The human resources industry has a serious problem right now.
The past year has seen mass layoffs, followed by staff shortages, hiring booms and an uptick in employee resignations. With all the instability and turbulence, human resource professionals are seeing exactly how tough their jobs can get.
These jobs are also spiking, representing the perfect storm of back-to-work demand and stress-driven resignations. In June, Indeed put out a report on COVID-19’s effect on human resources jobs. From February 2020 – a month before the pandemic shuttered the United States – to June 2021, human resources job postings on the platform have gone up 46.9 percent. In comparison, the average for all sectors is 28.6 percent.
In terms of sectors, human resources fell behind production and manufacturing (76.7 percent), loading and stocking (76.6 percent), and construction (58.4 percent) as the sectors with increased job postings.
There are many factors pointing toward this human resources trend. Experts cite COVID-prompted layoffs and the amount of human resources positions eliminated as a result, as well as a competitive market and policy changes for when employees go back to work.
There is also a big trend happening on the worker side – employees are recognizing their worth and seeking opportunities that compensate them appropriately. This mindset is part of what’s fueling the Great Resignation currently happening. And increased resignations mean a higher volume of employee exit protocols HR must adhere to, as well more jobs for an already-spread-thin human resources department.
The truth is human resources are lagging far behind, but it doesn’t have to.
Human resources was operating in the past for years
Relying on technology to get through the day-to-day has been one of COVID-19’s biggest challenges. A challenge, however, that we should have been prepared for. We had the resources to work remotely but are only now really leaning into them.
As we’ve gotten more comfortable with the technologies available, we have seen their benefits. We no longer have to be physically present to be efficient. This change has streamlined communication, cut down office overhead and given workers back valuable commuting time. We were all pleasantly surprised when we got into our strides and learned that the pros of embracing remote technologies actually outweigh the cons.
But human resources is still catching up.
Though there have been advancements in digital documents and security, many companies are still using physical documents in their HR departments. That is a lot of paperwork to maintain. So, when a human resources department does go paperless, it is time intensive and attention to detail is necessary. Companies must adhere to guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Labor.
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Christopher Lind, Head of Global Digital Learning at GE Healthcare, says in a Forbes interview that going digital is more complicated under the surface.
“If you’re viewing it through a single lens, digital transformation can look overly simplistic. But when the implications for all affected employees, business units, functions, and geographical groups are considered, it becomes exponentially more complicated.”
To better navigate the intimidating task of going digital, Lind firmly believes putting people at the center will be a company’s best bet.
“People are at the core of what you do. Your ability to even access data for digital transformation is dependent on the people that you have. Not considering the impact on your people and culture is one of the biggest reasons digital transformation fails so often.”
With the rapid jump to remote work and digital communications, many business leaders quickly realized how necessary it is to go digital and will soon learn how beneficial it is to prioritize people and culture.
Software can save HR
One way human resources can take advantage of technology without tedious processes is in interviewing and onboarding. What was once a manual, time-intensive process is now made efficient through artificial intelligence, or AI.
Automation in human resources has helped many companies save time and put their employees’ skills to better use. Companies are already incorporating AI into their human resources departments through candidate screenings, chatbots and candidate onboarding, to name a couple examples.
And human resources professionals are in favor of these recent advancements and believe AI presents an opportunity for them to grow in their roles. In 2019, Oracle partnered with Future Workplace to survey professionals’ evolving opinions on AI in the workplace. The From Fear to Enthusiasm report surveyed a mix of managers, HR leaders and employees, and found that HR leaders are the most excited about AI.
Keeping these professionals from fully embracing AI is the technological learning curve. In the same report, 81 percent of those HR professionals said it was challenging to keep up with tech’s fast pace. In order to succeed, a gap needs to be bridged.
What the StaffGeek model does is act as the bridge, offering simple, easy-to-manage software to companies looking to not only streamline their HR efforts, but improve overall team performance and culture. Through surveys and data, StaffGeek determines a company’s core values through its Culture Assessment. Once the company’s core culture is understood, it is easier to match candidates based on those attributes.
Once a company understands its culture, StaffGeek’s Select product can streamline the hiring process by only identifying candidates that fit with that culture. Instead of tedious interview processes, HR professionals can easily screen candidates by having them take a FitTech survey, which compares how the candidate matches a company’s core values. Less time is spent hiring and more time is spent on growth.
As technology advances, implementing AI into HR is not as intimidating as it seems. One of StaffGeek’s goals is to provide easy-to-use software that is efficient and not intimidating to the people who need it most.