More than 80% of companies in Africa consider that digital transformation is the major challenge of the HR function in 2018. Between 52 and 51% believe that digitalization will impact the commitment of employees and the development of new HR professions. This is the main finding from the results of the fourth edition of the 2018 Barometer RH unveiled Thursday in Casablanca, alongside the “Africa HR Trends 2018”.

Digitization is a global trend, the same goes for the African continent. Like other businesses, digital transformation is becoming a major challenge for the human resources management function. It is a process that directly affects the work climate and productivity in the workplace. This is, in fact, the conclusion drawn from the 2018 RH Africa Barometer focusing on trends in the field of human resources in the continent.
Initiated by Sopra HR Software, this Barometer has been established over a geographical area extended to English-speaking Africa including Egypt, Algeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia.

“Faced with the exponential evolution of new uses and digital working methods, many companies are finding it difficult to follow these trends, especially when it comes to building a new Human Resources Information System ( SIRH) capable of supporting this transformation and coping with the new demands it brings, “says Raouf Mhenni, Director of International Operations at Sopra HR Software. The barometer also indicates that new uses linked to digitalisation (smartphone, social networks, etc.) and new working methods (teleworking, collaborative management) are at the top of the list of trends that will impact the HR function in the very short term.

“Our study shows that a majority of the companies surveyed have made structural changes, including the redesign of work organization, the modernization of work tools and the change in corporate strategy,” says Mr. mhenni.

The HR Barometer demonstrates that digital transformation is seen as an opportunity for the employee and the company. In fact, 87% of the companies surveyed consider digitization as a source of opportunities. The trend is even more pronounced when it comes to the direct impact of the digital transition on the career of respondents. “91% of respondents believe that the digital transition is an opportunity for their career,” the study reveals.

The results of the barometer also show that the HR function uses social networks for recruitment (77%), communication (69%) and promotion of the company (50%). “These strong trends are not new, however. They were already clearly marked in the 2016 barometer, “the barometer tells us.

Regarding the use of mobile applications by the HR function (smartphones, tablets, other connected objects), the study reveals that the use of this type of digital tools is not relevant for 74% of companies surveyed while 39% of them do not reject the idea of ​​using it. The firm Sopra HR Software explains that “the HR function has not yet reached this level of technological maturity, even if we observe a slight increase in the extent that in our previous edition of the barometer, this rate reached 37%. ”
However, if this maturity is not yet acquired, it should quickly progress according to the firm, under the effect of the impact of the digital recognized on the daily life of the company. Proof of this, a large number of companies surveyed (more than 40%) believe that the impact of digital is very strong whether it is on their own function, the way of working or communication within the company.

But then, if companies are aware of the impact of digital on their work environment, why have they not yet reached the digital maturity necessary for a good transition. “One of the reasons for the digital immaturity of the companies surveyed is the vagueness that operates around the digital strategy of these companies. In fact, only 38% of them admit having implemented a clear digital strategy and having communicated it internally, “reads the barometer.

The rest of the companies surveyed are still fumbling. Thus, 19% of them have a digital strategy, but explain it badly, 22% talk about it, but do not really act, and 14% have no strategy at all.
Worse still, 36% consider that the HR of the company accompanies employees badly or very badly in the digital transformation of their trades and the company, knowing that 95% declare themselves comfortable with the new practices related to digital.

Regarding digital trends for the HR function, “a majority of respondents are aware of the impact of digital on the changing work environment,” says the study. In detail, 60% think that these trends will be related to new uses and ways of working: smartphone, social networks, telecommuting, collaborative management …

Between 52 and 51% believe that digitalization will impact the commitment of employees and the development of new HR professions.

To the question “What do you think are the most appropriate practices to respond to new HR trends?”, 72% of respondents cited support and training in digital culture, 58% opt for the implementation of internal solutions to promote collaborative work, while 51% want the implementation of decision-making and reporting solutions based on Big Data HR and 40% want the development of teleworking policies.

Other trends revealed by the 2018 RH Africa Barometer

The 2018 edition of the RH Africa barometer details four main themes. Thus, in addition to the digital transformation and its impact on the company, the study highlights the 360 ​​° evaluation of the company’s HR policy, the evolutions and challenges of the HR function and the new HRIS trends. .

“Compared to the previous edition of our barometer, the concerns of the HR function are still confirmed with, as a priority, the management of skills, the attraction and retention of talent and also the development of employee engagement, which had emerged as a new trend in 2016, “says Sopra HR Software.

The barometer thus compared the main HR concerns in the different African target countries. The two most prominent elements are improved skills management and retention of talent. Some 96% of the companies surveyed in Tunisia put skills improvement at the top of their priorities, compared to 80% in Senegal, 67% in Morocco, 69% in Côte d’Ivoire, 60% in Algeria and 48% in Egypt. While 71% attach great importance to the retention of talent in Tunisia, against 65% in Senegal, 45% in Morocco, 75% in Côte d’Ivoire, 49% in Algeria and 57% in Egypt.

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