Human Resources

Top 5 trends in HR in 2017

The workplace is changing in big ways in this new year and these are some of the top trends that you might find in your workplace and how to be prepared for the change. The workplace is in constant evolution, along with their employees, procedures, and technology, and this brings along constant change. Companies should be prepared to change when the time comes to adapt their procedures and tools to match their team and context.

1 – Candidate and employee experience becomes a priority

For many years, companies have focused on creating the perfect customer experience through marketing strategies. This, in turn, has increased loyalty and revenues for years, so now Human Resources has realized the value behind it and is turning internally to the company. In 2017, Human Resources are now tapping into marketing and customer service insight developing experiences for both employees and new candidates. Employees and candidates are now going online and offering reviews about their experience and this is something that is changing the way job search works.  Procedures like notifying applicants about their status in the hiring process are vital, and when employees don’t get any kind of contact will most likely never send another application to a hiring process in that company again. This negative experience will possibly turn away future candidates as most comments and experiences can go viral nowadays on social media. By previous candidates spreading the word about negative candidate experiences, you’ll be missing out on some of the top talents in the market. Additionally, you’ll find the current employees’ experience will be just as vital to your talent acquisition in the future. Ensure employee experience by offering training, improving work spaces, and giving more rewards for a job well done. All in all taking care of the experience that people have when they encounter your company will go a long way.

2 – Blended workforce increase changes the panorama of companies

In the past couple of years, companies have found the advantages to hiring freelance employees and the virtues of the blended workforce. Projects are now being worked on by teams if full-time employees and freelancers each one bringing to the table their experience and know how. Being prepared as a company to explore blended alternatives of working. This trend is picking up and bringing to the workforce a whole new way of handling things. Companies can begin to start exploring remote workers, telecommuting and other alternatives that will suit your company and its needs, all while offering your employees the best possible experience as part of your organization.

Related article: 5 Keys to efficiently manage remote teams.

3 – Ongoing reviews replace yearly reviews

Human Resources has long discussed the possibility of getting rid of annual performance reviews, especially nowadays when the fast-paced technological world has prepared a different kind of professional. Today’s professionals are expecting immediate and instant feedback and/or gratification, similar to what they experience on social networks. Studies have proven that most employees don’t see the benefit behind annual feedback reports, which based on their responses don’t help to improve performance. The new generation of professionals prefer to receive daily, weekly or regular feedback to be able to make adjustments and performance improvements in shorter spans of time. Companies that have followed suit in changing up the performance review process, have seen great results through productivity increase.

4 – A whole new breed of professionals

Younger employees are now entering the workplace will transform the panorama once again, with younger professionals bringing along with them new demands and more technology. This new evolution of companies could drive a greater wedge between younger and older employees so it will be important to analyze the different strategies your company will undertake to ensure a good working environment, where each employee, regardless of age, can be productive. The transformation has to be fit to hold this new workforce with younger faces, but still align with the company’s interests and the older generation of employees.

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Image courtesy of ierre Gorissen at Flickr.com

5 – Incorporate technologies in the workplace

2016 brought with it a lot of advances in technology like augmented and virtual reality. Many of the younger generations are requesting and suggesting that their companies get on board and include these newer technologies in corporate procedures, products, and services. Facebook and Apple are already making great strides in including this tech in their new products, but the increase for 2017 is almost inevitable. Having access to this tech outside of the office will be the reason why most employees will want to have the same tech inside of the workplace. VR is already making its way into some company’s procedures, like offering virtual reality tours for potential new employees, or to explore machinery.

All of these changes, among others, will revolutionize the workplace and to ensure that you can keep up your company will need to, not only analyze the trends themselves but how these trends will affect the rest of the workplace paperwork, procedures, and legal contracts.

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Are Human Resources and Human Capital the same thing?

Human resources and Human Capital are two disciplines that get often confused with one another. However, they differ from each other significantly. You may ask yourself “How?” or “Why?” and the reasons are simple but often ignored by the careless eye. In this article, Jason Hanold will share some key ideas that elucidate the main difference between Human Resources and Human Capital as fundamental concepts for any given organization.

Difference in the role they play

Human Resources is the department composed of professionals who are in charge of managing the transactional activities of an organization. Such as managing the company benefits, payroll, reports, and compliance operations. This department is in charge of merely operative tasks inside the organizations.

Human Capital, on the other hand, serves strategic functions. It is in charge of managing the performance of professionals inside the organization. Also, it works hard for professional developments and human resources planning. This area always has the mission of planning and measuring what happens with the human capital inside a company.

As companies move to an unorthodox business model, they thrive to have bigger Human Capital departments instead of focusing on having Human Resources department. The reason to this is that individuals are no longer considered replaceable resources but assets. They are no longer part of an economy who focuses on the physical production of items but in the intellectual production of content and ideas that may help organizations move to the next level.

Related: Human Resources & Human Capital: The differences and interdependencies (and why companies need both).

A matter of Motivation

The Human Resources Departments of many companies worldwide are currently facing a crisis: keeping employees motivated. As the role of this department is to do all the administrative activities related to those working for the company, it has failed to understand that there are other needs that need to be satisfied in order to keep employees happy.

This is where the Human Capital department becomes vital for organizations. It is true this department won’t tell you how much money you should spend on the payroll. But it will for sure let you know where you have some problems and why your company is not connecting to its people. If the Human Resources department is not committed to keeping happy collaborators, your Human Capital department will, by all means, take action on the matter.

There are as many approaches to solving problems as individuals in an organization. The Human Capital department is in charge of understanding how the human brain works and how your collaborators feel about the company. People are the greatest asset of institutions. Especially nowadays, when the workforce is growing slowly in America and baby boomers are retiring from their old posts.

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Image courtesy of Ingo Joseph at Pexels.com

The understanding of people

As it is said by its name, they Human Resources department understands individuals as they were resources for the company. They are in other words meant to be consumed and are often expendable. Even when traditional companies had the best intentions, the failed in treating humans as they could be drawn or exhausted. This happened because there were other resources in the marked willing to be hired by the same company that had already consumed another resource.

Nowadays, there is no place for this trend. The workforce in the United States is growing slowly and young professionals have fewer intentions on working behind a desk or for a company. This is why the Human Capital department needs to work hard to understand people. People will help companies grow only if they believe they can also grow inside the company. The idea of Capital becomes vital because it lasts for longer than a resource and it allows you to make successful investments that will generate more capital.

Understanding humans as capital instead of resources is a plot twist that aims to increase the growth of companies with an unconventional business approach.

Related: What Is A Human Resource?

Both departments are necessary

Even when it has been said that the Human Capital department can help a company grow faster and stronger. It is crucial to keep in mind that having a Human Resources department is also important and often necessary for the day to day operation of a company.

The two disciples interconnect and contribute to the proper development of each. Companies should not dismiss any of the two departments. Nevertheless, they should define its approach towards collaborators since this will give them an identity easy to identify by potential collaborators and business partners.

Organizations need to understand that if they only focus on systems and processes, treating individuals as numbers, they will lose its workforce. But, if they don’t have an organized structure with a consistent payroll and defined benefits, they won’t be appealing enough for the type of professionals they want to hire.

In conclusion, Human Resources and Human Capital are both interconnected and should be managed by an integrated team who knows how to recruit and retain happy collaborators.

5 keys to efficiently manage remote teams

If you run a company in which all or some of their members work from home, surely you will have experienced -more than once- difficulties in communication and coordination. This is relatively normal, many remote companies are still trying to apply the same management formulas that are used in conventional companies without considering the distance factor, and this is usually not effective.

Remote companies must apply their own strategies and find their own tools, often different from those used in traditional companies. A simple chat for companies or an effective reporting system are enough to instantly improve the coordination of the team.

Let’s take a look at a few keys to effectively manage remote teams without going through communication or coordination issues.

  1. Define a work policy

Defining a work policy is particularly useful in remote companies. Remote jobs are more flexible -generally speaking- and this makes workers take certain liberties that the company does not usually consider. We must keep in mind that each company has certain needs and workers -even those who work from home- should adapt to them.

To illustrate this situation, let’s take a look at three examples of work policies:

  • Employees should be available from 9 to 11 in the morning. Having the liberty of working from home does not always mean that you have the freedom to choose your own schedule, especially if other people depend on your work or availability.
  • A three-day-notice should be considered when a worker will be absent. Sometimes, when you work from home, you can forget about letting the rest of the team know about these situations in order for them to keep it in mind.
  • A specific tool should be used for communication and coordination. Allowing many channels of communication can lead to dispersion and difficulties to find information. Also, we should consider the fact that many tools can be dangerous communicating certain confidential information.

With a well-defined work policy, many problems can be avoided. It is important for this policy to be well explained to a possible candidate to a remote-work vacancy within the company, due to the fact that the future worker should accept the conditions as they are.

  1. Use the appropriate tools

Luckily, advances in communication technologies are making work and coordination of remote teams easier each day. There are dozens of tools that can be very useful and valuable for teams who work across different regions of the world. The fact is that technology helps make distances shorter.

It is necessary for each team to find the tools that best fit their work dynamics and their needs.

  1. Encourage a constant communication process

When a team works in the same space, communication happens in an almost automatic way. When a team works remotely instead, it’s very easy for this communication to be completely forgotten.

Team members of remote companies usually communicate when they need something from someone or when they have some sort of problem that they need to solve. The task of a manager is to encourage a constant communication beyond these needs.

A constant rhythm of communication makes companies more effective, due to the fact that this makes it possible to detect problems before they appear, it encourages innovation and improves collective creativity. One way of encouraging a constant communication is to create a series of recurring questions to which the entire team should respond, in order to allow debates and keeping track of the advances in goals.

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Image courtesy of Jeffrey Beall at Flickr.com

  1. One-on-one personalized follow-up meetings

A good leader should not only be aware of the collective needs of their team but also of the individual needs of each one of their members. This is very important in remote teams, due to the fact that since you are not seeing the members of your team directly, it’s more difficult to detect possible motivational problems.

One way of doing this personalized performance review is to establish a small, periodic video conference with each one of the members of the team. The goal of this meeting will be to know how each person feels, how are their goals advancing and to offer advice regarding their personal growth within the company.

This one-on-one conversation will help improve motivation and individual productivity. It’s a great way to make the entire team feel heard and valued within the company.

  1. Create a corporate culture

Many remote companies don’t work to create a company culture. They believe that, since members are in different locations, it is not necessary to invest time in this management strategy. Nothing could be further from the truth.

A corporate culture helps create a feeling of belonging within the team. A feeling that is precisely often lost in remote teams, due to the lack of direct contact. This is the reason why you should look for the formulas that will allow you to establish a solid corporate culture even under these circumstances.

One of the recommended techniques to achieve this is to encourage personal communication beyond the work life. When members of a team talk about personal issues is where the strongest and longer-lasting bonds are created. In the daily lives of traditional companies, it’s easy for this personal communication to appear, and in remote companies, it’s not so easy because communication is quite limited.

Related content: Read Jason Hanold’s “Steps to do a proper termination interview”

How to communicate to candidates they will not continue in the processes

In every recruitment process, there will be a time when some of the candidates will not continue. Every recruitments process has its steps and these are carefully designed in order to act as filters in which the best candidates will continue during the process and the ones that are not so good, will stay behind and at some point, they will be dismissed.

Believe it or not, the moment when a company or a recruiter decides a candidate should not continue in the recruitment process is one of the steps recruiters should pay more attention to. This is where the company’s reputation and employer branding are in stake. A company can easily go from being an organized, friendly and caring company during the entire process, by managing it professionally, in the eye of candidates, to being a sloppy, messy company that has a huge lack of coordination within its team and the way they represent themselves outside their walls.

During recruitment processes, recruiter needs to make sure candidates are always informed of their status in the process. Recruiters need to communicate the candidates effectively how they are doing, if they made it to the next step or if they didn’t. Candidates are risking many things by just applying to a job offer, and being available for the process steps is not just a physical matter, it is also mental. That is why all candidates deserve to be informed when the company or the recruiters decide they will not continue in the recruitment process. It is something that just needs to be done, not only because of the, but also because it is the best thing a company can do as a professional and socially responsible recruiter.

Here are 5 tips, from Jason Hanold, recruiters should follow, when it comes to telling candidates they will not continue in the recruitment process. These are the details they should take into account in order to do it properly, keeping in mind it is the right thing to do not only for the candidate but also for the company.

Be empathetic

The best way to give not such good news is to do it in a way any person would like to receive it. That means there should be empathy involved in the process. One good way to do it is through an email and it should not only give the candidate the news that he will no longer continue but it should also thank the person for their time and their interest. Additionally, the email should end with a short paragraph telling the candidate he will be taken into account in future recruitment processes when new opportunities arrive.

Take the time to give personalized answers

Since the news will be given through an email and that email will probably be a pre-written email with the same message for all candidates, a good detail is to personalize every message and make the candidate feel as if it was especially written for him. Make sure the name of the candidate is there when you greet him and try to close the message with a kind ending. Candidates will be very thankful with personalized messages. They will appreciate the time companies take to communicate and even more, to do it in a nice, considerate and respectful way in which the most important thing is always the person.

Do it as soon as possible

Time is money and that is a rule for everyone. Candidates are probably involved in more than one recruitment process at the same time, so the sooner the candidates are informed about their status in the process, the better. The sooner the recruiter tells them they will no longer continue in the process, the better for everyone. The company will show a good image and the candidate will know exactly what will happen, in order to make their own professional decisions in time. The longer a company takes to give this kind of information to a candidate, the more it will affect the image of the company.

Take care of your employer branding

Employer branding is then that special something every company needs to take care about if they want to continue attracting the best professionals in the market. With a good employer branding, a company will be able to show they are a great place to work and that will always be attractive for anyone who is either looking for a job or not. Companies can have a marketing department that works for showing how good their products are, but they can also have employer branding that will show how good a company is in terms of employment and how good the companies treat their employees.

Read our previous post about the “Steps to do a proper termination interview”