Why you can’t leave digitisation as another boardroom buzzword


We’ve all heard the words ‘digital transformation’ and ‘digitisation’ being banded around the office. It’s the topical trend which is set to be around for the foreseeable future as technology intertwines further in our personal and work lives. It’s a conversation that needs to be had across all levels within an organisation and one that senior leaders are already discussing in regard to how their workforce can become an agile entity, equipped to work alongside technology and adapt to the ever-changing demands the future and digital innovation will hold. But is the narrative being filtered top-down from the boardroom? If not, it needs to.

Our latest research report, 'The digital opportunity', reveals the impact that the adoption of new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), automation and robotics are having on today’s workforce and what this means for the future of HR and recruitment. Recruiting people with the skills and agile mindset that’s required for tomorrow’s hybrid workforce - where people and machine work alongside one another enhancing skills, roles and nurturing innovation - is critical for a business’ future sustainability in their market. But to what extent has this occurred so far within HR?

The status of digital investment in HR
From the research it’s evident that organisations have begun to digitise recruitment processes and plan to invest further across digital channels. Yet 44% believe that they are a little or far behind their competitors in terms of digitisation. 

An interesting trend was drawn from the research that technology is assisting HR professionals within the latter stages of the recruitment journey. Yet, employees actually want human interaction where technology hasn’t been implemented as much, with 75% and 63% of employees wanting interviews and assessment to be carried out by people not automation. 

With just 20% of businesses using AI to source candidates and 33% to build their talent pool, it would appear that investment needs to be placed here, where automation and AI can really come into play to deliver the experience that candidates want from a recruitment process.

Don’t ignore candidate experience
With employment at its highest since records began in 1971 alongside the rate of technological innovation, it is becoming an increasing competition for businesses in attracting and retaining employees who possess the skills and agility to adapt and relearn as technology and the workplace evolves.

It’s therefore no surprise that our research revealed that 65% of HR leaders believe that candidate experience will be the key differentiator between businesses within the next five years. However, just 36% stated to believe that the candidate experience will suffer if recruitment falls behind in investing in digital platforms.

Clearly there is a misalignment in HR strategy or perception on how digitisation can enhance the candidate experience. If businesses are to overcome their key challenges and attract the forward-thinking, innovative candidate, HR must invest in the appropriate technology that will enhance the candidate experience and show that they are a forward-thinking and innovative business. 

Why recruitment can no longer ignore the future and treat digitisation as another ‘buzzword’
A third of organisations have admitted that one of the main challenges they face internally when it comes to digitisation of recruitment is the resistance from within HR itself. For those HR and recruitment professionals that recognise the value of digitisation, have the task of selling-in the benefits to internal stakeholders. Our research shows the undeniable benefits that simply shouldn’t be ignored.

Over half (54%) state that technology possesses the ability to speed up time-heavy, manual and repetitive processes such as candidate sourcing and automated tailored communications to active and passive candidates, which will inevitably lead to a wider candidate pool being reached (45%). The biggest benefit of all though, is how digitisation can improve candidate experience (53%) – with candidates expecting a fast, seamless and individualised experience, this is the key component that will set you apart from your competitors.

You must meet the demand if you are to succeed in the future and be able to attract and retain an agile workforce with the skills, learnability and adaptability necessary in a hybrid workforce. Digitisation is not another ‘blue sky thinking’ trend, it is the future direction of work that businesses must implement, not ignore.

Download The digital opportunity: Delivering better candidate experiences in the shift to a hybrid workforce to discover how you can best leverage digital across your talent acquisition process and thrive in the future world of work.