How Can Industry, Location, and Company Size Influence the HR Process

As time goes by and the business world becomes ever-more complex, all its facets come under great scrutiny all in an attempt to make it leaner, more efficient, and up for the challenges at hand. Being such an integral part of any company, Human Resources is one of the topics that end up discussed very frequently.

After all, if the employees are the most valuable asset of one company, the department whose main goal is scouting, hiring, and managing this workforce has to have a profound influence on its destiny?

With that in mind, we have to ask ourselves are the traditional HR methods even suitable in the corporate world as complex as the one we have now? How do size, industry, and location influence the HR process? Is it possible to adapt the old strategies to new necessities?

Hard questions… Let’s see if we can provide some answers.

The role of an HR manager

So, let us start untangling this mess by defining the role of Human Resources in the context of the modern business landscape. In some other times, the role of an HR manager was primarily concerned with the hiring process. The complexities of the present-day corporate world helped HR evolve to a much more comprehensive role that now includes:

  • Training employees and guiding their careers
  • Developing integral business procedures
  • Advocating for employees in conflict situations
  • Managing payroll and welfare benefits
  • Taking care of the adherence to local and federal laws

As we can see, as much as HR retains a critical place in the hiring process, this sector has branched into the role of mentorship and management. The companies that want to attain an optimal level of employee satisfaction should keep this in mind.

How does the size of a company affect Human Resources

Keeping all the things we have mentioned in mind, we have to ask the question are all these goals truly attainable across the business board? According to recent research, small businesses account for 99.9% of US businesses employing roughly 60.6 million stateside workers. This makes the backbone of the USA economy.

That begs the question, though, do the companies that employ under 50 workers even need to keep a full-time HR department? In most cases, the answer is no. The work environments as small and as intimate like, for instance, a puppy supplements shop or a health food store can handle the issues like payroll, and training through other departments. Immediate concerns like conducting interviews and hiring can be solved with the one-time use of third-party HR specialists.

Having a comprehensive HR strategy and employee development program is something you should try to develop regardless of the size of your organization.

In contrast to these small and medium companies, we have large corporations that sometimes employ hundreds of workers and extend their operations far beyond national boards. Aside from the regular challenges, the HR managers working in such companies need to address the problems like translating the company’s welfare and benefit programs to remote positions and foreign national legislation.

Also, in this context, you will encounter a much greater focus on requirements like sub-department and communication management.

Does location influence an HR process?

This is a very important issue to take note of because while good HR practices can be successfully used in different industries, and contexts, the fact remains that some regions simply have a tendency of luring in the specific industries and appropriate talent profiles. In this case, we can use the example of chemical and manufacturing centers like Texas or developing IT hubs like Hong Kong, Los Angeles, and Berlin.

Since the hiring and other HR challenges in this regard lie mostly in the field of breaking down the highly focused recruitment pools, the HR managers playing against the market odds can break down this circle with practices like campus recruiting, flexible promotion policy, diverse hiring practice, and long-term social media engagement strategies.

The effect of the native industry on the HR process

Last but not least, we would like to mention that different industries have different built-in goals and therefore benefit the most by using adapted HR strategies. For instance, the IT and tech companies put a very high focus on the qualities like innovative thinking and fresh perspective so they often choose to start the employee engagement process early on and groom the talents through the company ranks.

Other businesses that rely more on manual labor and craftsmanship don’t have the benefit of letting the employees climb through the ranks in such a manner and usually hire workers with a high level of expertise to maintain optimal productivity. Being as inclusive and well-spread as it is, the retail sector puts a very high focus on anti-harassment and anti-discriminatory practices.

Although the baseline values are the same for all these angels, the companies that want to attain the best possible HR results need to be aware of the small nuances that come associated with the native industry.

In conclusion

We hope this short breakdown helped you get a better understanding of HR in the modern business framework as well as pointed out some important considerations you need to keep in mind to make this incredibly important asset work to the advantage of your company. As time goes by and the corporate world becomes more complex, it is becoming more evident that old one-size-fits-all solutions are no longer suitable for managing tasks as important as HR. The issues we pointed out above are a perfect place to start ironing out these wrinkles.

How HR Can Help With Responsible Business Growth

When all is said and done, the goal of every company, regardless of the native industry, is to expand and grow. This process, however, often ends up being a double-edged sword since, while trying to meet the external goals and cover as much ground as possible, companies often fail to make internal adjustments necessary for supporting such a drastic change of pace.

Human resources are one of the departments that most frequently end up lost in this shuffle. That is a great mistake since HR plays an enormous part in overall employee satisfaction and, according to a recent survey, 69% of examined workers claimed they would be more productive if they felt their work is noted and appreciated.

Let us then examine this issue in greater depth and see how you can use the HR department to stimulate growth instead of cutting it off in the process.

Refinement of HR processes improves the workflow

If you are experiencing certain HR discrepancies or you feel the department it’s not prepared for the eventual expansion it would be a good idea to go back to square one and reevaluate important HR data like scheduling, turnover, overtime, performance, and similar. These efforts will give you a good insight into which HR processes are underperforming. Also, use the gathered info to build strategic foundations for your future efforts end encourage HR team leaders to get in touch with the heads of other business departments. After all, every HR move shows its effects elsewhere down the workflow pipeline.

Effective hiring process gives access to top talent

Talent acquisition has become one of the most severe pains of the contemporary business world. Namely, all indicators are showing that the US is experiencing one of the most severe labor shortages in recent history. With that in mind, the goal of your HR department should be to scout and recruit prospective talents in the shortest and most effective ways possible. Transforming these ideas into a set of written procedures will produce several benefits for your company. First, you will get a competitive advantage over direct rivals. Second, these prospective talents are the foundation for future innovation.

Human resources are a critical part of the corporate culture

There are a lot of people who like to think about the department that is in charge of employment and finishes its job after the new workers pass the onboarding process. However, HR is a department that effectively ties together all facets of one company and gives them a perfect mutual ground where they can freely interact. With the appropriate guidance of let’s say professional strategic business consulting this department can be transformed into a powerful asset able of distributing procedures and policies and sending important messages across the ranks without causing personal turmoil.

Tool for delivering internal promotion

Of course, the communication infrastructure we have mentioned above is not critical only for passing on new instructions and procedures. Human resources also make a perfect launching point for all internal marketing actions you need to take to encourage growth. For a very long time, internal marketing was one of the strongest resources for promoting corporate culture and improving workforce morale. If we put things into numbers, 49% of workers claim they would be more productive if they understood how their work contributes to brand goals. HR department makes a perfect launchpad for such initiatives.

A possibility for digital transformation

If you are unfamiliar with the trend, the term digital transformation describes the process of using digital technologies to create new or modify the existing analog processes. In other words, we can describe it as reimagining the business landscape in the mirror of the developing digital technologies. How does, HR factor into this whole story? Well, taking advantage of the structured data sets like biographies and credentials HR can become a very neat point to introduce the tech like AI and set your company on the path of transformation. Once these actions bear results, you can move on to other departments.

Creating long-term leadership solutions

Last but not least, we would like to remind you that HR is in charge of filling in all company positions ranging from the lowest level workers to the top brass senior staff. Even if we keep things at the most basic levels, the workers hired through the HR process will eventually climb the company ladder and take higher corporate positions. That puts extreme pressure on HR to deliver the best possible candidate options and makes it one of the most critical tools necessary for sustainable growth. When all is said and done, it is good leadership that allows a company to overcome obstacles and scale-up.

We hope these few examples gave you a solid argument why you shouldn’t allow your HR team to be left behind during the expansion process but rather use it as one of the most effective tools for setting up the foundations for growth. No matter how hard you try to improve the company infrastructure or meet some abstract external goals, at the end of the day it will fall on the shoulders of your workers to put these ideas into action. So, make sure you have the access to the best talent and they are handled properly.

Five HR Digital Trends That Are Urging The Evolution Of The Hiring Process

Modern globalization trends, mobility, business going online, high competition, and high speed in the industry require companies to transition to a new networked digital economy. The impending digital revolution certainly requires a revision of the rules of doing business, new management models that provide productivity, innovation, flexibility, and adaptability come into competition. And the foundation for this transition is the transformation of human resources.

Planning a personal career path

In managers, employees of “creative” professions, and all those areas where there is a high share of personal responsibility for decisions, where there is a lot of communication with people, typical career ladders are not enough. HR directors, company leaders, department heads take into account the personal ambitions of employees, their predisposition to certain types of activities, their strengths and weaknesses, and personal goals for the coming years. Based on this, the employee’s career path is built, personal goals are set.

Help-management

The prescriptive setting of goals and requirements is being replaced by facilitation, participation, and assistance. With regard to complex tasks requiring complex knowledge, responsible decisions, coordination of significant resources, help-management is exactly what is needed. The employee is offered assistance to complete the task on time and in the required quality from management and HR. This can be helpful with various resources, training, information, involvement of other team members, etc. So the company simultaneously makes it clear that it shares responsibility for the task with the employee instead of escalating the situation.

Systematic work on the brand of the employer company

Companies invest in their employer brand to retain existing employees and attract new talent with the desired professional experience, values, and personal qualities. In the past, especially for small and medium-sized companies, these efforts were often chaotic, multidirectional. Now we can note a serious shift towards consistency of actions, improving the company’s quality and usefulness about the company, more interactivity is involved.

This aspect is crucial for hiring – young companies whose branding has not yet been formed often experience difficulties finding new employees since there is no information about how the team lives. This is why such companies can partner with an employer of record that will do the hiring for them. 

Increasing the diversity and quality of employee training

Training becomes more targeted: for the development of specific competencies of employees, helping to solve specific commercial tasks of the company. Accordingly, narrower topics are selected, programs with the promise of a specific result. HR directors and HR specialists set more stringent criteria for the selection of agencies, trainers, and consultants. At the same time, they also set the requirements within the company for how employees report on the results of training, and how they apply the acquired skills.

Increased flexibility in organizing personnel management and significant revision of personnel standards

Looking at the same training, more varied formats are used. For example, they combine live activities, online courses, participation in a master group, and solving personal tasks. Flexibility also applies to the definition of working hours and the use of various forms of employment. Outsourcing of directions is still in demand, and freelancers are more actively involved. If this does not harm the business processes of the company, then employees, if desired, are provided with a mobile workplace, the schedule is adjusted.

Companies are changing personnel policies because the previous ones have lost their relevance. The updated policies pay more attention to the translation of the company’s values, a flexible approach to employees, and employee participation in the comprehensive development of the company’s activities. Several requirements, for example, measurable actions and results, are described more specifically, just in the language of numbers.

Stimulating creativity on the part of employees

Typical business models and products are copied very quickly, and it is increasingly difficult to surprise customers. Companies understand the importance of using employees’ potential to generate new ideas for optimizing current activities, for new products, services, etc. HR and directors are becoming more empathetic and attentive to employees, their life and comfort. Comfortable lounge areas are being organized, employees are provided with sports corners, and corporate libraries are being expanded. Companies pay more attention to equipping meeting rooms. By the way, there are more meeting rooms themselves. Some more companies create “zones of silence” – as an option, small offices, where you can work on a task under conditions of excellent sound insulation.

Conclusion

The result is a humane, positive picture. The global, long-term trend of modern HR management is engagement, feedback, understanding, participation, and personalization. Due to these areas, it turns out to form and support a dynamic, developing, and honest team that works for the result.

Future of HR: Tools That Are Making Workplaces More Pleasant

HR (Human Resources) is a vital department in companies and organizations responsible for managing the employees, starting from recruiting, then hiring, onboarding and training, and in the end, firing.

While the HR office manages functions like recruiting and payroll, it is also responsible for creating a positive and pleasant work environment.

Before the pandemic of 2020, people had discussions around questions like:

· Is sitting in the office essential to work better?

· Would it be better if employees worked remotely?

The lockdowns worldwide during pandemics put an end to such questions. It proved companies can survive and thrive by working from home.

HR role has changed

Almost 50% of HR professionals think their role has changed because of the pandemic. The majority of those say their job has become much more challenging. 

HR is now playing a strategic role in dealing with sustainability concerns, and the capital challenges pandemic caused.

Reports claim that 70% of people rank work social relationships as valuable as getting their work done. Working from home minimizes social interactions.

All this leads to problems when sharing information. This is especially hard for the newbies because even the simple question becomes turmoil and creates difficult situations. 

Daily tasks performed by HRs have gone through severe changes. 

HR professionals had to guide their employees through the transition to a digital work environment and to deal with remote teams productivity. To work with remote development teams isn’t just a trend or the ‘future of work.’ It is the present and persistent reality.

HR professionals had to learn new skills and complete tasks they were not prepared to confront. Still, they had to learn how to be more productive and successful while working from home.

Virtual Recruiting

Many companies have already moved to virtual recruiting, but the pandemic forced all the other organizations to make this transition as fast as they could. 

HR teams now manage the whole recruitment process from planning to selecting and hiring in a virtual environment.

Candidate experience has a significant influence on satisfaction and employer branding. Candidates who had a pleasant experience with a particular organization accept a job offer and refer others to your company.

Managing Remote Teams

Managing remote teams is a task many HR teams weren’t prepared for at the beginning of the pandemic, but that is exactly what happened to most of them. They had to learn how to manage remote teams when the support systems and the infrastructure weren’t there to support a smooth transition. 

So to manage remote teams effectively, HR needs to:

· Put employee well-being in the first place.

· Reward people from the team.

· Balance visibility and flexibility.

· Stay connected.

· Create a happier workplace.

The happier employee is a better employee

Numerous research studies made the connection between employee happiness, engagement, and performance. How HR teams can make the best of the worst times is the right question.  

The happier employee is more engaged. An engaged employee shows increased productivity and a lower rate of absenteeism from work.

A healthy work environment is what matters. A positive work culture improves personal well-being, encourages employee friendships. It also expands employee skills and resources through enhanced relationships with coworkers, increasing worker problem-solving abilities and creativity.

A sense of community at work is one of the most important things. Feeling that their fellow managers care about them helps employees be more resilient when facing challenges and stressful situations —both in their personal lives and at work.

A happy employee is less stressed. High stress leads to physiological and emotional problems that will probably result in higher employee absenteeism. 

L&D leads to better employee engagement

If an employee has a sense of purpose at the job, he may experience a positive presence in the workplace every day.

The responsibility of HR is to create compelling role descriptions, which tell the employee what and why they are doing and how these roles fit into the organization’s overall plan. L&D also leads to better employee engagement.

What is L&D?

Have you heard of L&D before? L&D means learning and development and is a work process that develops employees’ skills to benefit both the company they work for and the individual.

The benefits of L&D are talent retention and attraction, improved employee performance, and higher employee engagement.

Upskilling your employees to meet your business’s demands and fill skills gaps can have an impact in other ways. Learning and development also position people to find out the latest in their fields, what’s trending, and how they can level up in their role to help move the business forward.

Organizations that focus on L&D can make an essential step in supporting company growth and higher employee engagement at the same time. According to a study, 80 percent of employees said that learning and development opportunities helped them feel more engaged at the workplace.

Video calling apps for more accessible communication

If you have a team you work with, you’ll probably need a video calling app, the one that will connect you all.

We have all heard of Zoom. Although it was launched in 2013, it has reached its peak during the pandemic, with around 300 million daily users. 

Zoom is easy to use – all you need to do is download the Zoom installer and start the app. Anyone can join in the call with a single link, and you don’t have to create an account. As a platform, Zoom is supporting up to 1000 participants. 

Google Hangouts is a communication app that allows you to start free video calls, send messages and join a conversation with a person or a group.

Google Hangouts requires a Google email address and a smart device to be used.

Google hangouts can include all your contacts with group chats – up to 150 people. It can also turn any group conversation into a video call – up to 10 people.

Chanty – its free version lets you have 1-on-1 audio calls, and group audio and video calls are also available in the business plan. 

Chanty is supporting up to 30 participants on the group video call. It is also possible to do screen sharing while presenting. In addition, all files and messages are saved in the chat, and you can always come back to them.

Chanty is a powerful alternative to Slack and other collaboration platforms. 

A platform for better managing mentorship programs

Have you already heard of Together Platform? It is a tool for enterprises to manage employee mentoring programs. With Together platform, you will be able to: 

  • Make the program your own.
  • Customize skills and goals relevant to your program. 
  • White-label & brand your program.
  • Write your content, or rewrite it from scratch.
  • Watch your registrations roll in.
  • Analyze your registration process.
  • Send emails with the invitations tool.
  • Set a deadline.

Explain complicated topics in seconds

Instead of spending too much time on chat and email, try to send instant screenshots and video messages with ScreenRec. You will save precious hours and get your point across faster.

ScreenRec is an excellent solution for developers, sales, designers, customer support, onboarding, business communication.

This is a fantastic way to explain complicated topics in seconds instead of losing hours. All you have to do is to capture your desktop and send the shareable link. Visuals are making messages more clear, and people better follow visual instructions to plain text.

By avoiding interruptions, team members can review messages you sent in their own time.

All-In-One tool for HR

Document management, employee onboarding, performance tracking, and more are all within ClickUp. This is an all-in-one tool for HR. You can build templates with employee requirements and individualized tasks to streamline training.

Using ClickUp, HR can create a centralized collection of company documents from handbooks to new remote working policies.

HR documentation software

The best way to transform HR teams to manage crucial documents is by using HR documentation software. With ProProfs, HR can search for information right away and track employees’ data from their day of joining. HR operations will become more simple when keeping documents well-organized, sorting and reviewing data. 

This is a great tool for HR to provide instant access to information and improve their productivity.

Future of HR

HR will have to find ways to support their business leaders in restructuring during and after the pandemic.

HR will use artificial intelligence to recruit employees. Recruiters will implement AI to examine the voice and facial expressions of the applicant in more than a hundred different parameters. Businesses are looking to adopt flexible working arrangements, so re-establishing organizational culture is becoming a top priority for HR teams.HR will have to evolve across each element of the HR lifecycle to meet a new set of company’s and employee’s needs.

Tips for Buying a Recruitment Business

Starting a brand-new venture is an exhilarating decision, but it might prove to be too much for so many in the current economy and competition. The fact that the recruitment industry is growing is inspiring many to kick-start their agencies, but if you’re more inclined to purchase an existing agency, then you might stand a better chance to succeed. You can use the business’s current reputation, expand on its image and client base, and not to mention the key people that have brought the business to life.

There are many options you can consider, from investing in a franchise that might be location-specific, all the way to purchasing an entire agency to expand the business with your expertise and know-how. Some mistakes are inevitable, but you can definitely avoid most. Here, you can learn more about buying an existing recruitment business, to make the most of your investment and set your new company up for success under your own leadership.

Consider keeping the core decision-makers

Assuming that you’re looking to purchase a stable business with a strong bond with the local community, you should keep in mind that people make that business much more than the brand name alone. It might be tempting to let go of everyone in charge and all the core staff, but this is not always the most prudent way to go about the purchase. Instead, consider discussing the option of retaining some, if not all of the key workers, especially decision-makers.

You can still run the business and grow it as the main investor and the CEO, but the existing recruiters and managers staying on will be your greatest assets. They are the ones with all the client connections and successful case studies. Talk it over with the seller and see if there’s a way to work it into the contract. 

Do your homework

You might be excited about the transaction and the negotiations might have been long already, but you should never land on a deal before you do all the necessary research. Collecting industry data to understand the trends and forecast any changes, understanding the existing client relationships with the agency, and getting to know the staff properly will decide the future of the business.

Think of it as another workplace and assess its levels of safety, both for the short and the long term. Can you say with some professional certainty that this business has a strong future with the local community and its existing client base? Are there any gaps in the onboarding/offboarding strategies the agency is using both internally and in the talent selection process for their clients? Make sure to understand the ins and outs of the business before you buy it.

Get location-specific legal guidance

Knowing the industry is one thing, but the process of buying a business has so many intricate, legal steps that you should always ask for professional guidance on the matter. Not to mention that each country has its own unique legal frameworks in place for such transactions precisely. If you’re looking to buy a Sydney-based business, you’ll need to work with experienced lawyers in Sydney whose expertise will help you protect your investment.

They not only know the local market, but they also know what kind of potential legal difficulties you might be looking at upon inspecting the company. Working together with financial experts, you can see if the company has a clean track record, with no fraud looming in the background, and of course, all taxes and contracts are taken care of. 

Consider a non-compete

Once again, when you work in a competitive city like Sydney or New York, there are many recruiting agencies to go around, which both means having many opportunities, but also many competitors. You don’t need another one when the seller decides to use their expertise and the recently obtained wealth to start yet another business in the same sector to compete with you. 

Make sure your purchase agreement has a non-compete agreement or a clause attached to it, so that you can protect the intellectual property you’re buying with the business itself. This agreement is one way to protect your newly acquired business from losing relevance immediately upon purchase, or coming across yet another setback on your way to growth.

Analyze your motivation and goals 

Having ample funds at your disposal to invest in a venture is a great way to advance as a professional, but you should be certain that you’re doing this for the right reasons. Ask yourself: are you experienced and respected enough in this business to run a company of that size and scope? Do you have the funds to keep the business running smoothly upon purchase?

Will you really, measurably benefit from purchasing this agency? Do you understand what it takes to run an agency, especially if this is your first attempt at running a business? Such questions might sound harsh, but they’ll help you evaluate your goals and driving force before you make the purchase. 

From the fine print in the agreement all the way to your financing plan, preparing yourself properly for the purchase will help you get started with your new company on the right foot. Remember, despite the fact that the industry itself is flourishing and there’s plenty of business to go around, it’s still up to you to make sure your company thrives, despite its pre-existing reputation and success. Use these tips to be certain that you’ve done all the work before you sign on the dotted line. 

Top Tips for HR to Use Digital Signage for Better Employee Management

The role of HR has changed drastically over the years, and nowadays it’s safe to say that HR plays a much more critical role in business than before. Experienced business leaders know that HR experts have the skills and the know-how to take a company forward through better employee management and engagement, motivation, company culture, and many other important skills and processes that keep the brand on the right track. 

Yes, HR plays a vital role in the long-term success of your business, but by also using the right tech like VoIP or various collaboration tools, your HR specialists can truly make a difference in your organization. Technology plays a big part here, and one big piece of tech that is making an impact on businesses across the world is digital signage.

Let’s take a look at how your HR department can use digital signage in your business to achieve various employee-centric objectives, and help create a more productive workplace for all. 

Motivate the staff to do better work

As a leader, you’re constantly looking for new ways to make your employees more productive and to achieve better results. The key here is to maximize their time at work, and while this is something that will ultimately come down to your level of organization, delegation, and workflow management, it will also depend on how motivated and driven your staff members are. 

Of course, you can’t simply demand that people do more or achieve more – you have to inspire and empower them instead. To do this, you need to rely on your HR staff, because these specialists know how to use positive encouragement to its full potential. One of the ways they can do that is with digital signage.

Your HR experts can use digital signs in the workplace to display motivational messages, but they can also use this tech to create a healthy dose of competition in the workplace. For example, a business leader managing a collision shop can inspire technicians to do better work by displaying key performance metrics on digital signs, inspiring them to achieve more than the day before – people will always try to beat their own high score.

Using digital signage for employee retention

Employee retention is more important now than it ever was, because the COVID-19 pandemic has brought many uncertainties to the business environment. Many companies are seeing a loss of talent like never before, and your HR staff need to focus on keeping your employees engaged, happy, and motivated at work.

There are many ways you can use your leadership skills to boost retention, of course, but you could also use digital signage. By placing digital signage in strategic places throughout the office space, you can advertise all the new employee-centric programs you’re cooking up, deliver powerful and motivational messaging, show your employees how much you appreciate them, and more. You can even use digital kiosks to facilitate employee feedback that you can use to make better managerial decisions to boost their happiness in the workplace. 

Deliver important information to in-store staff

When it comes to managing non-desk employees, things can get a little more complicated without the use of the right tech solution on site. People who are working in the store need the same kind of attention, guidance, and support that your office employees are getting, and you can use commercial digital signage in this case to get the right information to them quickly, but also keep them motivated. 

In-store employees are constantly busy, helping customers feel welcome and guiding them towards a positive outcome, so they need a reliable information system to keep them in the loop wherever they are in the store. A digital sign can get those crucial messages to them quickly and in real time, and it can serve as a remote management tool that your HR staff can use to elevate their satisfaction and experience at work.

Use digital displays to nurture your company culture

Company culture is the glue that keeps great teams together, inspires people to stay with you through thick and thin, and motivates people to achieve better results. Again, this is not something that you can just wish into existence – you have to build a positive and healthy company culture over time. 

You can build your corporate culture in an efficient and effective way if you use digital signage to communicate your values to your employees. Your HR experts can craft truly inspirational messaging that carries these values and display it on your digital signs to inspire collaboration, communication, transparency, equality, and honesty in the workplace. 

Help employees achieve a better work-life balance

Modern employees are struggling to achieve a healthy work-life balance. People are stressed and worried about their job security, and there is no telling what they might be going through in their personal realms during the COVID-19 crisis.

Your HR experts have a difficult task on their hands, and that is to inspire people to take better care of themselves. By using digital signage to remind them to take a break, check in with their loved ones, or eat something healthy and do some exercise, you will be doing your employees a big service. You can also use the digital signs to advertise any health-oriented company programs like gym memberships or healthy team-building activities.

Over to you

Your HR experts play a vital role in many mission-critical processes, and it’s important to empower them with the right tech and tools so that they can achieve better results. When it comes to employee engagement and management, consider using digital signage to inspire your employees to love what they do, take care of themselves, and take your company forward as a whole.

What is the Future of HR in the Insurance Industry? 3 Most Popular Predictions

Following the 2020 pandemic, businesses all over the world are forced to endure the stress of transferring to remote work, increased employee health issues, and extremely high churn rates. Research centers all over the world have analyzed the previous year in-depth, to help businesses and organizations make fewer mistakes in the future. In the text below, we have outlined what they came up with. Keep reading to learn about HR predictions in insurance, and beyond.

A Rise In Automated HR Processes

An increasing number of people all over the world are forced to work remotely due to the Covid-19 crisis. As a result, an increase in cloud-based workflow management solutions is on the rise. Many companies are already using tools such as online time management apps (Rescue time or Focus Keeper) to help keep track of employees’ productivity. Even though the crisis forced virtual HR processes on companies, they are likely here to stay due to their many benefits.

HR professionals now interview, hire, onboard, retain, and lay off employees remotely. The need for automated onboarding and other workflow processes will skyrocket as 2021 progresses, being that the pandemic has caused record-high churn rates in countries such as the U.S. According to recent data insights, as many as 7.7 million workers with ESI got laid off in the U.S. between February and June 2020. Losing and then acquiring new employees at a breakneck speed is putting additional stress on HR departments, forcing them to opt for automation. 

One other way the insurance industry can help alleviate the work their HR has to do is email automation. Companies such as Pathway offer SaaS solutions that help insurance agents automate a huge portion of their work. Pathway’s triggered email campaigns provide prompt and efficient communication with policyholders, sending automated emails to the right clients, at the right time. The automated messages are also highly customized to fit every individual client’s need, so the quality remains consistent. This form of automation benefits the HR department, as insurance agencies will not need to hire additional staff to perform unnecessary, manual tasks. 

Teams Adapt to Fully Remote Work

If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that many meetings could, in fact, have been an email. With an increasing number of companies forced to work remotely, people are starting to enjoy working from home a little too much. The 2021 research by PR Newswire found that 1 in 3 remote employees would rather quit and seek new employment than return to the office full-time. Funnily enough, the new remote work arrangement suits both the workers and the employers, since not having to pay for office space is great for companies’ budgets.

Still, this benefit could come at a cost not many people could have predicted. For one thing, relationships between coworkers will suffer. Not spending time with team members can weaken bonds and make communication, and by extension cooperation, more difficult. Additionally, spending time at home, perhaps with children and pets requiring additional attention can reduce productivity. This issue is especially pronounced in the insurance industry. Only 6% of insurance companies are currently using people analytics as a part of making decisions regarding their workers, making it difficult to even diagnose low productivity levels.

Surprisingly enough, even though jeopardizing traditional business models with increased technological disruption is stressful, there could be some hidden advantages. The biggest concern for the insurance industry, identified by the mentioned Deloitte report, is attracting young talent. As much as 40% of the workforce in insurance will become eligible for retirement within the next 3 years, and only a small number of millennials are interested in a career in this field. The increase in automation, technological advancement, and remote work will probably make a positive impact on the attractiveness of insurance for millennials. 

A Rise in the Number of Contingent Workers

The worryingly high churn rates in the insurance industry, as well as nearly all other workplaces, resulted in a higher demand for contingent workers, or freelancers. According to recent research by Gartner, 32% of organizations are replacing full-time workers with freelancers. This will provide insurance companies as well as insurance agencies with more flexibility in terms of hiring and managing talent. HR departments will put more resources into attracting contingent workers from all over the world.

Despite surface-level advantages of this strategy as a cost-saving measure, an increase in freelancers could have worrying consequences in the long run. For example, the turnover rates are even higher when working with freelancers. Streamlining the onboarding process to save time. With less time to adapt, freelancers make more mistakes, that then take longer to smooth out. One solution could be to offer an option of long-term employment, should contingent workers succeed in meeting certain standards and demands. 

Conclusion

When discussing inevitable HR changes in the insurance industry, the most important factors to consider are automation, remote work, and hiring more freelance talent. Using apps to automate HR processes, flexible freelance contracts, as well as the option of working from home will likely attract more millennial talent. This would help solve one of the most pressing issues in human resources in insurance today – the rapidly aging workforce.

5 Ways Blockchain Technology Can Revolutionize HR Management

Blockchain technology has transformed many industries and processes, and it’s about to impact human resources management in the nearest future too! It has the power to alter the way HR experts approach their everyday tasks.

Demand for this innovative technology in HR departments is on the rise as its capabilities can be extended to various sectors to simplify and improve its operations.

Read on to learn more about five ways blockchain technology can revolutionize human resources management!

  1. Enhanced data security and protection from cybercriminals

HR departments typically handle vast amounts of sensitive information like personal and financial data on employees. Information relating to pay, health insurance, finance and banking, and performance records can be stored, and therefore exposed to a certain risk.

Blockchain technology can elevate managing confidential data. It can transform data security as the information stored on the blockchain is decentralized and secured through cryptography. 

And as an added layer of security, every change that’s being made requires authorization and verification. This is especially important when it comes to delicate information like medical conditions or disciplinary records.

The adoption of this technology significantly reduces the ability of cybercriminals to gain access to sensitive data, making it extremely difficult to tamper with. Organizations from all industries could take advantage of blockchain to secure employees’ data and identify potential data breaches. 

  1. Transformation of recruiting and hiring process

Recruitment requires significant time and resources like financial investment within the HR department. Many companies turn to third-party agencies or recruiters for this reason, but their services usually come with a substantial fee.

Blockchain technology can help organizations streamline sourcing and managing talent. Instead of going through dozens of resumes, it would enable employers with access to verified data stored on the blockchain including grades, degrees, work history, certificates, and experience. 

Applicants could acquire virtual credentials in a distributed blockchain network and provide potential employers with permission to access their records. Unalterable records of their work histories would eradicate the chances of inaccuracy and fraudulent applications.

With this innovative technology in place, the verifying process would be more efficient and secure as the need for third-party background and employment history checks would be eliminated. 

This way, it would be easier for HR managers to find the right talent for the right role. 

Advanced tech solutions like blockchain could enable the building of the next generation work platforms, eliminating bias, spam, third-parties and their fees, and lack of visibility of available workers. 

  1. Paying workers in cryptocurrency

Blockchain is widely associated with Bitcoin and its mining. With the right hardware, bitcoin mining is a profitable business, and as a result, it got mainstream attention. And since Bitcoin hit its all-time high in 2021, it’s no wonder more and more people are exploring mining cryptocurrencies as an income source. 

But blockchain isn’t confined to this use only. There are other advantages to this technology that can make HR processes more efficient. Facilitating payments to the workforce is one of them. 

Employees want to access their money as soon as possible and move it with ease, and that’s where blockchain technology comes in. With cryptocurrency payrolls, there is no need for intermediaries to process the payments. 

Also, the transactions on the blockchain are encrypted and unalterable, and therefore more reliable.

This is especially important when doing business with underdeveloped nations where banking systems aren’t trustworthy, and the currency is devalued. Crypto-based payroll systems could provide a competitive edge to companies looking to attract more skilled workers across the globe.

  1. Introduction of smart contracts

Smart contracts between the employer and employees would enable instant payments for the workers. And what’s even better, the risk of delay or fraud during transactions would be eliminated. This has particular importance for gig and contract workers, as their work and invoices are usually manually verified, so they have to wait to be paid.

The use of blockchain and smart contracts can automate this process, so payments can be distributed instantly when the criteria for which the wages are earned are met. 

Once the worker completes the assigned task (e.g. deliver cargo safely at its destination), the payment is released automatically. Without uploading workers onto the payroll system, HR teams will have more time for more important tasks.

The gig economy is on the rise, so the adoption of blockchain and smart contracts could help companies attract more talent and expand their business. 

  1. Simplifying international payroll

The world is becoming increasingly globalized, and the remote workforce is growing. For this reason, cross-border payments are an important topic in HR departments. Due to multiple intermediary banks, currency fluctuations, and third-party vendors, paying international employees is time-consuming and expensive.

The international business would benefit greatly from blockchain technology, as it simplifies this process and eliminates the need for intermediaries. As a result, the cost of cross-border payments is reduced, and they are completed almost immediately. 

The introduction of blockchain-based corporate cryptocurrencies would only ease this process further for the HR and finance departments. And of course, the employees would benefit from faster, more secure payments with no changes in exchange rates.

HR Onboarding Techniques for New Companies

A startup’s onboarding process can be less process — and more improvisation. But as your company scales, a system is needed to get your new administrative hires started on the right foot. A Bamboo HR poll found that employees who quit in the first six months of being hired felt that the job wasn’t what they expected. More than half (54%) said they quit because they didn’t want to do the job any longer, or their role wasn’t what they expected from the interview.

Considering the amount of time and effort it takes to find and onboard a new hire, retaining staff should be a priority. And it all starts with the Human Resources manager and team — the employee’s first point of contact for onboarding. Across all industries, HR managers are hired for their abilities to communicate and present information. Here are some techniques and security tips for new HR managers to present the best possible onboarding process for their new hires.

Best Cybersecurity Practices for HR Professionals

The HR department is responsible for sensitive employee information, including:

  • Social Security Numbers (SSN).
  • Medical records.
  • Birthdate.
  • Home address and family member information.

In most cases, the sensitive information is kept digitally in computers or on the cloud. This practice is generally safe, but there are vulnerabilities you should look out for to prevent the data from being compromised.

Comply With Recordkeeping Regulations

Keep updated on federal, state, and local privacy laws on how records should be kept and make sure you and your department are following the rules. Regulations may change, so it’s essential to review your company’s process, compared to current laws, and update the company privacy policy as needed. Consider the following regulations:

  • Employee record retention: The S. Department of Labor outlines how long a company’s HR department should keep records. Employee payroll documents and collective bargaining agreements must be kept for at least three years. Time cards and employee schedules must be kept for at least two years.
  • Medical records location: The Americans With Disabilities Act requires employers to keep confidential medical records such as health exams, worker’s compensation history, and leave requests separate from employees’ personnel files.
  • Data breach reporting: HR professionals in California must notify employees if the company reasonably believes their personal information was accessed by an unauthorized individual.

Know the Proper Method of Disposing of Sensitive Paperwork

Disposing of employee data is a combination of company policy and federal, state, or local regulations. Know how long you should legally retain documents and data, as well as how your company disposes of it.

Sensitive records may need to be burned or sent away to an outside service to be destroyed in compliance with federal regulations. Following your company’s guidance on the disposal of data and documents is essential to avoid data being reconstructed, read, or distributed illegally.

Look Out for Internal Cybersecurity Threats

Most HR employees are aware of the danger of external cyber attacks from hackers, phishing, or viruses. But company software or an employee’s access to internal systems can also create threats.

An example of an internal threat is email. You send a requested employee file to the wrong email address and end up compromising your hire’s private information. To minimize internal threats, follow these steps:

  • Never use or disclose an individual’s full social security number in correspondence.
  • Turn off the auto-fill feature that remembers numbers or email addresses in your email and word processing programs.
  • Regularly run virus and malware checks on your company computers.
  • Take your cue from the healthcare industry and keep software and operating systems maintained and up to date.

Best HR practices for New HR Employees

Onboarding new hires is a critical aspect of the employee’s future in the workplace. The HR department is responsible for reinforcing the company’s image, projected during the recruitment process. Getting off on the right foot is essential. The HR department should implement specific practices to ensure new employees know what to expect on their first day and beyond.

Start the Onboarding Process the Day Before the New Hire Starts

The reasoning behind this step is so that everything is organized before the recruit arrives. Have employee handbooks and documents ready. Set up and equip the new hire’s work station. Create logins and email credentials beforehand. Make sure staff know about the new hire’s arrival and assign a mentor in advance. Having the important elements prepared in advance allows onboarding to go more smoothly on his or her’s first day.

Create a Welcoming Environment

The new hire’s first day sets the tone for the employee’s time at the company. A welcoming environment and a little creativity during the onboarding process doesn’t take much effort but makes a big impact on new hires. There are several elements that can create an ideal work environment — the office space, the initial point of contact, and the support team available to guide new employees. Consider these ideas:

Set the Stage With Good Lighting

The dark corner without a window can be demoralizing to staff. In fact, a study found that employees think good lighting is the No. 1 office perk. If your office environment lacks natural light, replicating the effect using certain lighting techniques can make a difference:

  • Create different lighting zones including overhead lighting, ambient lighting, and desk lighting
  • Use lightbulbs of a specific temperature (6500k) to replicate natural outdoor light and switch to LEDs to avoid overloading the office’s electrical system
  • Use light or white colors for surfaces and walls to reflect light and provide a brighter environment

Get Creative With Employee Perks

The best way to welcome a new employee to HR or other administrative role is with a surprise or an unexpected detail. Most new hires know what to expect on the first day — a pile of paperwork to be completed, handbooks to read, and an overload of information. But imagine welcoming them with a gift basket featuring a massage gift certificate, snacks, or a gift card. The small gesture could break the ice and shake the first-day nerves off.

Personalize the New Hire Welcoming Process

You’ve staged a well-lit environment that encourages productivity and created a thoughtful welcoming gift as part of the new hire onboarding process. Ensure new hires know what team members they can reach out to if they have any questions. Personally welcome each new employee and introduce them to key support staff, available to guide them through the initial work stages, to set recruits up for long-term success.

Onboarding for Future Success

Developing an effective onboarding process takes time. The effort will be worthwhile — your new hires are investments into your company’s future and should be given the best start possible.

Protecting their privacy with proper record keeping of their personal data, providing an environment that’s bright and conducive to productivity, supporting their growth in the company, and delivering on the promises made during the interview process will likely increase your chances of nurturing a long and successful work relationship.

Image Source: Pexels

Never Let You Go: Addressing the Challenges of Retaining Employees

Let’s face it: finding the kind of talent you need to give your business the competitive edge is tough, but what’s even tougher is holding on to that talent. Gone are the days when a gifted young upstart fresh out of college takes a job with a company and remains there throughout her professional career. According to estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, today’s younger baby boomer will have held an average of 12 different jobs in their lifetime. If you’re a millennial, the number is even higher, with the churn rate of young workers three times that of preceding generations.

And that’s not good news if you own a business. If your company is hemorrhaging employees, that also means it’s hemorrhaging money. When you lose an employee, not only have you lost the skillset for which they were hired, but you also lose productivity. And lost productivity means lost profit.

What you gain, however, are additional costs in recruiting and retaining new talent. In fact, the costs to replace an employee can be as much as 50% of annual salary for an entry-level worker—and for a senior executive, those costs can soar to as much as 200%! So, what can you do today to hold on to your most talented employees for many tomorrows to come? Read on to find out!

Find the Right People

The first step to holding on to your most talented employees is to make sure they’re the right fit before you even hire them. If your company is understaffed or there’s a particular position that needs to be filled urgently, the temptation to rush the recruiting process can be great. But that’s a mistake.

It’s far better to take the time you need to ensure that the candidate you have your eye on is a good fit for your company’s future as well as its present. Incorporating this long-term strategy into the hiring process is going to help you weed out those candidates who are only interested in or fit for a short tenure, versus those who are willing and able to invest in your company for the long haul.

Make a Good First Impression

It might feel like onboarding and retention don’t have much in common, but that’s actually not at all the case. In fact, your new hire’s onboarding experience is probably going to set the tone for how they feel and think about the company. Unfortunately, though, onboarding is something not many employers pay adequate attention to. Want proof? An estimated 42% of new hires don’t even have their own computers or workstations on the first day!

If the onboarding process is confused or haphazard, if the company seems unprepared for the introduction and integration of the new employee, that’s certainly not going to reflect well on the business, its staff, or its processes. And once you’ve lost your new hire’s trust, it takes a lot of time and effort to get it back. Worse, if your employee doesn’t trust you or feel good about the company in general, you’re probably not going to keep them very long.

If a new employee is being integrated into an existing team with a strong bond, your onboarding is going to have to include more than just making sure the new recruit has a workstation and some tasks for the first day. Team building will be essential to cultivating trust not just between you and your new hire but between them and their new team. At this early stage, encourage team building via more informal activities like daily huddles or team outings. These will allow all parties to get to know each other and foster bonds that will help everyone succeed.

Grow Your Talent

While it’s key that you screen your candidates carefully and that you provide your new hires with a seamless and skilled introduction to your company, your work is far from over. It’s just beginning, in fact. Because once you have your talent in place, you need to cultivate it. People don’t like to be bored. They don’t want to stagnate. And no matter how skilled your employees may be, there’s always room, opportunity, and desire for growth.

This is why professional development needs to be central to your retention strategy. Hiring a chief learning officer (CLO) for your business is a wonderful way to help you cultivate—and keep—your best talent. The goal, ultimately, is to provide your employees with robust opportunities to learn new skills and expand existing ones, to pursue new degrees, certifications, and licensures, and to advance within the company. Essentially, if your employee can see a future with your company, they’re more likely to stick around to make it happen.

Run the Numbers

Thanks to the brave new world of data analytics, employers now have more and better tools than ever to know their business and their employees. In fact, people analytics are a powerful way to monitor the performance, engagement, and satisfaction of your workforce. Best of all, these resources can help you spot emerging trends that might compromise morale or lead to the loss of your best people. And once you’ve identified the threat, you can do what you need to end it before it escalates.

The Takeaway

Now more than ever, business owners need savvy to ensure their businesses thrive in an increasingly competitive global business environment. Developing successful employee retention strategies is one of the most potent weapons employers have for cultivating an efficient, cohesive, and high-performing workforce to cope with the formidable challenges of doing business in the new millennium. What it takes, though, is a strategy of careful recruiting, seamless onboarding, continuous talent development, and the integration of the latest and greatest in people analytics software.

Image Source: Pixabay