- The employment landscape is changing rapidly as more companies embrace remote work and digital tools.
- As a result, HR professionals are having to rethink their hiring and onboarding processes, as well as the benefits and perks they offer employees.
- HR departments need to make sure that company policies are updated to reflect the changes happening with HR practices.
It’s impossible to ignore how the landscape of employment is changing. Reliance on digital technology and automated systems is increasing, and the ability to work remotely as part of a team has affected the way that companies operate, hire and expand. Whilst the coronavirus pandemic has certainly highlighted how many of these developments have been beneficial, changes were already happening before the virus altered the way that many of us work.
Human Resources is a sector that has been more affected than others when it comes to this shift towards a new way of working, and changes are expected to continue far into the future as new solutions and developments emerge. If you’re an HR professional, then staying ahead of the curve is vital to ensuring that your company’s hiring, onboarding, training and benefits systems remain competitive and reflect the current climate of employment.
Read on for our insights into the future of HR and how to ensure that you’re staying up to date with the latest changes in the industry.
Contract Management and Policy Change
Freelancing and contract employment have been on the rise for several years now, and more flexible ways of working are predicted to only continue to increase in popularity in the future. The best way to move with the times is to make sure that company policy is updated to reflect the increase in demand for employees to manage their working hours and for contract workers to offer their services when needed.
In many cases, these changes will involve creating more flexible contracts and allowing potential employees to suggest their own terms of employment before accepting a position. Contracts that offer flexible working hours are also very desirable, so it’s definitely worth considering how you can incorporate this into company policy.
Being Creative with Benefits
Managing company benefits is a classic part of most HR roles, and keeping track of what other companies in your industry are offering is key to staying relevant and competitive. As well as expected benefits such as sick pay and maternity/paternity leave, many businesses are now including more personalised and creative benefits for employees to improve company culture as well as their brand image.
You don’t need a huge budget and infinite resources to offer attractive benefits that set you apart from the competition and create increased interest from candidates. Studies have actually shown that low-cost benefits, such as more control over working hours and increased holiday leave, are the most desired by potential employees, and for smaller businesses in particular it can be as simple as offering monthly team trips out and an allowance for equipment when working from home.
The Recruiting Process
The landscape of recruitment has been particularly affected by our increased reliance on technology in recent years, and now most HR departments complete a lot of their hiring processes online. This often begins with using company social media to source potential HR candidates and attract new employees to the business by building a solid brand image.
In many cases, candidates for a job opportunity may not meet their potential employer until the last stage of the interview process. It’s now possible to carry out the initial vetting stages, psychometric tests and the first few rounds of interviews virtually, which many companies are now doing in order to expand their search for new staff and make opportunities more accessible.
A key responsibility of HR professionals is to manage the training and development of all the staff in a company, and a rise in online learning platforms has meant that employees can complete mandatory and voluntary training courses remotely. Whether you’re using existing resources or have developed bespoke learning programmes, it’s now much easier to ensure your staff are up-to-date on necessary protocols and helpful industry advice.
A Human Touch
Whilst we have outlined several ways in which increased reliance on technology has benefited the HR industry, it is still very important to maintain human contact with all employees and respond to any personal issues that may arise. The increased number of staff that are now working from home means that it can be harder for individuals to speak about anything from problems they’re having in their role to their mental health.
This is equally important for HR professionals in industries such as the medical or veterinary profession where face-to-face contact is required every day, as, for example, the hiring for veterinary jobs process needs to be more thorough and employees are likely to require more training in areas such as safeguarding and, now, more rigorously in health and safety. Automating processes can be incredibly efficient, but at the end of the day, most people still feel more comfortable talking to another human being.
Many of the systems involved in HR are becoming automated in order to streamline recruitment and hiring processes and to help ensure all employees receive sufficient training for their position. The ability to operate a human resources department remotely has been particularly beneficial in the past year, but it is likely that the workplace as we know it would have ended up this way even without a global pandemic.
The key prediction to take from this article is that whilst HR, along with most other industries, is likely to continue on its path towards automation and digitisation, there will still be a need for human input and decision making no matter what. It’s important to move with the times and ensure that your company utilises new technology, but also to remember that some tasks are still better off being completed with a human touch.
Recruitment marketing specialist Tom McLoughlin, director of Growth Recruits, has vast experience from his many years in the digital marketing sector, successfully running his own small digital marketing business. Tom has an in-depth knowledge of the recruitment sector and the marketing that is required to succeed.