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ANZ HR leaders lagging behind global leaders in tech adoption

09 May 2018

​ServiceNow’s Knowledge18 event opened in Las Vegas this week and we are on-site to catch all the latest news from reportedly the world’s largest gathering of professionals sharing their digital transformation experiences.

The tech giant released research at the event (The New CHRO Agenda: Employee Experience Drives Business Value) that revealed HR leaders in Australia and New Zealand are falling behind their international peers when it comes to technology adoption to improve experiences at work.

One in six (or 16 percent) of ANZ HR leaders says they don’t use technology to improve HR outcomes compared to just one in 50 (or 2 percent) of Japanese chief human resources officers (CHROs) saying the same.

The research is based of 500 CHROs across 12 countries with the underlying insight from the study being providing enhancing employee experience with technology is emerging as the new way to win the never-ending war for talent.

To add to the woes in ANZ, just 47 percent of CHROs in the region say that the HR function is a driver of digital transformation at their company, a substantially lower figure than nearby competitors like Singapore (64 percent) and Japan (65 percent).

ServiceNow chief talent officer Pat Wadors believes this may come down to the fact that around the world 78 percent of global CHROs see HR as a strategic business function and a key differentiator for the company, meanwhile in ANZ this number falls to just 51 percent.

The end result? ANZ companies are struggling to hang on to talent with just 51 percent of CHROs in the region reporting that they are successful in doing so despite 82 percent affirming it is a top strategic priority for the business.

“The best talent today expects great digital experiences at work. Top talent can work anywhere, and they are choosing companies that embrace advanced technology to make work simpler, faster, and better,” Wadors says.

“HR leaders are creating a new employee experience as they realise that great benefits and cool office perks are no longer enough. Employees want great digital experiences that make work, work better for them. Companies that don’t offer this will find themselves losing out on, or struggling to hold on to, the best talent.”

From the research it’s clear that improving the employee experience with digital technologies is at the core of digital transformation. 56 percent of global CHROs say the ability to create a digital, consumerised employee experience will define their roles in three years as opposed to just 6 percent who believe their role will continue to surround traditional HR activities.

“Talent leaders in Australia and New Zealand need to find new technology solutions to attract, engage and motivate candidates to join their organisation,” says ServiceNow ANZ HR strategy lead Mark Souter.

“As remote and flexible working continue to grow in popularity, HR leaders need to find solutions that will delight their most critical asset. Being able to connect and continuously engage with these employees will be essential to success, and technology will play a key role in doing so.”

In terms of how the rest of the world is going, US-based companies are accelerating digital transformation faster than peers in Europe and Asia Pacific, with almost 32 percent of CHROs in the US reporting their primary role to be shifting towards making HR more digital and efficient – compared to 20 percent in Europe and 15 percent in Asia Pacific.

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