Interviews, IT & Business

Nokias HR Digital Transformation Strategy: People Analytics, Digital Assistants & RPA | Interview with David Shontz from Nokia

David Shontz, Global Head of Workforce Analytics & Organization Management

David is currently the Global Head of Workforce Analytics & Organization Management for Nokia. He has a long career in HR Leadership roles with multi-national corporations including Ford Motor Company, GE, & Siemens. His experience in many functional and strategic areas of HR has provided a valuable view of the needs of data analytics in HR. In his current role, he is focused on developing an HR Analytics organization, with the capability to support a growing number of use cases coming from HR and Business Leaders. For him, it is an exciting journey for a dynamic organization with 100,000 employees, multiple data sources, and a growing appetite for the value of data-driven insights.

We talked to David Shontz, speaker at ScaleUp 360 HR Tech Europe, about the innovative HR methods and tools Nokia is using for a successful HR transformation.

we.CONECT: What are the current challenges in your working environment that fascinate you most?

David Shontz: How we can better use data and analytics in HR, for better planning and decision-making. We are quickly evolving our data platforms to include HR data from multiple systems into a unified data source. This helps us to access and look across a broad set of data from multiple domains to generate new workforce insights. Our ability to provide data using new dynamic visualization tools is progressing much faster than the HR community’s ability to effectively use it. We now need to accelerate learning to become more data-savvy and take advantage of this.

we.CONECT: What kind of technologies are you implementing/planning to implement in order to foster HR Transformation?

David Shontz: Our HR Digital Transformation Strategy has three main focus areas: People Analytics, Digital Assistants (Chatbots) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA). Related to People Analytics we are building a new integrated data platform which will auto provision data to visualization tools and reports, making access by many users fast and of consistent quality. For Chatbots and RPA, we are enhancing our partnerships with vendors and IT to improve our capability to more quickly develop and deploy these technologies. We have already had good success in deployment and now looking to scale this to broader applications and use.

we.CONECT: What do you think are the biggest hurdles and opportunities with regard to successful technology implementation in HR?

David Shontz: I think a couple of the biggest hurdles are: prioritizing and picking the best technology solutions and then the capability to bring them to life. This can be a complicated technical challenge for our systems colleagues. Then there is the challenge of educating and gaining acceptance on how the technologies can be a real benefit to HR and the organization. I think there is a general “fear factor” in HR when it comes to technology and what it will mean (or do) to them. You need a good communication and change roadmap to address the fears and elaborate the advantages and benefits.  As use cases become “proof-points”, and acceptance grows, there is a real opportunity for HR to utilize these for improved support and service, as well as enabling them to potentially focus on more meaningful work. In the case of People Analytics there is a huge opportunity related to Strategic Workforce Planning to use data to assess and plan for the workforce needed to be fit for the future.

we.CONECT: AI, automation, robots – we hear a lot of those buzzwords lately, also in context of HR. How will these technologies transform HR in the future?

David Shontz: Development and deployment of each of these technologies will bring significant benefit to the HR community, as well as the Company at large. For HR, they have the potential to greatly increase HR process quality, speed and effectiveness. They can automate routine and time-consuming tasks, to free up time for the relevant HR community to learn and focus on more value-added activities. For example, AI can be used for automated resume screening and profile matching, reducing the time burden of recruiters and allow them to focus more on sourcing and candidate discussions. Similarly, robots can be used for automating data quality checks in HR data, payroll process, etc. For the Company employees, the benefit will be improved user experience, service availability and effectiveness of HR products and services. For example, chatbots can provide HR support center support 24/7 in all time zones, giving consistent answers to common questions. This should help give a boost to the credibility of the function as a trusted partner.

we.CONECT: At the ScaleUp 360° HR Tech Europe 2020 you will speak about the topic “Nokia’s journey into Workforce Analytics – Scaling Value & Insights from your data”. What are the top 3 takeaways of your webinar session?

David Shontz: 

1). It is a Journey and you need to start somewhere! Data Visualization is a good way to quickly add value and insights to your data by enabling dynamic exploration. It is quite easy to scale to multiple users and “wets the appetite” for using data.

2). It is important to have a common data “dictionary” and understanding of terms and definitions being used (e.g. for HR Metrics) There should be a single version of “the truth”.

3). Stay aware & aligned with stakeholder needs and readiness… create an engagement or feedback model early on. Stakeholders may get overwhelmed and you need to pull them along.

we.CONECT: Thanks a lot for the insights, David Shontz

David Shontz is a speaker of ScaleUp 360° HR Tech Europe!

Webinar topic: Nokia’s journey into Workforce Analytics – Scaling Value & Insights from your data

Webinar description:
In this session, David will discuss how large organizations can overcome the challenges of implementing HR analytics, and what steps Nokia did to gain traction on an enterprise-wide scale. He will share how they “connect the dots” with analytics for workforce assessment and strategic planning. He will also share more about how they are moving into the fast lane with HR analytics and their data channels, as well as their future aspirations for greater insights and better decision-making!

Find information about speakers, the full agenda and the event concept of ScaleUp 360° HR Tech Europe here: 

You want to learn more about this topic? Then take part in ScaleUp HR Tech Europe!

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