It starts in HR: How SMBs can embrace digital transformation

Personio, a “People Workflow Automation” platform, prides itself on digitalising and simplifying time-consuming HR processes for businesses, having freed over 5,000 customers across various industries
22 February 2022 | 322 Shares

Source: Personio

The lockdowns brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic forced businesses to dive into the fast-moving world of digital transformation. However, some small and midsized business owners think transformation is now a done deal.

Unfortunately, digital transformation is not a one-time event. Instead, it represents a journey, and not one with a definitive end. The nature of a journey is that there will be ups and downs, following the trends governing the industry.

For businesses, keeping up with the trend of digitisation and being able to move the customer-facing side of the business to the digital sphere quickly is laudable, especially for those that had successfully done so during the first lockdown. However, applause and accolades should also be given to the HR people out there who have had to digitise the internal processes of the business just as quickly.

The speed at which HR professionals set up and implemented remote working during the pandemic really calls for a tip of the hat. After having to prepare entire companies to move to remote work almost overnight while braving the pandemic themselves; what they did is borderline heroic.

HR professionals are fighting on a different front where speed is just as crucial, one where the goal is now talent retention and acquisition, in response to the trends of the hour. In the post-Covid-19 job market, recruiters and HR professionals have to take into account that employees have different expectations and are prioritising work-life balance. That needs an approach that humanises the employee.

Turning themes into trends

HR digital transformation has its own set of trends. However, in 2022, staff turnover is expected to increase according to one study, with 38% of employees polled looking to change roles. 

The study also shows that 45% of HR decision-makers are worried that employees will leave, but only 26% responded that talent retention is an organisational priority. Perhaps it’s a situation that’s not aided by lack of information: 37% of HR professionals say they lack the data and insights to best support their organisation.

The overarching themes for HR trends this year cover aspects of recruitment, retention, productivity improvement and people analytics.

HR digital transformation trends for 2022

  1.  Have a plan to drive talent acquisition for increased productivity

The first among the transformational changes is that companies need to have a clear strategy to drive talent acquisition. This, according to Ross Seychell, Chief People Officer at Personio, is especially important given the incredibly competitive market for top talent.

A study by recruitment company Indeed showed that 82% of SMB employers have had trouble recruiting in recent months. As a result, 91% of leaders, managers and executives have taken on additional tasks or responsibilities. This is affecting businesses of all sizes, making the demand for talent even fiercer.

As leaders, managers and executives handle more tasks and take on further responsibilities. Proper processes can lighten the burden for HR and improve productivity, allowing more time for value-adding opportunities.

     2. Developing leaders as a base for expansion

SMBs need to foster leaders who can help expand the business, serve as role models, motivate and win commitment. Personio’s team achieves this through fostering a strong peer network to ensure regular knowledge sharing between leaders. By building knowledge, team leaders increase gain increased confidence.

     3. Use data to drive better decisions

Another thing SMBs need is the ability to make more data-based decisions. For HR professionals, this means using data to identify focus areas and figure out ways to improve on the key stages of the employee’s journey through the company.

     4. Face the new normal head-on

“There’s little sense in trying to go back to a time before Covid-19. We’re here, and now we need to learn and move forward,” said Seychell, calling for SMBs to focus on looking and moving forward past the pandemic. He also expects companies to think about and expand their actions in a mostly hybrid work setup.

How Personio is responding

Priding itself on digitalising and simplifying time-consuming HR processes for businesses, Personio is a people workflow automation platform that has provided solutions for over 5,000 customers across various industries, freeing them from their administrative work.

According to Sarah Thomas, Head of People at Mindful Chef, the company knew they were expanding, and would need a system that would grow with them:      

“A lot of other HR tools are really great at engagement and performance, but don’t have a recruitment function. Or, they are really good at payroll but they don’t have anything to do with performance. Personio offered a good balance of everything we needed,” said Thomas. 

She added that the platform also offered a great level of automation and personalisation, allowing for the design of workflows that suited their unique processes.

Cristina Antoniu, human resources manager at Premier Inn, describes finding Personio as a stroke of luck. The organisation encountered the platform after taking over some assets from a competitor. It helps automate time-consuming, labour-intensive processes:

“Our evaluations were mainly Excel-based and very time-consuming. I had to double and triple-check my evaluations before I sent them to management. It wasn’t an effective solution for our rapid expansion,” said Antoniu. 

She said she appreciated the many functions and the continuous development of features and modules, which allowed her to map HR tasks with a holistic solution.

Personio believes there can never be too many HR heroes. The platform makes HR professionals real heroes by giving them more time to focus on what matters most: their employees. You can learn more about Personio’s vision here.