When tackling digital transformation projects, companies are constantly faced with the challenge of helping their employees evolve or at least keep pace with the technological changes that affect them in the performance of their tasks in their areas of responsibility.

Besides, as digitalisation advances, it becomes more difficult to find professionals with the right technical skills and many companies end up delegating these responsibilities to younger employees or even to recent graduates.

These niche employees are in high demand and can be difficult to retain. One of the challenges for human resources departments is to avoid over-reliance on these profiles by trying to develop these talents internally.

Relationship between digital transformation and talent management

A 2018 report from Cornerstone OnDemand and International Data Corporation (IDC) revealed that the speed of innovation in an organisation is directly related to the way they manage talent, internal assessment processes and the way employees recommend their company to other professionals.

Similarly, there is a direct relationship with the collaborative environment between employees that is encouraged by the company. Companies with better development of their digital transformation processes implement continuous and effective communication processes with their employees, instead of the traditional annual review processes.

Breaking employee resistance to change is also a critical aspect of this process. This requires the implementation of training projects in the workplace, taking special care to prevent the introduction of digital technologies from negatively affecting relationships between people.

The importance of leadership in the digital transformation

Digital transformation projects need leadership figures who are capable of managing the different perspectives of the process within the organisations.

It must be taken into account that in the digital business transformation, a strategy is more important than the technology itself, given that it provokes a sometimes radical cultural change which requires the appropriate management of different interests, conflicts and needs between people and departments. If the management areas do not create and participate side by side with the leaders of the transformation project, the possibilities of success are greatly reduced.

To avoid possible conflicts and help the whole company to row in the same direction it is very important to involve all employees from the beginning, building the new organisation together. If employees see the project as alien to them, they are likely to react with some scepticism or even resist change.

Once the project is launched, sustaining success requires continued investment in human talent development. Leaders must be vigilant in detecting friction and ensuring that their teams have the right tools to work in this new environment at all times. This often requires a strong investment in training and talent acquisition, which has a clear return as it allows the benefits of the digital transformation to be fully exploited and extended throughout the organisation.

How to incorporate talent into the organization

As we have mentioned, the digital transformation represents a revolution in the way companies operate, affecting all departments and processes to a greater or lesser extent. This causes a great variety of needs that human resources departments must cover, adapting to each case with the best possible approach.

In the areas that require knowledge and key skills for the digital transformation into processes that will be permanently incorporated into the company, it is important to carry out recruitment and talent retention processes. To do this, companies must offer economic, working and professional development conditions that are capable of attracting the best professionals. The use of agreements with universities and other training entities can also be a good tool for attracting talent.

When the need is specific or requires a level of experience that the company is unlikely to be able to incorporate (for example, for the implementation of specific projects), the contracting of an external supplier can be an ideal, faster and more efficient solution.

Another interesting option in some cases is the outsourcing of some processes that may appear due to strategic changes in the products or services offered by the company. For example, opening products or services to the cloud may require the use of call centres specialised in a long-term outsourcing model.

Collaborative options are also very interesting, especially in small and medium-sized companies. Through associations or clusters of companies, it is possible to share resources, infrastructures and knowledge that would otherwise be out of reach.