In the HR department of the future, people will only work with the most rewarding parts of the HR area. The rest will be handled by robots. How to get there? Get rid of the data silos first.
Cognizant is one of the world’s largest providers of business process outsourcing. The company has over 60,000 employees in the outsourcing field, spread across all continents, and help major players in all industries.
“We combine experienced local teams with best global practices and cost-effective operations in countries where it is most appropriate,” says Hans Hasselgren, Cognizant’s Head of Business Process Services in the Nordics.
Hans Hasselgren believes that the HR department can look forward to a future with many smart tools that make it even easier and more professionally rewarding to develop its employees. He exemplifies the development with Cognizant’s own direction for its business.
“Within a few years, 40 percent of our colleagues will be so-called bots and robots. The machines will help our experts free up time to deliver value-added services. We can thus provide even better advice and ensure more quality in customer follow-up.”
Demand advanced technology
Hans Hasselgren believes that companies looking for a consultant within HR should consider the combination of the suppliers’ strategic, professional, and technological capabilities.
"No matter if you buy services bundled together or one by one, the provider must have the ability to assist with a fundamental change of strategy, processes, and use of technology where people are at the center. The HR department's responsibilities must be compared to other processes in the business."
He also states it’s critical to have a supplier who is also a sparring partner for future HR and its role within the company.
“It’s especially important to look at tools for automation and digitalization to give employees a simpler everyday life with better support, while the HR specialist can spend more time on people.”
The ability to constantly improve
To succeed, you have to look beyond off-the-shelf products with specialized platforms.
“The price for delivering services from low-cost countries is increasing and won’t be a competitive advantage in the long run,” says Hans Hasselgren. “A supplier must have the ability to make continuous improvements and add new solutions to ensure value and cost-efficiency throughout the agreement period.”
The obvious example is to look at HR together with accounting/finance and purchasing, because synergies are triggered when one can think of automation, AI, and user experiences across processes. This is when one can seriously achieve a transformation in processes; 1 + 1 is no longer equal to 2, rather to 4.
24/7 deliveries across 25 countries
Cognizant’s Global Center of Excellence for HR is situated in Norway. It works with customers in over 25 countries and supports them from ten different locations providing 24/7 service, competence, and cost-efficiency for various HR tasks. Professional HR experts help to improve processes such as recruitment, onboarding, professional development (performance management), change management, and termination of the employment relationship. Everything that concerns salaries, pensions, insurance, absence registration, and associated tasks, are also handled from the center.
“We also offer smart tools and analysis functions that make it easier to plan the use of resources and get insights into who you think is about to quit,” says Hans Hasselgren. “Thus, proactive measures can be taken to keep competence or to identify the most suitable successors.”
AI and gamification in HR
One of the most exciting things within HR is the flora of new techniques where artificial intelligence, machine learning, and gamification can be of great value. In for example leadership training or mapping of candidates, elements from the gaming world can be used to solve the tasks precisely and in an engaging way.
“Data analysis and AI can provide more precise answers to employee satisfaction, while natural language processing (NLP) can go into the interplay between computers and human languages and extract valuable insights from large amounts of language data,” says Hans Hasselgren.
Today, employees expect a greater degree of flexibility and that systems adapt to the individual.
“We can help customers with smart functions so that they know to a greater extent how the employees are doing,” says Hans Hasselgren. “It provides great value and ensures that HR solves challenges before they become a problem. That is also why I believe that we are the best partner for future-oriented HR organizations that want to change.”
What roles will the HR department need in the future?
Cognizant is happy to provide advice on and insight into what expertise customers should have in their internal HR department now and in the future. We can also advise on what parts are smartest to buy as services; this ensures that people to a greater extent work with tasks related to job satisfaction and the company’s managers get better tools for personnel management. They will need it, according to Hans Hasselgren:
“It’s not just about leading people anymore. Managers must also handle the interaction between bots and employees. It will be a completely different composition of the workforce and HR will have the role of a strategic partner supporting the business, a role that has been talked about for years.
Global businesses are experiencing major disruptions driven by digitalization, and the HR departments are at the front line. What will HR of the future look like? Will operational tasks to be taken over by robots? How can outsourcing of HR processes empower a more strategic approach? Download our whitepaper with a focus on HR in the Nordics.