Is your SME digital? There’s a good chance you’ve digitised some of your marketing processes and perhaps your accounting.

But what about your HR? Digitising your recruitment and on-boarding programmes does more than reduce paperwork. It’s directly related to an increase in engagement and productivity for the HR team and the wider business.

And why wouldn’t you want that?

The benefits of digital HR

We can’t decide whether the flood of information we’re each exposed to every day is a good thing or not.

But one thing is sure: it can be a nightmare to stay on top of. GDPR legislation has affected the rules around data storage and made recruitment more complex.

Digital recruitment tools let you manage all that personal data legally and effectively, removing the potential risk of getting into hot water.

Digital recruitment and onboarding tools benefit all employees, but they really help digital natives feel right at home.

Without the digital basics, they may see you as old-fashioned and could struggle to relate to you and your culture.

One study shows that as many as 69% of employees will soon expect to receive a level of “personal service” from employers - similar to the service they get from big brands such as Amazon. And it’s almost impossible to do this without digital tools on your side.

These tools can also help you support your employees around the clock, no matter where they’re working.

With cloud-based apps that work on any device, employees can stay in touch with ease. They can update training, request holidays and provide feedback and seek guidance in a secure environment.

Digital HR tools can boost your retention schemes too – with simple analytics, you can spot budding problems such as absence patterns and a failure to keep up with development plans. You can make sure your employees are paid fairly and recognise and reward them when they go the extra mile.

3 ways technology can transform HR

Digital recruitment

Digital recruitment tools let you manage the entire recruitment process online.

Instead of posting individual job descriptions to individual job boards, making phone calls and writing individual emails to candidates, you can use recruitment software to manage the process in its entirety.

You don’t even need to be office-based; a cloud-based recruitment tool will allow you to advertise, receive applications, pre-screen and contact employees from any device.

By publishing your job description in multiple locations and centralising the responses, you reduce the admin associated with advertising a new role.

If you plan to recruit using social media, a cloud-based approach makes this easier and more effective.

You can analyse your advertising placements more easily; understand which channels reach target candidates and which underdeliver so you can improve your campaigns’ effectiveness over time.

Check out this short video to find out how Breathe's recruitment tool works:


Digital onboarding

Onboarding is easier if you take advantage of digital solutions.

From the moment your candidate accepts their offer, you can start their onboarding; what better way to demonstrate your company’s brand and impress new hires?

From sending out mandatory training to pre-reading for off-site induction days, your new hires will feel equipped to enter the workforce knowing they’re welcome and part of your team.

Digital performance management & career development

Once you’ve recruited and onboarded your new team members, keep them engaged with a tailored performance management and career development programme.

Strong development programmes improve retention; after all, your employees will feel invested in and know you have their best interests at heart.

Technology can help you here too, letting you schedule and track weekly 1-2-1s and list out mandatory training as well as developmental actions and CPD.

3 ways to make the most of digital recruitment & onboarding

Building digital recruitment and onboarding into your organisation makes life easier for you, saving time and duplication of effort, but it’s also a winner for your employees.

Using an intuitive, visible system gives them the reassurance that they work in a solid organisation where their efforts are supported, and they will be able to grow.

1. Use digital recruitment and onboarding to personalise the employee experience.

One of the beauties of going digital is that you can personalise communications and employee homepages with very little effort. It might seem like a small touch but for new hires, the effect of seeing their name and correct personal details on a screen makes them feel valued from the word go.

It’s the digital equivalent of having a clean desk, chair and computer ready for your new team member - small touches really do make a big impression.

2. Digital onboarding helps new employees become more profitable, more quickly

A digital onboarding programme can cut the time it takes for you to get new hires up to peak productivity.

Instead of waiting for their manager to introduce them to other team members or share induction documents, everything’s available and easily accessible.

Your new employees can work through their induction plan at their own pace, setting up calls and meetings to fit around their own calendar - not their line manager's.

3. Use digital to transition onboarding into learning & development

Onboarding programmes work best when they’re well-planned and last well into an employee’s first year.

Use digital tools help you evolve an onboarding programme into routine learning & development after a set period, with performance reviews, career conversations and CPD marking the transition from onboarding to regular performance management and career development.

Don’t just leave it to digital

As much as digital makes life simpler, it’s a mistake to leave your new hires entirely at the mercy of automation and online requests.

The human touch is essential if you want to make your employees feel truly engaged and motivated to do their best.

Use digital recruitment and onboarding tools to remove the pressure from your role and enhance an existing programme.

As much as digital helps with retention, employees are more likely to stay because of human reasons such as culture, engagement and relationships.

Our advice? Let digital do the heavy lifting so you can invest time and enthusiasm into building a positive employee culture and strong relationships.