4 Reasons to Implement HR Technology in 2019

Technophobes have long feared that technology would take away jobs. The truth is, however, technology is not actually taking away jobs, but rather giving businesses the ability to do more with the same number of workers. In fact, tech investments can actually help increase revenue, which gives businesses the ability to hire more employees rather than having to lay them off. HR technology can be leveraged by growing businesses in particular to develop and strengthen their practices, often at very little cost. This year, 45% of large companies and 51% of mid-sized companies say they plan on increasing their spending on HR tech, according to Sierra-Cedar. Here are 4 reasons why you should too.

Design an Effective Hiring Process

Finding and recruiting new staff is one of the most laborious and time-consuming tasks that an HR rep has to do – particularly if they are not doing it effectively. If they are not finding and hiring the right people the first time around, they just have to keep doing it again and again until they get it right. Finding the right people can be a challenge, however, because in truth traditional screening methods give you very little information about a candidate to go on before making such an important decision.

Resumes and even interviews only give a snapshot look at someone’s full potential, when you really need a 360-degree view. Personal biases will also always play a strong role in the hiring and recruiting process, no matter how hard we try to identify and eradicate them. Machine learning and AI, however, can help overcome any number of these issues. AI can screen candidates based on both temperament and skill set to find candidates that have both the skills and the right traits to fit in with your corporate culture.

Save Money by Automating Repetitive Tasks

In 1975, just over 10 million students enrolled in college, in spite of low tuition costs and a low cost of living. In 2018, in spite of skyrocketing tuition costs and an average debt load of $40,000 for graduating students, more than 20 million students enrolled in college. By 2025, Millennials will make up more than 75% of the labor force and more than 50% of them say they would take a pay cut to find work that matches their values. A full 90% want to use their skills for good.

Unfortunately, while 56% of millennials believe that an individual should stay at a single company for more than 20 years and 90% of respondents in a recent Bridge survey said they are looking to grow their careers within their current companies, a Nintex study showed that 53% said they don’t expect to stay at their companies beyond five years, thanks to broken processes. What does all this mean? It means no one wants to spend upwards of $40,000 on an education just to spend every day doing work a monkey can do. Not only does automating processes save time and money, it frees your employees up from mindless tasks to focus on projects that matter.

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Offer Digital Employee Training

What employees don’t want to do is a never-ending series of mindless tasks that a monkey could do. What they do want to do is be constantly learning, growing and developing. In fact, a 2015 Deloitte Millennial survey found that out of 7,800 future leaders from 29 different countries, only 28% said they felt their current organization was making full use of their skills.

While most Millennials grew up with technology in some form, only 36% of Millennials and 29% of Gen Z believe they have the skills and knowledge they’ll need to thrive in the burgeoning world of Industry 4.0. While respondents were certainly interested in continuing to build their technicals skills, their greater concerns were in regard to a lack of training in building interpersonal skills, developing more confidence and engaging in ethical behavior—all of which they consider essentials for business success.

Increase Employee Productivity and Satisfaction

Not only can technology help you to better educate and train your employees to prepare them for advancement, but it can also help you better manage their progress. There may be nothing more frustrating for an employee than expending the time and energy to learn a new skill set only to have it sit unused and unacknowledged.

Modern HR tools are able to help managers effectively analyze and predict staff needs accurately and track progress far more effectively to help significantly improve productivity and increase job satisfaction overall. Technology can help managers better identify quietly consistent star performers that might otherwise slip under the radar as well as allow employees themselves to single out their peers for praise.

Contrary to the fears of many technophobes, technology is not actually poised to take away jobs. What it is poised to do is to take on the kinds of tasks that humans find frustrating, repetitive, boring or even dangerous. This can free up humans to do what they are best at: interact, design, create and innovate. But only if businesses use technology effectively to help them better manage their resources. While hiring may be one of the most important and time consuming tasks HR departments may perform, if you don’t actually manage your human resources well, hiring (over and over) is all you will ever be doing.

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How to Onboard Your Remote Staff

Every new hire, whether on-site or remote, should involve a formal onboarding process. Virtual employees are an increasingly popular staffing option. An appropriate onboarding program is needed to ensure that remote workers are productive and content in their role.

If you provide virtual employees with the right tools and communication platform, you can keep them engaged and accountable. Learning from the experience makes onboarding remote workers easier.

Why Is It Vital

New hires adjust more quickly with a well-planned onboarding strategy. The process should introduce new employees to their coworkers, the company mission, and the technologies they’ll be working with. This includes any documentation they’ll need to know, such as organizational charts and policies.

A thorough and welcoming onboarding process helps to build personal relationships and define expectations. New employees must be made comfortable with their coworkers and engaged with their jobs as early as possible.

Remote workers are more likely to feel isolated and unappreciated without a positive orientation strategy. If workers feel less involved their performance will suffer. An onboarding strategy that makes them a familiar and vital part of the team is crucial to integrating them into the company culture and forging bonds with colleagues.

Onboarding

Local employees have the opportunity to meet coworkers and managers face-to-face. They’re typically introduced to the other members of the team and have the opportunity to ask and answer questions. Observing reactions can also tell you a lot about how those relationships may progress.

Geographic distance and time zones can make relationship building a challenge for remote workers. They are less likely to understand the atmosphere and culture if they can’t be there in person. Normally, the best you can do is introduce them via scheduled video chat or conferencing.

When preparing to onboard remote workers, define the job description, responsibilities, and skillsets you need. Your onboarding program should incorporate necessary steps but still be tailored to each individual.

Here are some best practices to follow as you start taking on virtual employees.

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Direct Communication

Human nature is such that putting faces to names is important in making personal connections. If time and budget allow, bring remote workers to headquarters for face-to-face orientation and introductions. If not, daily connections via video conferencing can get them involved with the team.

New employees should be made to feel welcome so that they can be relaxed and feel free to ask questions. Mentoring with different employees can also help them build relationships. You and your employees, both in-house and remote, are also able to observe facial reactions and body language to provide more context.

Streaming video will give you a chance to take remote workers on a tour of your facilities without the need for travel. They should be introduced to their team members and other key players in the company. Virtual employees should also be involved in meetings so that they have a chance to give opinions and make suggestions as part of the team.

You might also suggest to other team members that they make the effort to welcome and get to know their new coworker.

Setting Expectations

Ensuring that your new worker is able to become productive from day one requires explaining your expectations providing direction. A few days beforehand, make sure you’ve provided them with a course of action. Keeping your remote hires engaged with their new role is the key to successful onboarding.

Your new hire should understand the timeframes you’ve set for getting them up to speed, team goals, company’s telecommuting policy, and personal responsibility. Make sure they have access to resources like HR policies, tutorials, schedules, and the various forms and procedures they’ll use. The more information you can provide, the more comfortable the remote worker will be.

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Make Your Hires Feel Welcome

Introducing a remote team member can also be quite an adjustment for on-site employees, especially if the new team member is from a different culture. It’s important for building a good relationship that both the remote hire and in-house employees ask questions. Before the new hire starts work, be sure to explain to the team what the virtual employee’s duties and responsibilities are, and workarounds for obstacles such as time zones.

At the same time, you should pay attention to the remote hire’s behavior and dialogs. It’s important that the remote worker feels comfortable functioning within your corporate culture and following team procedures. Virtual employees will be more productive if they feel welcomed and respected as a team member.

A good strategy to accelerate the process is to set up a mentorship program for the first week. Have the virtual employee work closely with your senior team members. This way they’ll retain knowledge better through direct experience and quickly develop a few strong relationships.

Assess and Evaluate

When you’re developing a process, it’s important to measure its effectiveness to make improvements. Collect feedback from your team, both individually and as a group throughout the onboarding experience. They may point out things that were missed or make suggestions to make the next onboarding experience go more smoothly.

It’s also crucial to get the reaction of the new remote hire, both during the process and after they seem settled into their role. Document what you’ve planned and assess the feedback you’ve received to refine the process. In time you’ll figure out what works best for the new hire, your team, and the company.

In summary, hiring remote workers is becoming a more common way to onboard new talent. They can provide your team with a fresh perspective as well as excellent skills. You should develop an effective onboarding process to make the transition easier.

It’s important to ensure that remote hires are comfortable, well-informed, and made to feel welcome. Document and improve your onboarding process as you move forward. Your new hires will be happier, more engaged, and more likely to remain with the company.

Effective onboarding practices will be a more productive experience for your company and your virtual employees.