Five myths about digitization in HR management

“Every company must implement digital tools”, “Chatbots, voice assistants, and artificial intelligence will replace the HR specialist”, “These are some breakthrough technologies, we are far from them”, etc.

The trend toward digitization of HR processes is starting to put pressure on HR. However, whether it is worth starting a digital transformation and how to do it is not always clear.

It is also not clear what risks digital technologies expose the processes to. All in all, a huge field of uncertainty that breeds myths about digital tools. Today we analyze the most popular of them.

Every company needs to go digital.

Despite all the hype surrounding this topic, digital tools are NOT necessary if:

  • You have a small business / according to the Adizes life cycle you are in the initial stages;
  • The company will not scale;
  • Your business processes are already running smoothly;
  • The owner or CEO avoids digital solutions and does not want to implement them in their business;
  • You can’t answer the question “Why?”

In other words, until an atmosphere of need for change is created in the company, these innovations will not work, the system will resist and return to its original point.

Digitization relies on breakthrough technologies

Digital HR processes are built above all from a set of simple tools that help speed up or automate our habitual actions.


They imitate communication according to a set scenario (taking into account all the specifics of the company and tone of voice), help to collect information, and communicate with customers/employees.

They are used in almost every HR process: recruitment (gathering information and initial candidate selection), onboarding (knowledge base, mentor support), training (educational marathons, courses, and even gamification), evaluation (be it 360 or the usual gathering feedback from a novice and their mentor).

The chatbot allows you to set the regularity of processes, and improve communication with employees and their efficiency.

Bots can collect all the information received in a clear analytical dashboard and transfer it to the HR department for further management decisions.


They help visualize and analyze company data.

They allow you to see the complete picture of a specific process, and to monitor the influence of a specific factor on HR indicators or the effectiveness of the implementation of changes.

They are operational, analytical, and strategic.

Neural Networks

They analyze emotions, audio, video, and arrays of data.

For example, they help process recordings of conversations with customers to analyze stop words, the pace of speech, intonation, and the ratio of the total length of phrases between the manager and the customer. In this example, neural networks can also be used to select those call parameters that helped bring the customer to a deal in the shortest possible time.

Robots / RPA

They help to replace human labor: to perform the usual algorithms of actions. For example, after a call, to send a specific letter according to set parameters.


In this way, digitization is a set of simple technologies that a person controls: sets criteria, and writes scripts, but which help him save himself from constant manual labor and processing. They are mostly based on metrics, data, business processes, and simple analytical tools.

Only profitable companies can start digitization

The situation is the opposite: the bigger the business and the more sustainable its business model, the slower it will innovate. This approach can be summed up in one simple phrase: ‚ÄúThis works so well. Don’t touch anything!’

In this regard, the average business is much more fortunate. The speed of decision-making and flexibility in these matters is very important. However, even in a large company, it is quite possible to launch a small technology, for example, a chatbot for a small audience, to collect feedback from newcomers and mentors. Read more: “HR marketing in modern organizations”,

This rarely requires multi-level alignment, and it’s faster to run such a promo tool to test the technology before committing to a massive transformation. Moreover, even at this stage, you will be able to get the first results and arguments in defense of your position.

We have to blow up the industry first

It’s great if you have an innovative spirit. However, the obsession with business uberization and “exponential brain growth” are symptoms that are unlikely to help you consistently implement change.

On the contrary, it is sometimes much easier to be an “imitator” than to be an “innovator”. It is much easier to repeat and correct the mistakes of the “innovators”, and the business model of the “imitators” becomes more sustainable.

Imitation is not only much more common than innovation, but also a much more popular route to business growth and profits.

Theodore Levitt, American economist, professor at Harvard Business School

We recommend a book on this topic: Oded Shenkar “Imitators. How companies borrow and remake other people’s ideas.

All leaders want digitization

This is far from true. To debunk this myth, we suggest you ask a key manager the following list of questions: 15 questions to discuss the introduction of digitization with key people in the company.

We also share a template that will help you calculate the benefits for your company from the digitization of HR processes:

Digitization System Errors.

How do we know something went wrong?


Digitization is slow, there is a high dependency on IT department/outsourcers, and each new solution takes 6-12 months or more to develop


Digitization solutions are expensive and difficult to adapt to the tasks and specifics of the organization’s processes.


It is not clear which process to start with and how to make a single working system out of the current set of tools.


Solutions are incomprehensible to employees: they do not use them or use them “for a show”. Generally low engagement.

15 digitalization implementation questions for key company leaders

You can also work through these questions in a strategy or organizational session before creating an implementation map:

  • At what stage is the digitization of our industry?
  • How are our customers’ needs changing concerning digitalization?
  • What are the vulnerabilities in our business processes and business models?
  • Can we work on complementary business models?
  • How do we work with analytics? And do we use the capabilities of analytics (for example in HR)?
  • Does the organization have the necessary skills?
  • What depends on me?
  • Do we feel the need to go digital?
  • Is our business sustainable in the digital world?
  • What strategy do we need to meet the digital challenge?
  • What prevents transformation in the company?
  • How can we optimize our assets for the digital world?
  • Does the boss want this?
  • How fast should we act?
  • Are employees ready for the change?

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