How to transform HR with personalisation technology

Duncan Casemore outlines the advantages of using personalised systems to improve employee experience.

In today’s turbulent world, all of us are experiencing one constant – change. Overnight, COVID-19 forced organisations to either ‘down tools’ or get set for full-time remote working, putting HR services, processes and technology to the ultimate test.

With employees now spread across different locations, less connected to their companies and less embedded in the culture, personalised digital touchpoints and experiences through company technology have become more important than ever.

Personalisation has long been a hot topic in HR technology, and the changes imposed upon workforces in 2020 have made it clear that one size does not fit all. HR departments are perfectly positioned to tap into the depth of knowledge they have about each individual employee to create hyper-personalised employee experiences within their HR systems.

Smart use of HR technology to deliver this personalisation can provide a much-needed sense of connection between employees and organisations.

Going no-code

One of the big historical challenges with HR technology, and business technology in general, has been the level of IT input required to implement, connect and manage the systems. This often leads to organisations not getting 100% of the value they hoped from large technology investments, and long-time scales to make small changes.

Thankfully the trend towards low and no-code applications is breaking down technology barriers for non-technical people, enabling organisations to set-up and use technology faster. Gartner reports that by 2024, low-code and no-code applications will be responsible for more than 65% of app development activity.

No-code is reducing the time to value and putting department heads in the driver’s seat so that they can build and evolve the technology they envisioned for their team

These increasingly visual and what you see is what you get (WYSIWYG) platforms remove many IT barriers from enterprise technology. For example, users can build powerful regulatory compliant applications using visual drag and drop builders, form templates, custom workflows, and connectors to existing systems and data processes all without input from a technical expert.

No-code is reducing the time to value and putting department heads in the driver’s seat so that they can build and evolve the technology they envisioned for their team.

When it comes to workforce experience layers, being no-code makes them easily customisable, and enables HR to build personalised experiences for their workforces at speed.

The added level of control that this gives to HR departments means that in times of crises as we have recently experienced, they can be agile, react in the moment and communicate different information to different employees without needing to go via IT or expensive coders. In turn, employees are on the receiving end of the information they need to continue working effectively, without interruption.

HR personalisation portals

With the IT barriers to personalisation decreasing, HR leaders are rapidly inventing new ways to better engage their increasingly hybrid workforces.

As a first step, many organisations are deploying personalised portals to introduce personalisation at the first touch point with their employees, whilst offering access to all HR services and content on one platform, customised depending on employee, role, location and other demographics.

The aim is to truly focus on the employee experience by having one place for all things HR-related. This, in turn, improves navigation, allows faster access to information and lets employees complete work faster by uniting knowledge, collaboration and tasks in a single platform.


Overall, portals mirror the trend towards seamless and smooth experiences in consumer technology, making digital HR simple and providing a one-stop-shop access to all HR services and tasks, no matter where employees are.

A good place to start with personalisation is on a persona level, where content can be hidden or shown depending on an individual’s role, geography or seniority. This is beneficial so that your workforce doesn’t waste time reading the wrong policy guide or completing the incorrect form. 

By personalising entire sections, services or individual content areas by persona, you can build rich forms interactively to ensure that the right people fill in the right fields at the right time. Employees can also get curated career development recommendations that shift with the business and maximise career potential.

Carefully tailored content not only acts as a supplement to manager guidance, but also shows employees that their employers are invested in their careers.

Engaging experiences

Another big challenge in today’s work environment is employee disengagement. It is estimated that disengaged employees are costing the UK economy £70bn every year in lost training and recruitment costs, sick days, productivity, creativity and innovation.

Here the increasingly tech-enabled HR function is also leveraging technology to come up with novel ways to keep employees motivated in spite of changing work circumstances.

Some of the best examples of this are ‘borrowed’ from the tools consumers are already using day-to-day. For example, an enterprise contextual-based search engine – think Google for an organisation – can enable knowledge to spread rapidly and give employers immediate answers to job-related questions that can inform urgent decision-making.

Additionally, having chatbots or instant messaging with humans can enable more collaboration as individual employees can engage with innovative technologies to gain real-time assistance. Personalisation platforms also provide analytics by utilising and navigating data, providing insights and immediate access into workers’ information, needs and priorities.

The personalisation imperative

In many cases, the ongoing crisis has created a big gap between organisations and their employees, with many left wanting.

Having a personalised digital workforce experience platform is one of the big levers HR leaders have to help their organisations and employees master this new normal working environment. Creating increasingly engaging experiences between organisations and employees will ultimately help develop a more productive and motivated workforce and reduce attrition.

It is to be remembered that employees, rather than an organisation, should be the centrepiece of this change. The HR team must adopt personalised platforms that are easily accessible to drive employee satisfaction and offer them the sort of flexibility and engagement they would have in their personal lives. 


About the author

Duncan Casemore is CTO and co-founder of Applaud


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