Greater digitisation and the maturity of analytics in HR were twin topics featured in Hong Kong last week, at ChapmanCG's Regional Talent Management and Talent Acquisition Heads meeting hosted by Bloomberg. Matthew Chapman, CEO of ChapmanCG, joined HK ChapmanCG team members Odilia Poon, Ringo Lau and Tracy Goh, along with 22 HR leaders from a variety of companies and industries for this session.

On digitisation, key insights included:

  1. This trend is not only affecting high tech companies, but traditional organisations as well. Everyone, regardless of industry, needs to become digital - quickly - and traditional and non-traditional companies are looking to learn from each other in this ‘race’.
  2. Digitisation must be supported from the top levels of organisations. We are seeing traditionalists being mentored by young experts to be more tech savvy. To support multi-generational differences, strategies and tools need to be simple and standardised.
  3. In HR terms, digitisation is speeding up the availability of data for decision-making. We have more at our fingertips, and making sure this data is accurate and useful is proving to be critical. HR leaders are expected to react faster and need greater amounts of data real time to ensure they can do this.
  4. Creativity around brand image is intensifying as companies seek to make themselves unique to potential digital savvy candidates. The use of creative recruitment strategies, for example using new-age video applications instead of email applications, is becoming more common.

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On analytics, some takeaway pearls of wisdom included:

  1. The initial overenthusiasm of HR teams to use analytics to measure everything has given way to a more mature approach where analytics is used to measure critical areas only. It is better to get a few things right than to get many things wrong. What is right can evolve rapidly: what you measured last year may be irrelevant this year.
  2. Analytics are not the be-all and end-all, and sensible logic should be applied when it comes to using analytics as predictors of possible behaviour. They should be one of several tools used, including common sense.
  3. Increasingly senior HR leaders are involved in shaping analytics measures, rather than delegating this to data experts. Equally, it's proving to be important that business leaders agree on the relevance of the analytics being measured. This constant calibration is critical to success.
  4. Organisations are getting smarter at applying analytics measures across disparate business units, so organisation-wide data is now being collected and compared. Similarly with different countries, it is important to involve all, and not just focus on key markets leaving others to their own measures.

Whenever and wherever we host these sessions, it is always impressive to see the contributions from all attendees; clearly there is an appetite to learn about what other companies are doing when it comes to digitisation and use of analytics. Many thanks go to our hosts at Bloomberg for an excellent session focussing on the future of HR. We look forward to our next Hong Kong HR Talent Management and Talent Acquisition group, which will be held in July 2016, details will be announced soon.