Human resources and human resource management are integral to the stylized governance framework that underpins the ISSA Guidelines on Good Governance (see Figure 1), which recognizes that “People – and the talent, experience and capacities that they have – are key to an organization’s performance, resilience and dynamism”.
Cognizant that the institution’s human resources and technology resources are two sides of the same coin, the ISSA Guidelines on Human Resource Management in Social Security Administration underlines the importance of the continued strategic alignment of human and technology resources and as technologies evolve then HR and HRM must do likewise to ensure complementarity, match and fit, the end-goal of which is continuous service excellence in social security.
The digital world poses a two-pronged challenge to the institution’s HR and HRM function, namely:
- The need to align, upskill and keep up to speed staff skills, capacities and competencies with the institution’s digital journey. It would moreover be an advantage for the HR team to be some steps ahead in anticipating the institution’s HR needs, to inform the HR strategic planning process and to ensure the proactive recruitment of future talent requirements and the phasing-in of the training and skills development of the current workforce.
- The need to reboot the HRM function by the smart and astute application of technology. While the core functions of HR are basically the same in the digital world, e.g. attracting, recruiting, and onboarding talent; developing technical and soft skills; retaining staff, and managing separation (due to retirement, resignation, or other reasons), technologies can vastly improve the implementation of these functions (Khan and Millner, 2020). The people skills of the HR unit need to be upgraded as well, to effectively manage and benefit from the creative disruption and opportunities that digital technologies are bringing to the world of work, the workplace and the workforce.
Figure 1. Stylized governance framework for social security administration
Source: Ortiz (2008).