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HR 4.0: how technology is transforming people management

Innovative technologies like Internet of Things, Big Data and Artificial Intelligence are helping to automate most HR processes, resulting in more efficient and lean teams. Above all, state-of-the-art technology applications are transforming traditional HR into HR 4.0.

Have you heard of HR 4.0? Well, know that this concept has been gaining more and more force all over the world, going through organizations from the most varied markets.

Keep reading to understand in depth!

What HR 4.0 is.

The concept of HR 4.0 is closely linked to the so-called Industry 4.0, or to the fourth major industrial revolution.

If Industry 4.0 represents a major transformation in the way companies approach manufacturing, it is also true that this move has reduced human resource requirements, especially through automation. Similarly, the exchange of data between different systems has dramatically increased efficiency and decision-making processes related to people management.

Although the world will see even greater changes in the coming years, much of the technology needed is already in place to replace much of the current HR-related activities.

Therefore, we can say that HR 4.0 is a revolution in the area of Human Resources. In it, HR becomes more automated, focusing its activities on strategic issues and no longer on manual, bureaucratic and repetitive actions.

This movement is seen both in the creation of tools by the IT industry and in the new demands of the government with respect to labor relations. The emergence of obligations such as eSocial, for example, has pushed HR departments to push technology into routines that were rarely done with paper documents – remember?

The differences between traditional HR and HR 4.0

In practice, it means that, unlike traditional HR – where the main functions of the professionals were to pay for salaries, control of work hours and basically manual and bureaucratic activities – HR 4.0 is focused on fronts such as attracting qualified talents, improved organizational climate, and other approaches that directly contribute to the company’s strategic results.

HR 4.0 is essentially permeated by technology and is in line with new labor market scenarios – with special influence from the Millennial Generation, which now reaches leading positions in organizations, and the others that have followed.

In HR 4.0 there is the understanding that professionals today have other needs, and many of them receive job offers from other businesses much more frequently than they did 10 years ago. Therefore, it is necessary to work for the best experience, making the work environment more attractive, less dull – for generations that were born immersed in technology, it is extremely important that it is present in their day to day work.

With the traditional personal department leaning toward strategic people management, companies have already realized that their main asset is people. They also understood that the technology developed by them – or acquired from third parties quite easily and at reasonable prices – allows automating bureaucratic activities.

Another point of inflection, which differentiates traditional HR from 4.0 HR, is the so-called digital transformation. Companies are now more inclined to adopt online tools, methods and services, and that trend is already reaching HR departments.

Innovative virtual solutions and resources assist in the operations of people management, automating manual processes and optimizing strategic tasks. From the search for talent to performance management, among others, bureaucratic processes are carried out with the minimum of human intervention, which gives HR 4.0 accustomed professionals more time for a more analytical, less operational performance.

Solutions focused on the area of HR keep on appearing. These are recruitment software, employee development test platforms, satisfaction survey applications (E-NPS), internal communication tools, general management systems. And these tools are anchored by innovative technologies like Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things and even Artificial Intelligence.

The Benefits of Turbocharging HR in Your Business

And there are many benefits of HR 4.0 for the HR departments and for the business itself.

Among these positive impacts, the following stand out:

  • process optimization;
  • error reduction and manual work;
  • reduction of costs with labor and with materials (paper, computers, etc.);
  • ease for the decision-making of managers and analysts;
  • expansion of strategic power in people management;
  • more likely to attract and retain the best talent on the market;
  • ease for HR to contribute to increased productivity;
  • possibilities of innovation in the area, etc.

One advantage that deserves to be highlighted and detailed is linked to the collaborative work of HR.

In the not-so-distant past, all HR tasks within an organization were performed by in-house teams or by 100% dedicated third parties. Industry 4.0 is now delivering technologies that include virtually every business department in processes such as recruitment and selection, performance management, benefits administration, and so on.  

In HR 4.0, leaders from all walks of the hierarchy participate in the day-to-day management of people; they have tools and methods that help them collaborate with HR by inserting good practices and intelligent routines into the organizational culture. And this is quite positive, because it makes the motto of having people as priority stop being just a speech and is even more easily perceived by the employees.

HR 4.0: How to perform this upgrade  

Here’s what the first steps for HR 4.0 to be implemented in your company are.

Put people management in the digital transformation

If marketing, sales and manufacturing are already in full digital transformation, it is also important that HR enters this new business model.

Begin by finding out the processes that are still done manually; and to reflect on how it would be possible to save time, reduce costs and optimize results with the structuring of technological tools and methods.

Adopt digital tools for HR operation

With cloud computing democratizing technology, you no longer need to invest a lot of money in IT infrastructure. Virtually everything a HR needs in terms of technologies (software, servers, etc.) can be virtually acquired and used.

Digital technology makes investments cheaper, gives more mobility to area professionals (who can work from anywhere, at any time and using any connected device), is easy to implement and maintain, among other advantages.

Create the 4.0 mindset in HR

It is also crucial to help HR professionals enter this new world. You have to create the HR 4.0 mentality in them. Without this, they will be reluctant to innovate, have difficulty adapting and may even boycott initiatives.

Start by showing them the new trends in the area; if necessary, encourage the implementation of refresher courses, promote participation in lectures and events, etc. By understanding what the company’s new leaning is, the area professionals themselves will come up with hints for RH 4.0 to really be implemented.

Seek expert help

Finally, it is important to know that HR 4.0 requires a range of knowledge – from techniques, methods, practices, tools, etc. If you feel that there is not enough background in your company, seek out a technology and innovation consulting firm to help you architect that transition.

How about it, is your company ready for HR 4.0? Contact us and see how we can help you. To further deepen this theme, download the eBook Agile HR – How to implement it! now

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