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On 29 September – amid a buzz of cameras, mics and a bank of state-of-the-art video equipment – Human Resources kicked off its first virtual exchange event for 2020: HR Digitalization in the New Normal.

The highlight of the half-day HR exchange was a lively panel discussion on how HR tech innovations will redefine the workplace.

Daryl Parrant, HR transformation practice leader at Mercer, stimulated the discussion by raising the topic of “misconceptions” that typically plague digital transformation – and how to avoid some of the more common pitfalls.

Winnie Tsien, head of HR at JJL for Hong Kong, Macao & Taiwan was first to weigh in, saying: “Training can help. Once employees see the advantage of (digital transformation) they will embrace it.”

She added that “it’s matter of connecting the dots together”, establishing the right mindset and having clearly established roles so that an organisation’ transformation can be achieved smoothly with a clear understanding from all the relevant parties.

Joel Cruzado, senior manager of L&D at Starbucks for Asia Pacific, concurred – pointing out that an “open dialogue” is essential to achieve buy-in from employees.

Eric Goh, head of HR at Evolution Wellness (Hong Kong), explained that it was imperative for HR to take the lead in helping the company adapt to the new normal by taking on an “enabler role”, enabling the team to play an active role in redefining the workplace in the months – and years – ahead.

Earlier in the day, Onis Wong, BASF’s senior manager for talent acquisition and employer branding in Asia Pacific, kicked off proceedings by posing the question: “Where does your organisation stand on its transformational journey?”

She then elaborated on the necessity of “building digital skills” and nurturing an “agile culture” and the crucial importance of “balancing different perspectives within your HR team”.

Wong then revealed how BASF has implemented time-saving talent pool pre-screening using digitalisation with an “algorithm that does text mining of CVs by looking for keywords”.

Other highlights included a reimagining of human capital management with regional business leader for Adobe Document Cloud Angus Cheung who pointed out that “80% of processes are still relying on paper.” He then outlined how the savvy application of e-signature software can be a game-changer in streamlining admin processes.
 
Peter Tung, head of personal tax at Tricor Hong Kong then provided practical tips on the Rental Reimbursement Scheme (RRS). Tung ran through a number of scenarios – from the straight forward to the complex – and how digitisation can be used to simplify the process and integrate it smoothly with the payroll system.

Here's a recap of the event in case you missed it: