1. Think innovation!
Ensuring the long-term viability of your business means reinventing yourself and innovating every day. Innovating in this way can offer several advantages: optimised working hours, new communications methods, more effective recruitment processes, etc. It all gives your employees a shared objective. How can we save time? How can we share information as simply as possible? How can we attract the best employees? Today, it’s possible to digitise and automate most time-consuming tasks (social media with SociallyMap, marketing automation with HubSpot, data sharing with Google Drive, posting your job vacancies on multiple sites with Multiposting, etc.).
In terms of human resources, the employer brand is now “so 2016”; although it remains a priority for many HR departments, many are already rooting their activities in a longer-term strategy of “working digital”. But why digital? And for whom? Skills change as one generation takes over from the last. Both senior and junior staff can work together and in the most efficient way possible if both are moving in the same direction; while one group can offer advice about rigour and the processes to follow in a market they know well, the other can suggest areas for improvement in ways of working that reflect the spirit of the time.
Also think about monitoring technological developments among HR solutions providers, your competitors and the innovations they are introducing to get you out of your comfort zone and make you adapt to the all-encompassing digital environment. Listen to alerts to understand how they communicate with and recruit staff, and really pay attention to the detail. It all helps to notice what’s going on, raise awareness, and improve analysis and strategic choices. There’s also a benefit for you in terms of saving time and money, and opting for what are often more comprehensive and accurate solutions.
The summer will soon be here, so why not use it to produce a benchmark of the HR solutions solutions you feel are most relevant. No doubt you get approaches about the latest technologies all year round: this is the perfect time to sort through them and select the ones that interest you the most.
2. Think marketing!
Human resources are facing a talent war, a transformation in how people work and a shortage of some rare skills profiles. Businesses need to differentiate themselves with an attractive HR policy to appeal to applicants and retain their employees’ loyalty. Branding your business and looking after your image are things your whole company has to do, but you are the pioneers. So where do you start and what do you do?
The priority is to segment your potential applicants by type of job and level of education and experience, and then refine your profile search based on your own specific criteria. This is the most important task, as you won’t communicate with all these people in the same way and above all, they won’t be present on the same networks; your future employees’ expectations and requirements will be a diverse mix. For your profile search I would recommend you use an inbound marketing approach, acclaimed by HubSpot. Once you have defined your segmentation, you will then need to find appropriate responses to these requirements.
The best applicants are already in a job, and there’s no better way of attracting their attention positively. Take care with these aspects, and remember that businesses are often actively seeking the rarest profiles in areas where there is a shortage of applicants, such as developers and sales representatives. Speak their language and be part of their networks. You’ll be amazed by how sophisticated the process is, but above all how satisfying it is when you make the right decisions.
3. Think social media!
Social media are now a goldmine for finding staff and communicating about your employer brand. See it as a priority and a real opportunity to establish a presence on these media; according to a study by Firmapi, 20.3% of French businesses that have a website have a Facebook page; that’s far from universal and an area where you can quickly stand out. Employee training and mobilisation on corporate social networks remains limited and under-used.
Social media and how they are used is a question of perception and image. Staying traditional and corporate quickly makes you obsolete and creates obstacles to your ability to attract customers, partners and future employees. Social media are not just about appearance but a reflection of your business and your company’s DNA. Similarly, of course, you can’t run the risk of fantasising about an image that isn’t yours, which could have the opposite effect and undermine your relationship with both your employees and your customers and partners.
4. Think training!
In order to reduce staff turnover and ensure a positive experience for your employees in a changing environment, develop their skills by offering them the possibility of training throughout their career. This will help staff feel valued and optimise their commitment and productivity. The rise of MOOCs is changing the way people work and more generally, how they live alongside each other in society at the global level. All academic and professional spheres are involved and HR is no exception. Continuing professional development helps all your staff (junior and senior) to speak the same language and live alongside each other.
The MOOC approach is gradually gaining ground in the world of professional training. More interactive, enjoyable and engaging, online courses are appealing to more and more companies to the delight of their employees, starting with the major groups. Small and medium-sized businesses are also adopting the “MOOC attitude" with the development of inter-company courses, and even developing bespoke in-house courses, which can cost from a few hundred to several thousand euros per employee. A sum well invested, which enables you to focus on not just skills but also human factors!
5. Think data!
Already used by marketing departments (via data management platforms or DMP), big data are also used in human resources and offer a multitude of potential applications. You can use this approach as a significant opportunity to identify applicants; thanks to an intelligent matching system, you can narrow your searches to very specific characteristics in terms of hard skills (competencies, level of education, etc.) as well as confirming soft skills thanks to a meticulous analysis of their social media, how they use them and their overall presence on the web. While the principle may seem intrusive, it has already been tried and tested and provides a quick check of whether the applicant will be at home in their job and the role, and whether or not they will respond positively to your corporate culture.
Big data applied to your human resources can also help you to develop your employees’ skills in-house, and anticipate their behaviour and how they might progress within the business. This means you can very easily identify people who might resign (based on factors such as frequent absences, sick leave and failure to achieve objectives) and conversely, those who are likely to progress quickly (indicated by exceeding their objectives, an impeccable attendance record, etc.).
Just as with monitoring developments in HR solutions, make the most of the summer to use the in-house data you already have (number of staff recruited, number of dismissals and resignations, objectives, etc.) to draw some initial conclusions.
So, are you ready to tackle 2018? Here’s a white paper outlining a range of tools to digitise your recruitment processes until the next articles come out.