Role Of Digitization And AI In Modern Industry Hiring

AI will be an enabler of a revolutionary upsurge in workforce abilities and competencies, taking an entire workforce to the next level


HR as a function has come of age and has asserted itself as a strategic partner to the business. As HR moves further away from the transactional towards the strategic aspects of the business, HR teams are beginning to use more automation at the workplace, especially for tasks that involve repetition. 

The use of data analytics is on the rise, helping HR move away from descriptive analytics towards predictive and even prescriptive analytics that enable organizations to redefine their processes and models to prepare for future changes. 

Organizations can find it challenging to cope with the changes that result from developments in AI. However, AI will be an enabler of a revolutionary upsurge in workforce abilities and competencies, taking an entire workforce to the next level.   

To keep up and remain successful, up-skilling is necessary at all levels, including leadership – and this is the real challenge. It is equally important that every member of the workforce, not just top management, is aligned with business needs and understands how their work aligns with an evolving strategy in an ever-changing environment.

Every role requires the right knowledge, skill, and ability. In recent times, there has been a clear shift towards skill-based hiring and development. Comfort with the corresponding technologies for a particular role is now a hygiene factor, whether it is Microsoft Office or high-end software engineering. Consequently, those in transactional roles will need to up-skill and re-skill to take on higher value-add roles. They will need to develop new competencies to remain competitive and to stay relevant to their business.  This will increase accountability and responsibility at the lower levels – a situation that would demand employees possessing self-direction and self-organization capabilities. 

It is evident that employee behaviour is changing drastically with technology and digitalization. Today, the mobile phone is nothing short of an extension of the hand. The collective workforce spanning across generations is comfortable, dependent and even addicted to mobile devices. With the phone being a ubiquitous, single major source of information, it makes strategic sense to leverage it for everything from networking and collaboration to learning and development. In addition, with shorter attention spans in the age of tweets and TEDTalks, byte-sized learning with regular assessments and evaluation can be leveraged to help employees build their skills continuously. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have also become a popular way to reach a global audience. Employees need to learn on the go so that they can put their learning into practice. 

Digitization is an inevitable reality in all aspects of work.  For the HR professional, in addition to primary KPIs of attracting and developing a global, diverse, digital workforce, the focus is also in offering a conducive and progressive work environment by enabling:

  • Leadership – Every leader must be a role model, exhibiting behaviours of agility and readiness, so that this cascades across the organization to keep pace with the change.
  • Organizational Culture – Culture eats strategy for breakfast, so if the culture is not agile and fit, progress doesn’t stand much a chance. HR can be a powerful influencer in driving the right organizational culture.
  • Employee Engagement – The digital workforce needs a clear sense of purpose, good alignment between managers, teams and peers and a good work-life balance.
  • Benefits and Rewards – Restructuring of the compensation and benefits framework is necessary to motivate and reward the desired behaviour.  
  • Process Engineering - Processes need to be well-mapped, broken down, simplified and continuously improved to keep them relevant and useful. As per lean methodology, unnecessary steps and processes should be eliminated to reduce waste and thereby increase efficiency. 

Technology is only one of many cornerstones of any successful organization. While technology moves at an inevitably fast pace, it is necessary for the rest of the organizational aspects to keep up. McKinsey’s 7S model provides a helpful way to evaluate how the overall organization is functioning. In addition to technology and systems, a company’s strategy, structure, shared values, style, staff, and skills need to remain coherent at all times to enable a productive work environment. Just as all the parts of a car need to function to accelerate forward, these critical aspects of the organization need constant upgrading to stay in alignment and accelerate the organization forward.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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