businesses stay up to date to keep data protection a top priority. 

Streamlining recruitment process and new starters onboarding

Cloud content management solutions also play an important part at the recruitment phase. When hiring and interviewing for a new role, HR leaders and hiring managers can work together to consolidate candidate feedback in a single, secure cloud location, accessible by the necessary individuals responsible for the recruitment effort. This will help massively reduce the amount of time spent consolidating feedback at each stage of the hiring process, which in the UK takes an average of 27.5 days.

The benefit for the candidate is that the resulting streamlined review process ensures they receive a swift response on their suitability for a given role. With 58 per cent of UK jobseekers claiming to have accepted a second-choice job offer because a potential employer took too long to make a decision, a slow job application process is no longer optional for businesses looking for top talent. Ultimately, recruitment does not only shape candidates’ initial perception of an organisation but it also determines their decision on whether they should accept the job offer.

The experience for new recruits during the onboarding process is equally important. An automated induction workflow can set new employees up for success on day one, removing the need to print, scan and e-mail standard HR forms and documents. More importantly, HR teams can provide new starters with access to company content, assets and information which helps them get to work on their assigned tasks and projects much more quickly.

Talent retention

With talent onboarded, the focus then moves to employee retention. Enabling collaboration between individuals and teams across the broader business can help disrupt traditional hierarchies associated with knowledge sharing. All staff can be given the opportunity to have their voices heard and their ideas elevated, in what is a hugely empowering professional experience. Knowledge-sharing could fundamentally be the building block for an organisation’s efforts to create a culture of innovation, in turn triggering an increase in great ideas taking shape from unlikely places within the businesses.

For this to be achieved, HR teams take on a critical role. To adopt the tools that facilitate collaboration like this, HR must collaborate with IT teams to provide guidance on the roll-out plans so employees adopt technology. This can include anything from test running and trialing technology within designated parts of the business or providing training that aims to increase the digital literacy of individuals at all levels. Once the first phase is complete and the tool is in place, HR teams have a central role in communicating new processes that have therefore been put into place, ensuring the business is transparent about its goals. That could cover streamlining workflows, enhancing collaboration, enabling better internal communication and information exchange.

Finally, it isn’t just staff outside the HR department that benefit from cloud content management – the day-to-day operations for HR teams themselves can be streamlined. Technology can automate a number of manual and time consuming HR tasks, such as updating employee personal details or keeping company assets up to date to ensure everyone has access to latest benefits and policy documents. This can allow HR to focus on higher value, more strategic work. 

Through cloud content management, a business can streamline its HR function and build an environment that caters to an evolving workforce that includes digital native talent. HR teams can become the facilitators of innovation within an organisation whilst also focusing on its most important resource – its people.

Dan Farkas, VP of EMEA, Box