HR departments should transform or bite digital dust, expert says

By Edd K. Usman

Transform or bite digital dust. ​​That’s the warning — and advice — issued by a tech firm to the human resources (HR) industry around the world in light of the disruptive digital developments taking place in what is known as the fourth Industrial Revolution.

PageUp's Karen Cariss:  Since the workplace is already digital, HR should tap its workers to help their organizations move forward

PageUp’s Karen Cariss: Since the workplace is already digital, HR should tap its workers to help their organizations move forward

The Melbourne native who co-founded and is the CEO of PageUp, a global talent management Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) provider, paid a visit to Manila — where the company has an office — to launch and promote her book in efforts to further enhance the HR industry.

Entitled “CLIFFHANGER—HR on the Precipice in the Future of Work​,​”​ the book, which Cariss co-authored with Sylvia Vorhauser-Smith, senior vice president for global research ​at ​PageUp.

Companies can no longer take disruption for granted, emphasizing that “to embrace digital is the way of the future,” the PageUp CEO told Newsbytes.PH in an interview.

“The digital revolution is here, and you are in the industry of people, people who are engaged with digital every day,” Cariss said. “So, leverage your young workforce to help convince the whole organization to go on a digital journey. They are already engaged digital, so use their skill to help your organization move forward, so you (won’t) be left behind biting the digital dust.”

For this digital shift to take place, the HR industry has to arm itself with digital, cultural, and business intelligence.

The Philippines and other countries with a very dynamic workforce “requires HR to play a strategic role in the organization by sharply aligning to the business strategy, using technology and as an enabler and applying strategic foresight to navigate future workforce needs.”

​PageUp, which was founded in Australia in 1997, came into the scene as “digital transformation is sending shock waves across the business landscape​,​”carrying​ ripples of challenges and opportunities​.”

“HR is on the precipice of a cliff. There is a real risk of falling over and there are two choices to make: invent a way across the chasm, or disappear into it,” said Vorhauser-Smith, co-author of the book whose cover features a person being saved from plummeting down a cliff.

It is obvious the dramatic image symbolizes the HR industry and the dangers that may push it to the edge of the precipice​ unless it veers away fast and take the path to digital ​journey.

“The journey that HR is travelling has hit a hard stop and is under pressure to not only facilitate the transition of the workforce into the new world of work, but equally to reinvent itself,” said Vorhauser-Smith.

The book traces the unfolding digital transformation unfolding; the emergence of science and technology and their impacts on HR management; what kind of engagement employers will have with their employees going ahead; the role of HR as digital rolls on; and the need for a change in mindsets to survive in the digital workplace.​

To this end, PageUp has positioned itself as company with a portfolio of services, among them a talent management solution that is delivered through the cloud.

The company has expanded globally, supporting local and multinational organizations, many of them belonging to the Fortune 500 employers.

Among the solutions it provides are accessible in more than 190 countries by clients coming from diverse industries such as banking, mining, retail, hospitality, manufacturing, education, governmental and non-profit organizations.