Digital World-Class HR – “Reaching New Heights in Peak Performance”

August 3, 2021
Season 2, Episode 4

The Hackett Group Associate Principal Franco Girimonte talks with Senior Director Tony DiRomualdo about results from our latest digital world-class HR research. They discuss how technology is dramatically changing the way HR organizations operate, and allowing them to provide greater strategic value and an improved customer experience at lower cost.


Show Notes

Today’s episode of the Business Excelleration Podcast is hosted by Franco Girimonte, North American HR Executive Advisory Practice Leader at The Hackett Group. In today’s episode, he is joined by his colleague Tony DiRomualdo, Senior Research Director at the Hackett Group, to discuss digital world-class. As we think of digital world-class, there is a changing context around how digital has changed HR.

Tony dives in by discussing what this changing context is like for the HR function and the four driving forces behind it. First is the explosion of HR technology that we’ve seen over the last 6 years, including new products, services and capabilities. These hit every segment of what HR does, such as admin, employee life cycles, performance management and even new capabilities. This new technology availability has naturally led to steadily increased adoption of digital technology and expansion of HR capabilities. There are now higher automation levels, increased reporting and insights, more sophisticated data management and infiltration of AI-based capabilities. Another factor is the changing expectations of HR thanks to Covid. Finally, the last factor is the forced change in the HR operating model.

The Hackett Group has been measuring the performance of HR functions for decades to identify those that are world-class. Before, they evaluated efficiency and effectiveness to determine the adoption of best practices. Now, however, they have adopted a digital world class mantra and are evaluating through business value, digital business enablement, talent management and business excellence. These more complex technologies intersect to make HR more efficient and effective to create the new classification called digital world-class.

Digital world-class organizations not only outperform their traditional peer group, but also traditional world-class organizations. Cost is an important element, but there are a number of other factors playing into this, including the productivity advantages of HR. They also have 72% fewer transactional errors and are more likely to be viewed as business partners by stakeholders. Technology enablement is at the heart of the digital world class advantage.


  • 1:00 – Franco introduces himself and colleague Tony DiRomualdo.
  • 1:24 – The 4 biggest changes digital advancement has had on the function of HR.
  • 6:27 – How The Hackett Group is evolving world class methodology to better reflect HR digital performance.
  • 9:40 – What classifies a digital world-class organization?
  • 15:10 – What are digital world-class HR organizations doing to achieve performance advantages?