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All the big trends for HR transformation in 2018

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With the new year comes new transformations.

According to KPMG’s HR Transformation Survey, 50% felt that intelligent automation will drive significant changes for the business and believed process automation will have a notable  impact on the HR operating model.

Surveying 887 executives from 48 countries, the survey pointed out that the top focus areas for intelligent automation efforts were talent management (61%) and talent acquisition or onboarding (57%).

The top expected benefits from intelligent automation investments were found to be improved performance (56%), and freeing resources or staff to perform more strategic work (54%). On the other hand, key challenges to intelligent automation were costs and funding (47%).

In the past 18 months, the top HR initiatives were improving line managers’ people management capabilities (63%), re-engineering key HR processes (60%), and refocusing HR business partner roles (43%).

KPMG HR transformation survey


KPMG’s survey revealed that three out of four organisations that undertook HR transformation have successfully executed complex initiatives such as implementation of cloud HR technology.

Among this group, there were common characteristics such as: changes to operating models alongside their implementation (72%), building a business case with clear measures for success (73%) and being viewed as adding strategic value to the business (89%).

While most HR initiatives are said to be either meeting expectations (44%) or exceeding them (32%), more than half (59%) of organisations lacked a business case or metrics to measure results.

ALSO READ: How Asia’s SMBs can win at digital HR transformation


The survey also found that 27% of executives surveyed viewed the HR function as a key business asset with enabling evidence-based HR being cited as the top HR value-add, followed by enabling transition to the workforce of the future.

However, it highlighted that shortcomings in supporting HR technologies (43%) and inadequate change management (36%) were the key roadblocks when it comes to HR delivering strategic value.

Additionally, in the last year, the top areas for planned investment were talent management (49%) and HR data and analytics (38%).

About half (49%) of organisations cited HRMS as the biggest area of investment expected in 2017 – 27% cloud and 22% on-premise systems. The top expected benefits from these systems include HR transaction processing (63%) and delivering value-added services (62%), and improved availability of management information (52%).

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