2020 is almost over and I think most of us see that as a relief. With the last moments of the year winding down, we thought we would cover our 12 days of Christmas as HR Industry tips influenced and inspired by our colleagues, customers and influential people who have changed the way we think about HR in 2021.
1. Get organized for the year ahead
Validating budgets, reviewing the year, etc., the end of the year is busy and this one may bring extra room and context to reflect on. This is why anticipating the next few months (as much as we can in this current vibe) is essential to productivity and performance. The holiday season can, and perhaps should, be used to start the new year on a clean slate: tidy your (home) workspace, empty your drawers, archive and delete your old emails (extra eco-friendly points for that), and try and resolve one last issue before the year is done. End on an accomplishment and start with the resolution to enter the new year more organized and more productive than ever!
2. Review your recruiting strategy
While this tip can take numerous forms and can span as wide or be as narrow as you want it to be, we have turned our attention to inbound recruiting. This methodology thrives on good quality content and creating an attractive, engaging and dynamic persona for your company and department, effectively flipping the recruitment dynamic. Yes, there have been layoffs, furloughs, people getting tired of their jobs and looking for change resulting in larger numbers of applications coming in. Yet, your employer brand still matters to attract the best of the best. Encouraging prospective candidates to come to you rather than actively seeking them out will certainly pay dividends in the long run for you and your wider team.
3. Budget for next year
On a granular level, this will mean some serious meetings to discuss ROI, budgets and the trajectory of the company, as well as employing some financial resources into the conversations. However, in a preliminary sense this will entail; some analytical critiquing of your personal and department performance over the year, projections, forecasting and prioritizing the best ROI focus areas and strategy moving forward. We have outlined a helpful run-through of this process in a previous blog post - Measuring and Boosting Your Recruitment ROI.
4. Update your HR software
2020 was the year everyone was forced to digitalize, fast. We have lived this first hand. We work with HR professionals who were on the frontline of their organizations dealing with changes and hard decisions to preserve and develop their most precious resource, humans. We, therefore, empathized and shared the struggle as we accompanied companies facing unexpected increases in hiring needs, furloughs, or total freezes. We also helped students take their admission assessments easily, candidates continue a smooth recruitment process, and employers everywhere upskill and reskill their talent – 100% digitally.
Our suite offers a comprehensive solution to improve performance and efficiency, spanning 3 core areas of the HR Process; ENGAGE, INTERVIEW and ASSESS. Each segment brings innovative tools and unique oversights to a different part of the HR and Recruitment funnel.
5. Engage with your candidates from the moment they arrive on your career site
In 2020, we have thus looked at Human Resources departments across a range of industries, sizes and the personnel that make up this pivotal business department. We have especially focused on what HR Software should deliver to improve efficiency and make the lives of our partners, easier, better and more efficient. We have accomplished this by analyzing everything, including the name of the department; Human Resources. Obviously, the primary role of the department is to ensure the hiring, progression and retention of ‘the right people’ for your business which requires a number of highly specialized human skills. However, many regular functions, that are more menial and repetitive can be automated in order to protect the time of HR professionals. Our integrated chatbot protects the time of the HR team, but automating responses to prospective applicants. Our chatbot engages with candidates by guiding them to relevant job ads and helping them submit open applications, all in a timely fashion. The chatbot also automatically builds talent pools based on recruiter requirements, thus allowing them to focus on the irreplaceable human aspect of their jobs.
6. Speed up your hiring process
January through to April is usually the busiest time for recruitment and 2021 will probably work differently than usual but some elements remain the same; new budgets, new KPIs and of course new staff. With this in mind, it is important to make sure that you have the resources and a well-structured process in place in preparation for the new year. Our INTERVIEW solution has been specifically designed for this HR challenge: the pre-recorded video interview cuts down on average 50% of screening time, the online interview scheduler avoids time spent on voicemail and missing calls, to plan an interview. The live video allows recruiting departments and their candidates to reduce travel time, internal space and communications inefficiencies to conduct interviews in real-time on a reliable, high-performance system.
7. Assess employees and prepare a potential upskilling plan
We have spoken with many of our customers on how they dealt with the crisis. Skills repurposing came up many times in the solutions employers found when facing furloughs. A great example of this is a retail group that managed to deploy their field employees to help out with e-commerce or warehouse activities.
No doubt the next months will keep bringing change. Preparing your workforce thanks to upskilling is one way to guarantee their growth in your organization.
8. Get to know your workforce better...
HR professionals are the liaisons between employees, department heads and senior stakeholders. As everybody is reviewing their year and setting plans for the next, you can act as a conduit for this across the festive period. With that in mind, the happiness, fulfillment and ultimately the retention of your staff is pivotal to your success in your HR function. Often this involves a fair bit of relationship management with your staff outside of your professional relationship, to build mutual trust and develop a strong support network, especially when everyone is working from home.
9. ... to build strong relationships
Further to the previous point, building relationships that extend beyond a quick hey, hi exchange or a forced “how was your weekend” will put you in good stead as you head into the new year. Again, especially when your relationships are mostly digital and everyone is living Zoom fatigue. Having a relationship with your work associates is one thing, but building relationships is another story entirely. Finding out what your co-workers are passionate about, lending an ear for an issue, or even sharing a few thoughts outside of work will help improve relationships.
10. Keep an eye out for burnout, both your own and other people’s
Burnout is now officially recognized by the OECD as a mental health issue. And mental health is a specifically crucial topic right now with the pandemic: people isolated, locked inside their homes, the resurgence of some addictions, etc. Mental health is an affliction that can often impact HR professionals and managers due to the intensity and fast pace of the role, especially at this time of year. Contrary to point number 1, do make sure you take time to regenerate over the festive season (and a vitamin D tablet in the darker months never hurt anyone!).
11. Ask someone to mentor you
Looking after your workforce is vital but you can’t do that unless you look after yourself. Look for someone in your industry who understands the challenges and opportunities in the HR market. This person can be inside your company or outside it but in order to get the most out of the wisdom beyond your years, it's best to choose someone who has experience in the same or a similar field. Don’t be afraid to approach them: this is immensely flattering and generally speaking a senior member of an HR Department will be more than happy to give you some guidance on a semi-regular basis.
12. Reflect and self-assess
Finally, and possibly the most important Christmas tip of all; reflect on the year you have had, what you have brought to the team and what you can bring in the new year. This is especially the case if you return in the new year with a solution that will help you to overhaul and drive progression across the whole of your HR and Recruitment Department.
Have a wonderful holiday season and we will see you after a well-deserved break!