Human Resources has already seen many changes take hold in the recruitment sector, much of which are technology related or influenced by shifting candidate expectations. But with no sign of this progression slowing down, how should HR Departments deal with it?
The impetus behind the continuing change is a mixture of a number of elements. Social attitudes impact on career preferences, which in turn impacts candidate choices. Recruitment campaigns have become hyper-competitive with increased pressure to achieve effective but cost-efficient talent acquisition.
In some organisations, there is also uncertainty over the impact Brexit will have on staffing levels, while the switch to digital recruitment strategies has altered the landscape even further.
What Exactly Is Changing?
The rise of cutting-edge information technology (IT), predictive analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning has made a litany of HR tasks easier to carry out. And there is a clear intention amongst HR leaders to invest in technology in the coming years. But it’s not all plain sailing.
According to a survey by KPMG, some 60% of HR departments are expected to invest in Predictive Analytics, 53% in Enhanced Process Automation and 47% in AI over the next 2 years. However, 50% of these leaders feel they are ‘not at all prepared’ to respond strategically as AI and machine learning emerge. Meanwhile, 24% of HR leaders are less or not confident in their ability to transform the workforce.
Handling The Changes
All in all, the world that the HR Department operates in has changed dramatically, and it seems more is on its way. So, what can HR do to be fully prepared for the newest wave? Well, here are 5 areas we see as being important to handle.
- Greater Analytics
- Lead Rather Than Support
- Build The Brand
- Change Of Culture
- Be An Employee Advocate
In the face of the rising reliance on technology for employee recruitment, staff performance and, indeed, employee leave management, there is a growing need to understand the data generated. Analytics is now essential if the full benefits of AI and other technologies are to be enjoyed.
HR’s traditional supporting role, which has seen it focus largely on mediation and compliance, is expected to fall short in this new environment. Rather than being simply supportive, HR is now being looked to for solutions to specific staffing problems, from talent acquisition to retention. Delivering a policy is no longer enough; HR must get into the driving seat by setting policy and enacting it.
Marketing the company brand is not traditionally within the HR Department’s remit, but increasingly this is exactly what it has had to do. After all, the impressions candidates have of a brand influence their decision. In fact, 35% of US workers and 40% in Canada have admitted they would turn a prospective employer down if the company culture of a company did not match with their own. So, HR must play a front-line role in marketing the company brand, its values and its culture.
Recruitment data and digital technology are not going to be the complete solution. HR must also be able to construct a new workplace culture that embraces these changes while also conserving existing values. Marrying both may be tricky. In fact, one survey carried out in 2015 revealed that 33% of HR professionals saw demographics and workplace diversity as being major impactors on HR by 2025, but just 34% of employees thought their management has the skills necessary to lead a diverse workforce. HR professionals must step out of their comfort zone and build a new workplace that engages, delivers and motivates.
True, this is not exactly new for HR professionals, but with so much changing it is important not to lose sight of this principle. It means enhancing the working environment, keeping employees motivated, enhancing the employee experience and keeping communications channels flowing smoothly. It means creating motorship programmes, promoting volunteerism and offering internal programs that boost employee interests and strengthen bonds across the organization.
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