Change is inevitable in business. We are currently undergoing a major transformation right now that is impacting how we recruit, hire, onboard and engage our employees. That shift is a digital one. My colleague, Daniel Newman, literally wrote the book about how to future-proof your business in this digital age, but what about HR in particular? We’ve recently covered the role digital plays in the HR landscape, but how can we prepare ourselves for further evolution?
Let’s explore how future-proofing your HR strategy can help.
- Engage talent on different sites. Recruitment is not a one-size-fits-all process. Yes, of course you should look for talent on staples like LinkedIn or your go-to recruitment firm, but don’t stop there! Use apps, social media, and word of mouth. As Meghan Biro pointed out, passive recruiting—i.e., targeting those who aren’t looking for you to target them—is as strong a strategy (if not stronger) than traditional methods. Why? If your HR processes treat your employees well, they’ll evangelize your organization and spread the word, bringing you talent you wouldn’t otherwise find from a simple job posting.
- Use data to see if your employment strategies are really working. You can’t improve something you can’t measure. Make sure you’re using data to determine whether or not your recruitment and employment strategies are working. Examine performance indicators such as the level of employee engagement, retention rate, promotion rate, turnover rate, etc., to gauge the efficacy of your HR strategy. Future-proofing your HR strategy will only work if you know where to start.
- Assess your current workforce and look for ways to improve. Perhaps you’re using data to test the effectiveness of your employment strategies, as I mentioned above. If so, bravo! Here’s a bigger question, though: Will those employees still be effective for what you need them to do in the next phase of your business? Look for ways to make your people better so your organization can be agile. Which leads me to my next point…
- Invest in your employees (and make sure they’re on the same page when it comes to development). Research shows that odds are, your employees have the technology they need to do their jobs today. Almost two-thirds of the North American workforce, for example, say they have the tools they need at their fingertips. But do they know how to use them? Just giving your employees tools, though, isn’t enough to engage and develop them. Create development plans tailored to your business goals and specific to what skills you’re trying to cultivate within your team. And—this is important—don’t forget to ask for feedback! Even the most well-thought-out, actionable development plan isn’t going to work if your team begrudges the work or the process. An important part of future-proofing your HR strategy is focusing on talent development so your employees are prepared for what’s to come.
- Embrace flexibility. Include flexibility as a key part of your HR strategy, whether that means allowing employees to work remotely or simply take on responsibilities outside their current roles. Be open to change if you want your organization—and your team—to grow.
You know you should always be looking one step ahead in the business world, but take care not to overlook HR. In fact, your human capital is your greatest investment. Are you doing enough to attract, engage, and retain the best talent? I’m not talking about even just this quarter or this year—think bigger. If you want to get and stay ahead of the competition, future-proofing your HR strategy for the digital transformation is a must.
Is your HR strategy ready for the future? Can you think of any tips I should add to my list above? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
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This article was previously published on Future of Work.
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