What Will It Take For HR Professionals to Adapt in the Digital Age?

Ariela Douglas
January 14, 2022

Amid the pandemic, remote ways of working became only part of a much larger effort to evolve into a digitally enabled business that can survive and adapt through technological disruption. In fact, in one 2021 report, 87% of C-suite executives report that the pandemic has accelerated HR transformation and increased the functions influence on the rest of business.

Bearing in mind that remote ways of working are only a fraction of a much larger effort by companies to make it through the process of digital transformation: What will it take for HRto maintain its influence and continue to effectively and efficiently adapt inthe digital age?  

Common myths and fears

One myth that contributes to resistance and fear surrounding transformation is that every HR professional must become a data scientist, which is absolutely untrue. However, they will need to be digitally literate and analytically capable. HR professionals today must embark on an upskilling journey to become more analytically minded and digitally capable. Every organization will have to decide whether upskilling existing HR professionals will meet these needs.

The nature of a fast-paced, rapidly evolving business environment and the acceleration of digital transformation means that organizations cannot depend on past performance and existing skill data alone to determine whether someone is a good fit for an evolved role. Again, not all HR professionals will need to understand the inner workings of these systems – but they should all be able to communicate the fundamental principles and advantages to business stakeholders and employees.

Using behavioral data to upskill teams

Traditional examples of HR competency models focus primarily on specific skills and knowledge, overlooking the behavioral personality traits of HR professionals. However, in recent years we have seen increased interest in the value of motives, traits, attitudes and perceptions in understanding their competence and effectiveness such as situational decision making and passion for learning.

There is significant overlap between the typical behavioral profile of individuals currently working in the HR profession today and that of the ideal behavioral profile for individuals capable of succeeding in a digital, data-driven environment. Proof that building talent from within the organization, by investing in upskilling existing teams, is a worthwhile alternative to hiring new HR talent to fill skill gaps.

Preparing for the digital, data driven future

Advancements in behavioral assessments can help organizations better understand talent and connect individuals with ideal roles and upskilling initiatives. In addition to developing a better understanding of their own talent, HR departments would be wise to incorporate a behavioral understanding of their existing workforce when attempting to redeploy employees across the entire organization and into new roles.

Features of the HR professional behavioral profile show that organizations can, with targeted learning and development, confidently prepare for  success in a digital, data driven age. The research detailed in this free whitepaper report identifies significant overlap between the behavioral profile of HR professionals today and pymetrics’ research-based behavioral model of Digital Potential. So does HR have the potential to succeed in a digital, data-driven environment? The answer is ‘yes’.