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7 Digital HR Trends for 2020

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With the end of 2019 already in sight, it’s time for our annual list of digital HR trends. What developments are worth keeping an eye on in 2020? And what are going to be next year’s big themes? In this article, I will reflect on 7 trends I’m seeing in digital HR for 2020. 

1. What is digital HR anyway?

There is a lot of interest in the topic of digital HR. In 2019, I had the pleasure of speaking at multiple conferences that bore this title. However, when I asked participants to define digital HR, it proved hard to find a definition that everyone agreed on.

The good news is that when we look at next year’s digital HR trends, the first trend is that this misunderstanding will disappear. That’s important because if we don’t know what digital HR is, how can we unleash its true value?

In our article what is digital HR, we state that for digital HR, social, mobile, analytics and cloud (SMAC) are leveraged to make HR more efficient, effective, and connected.

This is based on the Ulrich model, in which he identifies four phases in digital HR maturity.

  1. HR efficiency. Companies invest in (existing) technology platforms that manage HR processes efficiently.
  2. HR effectiveness. Technology is used to upgrade key HR processes including onboardingperformance management, communication, and work in general.
  3. Information. Data becomes accessible, internal data is combined with external data, and people analytics is leveraged to create business-relevant insights. 
  4. Connection. Digital HR is leveraged to create a deeper connection and a feeling of belonging between people.
Digital HR tech roadmap by Ulrich
The Digital HR Agenda by Dave Ulrich (2019)

Where a lot of companies still see digital HR as a means to be more efficient, there is much more potential to be unleashed. A better understanding of what digital HR is and the value it can create will help to reveal some of its untapped potential.

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