Results of the 2nd study in Spain on digital transformation in human resources departments

Posted by media on February 16, 2017 at 9:00 AM

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Last Tuesday February 14, the 2nd study in Spain on digital transformation in human resources departments, prepared by íncipy in collaboration with inesdi and Indigital advantage, was presented at the Mobile World Center in Barcelona.

The meeting began with an introduction from Joana Sanchez, President of íncipy and inesdi, and continued with the presentation of the goal, the data used and the results obtained in the study by Mireia Ranera, Vice President and Digital Director of HR of íncipy, and Ana Sánchez-Blanco, Academic Director of Inesdi.

In this post we have summarized and highlighted the main results of this 2nd report, which presents the optimistic finding that 79% of the companies surveyed have already begun or are at an advanced stage of their HR digital transformation process.

This post is also available in Spanish.

What level of digital maturity have HR departments of Spanish companies reached?

To answer the main question of the study, "to know the digital maturity level of large Spanish companies and analyze their evolution", Mireia Ranera, Vice President and Digital Director of HR íncipy, opened the session by giving a definition of digital transformation:

The reorientation of the entire organization into an effective digital relationship model,
for every customer experience touchpoint

In this definition, the customer is both external and internal, meaning that companies should also take care of their digital relationship with their employees.


+100 companies surveyed

+100 HR Managers responded

+85% of companies have more than 100 employees

Based on this common definition, currently 60% of the companies surveyed say they are starting their digital transformation of HR processes, 19% say they are already in an advanced stage, 14% say "it is a challenge we will address shortly", and only 7% say it is not a priority.

All these figures are better compared to those presented last year (information in Spanish). However, it's a good sign that only 19% is at an advanced stage in their digital transformation process for the human resources departments. It follows that Spanish companies still have a long way to go, as Mireia Ranera stated, saying that "in Spain, HR teams are not digitally developed enough." 

What digital transformation initiatives in HR departments are Spanish companies launching?

According to the data of the 2nd study, most companies are committed to implement digital tools for communication and teamwork (71%), they are already using social networks to attract talent (70%), and they are digitizing internal processes (65%).

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Other emerging initiatives, albeit to a lesser extent, are training employees in digital skills, reorganizing roles and incorporating new digital profiles (47%), and developing employer branding strategies in digital environments (41%).

Internal communication: the Achilles heel of most companies

Although there are plenty of new communication channels that businesses can use to carry out their internal communication in a flexible and effective way, the fact is that this area is one of the most outdated in most Spanish companies.

This is confirmed by observing the survey data we are discussing, seeing that the intranet is the main internal communication channel that 84% of the companies surveyed are still using. Given that employees are often reluctant to enter the intranet to search for information, it is noteworthy that this figure has not changed compared to the previous year.

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The newsletter (55%) is the next channel of internal communication most used, but only 34% use internal corporate social networks. Corporate social networks are now one of the favourite channels that digital native companies are using to promote internal communication and collaboration between employees.

(In Signaturit for example we are using Slack, mentioned in this post as one of the most popular platforms to improve internal communication and encourage collaboration.)

Are internal and private corporate social networks also used to foster collaborative and remote work?

In the case of using internal social networks to promote collaborative and remote work, 50% of the companies surveyed claim that they use this tool, 29% confirm that they don't, 11% say they are starting this project and 11% state that they have a platform for this, but they are not using it.

The latter figure contrasts with that of the previous year, in which 7% of the companies surveyed claimed to have, but not to use, a corporate social network to communicate and work online. The thought that arises when comparing these figures - 11% in 2016 versus 7% in 2015 - is that there is a major challenge in terms of employees’ adopting new technologies.

The challenge does not lie in having the tool and the technology, but in people and in changing their way of working.”

In many cases, companies make tools available to their employees that facilitate their daily work. However, not all of them have the same willingness to use that tools, usually due to insecurity and reluctance to change. It is therefore imperative to have an implementation strategy for new digital tools, which must also be accompanied by digital skills training programs and mentoring or coaching sessions to help employees adopt a digital mindset.

Are Spanish companies using HR management software? And what is it used for?

Only 15% of surveyed companies claim not to use any online human resources software. This is a curious fact, considering that this percentage is higher than in 2015 (10%).

The rest of companies that have participated in this study did use human resources software, and the main uses are the following:

  • 63% - payroll management and administration
  • 51% - skills assessment and performance
  • 47% - management selection processes

Related post: Advantages of using the electronic signature in HR processes

It is worth noting that only 13% of the companies surveyed are using HR software to perform data analysis, a percentage that has declined over the previous year (15%). In this regard, companies have a great opportunity to take advantage of leveraging the insights that are drawn from data to improve the company in every way - project management, talent management, anticipating changes in the organization, decision making, etc.

Digital recruitment: is digital media used to attract talent?

To attract and select talent, the tools that Spanish companies mainly use are traditional online job portals (77%) and LinkedIn corporate pages (74%).

It stresses that 71% of businesses surveyed use social networks to recruit and select candidates, but only 15% have incorporated specific social media corporate profiles to recruit staff.

56% of companies that participated in the study also use social networks to improve the company's positioning and reputation as an employer, being seen  as a good place to work. This brings us to the employer branding topic.

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Are Spanish companies developing employer branding strategies?

This area also has much room for improvement in Spanish companies these days. 33% of the companies surveyed say they have an employer branding strategy in social media networks; while 31% say they have a careers website, although not yet adapted to the new digital trends. 13% say they have no digital employer branding program at all.

In line with this, on the back talk to the presentation of the study, Maria Castellanos, Human Resources Director of Amplifon, said that they have now launched a pilot program to enhance employer branding through their own employees.

This pilot program, called Advocacy Program, consists of selecting 20 people to help spread enterprise content through social media networks. What this is all about is that employees who feel proud for belonging to Amplifon contribute to spreading the image of the company as a good place to work, conveying their enthusiasm and their confidence to potential employees.

Content shared by employees has 8 times greater impact than if shared by the company.”.
Mireia Ranera, Vice President and Digital HR Director of íncipy

According to the study, only 14% of Spanish companies are working on the role of their employees as digital brand ambassadors.

Is employee training provided by companies through digital tools?

In addition to incorporating new digital profiles, training current employees in digital skills is key for companies that want to successfully carry out their digital transformation process.

In this regard, 50% of surveyed companies claim to have an e-learning or an online corporate university available to employees; and 43% say they are already training their teams in digital skills. However, only 34% said they are training their employees in digital skills by departmental area, and this figure has only increased by 1% over the previous year. Here too, there is therefore still much room for improvement.

In a next post we will discuss what are the five essential steps in a digital transformation plan for human resources.

This post is also available in Spanish.

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Topics: Human Resources

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