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How To Give Your HR Efforts an Edge in 2019

February 8, 2019

By Elise Thorpe

Human resources professionals have much more on their minds beyond developing a competitive benefits package. There are continual changes in our society, culture, regulations and technology — add in today’s competitive environment with a limited talent pool,  you have a pretty long list of priorities to keep straight.  

There is an ever-growing demand for HR initiatives, and industry professionals are faced with progressively complicated challenges. In order to create an edge for your organization in 2019, there are three key issues to focus on: expanding the HR role in employer branding, enhancing the employee experience and incorporating AI technology into HR functions.

Expanding the HR Role in Employer Branding

In the past, an organization’s approach to branding focused on advertising, the consumer’s experience, product quality and the logo. Branding has traditionally been left to marketers within the organization — but this is quickly changing as branding increasingly requires input from and overlaps with the responsibilities of HR. Today, HR professionals are often seen as an integral part of a company’s branding. They must embrace their role in branding to improve the organization’s public perception and attract top recruits.

An organization must build an internal culture that organically draws key talent. This company culture might include:

·        A central mission to motivate the organization

·        Strong communications with clear and consistent messaging

·        Valued benefit packages and reward systems

·        Cutting-edge onboarding

·        OE and operational technology

·        Programs to support employee well-being

These potential aspects all fall within the realm of HR. As illustrated, a company’s brand is not only connected, but reliant on an HR strategy. This strategy is then communicated to the public via brand ambassadors. An effectively-branded organization attracts strong talent, sees higher engagement among employees, a more productive workforce and — ultimately— profitable results.

Enhancing Employee Experience

Enhancing the employee experience — when done right — can attract and retain talent, improve branding and increase employee engagement.

A smart HR professional realizes that it’s not just about recruiting employees to fill open positions. Impacts extend into the processes of onboarding, development, promoting and off-boarding of employees. HR can’t do the “bait and switch” routine with the hiring process, as that only achieves one objective and ends up taking up more time in the long run. Once key employees are recruited to join the organization, it’s imperative that you keep them as long as they are adding value to the organization.

Retaining employees relies on establishing a strong connection. When this is accomplished, employees should feel a commitment and loyalty to the organization. This hinges on developing a strong culture, creating a valued and competitive benefits package, offering robust technology, good communications with a consistent message and a holistic wellness program.

Incorporating AI into HR Functions

As HR’s initiatives continue to grow, the importance of artificial intelligence within HR technologies becomes increasingly important. HR will have to examine the available technology that can help them succeed. When implemented strategically, AI can provide better data opportunities, improve workflows and increase productivity. By eliminating the more transactional components of their jobs, HR will have time to focus on the strategic components and big-picture goals for the organization.  

AI can make the job easier for HR professionals. Here’s how:

·        Improvement in the administrative components associated with the employee lifecycle – Streamlining the onboarding and benefit enrollment process can add to the new hire’s satisfaction and positive perception of the organization. This enriched experience can help to increase employee engagement, enhance company culture and create brand ambassadors for the organization.

·        Fighting unconscious bias through AI technology – These abilities might be embedded in HR tools for recruitment, applicant screening, assessment and the interviewing process, leading to a more diverse applicant pool. Organizations continue to focus on inclusion around gender, ethnicity, culture, age, etc. By doing so, studies have shown that organizations improve their performance and workplace culture.

·        Reducing the time HR spends reviewing and responding to employee questions – Machine learning, an application of AI, can be embedded in HR service delivery software. By using this technology for employee service centers and help desks, AI can learn commonly asked questions and automate appropriate responses, thus reducing reliance on HR to complete these tasks.

Our complex and competitive business environment continues to add to the challenges HR faces. It is imperative for HR to address and embrace these trends in order for their organizations to be successful. They must accept their new role in branding the organization to attract and retain key talent. By establishing a positive employee experience — from recruitment to offboarding — HR can create brand ambassadors and enhance the organization’s overall culture. Embedding AI in HR tools can free up time spent on transactional issues so HR can focus on more strategic and value-add projects.  

We already know HR is important. But when addressing these company challenges progressively and strategically, HR can become an indispensable aspect to any company’s success.