Today’s human resources departments are tasked with engaging and supporting one of the most diverse workforces ever. It’s not just about finding the right talent, it’s about making sure they are engaged in and excited about their work at your business. If you find this a challenge, you’re not alone. Gallup found that nearly 87% of employees worldwide don’t consider their work engaging.1
The companies that can catch the attention and grow the loyalty of employees will find more success attracting and retaining their industry’s leading talent, whether they be young up-and-comers or seasoned professionals. Through gamification of certain human resources elements, more agile recruitment processes, and the centralized information hub of a cloud-based application, business owners and human resources departments can make their company a more efficient and more desirable place to work.
HR’s most successful response to meet the changing nature of the workforce has largely been “gamification,” which is a method of translating typical HR procedures like hiring and education into fun, game-like applications.2 Gamification works best for tasks that are repetitive, or in situations where outcomes or metrics are clearly measurable and defined. According to a study about employee onboarding by the Aberdeen Group, organizations with ongoing gamification in place for training improve engagement by 48% and improve turnover by 36%.3
Employees must be evaluated with an eye to how they will help the business grow.
Gamifying delicate processes like giving one-on-one developmental feedback will probably never be a good human resources solution, but gamifying benefits could help improve enrollment and engagement.
Another change in modern human resources is in the demands of recruitment. About 68% of HR professionals are facing challenges recruiting for full-time positions at their businesses. Small businesses of 99 employees or less were shown to have less success recruiting full-time managers and skilled tradespeople.4 Often, a need for more experienced or trained talent means businesses must take a more active approach to recruitment. You might think the skills shortages are in highly technical tasks, but a survey found the three top skills required for new full-time jobs in 2016 were soft skills like problem solving, communication, and leadership (45%), computer/web/IT (39%), and project management or management experience (39%).5 With so many industries chasing the same skills, HR professionals not only need to go out and contact the qualified applicants their business needs, but also must create internal communities where skills like problem solving and communication can thrive, or even be developed in employees who possess other essential skills.
Dedicated software, or software as a service (SaaS) can ease much of the workload for HR employees. Tools like Recruiterbox crawl job sites like ZipRecruiter or LinkedIn to collect the information potential new hires. Solutions like Zenefits digitize the hiring and benefits enrollment processes. You can also turn to industry standards like Dropbox or Google Drive to help streamline operations, especially between remote teams. These types of dedicated software are typically known as “cloud services” and are now much more widely used, as they are efficient, inexpensive, and easy to use.
A 2017 study by PWC found that 70% of HR departments moving to the cloud chose to do so for the sake of software innovation and quick update releases. Recruiting, learning management, and performance management were the three top categories business owners identified as the key HR tasks to migrate to the cloud.6 Business owners or HR departments interested in the same kind of migration should remember that the change in medium and workflow to a more agile, tech-forward process might also mean a change in how employee performance is measured might be necessary.7
The Harvard Business Review reports the story of bank ING’s agile HR migration, in which they made all 3,500 employees at their headquarters re-interview for their jobs. About 40% of the employees either moved to a new position or left the company, and according to HBR, not because of their skills. “Rather, it was a specific mindset that was lacking—one that could embrace the uncertainty of a software-based organization while seeking out new, better ways to deliver that service,” they wrote. “The HR team had to play a major role in understanding what this mindset looked like and how best to determine which staff members possessed it...”8
HR must nurture and teach skills like problem solving and communication, especially in employees who possess other key abilities.
This process probably won’t work the same way for the majority of businesses, but the example is still impactful. As human resources adopts technology to make the workforce of tomorrow more attracted to their business, employees must be evaluated along different metrics and with an eye to how they will help the business grow moving forward.
Human resources departments must pair their existing knowledge of employee eligibility, rewards, benefits, compensation, and training with new trends in gamification and technology. Not only must the human resources department of the future attract and retaining new talent more organically, they must also inspire talent to stick around longer and keep growing their skills through new and innovative programs. Thankfully, departments can start taking steps today to meet these challenges before they become hurdles to business growth.