The world is changing, so is HR

The world is changing, so is HR

From recruiting new talent, to employee engagement and retention, through to performance management and development, HR functions have never had more tools and resources to support their businesses’ most valuable resources – its people.

On the flip side, not having an HR function and associated tools and processes aligned, can put your business at a competitive disadvantage.

Let’s explore some of the main themes of a digitally-led HR function and the benefits:

Attracting and retaining talent in a digital world

Thanks to the new digital age, job seekers and talent acquisition specialists have access to countless employment-oriented services. Members can search for specific industries, locations, remuneration, skills and experience, using portals such as LinkedIn which currently has over 6.7 million South African users or Careers24 with over 1.4 million unique visitors each month.

But with great power comes great responsibility. This fast-paced, job-seeking environment also presents three major challenges:

1. Due to the volume of applicants to many open roles, processing applications accurately and timeously to ensure a high-quality shortlist has become a more pressurised process

2. Candidates can instantly find new opportunities in an ultra-competitive job market, causing many disconnected recruitment processes to lose prime candidates

3. Existing employees are fully aware of how easily their next opportunity is to find, so retaining staff has become vitally important

The last challenge naturally leads to the discussion around employee retention, but also how powerful employee advocacy is in a digital world. With global tech companies such as Apple, Google and Facebook leading the way with free food around the clock, massage therapists, games rooms and even sleep pods, companies small and large are by necessity looking at all kinds of ways to make the employee experience as enjoyable as it can be.

User experience = Employee experience

As the world becomes more connected than ever, sharing experiences with others can have immense reach. Leading companies such as Microsoft are reimagining the way performance reviews are processed. There is a growing movement globally to phase out the traditional style of annual performance reviews against a numerical scale, to a style of frequent, informal employee feedback during regular check-ins, and adjusting how merit-based pay increases are assessed. This allows for bugbears to be regularly ironed out.

There are countless examples of negative customer service going viral on social media. Websites such as Glassdoor allow employees to review their working experiences in a public forum, giving insight into what it is like to work for any company. Companies have no influence over what is published and it is totally anonymous.

This is one of the many critical reasons why HR functions should embrace and empower their people with the ability to give feedback on issues outside of the traditional review processes, and addressing those concerns through continual leadership communications.

Being connected through digital, starts and ends with engaged people

As the custodians of the most important but arguably the most complex resource within a business, HR functions need to be connected throughout a business. It comes with its fair share of challenges, but these can be overcome if HR functions focus on the empowerment of people through:

· Aligning all individual objectives to those of the overall business and ensuring everyone understands their contribution to achieving these

· Fostering a culture of open and continuous feedback that is embraced and actioned by leaders all year round

· Be the champions of change to processes, to free up resources to focus on things that drive business outcomes and for leaders to support their people in their growth

· Partner with IT and expert agencies to evolve legacy systems to save resources and digitise the employee experience end-to-end

· Embrace digital as a positive catalyst for connecting all functions of the business to a common goal – with HR taking a central role in that connection

At Entelect, we pride ourselves in being aligned with the global trend of identifying ways to deliver a connected, digital employee experience through our empowered HR function. But we take it one step further. We ensure that our performance reviews are designed to cultivate talent and not merely provide a review. We don't see the traditional HR function as the rest of the world sees it, but rather as a people function. We see our valued people as individuals who we look to constantly grow, and this is what sets us apart.

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