HR teams are not prepared to meet the fourth industrial revolution, according to recent research from ADP and IDC, in a survey of 2,022 HR decision makers across eight countries in Europe. The report revealed that over a fifth (22%) of Human Capital Management (HCM) processes are still inputted manually.

Equally alarming, was the lack of communication between HR teams and IT departments, with 28% of respondents claiming that IT is only somewhat involved in HCM solution decisions, and 3% claiming it plays no role at all.

“These findings are concerning as an increasingly digital world demands HR teams be tech-savvy”, Annabel Jones, HR Director at ADP UK says, “IT solutions can make processes more efficient, offer data-driven results and automate repetitive processes. Companies of all sizes need to embrace digital HCM solutions that deliver the most value, insight and quality to their HR function. IT and HR teams need to work closely to successfully drive this change forward.”

A shift towards digital

Despite a significant number of respondents revealing that IT departments are not closely aligned with HR, the research pointed towards a shift in the attitudes of HR experts, with most now recognising how essential technology is for delivering more strategic value to their organisation.

When asked which new technologies they find increasingly important, 68% said end-to-end integration of all HR and talent systems and 64% said HR dashboard and analytics were very or extremely important. What’s more, 56% said social or collaborative features were also very important,

Jones continues, “Today, employees want HR-related processes to run smoothly in order to limit the amount of work on their side. They also expect their user experience at work to be similar to the one they encounter in their personal lives, where justified. Introducing new technologies – such as social or collaboration apps – into employees’ everyday working lives helps meet employee expectations.”

Priorities for the future

As well as identifying the need for more technology within the HR department, the report also identified a number of significant findings, relating to the greatest concerns and priorities for HR teams within companies of all sizes, including:

  • Training and development is by far the most important issue for all companies, with 50% of HR decision makers stating this is the main focus for their department in the future
  • Managing talent in a time of skills scarcity and digital transformation will be crucial for the entire organisation
  • Recruitment and talent management are significantly impacted by overall employer brand with input needed from marketing and PR teams

Source: IDC White Paper, Tech-Savvy and Business-Orientated Human Capital Management of Tomorrow – A European Perspective