Our working world is changing at lightning speed. Digital transformation is continuously altering the way we work, communicate, spend our free time and perceive the world. Along this journey, companies have noticed that digitalisation has led to a paradoxical state of affairs: the more business processes are automated and accelerated by digital technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and robotics, the more companies need to rely on human know-how and expertise.
The bottom line is that digital transformation – especially in conjunction with the ongoing shortage of skilled workers – means that a forward-looking HR strategy is becoming increasingly important for the overall economic success of a company. For HR leaders in the UK, this means that they must make their companies ready for the battle for the best IT talent!
The HR function faces two strategic challenges
Before we get to the “how” of the battle for the best IT talent, we should first criticise the strategic starting position of the HR function. After all, digital transformation presents HR with two key challenges:
On the one hand, the HR function must create the conditions that enable adaptation of the personnel structure to evolving internal company requirements. In short, digital transformation requires more and more specific human skills. According to a report by the World Economic Forum, digital transformation will require around 50 percent of all employees to be made capable of using new technologies by 2025. In this context, the HR function has the task of bringing the right talent with the appropriate digital and IT skills to the relevant positions.
On the other hand, HR managers must find ways of incorporating digital transformation into the corporate culture. After all, the relationship between technology and employees has changed massively: the entire workday must now be more closely aligned with the evolving needs of employees. For example, this applies to creating digital working environments and adapting business processes to hybrid forms of work.
HR departments can overcome these major challenges by adopting an overarching systematic approach, namely an HR strategy for the digital enterprise.
What is a HR strategy for IT?
A human resources strategy typically involves creating an overarching strategic blueprint for HR management across the entire organisation. The HR strategy is aligned with the company’s business strategy and is developed in close collaboration with management.
The HR strategy will state:
How many employees with which qualifications are needed at which locations
How employees are to be recruited as well as retained and developed within the company
How the HR structure should develop alongside the company over the next few years
How work and cooperation among employees should be structured.
Based on this, an HR strategy for IT has the task of breaking down the company’s overarching HR strategy and tailoring it to the IT area.
In doing so, you should consider two special features in particular. First, you should ask yourself what ongoing technological changes mean for your HR initiatives in IT so that you can future-proof your company for the coming years. Second, you should bear in mind that there’s a severe shortage of skilled workers in this area, meaning special measures for talent acquisition may be required.
What must a HR strategy for IT look like in 2023?
An HR strategy for IT in 2023 should address the following aspects:
To acquire, retain and develop talent, the satisfaction of employees and their loyalty to the company is paramount, especially in IT. You should therefore place a strong focus on ensuring goals and measures are centred around employees, e.g. by reducing bureaucracy, giving employees a great deal of flexibility in achieving their goals and creating room for more diversity in the company.
Orientation towards special skills
IT is a world of permanent change, which is why you shouldn’t be guided by rigid job profiles when filling positions but should rather pay greater attention to the necessary skills of employees when filling vacancies. In addition to technical know-how, IT experts increasingly need the ability to solve problems, communicate technical issues in a comprehensible manner, manage projects, understand business strategies and apply them to IT solutions, and must be willing to undergo continuous training.
Rigid hierarchies are the hallmark of a declining working world. Modern IT workplaces involve employees in processes and decisions and enable them to play a major role in performing their tasks.
Targeted use of modern technologies
Technological development drives employee performance. When it comes to digital transformation, however, make sure that the tools you choose really do give people more freedom of action in the end, e.g. by automating simple repetitive processes or making collaboration both simple and flexible.
Areas of action for a modern IT HR strategy
An up-to-date IT HR strategy should pay particular attention to the following areas:
Talent acquisition and recruitment
Although salary is still an important factor, it is not the only one that Millennials and Generation Z consider when choosing a job. It’s crucial that you demonstrate professional and personal perspectives. IT professionals today want to contribute their potential to ambitious teams, work on challenging tasks, and develop themselves in their day-to-day work. What’s more, they want to do something meaningful, value a good work-life balance and enjoy a modern technological working environment.
The HR initiatives should ensure that a collaborative digital corporate culture is incorporated into everyday working life and is lived out. Promote digital learning, make workplaces ready for digital working with integrated applications and enable employees to reduce bureaucracy via self-service tools.
Create development opportunities for IT talent beyond traditional career paths. Allow employees to develop professionally in line with their personal gifts, for example, by taking on management or operational positions.
Concentrate your measures on those business areas that are of genuine importance to your business strategy. In the HR strategy for IT, define which tasks can be performed just as well or even better by external IT talent or service providers.
Conclusion: Your HR strategy for 2023
HR development has become a corporate task that requires a strong strategic approach. By developing a successful IT HR strategy, you can set an important course for the success of your company. Experis supports you on this path as an expert in IT HR processes and your company’s digital transformation partner. Get in touch now.