The hospitality industry is just one of the industries that could benefit from calendar sync

The Benefits of Calendar Sync for Employee Scheduling Software

According to the Financial Times:

Three-quarters of the world’s workers are temporary, casual or self-employed and this sort of employment is likely to become more prevalent.

This means businesses that require temporary, casual, or contract employees need to do more to keep attracting the best talent.

The more temporary and contract employees there are, the more businesses will offer these kinds of roles. It’s therefore important for businesses that need temporary and contract workers to stay ahead of the competition by offering better employee experiences – no matter how long someone works for them.

The better the employee experience is, the happier employees will be, and the more productive they’ll be. This means they’ll provide a better level of customer service to customers, which helps to increase customer referrals and improve reviews.

One thing companies can do to ensure that their temporary employees have a great experience is to use an employee scheduling software with calendar sync. These makes it easier for companies and employees to manage shifts around pre-existing commitments.

Hire people when they’re needed

In industries such as retail, there’s an inevitable surge in the need for staff in the run up to the holidays.

Employee scheduling tools that can see employees’ real-time availability make it easier for businesses to fill shifts.

Instead of needing to manage an Excel spreadsheet (which 59% of call centers still use for managing shifts!), they can tap into workers’ availability. They can then offer employees shifts that work around their schedules, making them more likely to accept.

It’s also easier for businesses to find last-minute cover for employees that have called in sick or are no longer available, because they don’t waste time contacting people who already have plans.

Work around people’s schedules

Having a work/life balance is becoming increasingly important in the modern world. Offering employees the opportunity to choose their shifts based on their availability makes it an easier, faster process to schedule their work.

If their calendar is connected to shift management software, the software can suggest shifts that work around their already existing schedule. They don’t need to rearrange family commitments or healthcare appointments to be able to work – their work fits seamlessly around their lives.

Alternatively, employees without calendar connectivity can search the database for shifts and choose the ones that best suit their schedules.

Shifts can be set up to automatically close once a set number of employees have chosen it. This means there won’t be too many people signed up for the Tuesday afternoon shift but nobody around on Tuesday morning. If someone cancels, the slot will re-open for someone else to select.

This flexibility helps to build a better employee experience, showing employees that their lives outside of work are valued, too.

Automatically add shifts to employees’ calendars

When dealing with temporary employees, there’s always a risk of no-shows. This then leaves the team short-staffed and makes it harder to deal with everything that comes their way.

Automatically adding shifts to employees’ calendars helps to prevent no-shows. It ensures that the shift sits in their calendar alongside their other commitments. They can also receive time-to-leave notifications based on their location, or reminders to make sure they don’t forget.

For casual workers that don’t need full calendar connectivity, they can be sent Smart Invites. These help businesses to track if an employee has confirmed their shift, ensuring every shift is filled in plenty of time.

Create a better experience for everyone

Syncing your shift management software with employees’ schedules makes it quicker and easier for your users to fill shifts.

It’s simple and stress-free to add calendar sync to your software using the Cronofy Calendar API.

To find out more about what features you could add to your software, check out our features page.

This post was originally published on the Cronofy blog.

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Earn Employee Loyalty through Benefits Technology

As organizations continue to compete for talent, they are realizing the integral role that benefits play in attracting and retaining the right employees. This is evidenced in our Global Employee Benefits Watch research, which surveyed 2,200 employees from companies around the world and found that only 15% of candidates don’t ask about benefits at all during the interview process. In fact, benefits have a huge role to play not only in attracting talent, but in influencing employees feelings about their current employer. Eighty percent of employees who said they have a good variety of benefits to choose from also said they identified strongly with their organization’s vision and values, as opposed to 40% of those who don’t. Market-leading organizations recognize this and to attract the best candidates and keep current employees happy, more and more employers are working to improve their benefits programs. While offering tailored benefits is important, much of the impact on employee loyalty is lost if these benefits aren’t easily accessible.

Giving employees easy access to their benefits information seems simple enough, yet over 50% of employees say they can’t access their benefits in the way they prefer and just 21% of employees say they can easily access their benefits. Clearly, employers are still delivering benefits in ways that don’t resonate with their people. So, what action does this mean employers should take? How can organizations make sure their people take full advantage of what’s available to them? Our research shows that employees are looking for the same experience they have getting information in their personal lives to be mirrored at work – one of the main aspects being the ability to consume information in a variety of ways. Using a number of communication options, including those driven by tech, is the key to keeping employees engaged and happy.

Integrating technology-enabled communication methods really pays off. For example, 62% of employees prefer to use a laptop for research and information gathering and 40% prefer mobile. Technology’s prevalence in everyday life is pushing employers to make sure their benefits strategy is delivered through  intuitive HR tech with a seamless user experience.

While making sure employees can access benefit information online is critical, it’s also important to deliver this information through other methods too. The only method that beats email and computer access is discussing benefits face-to-face with an employer, with 46% of employees receiving information this way reporting being satisfied. Email and computer access were close behind with satisfaction levels at 44% and 42% respectively. When information is more complicated and personal, people often prefer an in-person conversation.

The numbers say it all. 81% of employees who can easily access their benefits said they feel loyal to their employer and 79% say they were proud to work for their organization. Easy access to benefits information keeps employees happy and has the potential to secure longevity. 77% of employees who understand their benefits offering said they saw themselves staying at their organization for the foreseeable future.

It’s encouraging that employers realize the need to offer better benefits options to their people. But too many are stopping there. Making sure employees have the information they need about their benefits is the next step in solidifying employee loyalty, influencing whether they recommend working there to a friend, and, arguably most importantly, decide to leave or stay. If employers are committed to attracting top talent and keeping their employees, they need to ensure their benefits not only meet their needs, but that they can access them in the most consumer-friendly way possible.

 

5 HR Processes You Should Automate Right Now

Successful human resources activities are the backbone of any productive organization. No matter what product or service you provide, you’re going to need quality employees to be able to deliver it. While most business owners recognize the importance of human resources, they aren’t always the best at it. HR isn’t something that every business executive is an expert in. Instead of trying to master both running your business and doing HR tasks, it is probably a good idea to automate some HR functions. Here are five processes that you should consider automating for your business as soon as possible.

1. Payroll and Expense Claims

One of the most essential HR tasks is payroll. You have to pay your employees and make sure that it’s done right and on time. If there is a mistake made, fixing it in a timely manner is critical. After a few payroll errors, your employees may start to wonder about the long-term viability of your business. Few things can upset employees like not getting their paycheck on payday.

Many businesses are now automating their payroll to another provider that handles that. With something so detail oriented, you want someone who does payroll for a living handling that. There are many quality payroll companies that can do this for you, for a reasonable fee. It’s usually more affordable than having a department that handles this internally. Besides payroll, handling expense claims and reimbursements is also time-consuming. This can usually be lumped in with payroll and outsourced to a reputable provider.

2. Employee Records

Another area that you may want to automate is employee records. When your company is new and small, it may not seem like much of a chore to keep track of employee records. However, as your company grows, this can quickly turn into a full-time responsibility. As an employer, you have to keep track of numerous records for each employee for the duration of their employment. By automating this task, you’ll free up time to devote to essential business functions.

3. Performance Management and Evaluations

One of the essential HR functions in running a business is evaluating your employee’s performance. Keeping track of employee performance and then giving them regular reviews is critical to ensuring the success of your operation. Automating can help HR organizations and departments by keeping track of employee performance metrics without the need for human interaction.

Automation of performance evaluations lets you more easily spot any systemic issues or bottlenecks that need to be solved. Employees and systems can give you feedback to improve the process.

The automotive industry is a great example of how automation can improve processes dramatically. Thanks to automating, there are fewer errors, lower costs, and productivity is improved dramatically – think of Henry Ford and bringing production time of a single car down from 12 hours to 90 minutes type of improved.

Such drastic improvement was only possible because auto manufacturers valued and listened to their employee’s feedback. They were willing to implement changes based on their recommendations. Employees were strongly encouraged to share feedback and then report any issues immediately to management to streamline their processes. Today, these same principles are used in the digital sphere. Automation gives companies real-time feedback on their employee’s performance and processes so that changes can be made quickly.

4. Recruiting and Onboarding

While you may want to keep the same employees forever, the likelihood of that happening is not very realistic. Turnover is a part of doing business and this means you’re going to have to be able to recruit and onboard new employees. By automating the recruiting process, you’ll have a steady stream of capable recruits available whenever you need them. Not only that, you’ll also have an automated process to help them get set up as an employee. They can be sent all the forms and documents they need automatically, complete them, and then get started with training immediately.

5. Holiday and Leave Requests

Another time-consuming process in human resources is handling time-off and holiday requests. When you start to get several employees and all of them are entitled to a certain amount of paid time off or vacation, it can be really time-consuming and confusing trying to keep track of all of that.

By automating that process, you can easily track when all employees are scheduled to be off, and who is available to work. When you automate the process of requesting time off, employees will also like it more than having to ask their boss for time off. It’s much simpler to enter information into a computer system than having to ask someone for permission.

Overall, automating as many HR tasks as possible will pay big dividends over time. By maximizing automation, you’ll eliminate human errors, get real-time feedback on your processes and improve the company’s overall productivity.

Personalize the Employee Experience by Going Digital

By: Jen Stroud, HR Evangelist and Transformation Leader, ServiceNow

You know Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), one of the oldest and most rote tasks in the web builder’s playbook. I’m here to tell you that if you’re in Human Resources and building a knowledge base for your employees to use: Ditch those FAQs. Instead of making assumptions about what information employees want and need, figure out what questions they’re actually asking and focus your efforts there.

I call these Actually Asked Questions, or AAQs.

Implementing a knowledge base with AAQs can be a great first step in leading your organization into a new era, one in which organizations become more personalized, predictive, and seamless for their employees. This is a critical transformation. A recent survey of CHROs (chief human resource officers) reveals that more than half of CHROs (56 percent) see their roles as creating a digital, consumerized employee experience. And 77 percent, or more than three in in four, expect to see improved employee experiences from digital transformation in the next three years.

So where should you begin this daunting task of providing all information pertinent to your employee base? Start simple and take a phased approach.

To start, have your HR department take a few weeks and log every question that comes its way, whether via email, phone call, or someone flagging them down in the hallway. Build a database. See what it is that employees need to know, and what’s bubbling up as a question being asked over and over again. Use the top 20 or 30 questions to build your knowledge base. If you have the answers to those AAQs, you’ll be well on your way to creating something your employees will find useful.

When it comes to search functionality within your knowledge base, keep it simple and uncomplicated. Google became a massive company with the simplest of search pages. Learn from that. Equally important, ensure the search results are simple, too. Write answers in conversational, digestible language that employees can easily consume. You do not want to provide as the first search result your company’s entire policy. No one will read it and you’ll start the vicious cycle of phone calls to the HR department all over again.

Building AAQs does take some time. There’s work required up-front that will pay off if done right. Which means curating the content listed, not lifting and shifting information into the knowledge base from some other database or portal without carefully vetting it first. Listen to the employees. They’ll tell you what they need. And then refine that information into something easily digestible, so it’s of maximum utility.

Once you’ve built a knowledge base, keep it growing. As employees ask more questions, add them to the AAQs, because they’re coming from a place of authenticity. The knowledge base should be a living organism. For instance, perhaps when you assembled your AAQs, no one had asked about jury duty, but suddenly the courts call several of your employees. Go ahead and put that in.  One key to making the knowledge base work: Assign one person to be your knowledge manager. Especially key in the first six to 12 months after the knowledge base rolls out, the knowledge manager needs to keep a close watch on which questions are being asked, what searches are successful, and so on, so they can update and grow the database accordingly.

Here’s a bold idea that we tried, and it really worked: When you’re ready to go live with your new knowledge base, turn off your general 800-number and email accounts previously used to reach HR staff. Force employees to use the knowledge base and continue to refer them to the AAQs. Many organizations, however, find that approach too aggressive. You can still keep the lines of communication open if you like. Then if someone comes to HR with a question that could have been solved by searching in the AAQs, have HR reply with a gentle note along these lines: “I found your answer in our new knowledge base. Here’s the link.”

Either way, the knowledge base should be easily searchable on the employee-facing website/portal so you reinforce the habit of turning there first for all questions. It should also have the option to submit a new inquiry to the knowledge base, with a prompt along the lines of: Would you like to submit a case? Then the knowledge manager can respond, route their question, and take the steps necessary behind the scenes to incorporate the answer into the knowledge base for the next time that question gets posed.

That’s where the project comes full circle. You’re using real-life transactions to help inform and build your living knowledge base, ultimately serving the needs of your employees.  And with that, you’re well on your way to the new era of serving employees through digital transformation!

3 Secrets to Reducing Your Employee Churn Rate

Reduce your employee churn rate with these tips.

Replacing an employee can cost as much as 20% of their yearly salary. The higher up their position is, the more expensive it is. That’s because you need to factor in paying recruitment agencies, covering for the vacant position, and the time lost to those responsible for hiring.

A low employee churn rate is key to maximizing your potential and growth.

When you have a lower employee turnover, you can focus your resources on researching and launching new products and services, improving the working environment, and investing in employees’ development instead.

It also boosts your employer brand, which is crucial if you want to win the war for talent. Brands with a strong employer brand lower their cost to hire by 43%.

But how do you reduce your churn rate?

It starts by looking at the employee journey. How can you improve it? What steps can you make to create a more inviting atmosphere for employees whether they’ve been there five weeks or five years?

Let’s take a look at three important parts of an employee’s journey, and how small changes to them can reduce your employee turnover rate.

Plan your onboarding process for early success

Happy employees are loyal employees. To create this sense of loyalty, you need to make them feel valued. This starts from their very first day.

However, not every company manages this – 42% of employees have no computer or device to work from on their first day. Worse, some employees don’t even have a desk on their first day! While this is only part of the onboarding process, it’s an important part of setting your employee up for success, especially when 20% of employees leave within the first 45 days.

Contrast that to the 69% that will still be with a company three years later if they go through a positive onboarding process, and you can see why a good onboarding process is so important.

A negative experience reflects badly on you: it makes you look disorganized, and like you don’t value your employees.

It’s therefore imperative that you you spend time planning the onboarding process for your new employee before they start. Don’t leave it all until the last minute, as you may find that there are some issues – like purchasing new equipment – that will take days, maybe even weeks, to sort.

Also ensure that their company account and logins for any relevant software are set up before they begin. That way, all they need to do on their first day is click to activate their new account. They can then start using the software straight away.

Once they’re all set up, don’t just sit them down and present them with a list of objectives. Include them in the decision-making process. Have some projects ready for them to work on, but listen to them and ask them what they’d most like to work on, too. That way, they immediately feel like their thoughts and opinions are valued.

The objective of an onboarding process is to help the employee get to know the company, its products, and mostly importantly, the culture and their colleagues.

Everyone in the team should be involved in making the new team member feel welcome. This could include scheduling introduction meetings with the new starter, or assigning them a buddy to give them a tour and answer any day-to-day questions.

Group inductions can be intimidating for new starters, so focus on one-to-one sessions instead. This creates more space for the new hire to ask questions.

Efficient scheduling solutions make organizing these one-to-one meetings a breeze, and avoids the risk of two member scheduling a meeting at the same time. Scheduling meetings before someone starts also reduces any awkwardness over the new hire having to approach people to schedule meetings – it’s all there ready for them when they first start.

Invest in training and mentorship

Training and mentorship are crucial parts of an employee’s progress. They can boost their skills and help them to work out which career path is for them.

For mentors and those conducting training, it reinforces their skills. They can even learn from those that they teach. It’s also great networking for everyone – you never know where your next great opportunity will come from.

Despite this, only 44% of companies offer a mentorship scheme.

Mentorship benefits employees at every stage of their journey. Don’t let the fact that someone is already a manager convince you that they already know everything they need to know. No matter how long someone has been managing for, there’s always a new strategy or technique they can try to motivate their team.

Training can be both internal and external, so be open-minded about the best place(s) for employees to build their skills. The best person to train your marketing team may not be someone who’s been there for years – it may be someone who can offer a fresh perspective on your strategy and help you to keep it relevant as algorithms continue to change.

Conduct exit interviews

Exit interviews are an often overlooked but incredibly valuable part of an employee’s journey. They give you the opportunity to examine why employees leave, and identify areas where your company may be failing them. Without this information, you can’t make positive changes to improve the working environment.

Conducting exit interviews using a framework makes it easier for you to quantify results. You can then pick up on reoccurring problems or praise. The more often something is raised, the more important it is to address.

Some questions you could ask include:

  • How employees feel about the working environment
  • What their commute is like
  • What their relationship is like with their manager
  • How well they get on/work with their team

Using this information, you can start discussions with remaining team members about any common threads. You can then make informed decisions about how to better suit employees’ needs and (hopefully) prevent more from leaving for the same or similar reasons.

You can also home in on positive comments that are made, finding ways to further enhance these experiences. For instance, if employees benefit from flexible working hours, you could look into allowing them to work from home if they can’t already. If they like how the team encourages self-development, you could look into courses or events for the team to further develop their skills.

Employees are your business’s biggest – and best – advocates. If they share negative experiences with their social circle it reflects badly on you and may even cause you to lose customers. Leaving them with a positive overall feeling is therefore crucial. Exit interviews are just one part of this. Others include how the rest of the team reacts to their departure, handover periods, and anything else that happens on their final day. While you can’t control all of this, exit interviews help to cement your positive employer brand by showing employees that you care about their wellbeing from the start of their journey with you right through to the end.

When an employee speaks highly of you when they leave, they’re more likely to return for a future position, or even to recommend roles to their friends and family. Since referrals are one of the best ways to hire the right person for the job, this can make a huge difference to your hiring process, and further improving your employer brand.

Conclusion

It’s your responsibility to offer employees opportunities to learn, grow, and be more efficient in their role. Employees will then be more loyal and motivated, and turnover will decrease.

It’s also important to remember that there are many other elements that can impact employee satisfaction. Internal promotions, 360 feedback, and open communications are also key to reducing employee turnover. And don’t forget to make the technology that they need available to them!

These investments and changes to company culture make a big difference. After all, reducing your employee churn rate can be the difference between business growth and stagnation.

Create a better employee experience with calendar sync

Simple, repetitive tasks quickly add up to days wasted every month. This means employees achieve less and businesses don’t grow as quickly as they could.

Discover how automation and calendar sync could save you and your team time (and money!) in our new white paper. Download your copy today!

Source: 3 Secrets to Reducing Your Employee Churn Rate | The Cronofy Blog

6 Useful Tips for Choosing the Best Background Check Service

Choosing the best background service that will perfectly fit your hiring needs becomes easy-peasy when you apply this 6 useful tips.

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The necessity of using a background check service

Even if you are an experienced HR professional familiar with all the tricks for checking the truthfulness of your candidates resumes, there is only one way to prove that your findings are accurate.

It is to use the background check service.

Only certified background check services can guarantee a detailed, current and completely accurate information.

With 23% of job applicants admitting to exaggerating the truth on their resume or in a job interview in order to land a position, you should be very careful if you want to hire the right people for your company.

A reliable background check service will help you do that.
But how to choose the best one?

Tips for choosing the best background check service

Tip #1: Define your needs

Background check services offer different types of checks.

Which of the following do you need?

  • Identity verification
  • Criminal history searches
  • Education verifications
  • Employment verifications
  • Drug testing
  • Driving records check
  • Reference check
  • International background checks
  • Credit reports check

Make sure you choose the background check service that can provide all the specific checks that you need.

Tip #2: Ensure legal compliance

Make sure that your preferred background check service provider is completely legally compliant.

It should be accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) and compliant with all relevant state and local rules and regulations.

Tip #3: Consider turnaround time

The average turnaround time for most of the background check service providers is 2-3 days, with some of them guaranteeing that you will have all the needed information in the 5 days maximum.  

Tip #4: Look for great user experience

Make sure that the background check service provider you choose offers a great user experience, both for you and your candidates.

It should offer completely paperless, online, user-friendly and transparent service.

It should also ensure great customer service that can answer all your questions via email, live chat and phone 24/7.

Tip #5: Check review sites

Check review sites to read about other people experiences with different background checks services.

Factor #6: Inspect integration options

Choose the background check service that can guarantee seamless integration with all other HR tools you use, such as your Applicant Tracking System, HRIS, etc.

Hopefully, these tips will help you find the background check service that best fit your needs.

Why a More Productive Workforce is Still Possible: Start by Listening to Your Employees

Author: Tracey Fritcher, Global Director HR Transformation, ServiceNow

The gains in workforce productivity in the last 15 years are numerous. But there are still many organizations today that are filled with a great deal of administrative work to get a task done – much of this work falls into the unstructured category and is a huge time waster.

What if there was a way to look at work and build some structure and automation into processes to drive more productivity? Many organizations are looking at work and finding ways to add some guided insight so people can accomplish more in each day of work.

Searching the phrase “increase workforce productivity” will return approximately 84 million results…in .57 seconds – an overwhelming amount of information about recent improvements and many predictions about future gains.

Many of the articles revolve around management practices and what leaders can do to get to that holy grail of incremental effort – the kind of commitment that fills an employee with the drive to stay up late and take care of a customer problem or come in early when two nurses have called in sick on their floor. This is great when it happens, but people have lives outside of work and circumstances prevent doing any more than what is required for the job.

Smart organizations are seeking productivity gains by identifying the biggest time wasters — the work that often falls through the cracks, is highly administrative, repeatable and many times done via phone, e-mail or still on paper. Some great examples of this type of work are tuition reimbursement, charity gift matching, or following up on a paycheck error.

Employees spend significant time just trying to figure out where to go to resolve these types of issues. Once they think they have the right place to go, the next step is usually an e-mail or a phone call which sometimes lead to an out of office or voice mail. So the next step is another e-mail or phone call and soon more than 30 minutes has evaporated and the employee is still without an answer or resolution.

Automation, intelligent workflow, and guided choices for employees to complete tasks are the keys to future productivity gains within workforces. For many workers, having immediate and direct access to answers is far more high-touch than having to call a service center to speak with a representative. Employees want the power of information and technology at their fingertips – besides, a cloud-enabled portal doesn’t have hours of operations – it’s always open and answers are instantaneous.

Recently, a flight crew from a discount airline was waiting for a hotel shuttle bus and talking about where to go for a paycheck dispute. There were six people in the conversation and each person had a different answer of who to contact. Since the high-touch, phone-answering 1-800 number was only open 12 hours a day, there were lots of work around as far as how to circumvent the often 20 or 30-minute hold time for a representative to look into the situation.

If this even happened 50 times a day, for a global 24/7 operation, the cost implications are beyond significant. In this situation, one employee had a similar issue and was on the phone for over an hour resolving a problem…and on the clock the entire time. A paycheck question is one of the easiest things to solve through automated workflow – there is one place to go and technology helps the employee find the right person for that unique question.

Listen

Smart companies start by listening to their employees and finding out what tasks or procedures are causing the greatest frustration. Once you have a short list of “pain points” of high frustration tasks for employees, the work to automate can begin. The great news is that sizable gains can be made just by making information readily available and easy to find. Most companies are looking at overall search capability to serve up answers to an employee without that person having to know exactly where to go.

A search of tuition reimbursement should bring up the policy, a list of FAQs, the link to submit grades and transcripts, a selection of where the reimbursement should go and someone to contact in case of a unique situation (e.g., think of all the recent for-profit college closings in recent years – the right person should be reachable and available to assist in that situation).

When employees are frustrated and administrative items are ridiculously difficult to resolve, the greater productivity impact is around the stories being shared about the awful experience. When an employee’s life event is particularly sudden and there are delayed responses or confusing communications from multiple parties, the result is a worker who is frustrated AND upset.

Terrible experiences with HR cannot be ignored. People share them. It’s too good not to share…and vent…and complain about – and then others hop on the bandwagon of THEIR awful work situation that was confusing and took forever to resolve.

This is all solvable by getting employees used to going one place –one platform instead of multiple systems — to have their issues resolved. When there is a strong service delivery strategy and solution in place within an organization, it really doesn’t matter what the request is – the answer is easy to find, the employee gets a quick resolution and there’s no drama over a ridiculous process.

It is easy to start small and keep building out answers that keep people focused on their actual jobs. Employees should not have to spend a great deal of time and energy to be an employee. At least some of this time and energy can then be expended on real work — like completing projects, making deadlines and serving customers.

Employer Branding on Social Media: Best Examples

How to Build and Support Employee Wellness in the Workplace

1 in 5 adults in the US today is dealing with a mental health condition. This has a direct impact in the workplace for both employees and employers. The Depression Center at the University of Michigan found that depression is a leading cause of U.S. productivity loss with an annual cost of $44 billion to employers. The important role employers have in helping to support the mental health of their employees is more critical than ever, especially as our latest Global Employee Benefits Watch 2017/2018 research found that a concerning 64% of US employees feel that their workplace has a negative or very negative impact on their wellbeing. So how can employers better support their employees’ needs?

The need for a tailored, comprehensive benefits program

Many employers struggle to recognize the importance of their benefits offerings in fostering mental health. Companies need to evolve their benefits programs to meet the shifting needs of today’s employees. Our research found a disconnect between the support offered by employers, and the support employees actually want. This disconnect is especially pronounced in areas affecting employee wellness.

We can no longer view physical, mental or financial health in isolation. These different aspects of health all interconnect and influence employees’ sense of wellbeing. Workers who are anxious or ill are unlikely to operate at peak performance, and this can hugely impact a business’ bottom line.

Take mental health, for example: 56.5% of American adults suffering from mental health illnesses do not receive treatment. For those who sought out treatment, 20.1% reported they still had unmet treatment needs. Providing a health care plan that offers free or low-cost mental health treatment is imperative for helping to address these unmet needs.

When it comes to improving general wellness, 63% of the workforce has the goal of getting fit and healthy, yet only 30% think that their employer supports them in reaching this goal through their benefits program. That’s one of the reasons why many companies are turning to ‘wellness pots’, including us at Thomons, to give employees the flexibility to spend a set amount of money on anything that helps improve their wellness. We also offer Yoga classes on a Monday, boot camp on a Wednesday and Zumba classes on a Thursday to help promote and cultivate wellness. Getting moving and healthy together as an office has short-term endorphin payoffs and helps build and promote a culture of wellness within the workplace.

When considering which benefits best suit your employees, it’s important to consider generational differences. Younger employees in particular aren’t receiving the support they’re looking for from their employers. Traditional financial benefits such as a 401K are deisgned to meet the needs of an older workforce, which differ greatly from those of millennials. Buying a home is a goal for 74% of 18-35s – yet only 4% feel that their benefits scheme supports this. Employees who feel unsupported by their employer are less likely to engage with the business and their work. In order to avoid a lack of engagement from their staff, employers need to reassess the type of support they offer younger employees.

How to take action

To start, employers need to take steps to thoroughly understand what employees’ want in regard to wellbeing, and commit to supporting these wants through their benefits program. After the new benefits are in place, companies must effectively communicate them to their people. Employees can only engage with wellbeing benefits if they’re aware of them. Therefore, employers need to take into account whether their employees are more likely to read a text, pick-up a flyer or take part in a one-on-one chat. Finally, employers need to consider how best to encourage benefits take-up. The best way to do this is by providing a positive user experience. Mobile-first, easy-to-understand software is critical for engaging employees in their benefits plans and improving their overall perception of their employer.

With more Americans than ever before suffering from serious psychological distress, it’s clear that today’s employees are dealing with an unprecedented number of mental health issues. Employers need to play their part in addressing it. Helping improve employee mental health does not have to be a complicated task. Simply adjusting benefits in a strategic way can positively impact employees’ experiences, therefore improving how they feel and perform in the workplace.

When wellbeing is addressed correctly, the picture is much more positive. Employees who say that their benefits needs are met receive 76% more wellbeing initiatives and have 58% more life goals supported from their employer. This loyalty pays off, as these employees are twice as likely to recommend their employer to a friend, say they have a positive experience at work, and be proud to work for their company. The message for employers is clear: prioritize offering the best wellbeing benefits for your workforce, and you’ll reap rewards in employee engagement, attraction, and retention.

How Recruitment Automation Can Improve Your Hiring

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Using Recruitment Automation to Improve Hiring

Everywhere you look, companies both big and small are making incredible advancements in technologies like robotics, central processing units, cameras and augmented reality.

One area that is also rapidly expanding and growing more than ever is automation.

While the thought of automation may concern some people, it can save companies both time and money that is usually spent looking for the perfect candidate to fill an open position.

There’s a lot to learn about the benefits of hiring automation. In this article we will cover everything from how recruitment automation works to how companies can put it to use.

What is Recruitment Automation?

To understand what recruitment automation entails, one must first understand how a process, or an object becomes autonomous.

In general, autonomy is the process of removing the need for human observation and interaction to achieve the desired result. Recruitment automation is simply the process of removing a portion of the need for human labor to complete the task of onboarding and hiring a new candidate.

Take the autopilot programming that is used on most commercial airliners: the “auto” in autopilot refers to the autonomous nature of the system that is flying the plane, which means that the system doesn’t require the constant attention of the human pilot to operate. However, just like an airplane’s autopilot system, there are certain parts of the process in recruitment automation that still need to be completed by a human being.

Why is this the case?

While recruitment automation can help recruiters sift through hundreds, if not thousands of resumes to find the perfect candidate, it is still ultimately up to the hiring manager to make the call when hiring a candidate.

Therefore, we must look at recruitment automation as an aide to hiring and not as a system to be in complete control of a company’s recruitment efforts.

Types of Automated Recruiting Systems

There are many types of recruitment automaton systems, some of which are listed below:

  • Resume Screening
  • Chat Bots
  • Digitized Interviews
  • Reference Checking Software
  • Automated Offer/Rejection Letters

Why is it Useful?

Looking at the above list, there are a couple of things that they all have in common: efficiency and consistency.

When a company is looking to hire a candidate, there is a good chance that the individuals in charge of hiring will be overwhelmed with the number of applicants. On average, a typical corporate job will receive 250 resumes; however, some companies receive many times that amount, and without an automated system of some sort, each resume will have to be manually examined so that a determination about the candidate’s potential can be made.

Because of this, most companies simply do not have the time or the resources to dedicate the required number of hours to recruiting and onboarding a new employee.

Besides saving time and resources on recruiting, automation of the recruitment process also ensures that all candidates are judged by the same criterion without human biases getting in the way.

For example, during a manual review of resumes, the individuals conducting the review may push a candidate towards the top of the pile solely based on the school they graduated from. With an automated system, candidates can be judged fairly since the system is not programmed with the innate shortfalls that come with being a human being. Additionally, by having an automated system to screen potential candidates, the company can better track resumes for future hiring efforts.

How to Automate your Recruiting

  • Resume Screening – Resume screening tools have been around for quite some time. These tools are a tremendous help in optimizing workflows and sifting through candidates that are not a good fit. Reviewing applications is one of the most time consuming tasks for recruiters and hiring managers, taking away valuable time that could be spent interviewing qualified candidates. Having a resume screening system that integrates with your applicant tracking system (ATS) will be a big plus.
  • Chatbots – Chatbots have also been around for some time but have grown much more advanced over the years. Having a chatbot in place that integrates with your ATS will save you both time and also improve the appeal of your company through faster response times and a more personal candidate experience.
  • Artificially Intelligent Video Interviews – When it comes to video interviewing, AI is transforming the process by analyzing candidates word choice, speech patterns and facial expressions. This gives you insight into what may be going on behind the scenes and if the candidate would be a good fit for your organization. Take the information gathered from this tool with a grain of salt; it can be hard to tell if the candidate actually exhibits negative traits or they were just nervous/having a bad day.
  • Email Automation – Being able to deliver personalized data driven emails is a huge time saver. This tool really shines through when it comes to sending reminder emails or confirming interview times with candidates. Be sure to make these emails as seamless as possible compared to your normal email sends. You want the emails to look as though they are coming directly from somebody at the company.

Next Steps

Recruitment automation is a valuable tool that should not be overlooked, regardless of the type of position that is being filled.

With an automated system keeping tracking of resumes, assessment scores, and interview results, companies can collect valuable data that can not only be used to reach out to candidates that might have been missed, but also to refine the company’s overall hiring practices.

Employee Experience Is New Way to Win Talent War: ServiceNow Research

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Digital experiences outside of work have made life simpler, easier and more convenient. Today’s top talent is demanding the same at work, and global research of 500 human resources executives across 20 industries reveals that providing excellent employee experiences, enabled by technology, are becoming the new way to win the never-ending war for talent.

“The best talent today expects great digital experiences at work,” said Pat Wadors, Chief Talent Officer, ServiceNow. “Top talent can work anywhere, and they are choosing companies that embrace advanced technology to make work simpler, faster, better. A fundamental shift is under way, and top human resources leaders are creating a new employee experience, realizing that great benefits and cool office perks are no longer enough. Employees want great digital experiences that make work, work better for them.”

Pat Wadors, Chief Talent Officer, ServiceNow
Pat Wadors, Chief Talent Officer, ServiceNow

Insights into this digital transformation of the employee experience were released by ServiceNow in “The New CHRO Agenda: Employee Experience Drives Business Value.” “The New CHRO Agenda” report details the Chief Human Resource Officer (CHRO’s) journey to greater impact; how the employee experience is evolving to impact business results and the impact of an HR function’s capabilities on retaining and attracting the best talent.

From Tactical Manager to Strategic Leader

Over the last three years, CHROs have seen their responsibilities move beyond the core responsibilities of delivering HR services, record keeping and attracting top talent, to a broader role in leading key strategy discussions around advancing corporate goals, driving digital initiatives, and contributing to business performance. 

  • Nearly two-thirds (64%) of CHROs say it’s their responsibility to drive corporate performance.
  • CHROs expect their success to be defined by the consumer-like employee experience. In fact, more than half of CHROs (56%) say the ability to create a digital, consumerized employee experience will define their roles in three years, compared with just 6% who say traditional HR will define their role.
  • 66% of CHROs say the employee experience will drive quantifiable productivity gains across the business.
  • 44% of CHROs expect to be judged on their digitization success achieved not alone but by partnering with other C-level executives to set and manage strategy.

Digital Transformation of the Employee Experience

From how employees access services and information to how global teams collaborate, business as usual is being redefined for the digital era by a new breed of CHRO.

  • Three out of five CHROs say HR is now a driver of digital transformation, a top strategic priority for most enterprises.
  • 77%, or more than three in in four, of CHROs say they expect to see improved employee experiences from digital transformation in the next three years.
  • 83% of CHROs say the employee experience is important to the organization’s success.
  • 68% of CHROs say that their HR technology allows them to improve employee experience.

Investing in the Modern Employee Experience

For employees, the workplace will become more personalized, predictive, and seamless. Their needs will be met through consumer-like digital interactions, such as push notifications for administrative work updates, recommendations for services based on recent actions, and instant answers to questions through chatbots that receive data from multiple departments.

  • 70% say the use of technology to foster a sense of community and healthy corporate culture is a goal.
  • In the next three years, almost half (48%) of CHROs will use an HR platform – not applications – that systematizes automation of HR process and collaboration, up from just 14% today.
  • A significant percentage of CHROs are budgeting for technologies (82% on cloud, 69% on social/collaboration, 65% on mobile, and 47% on function-specific applications) that will help them deliver superior experiences.

CHRO Leaders Show the Way

CHROs who are using technology to improve employee experience are winning the war for talent. The survey divides CHROs into a three-tiered model mapping CHRO-led digital transformation of HR functions, and the business overall. HR leaders taking advantage of more strategic investments fall into the top tier, Level 3.

  • 97% of Level 3s are much more successful in recruiting talent, vs. 80% of Level 2s and 53% of Level 1s.
  • 79% of Level 3s are much more successful at retaining talent, vs. 63% of Level 2s and 14% of Level 1s.
  • 84% of Level 3s report lower turnover than their peers, vs. 77% of Level 2s and 52% of Level 1s.
  • 63% of Level 3s successfully reskill their existing employees, vs. 58% of Level 2s and 41% of Level 1s.

Healthcare Leads, Financial Services Lags

Healthcare CHROs trend ahead of the pack in prioritizing superb HR experiences and building positive relationships.

  • 68% of healthcare CHROs say they are successful or highly successful in using technology to make it easier for employees to do their jobs, vs. 55% for non-healthcare industries.
  • Nearly three-fourths (72%) of healthcare CHROs said they are more likely to be successful at delivering HR experiences that match the technology that employees use in their personal lives, vs. 58% in other industries.

Financial services CHROs are more focused on creating an experience that meets individual needs rather than a sense of community and collaboration – and they’re lagging their industry peers in building a workforce that meets business objectives.

  • 54% of financial services CHROs say the use of technology to foster a sense of community and corporate culture is a core goal, vs. 72% in other industries.
  • 52% of financial services CHROs are less likely to agree that a platform that streamlines cross-functional collaboration would drive productivity and improve the employee experience, vs. 70% in other industries.
  • Only 28% of financial services CHROs say they have built a workforce to meet future business objectives, compared with 42% in other industries.