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On the malice of the day

Digital HR. Non-human Resources for Personnel Management

The digital revolution in HR is a widely discussed trend. Let’s analyze which technologies will help to optimize business, how to work with them and which goals to achieve.

Digital HR involves changing the way you interact with employees and meticulous development of a strategy that will define the implementation of the main activities of an HR officer: personnel recruitment, development, retention, and dismissal.

What tasks do HR divisions need to solve?

David G. Vice, ex-CEO of Northern Telecom, a telecommunication equipment manufacturer, predicted that in the future only two types of companies will remain: the quick and the dead. Therefore, Digital HR involves, above all, prompt decision-making. The quicker the company closes its vacancies, identifies the strengths and weaknesses of employees, and assesses their effectiveness, the higher the HR management maturity is and the greater the benefits to the business are.

However, of course, decision making in personnel management must be not only fast but also accurate. Previously, managers were counting on their experience, intuition, and were guided by the principles of matching the candidate’s skills with the required characteristics. Now the approach to recruitment has changed, and the priority is given to a person’s talent and general intellectual development. How to achieve maximum recruitment accuracy? How not to miss a good candidate? How to understand that employees need motivation or training on time?

HR analytics

All digital transformation ideas are based primarily on analytics, and HR is no exception. To correctly estimate the labor productivity, you need to regularly collect, process, and analyze large amounts of data—and Big Data technologies are a must here. This technology can be used to reduce staff turnover, assess employee loyalty, measure changes in the employer's brand image, determine the type of employee that would suit best for this company at a certain position and in a certain region.

But the main data analysis function in HR is the ability to predict. HR must solve not only the problems that already exist, but also anticipate possible ones. Will one or another candidate handle the job? Will they be able to work effectively? How to predict retirement? How to determine the right approaches to motivation and estimate the company's losses?

In his book, Laszlo Bock (HR vice president at Google) writes that statistics is the most important method in the department’s work. Analysis shows that sales managers who have not been promoted within four years are much more likely to leave the company. Google no longer uses complex tasks and tests for incoming interviews as it turned out that they did not correlate with the future performance of employees. A study by American psychologists D. Kluemper, P. Rosen & K. Mossholder and other works show that to improve the quality of prediction models, you need to combine different various methods: IQ tests, structured interviews, personality assessment tests, as well as analysis of personal pages in Facebook and other social networks.


Before analyzing the data, you should learn how to collect them correctly. HR process automation is the main information collection tool. Implementation of ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) has become very popular. HeadHunter ATS is the most well-known system of this class. ATS enable tracking each recruitment stage: job page views, responses to it, interviews, and hiring. With their help, the recruiter determines which channels (websites, social networks, employee recommendations, job fairs, etc.) bring more successful candidates and where to invest resources.

Artificial intelligence technology is an important automation enabler. For example, HeadHunter introduced the HR Scoring technology on its site: candidates are ordered from the most to the least promising based on the criteria of matches in CV and vacancy text, salary expectations, and skills.
M.Video (a Russian electronics retail chain) practices autodialing for candidates, which saves a large share of recruiter’s time. The company also uses lead generation to select those who correspond to the most important competency requirements at the first stage.

Another modern HR tool is a video interview. It saves time and allows you to objectively evaluate a candidate before a personal meeting. This method is actively used by Skillaz—a promising Russian startup that offers an online recruitment platform that allows you to compile a video summary and conduct a video interview on questions prepared in advance.


The main goal of human resource management is to maximize the return on investment in staff. Hiring a competent employee is not enough: you need to create a promising career path for him and influence the effectiveness of his work. Among other things, Digital HR solves such issues.

For example, in M.Video, the process of adaptation and training takes place in the form of online qualification tests: managers see who has passed them and who is lagging. The system can also help management to understand the reason for the lag. Automation helps to make personal development plans for employees, plan career promotions, and customize flexible timesheets.

With the development of information technologies, remote working has become a relevant issue. VimpelCom (a Russian mobile operator) conducted a study that yielded an unexpected result: at home, efficient employees work even more efficiently, and inefficient ones become even less efficient. This proves that there are different types of employees that require different approaches—just like finding a personal approach to customers in marketing.

Ideal image of a modern HR manager

Such a manager is mostly an analyst equipped with modern technologies with some skills of a sociologist, psychologist, and branding specialist. Artificial intelligence, Big Data, and automation systems can handle the routine workflows, and professionals should correctly configure their operation algorithms and provide comfortable communication in custom cases.

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