Article: Where can you apply design thinking in HR management?

Strategic HR

Where can you apply design thinking in HR management?

Design thinking is an HR strategy that focuses on human-centric solutions. Here we list down where you can use design thinking as a tool in HR management.
Where can you apply design thinking in HR management?

Imagine that you as a Human Resources manager are encountering a complex problem which will affect both the company and its clients, customers, and employees. 

Typically, HR bosses and managers will gather to solve this issue by planning a solution that will cut problems at the root of the issue. One example is by creating policies that will be applied throughout the company. 

There is nothing wrong with this. However, there are other ways to handle universal HR problems that will maximize the creativity of your employees and the extent of their capability to reach out to others. This is called design thinking.

Design thinking is a strategy in HR management that focuses on human-centric solutions. This method is all about empathising with clients and customers to foster relationships and connections. It involves understanding why people behave the way they do and seeing their motivation and needs. Empathy may reveal things that you as an HR manager may not have seen.

It also encourages the application of creative and original principles for any idea or project. It is a hands-on approach to creating innovation.

Where can design thinking be applied in HR management?

The great thing is that design thinking can be applied to a wide range of processes in HR management: recruitment, finding the right learning opportunities, improving employee and company performance, and searching for solutions to retain talent so that workers become assets to the company.

Design thinking in HR management can be applied in learning and development. Design thinking can be used to improve employee development plans and establish a diverse and inclusive learning culture in your company. One great example is by creating a mentorship program or peer mentoring. Ask your employees how they would want to go about this and how they would prefer to learn.

Design thinking in HR management can improve the employee experience. Because design thinking is human-centric, it makes it ideal to improve the employee experience. The entire idea of design thinking focuses on looking at things from the perspective of workers.

Design thinking in HR management can help search solutions to retain talent. It has been difficult for companies to nurture talent these days because of the Great Resignation, but because of design thinking, HR managers will be able to understand what motivates employees to quit and they can create human-centric solutions to confront these issues.

Design thinking tools in HR management

One great tool you can use to apply design thinking is by creating “personas” that will help you stay human-centric in your processes. You will create fictional characters that represent your ideal employee type. The persona should reveal the needs, goals, wants, behaviour patterns, and emotions of the employees.

Another tool is “journey mapping,” which will help you visualise, capture, and understand all your employee touchpoints. It starts when a candidate applies at your company and ends when they leave.


Applying design thinking in HR management will open new avenues for innovation and creativity in your company. It focuses on empathising with people you interact with – from clients, customers, to employees. It will help foster and nurture connections within the organisation.

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Topics: Strategic HR

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