The functions of the human resources department—and the way they do their job—have greatly evolved over the past few decades. The early days of the workplace may have seen HR professionals focus on recruitment, hiring, and payroll; but today, they also have a hand in employee retention, advocating for their holistic well-being, and keeping the morale high.
What caused such changes? Perhaps it’s because of the continuing burgeoning of different industries that also paved the way for employees to work not only in their hometown but in other countries as well, wherever their talents may be needed. In a nutshell, HR evolved alongside the world.
While there may now be advanced technologies to help HR understand business intricacies better and contribute in producing quantitative results, like keeping employees motivated for increased productivity, there are still a few HR issues in the modern recruitment industry that must be addressed.
How to Solve These HR Issues in the Modern Recruitment Industry
1. Compliance with Laws and Regulation
Some smaller businesses end up ignoring employment laws. However, the Philippine labor laws cover all sizes, and not following them could mean audits, fines, penalties, litigation, and even an eventual closing down of the company.
Of course, to combat this, it helps to know and understand the law. The best place to start is the labor law, available to read at the Department of Labor and Employment website. Carefully monitor any amendments that may happen as well, by subscribing to emails of relevant governing bodies, industry blogs, and news.
2. Company Changes
Whether it’s a merger or a buy-out, organizational shifts are never smooth. Not everyone will embrace the change; your top talents may even want to tap out before it’s too late.
Management changes can easily be handled through effective communication, proper information dissemination, and fair treatment of employees. Executives and managers must be prepared to announce the forthcoming changes, addressing their employees’ questions and concerns. A simple way is to conduct regular meetings before the announcement.
Make the team understand the why, how, and when of the change, while repetitively reinforcing its benefits to them. While there may be some confidential items that cannot be disclosed early on, you can minimize their anxiety, preempt any resignations, and help them continue focusing on work by providing a timeline for when they can learn more about the change.
3. Leadership Development
Building a new generation of leaders is also one of HR’s responsibilities, though it has always been a challenge. Both the retirement of aging leaders and sudden exits to go after better opportunities or a personal goal are ordinary circumstances that cause the widening of the talent gap between available employees and leadership positions to be filled.
According to a survey on the State of Leadership Development by Brandon Hall Group, 36% of companies admit that their leadership development practices are below average. Managers and supervisors are essential in engaging and motivating your teams and preparing them for their future responsibilities, so not prioritizing leadership development can stifle business growth.
The best way to keep churning out leaders is to make leadership development a part of your company culture. Help them make use of their talents and develop more by giving them the opportunity. Challenge them, but also keep them motivated.
4. Employee Training and Development
It’s not only the star employees who deserve to learn more. Lower-level employee training and development is also necessary. Like leadership training, workforce development is essential to organizational success. It’s also an excellent way to make them feel that they are vital to the company, keeping them motivated and productive.
Start by making sure that your managers and senior leaders can effectively mentor their subordinates. This is where a good hiring strategy comes in—draw only talents who are easy to train and managers who can teach.
While online training courses are recommended, make sure first that there is value on your chosen programs and that they can go at it at their own pace. For instance, get a technical training program that simulates activities and lets them test their acquired knowledge into the real work environment.
5. Adopting Innovation
Technology is continuously evolving, allowing it to be taken in by various industries. Both small and big businesses can gain from innovation, especially as a means to give their companies an edge.
For example, if HR has been utilizing social media to learn about potential hires for some time now, they may also soon be able to determine how an applicant works under pressure through simulated experiences in Virtual Reality.
Technology does come with a few issues though, most notably, possible breaches in privacy, which often occurs because some employers fail to create policies regarding the use and adoption of technology in the workplace.
The most obvious solution, then, is to create rules and laws regarding this matter. Make sure to train your employees about its proper applications. HR should also learn how to utilize technology and identify its risks and rewards correctly.
When it comes to issues with payment, there’s the usual late processing and inaccurate computing that drive employees insane; but more importantly, there’s also the matter of how much to offer.
Structuring employee compensation is a struggle, especially for small businesses and start-ups that have to compete with companies with big payroll budgets. Plus, they have to factor in the benefits, training costs, taxes, and other expenses, which can amount to 1.5 to three times the actual salary.
Make sure that your staff is well-trained in handling payroll and other benefits like overtime pay. Do away with manual payroll management as it is prone to errors and takes too much time. Integrate payroll software into your HR system to automate the tracking of daily time records and leaves. In addition, consider doing payroll in-house so that you could address any dispute immediately.
If your payroll budget isn’t that large, you can come up with a system to reward performing employees. Look into incentive programs like profit sharing or bonuses.
7. Understanding Benefits Packages
Speaking of benefits, 23% of HR professionals say that managing employee benefits is one of the most difficult parts of their job because they need to find a balance between employee expectations and company budgets. This can be a challenge, considering that a comprehensive benefits package is integral in attracting and retaining talents while still being compliant with several labor laws.
Look into the competition to know what they are offering in terms of benefits to ensure that yours is on a competitive level. Consider eliminating unpopular offers or redesigning them according to the needs and interests of the different generations; for instance, life insurance for Gen X-ers and baby boomers or telecommuting perks for millennials.
8. Recruiting Talented Employees
This year, HR professionals say that recruitment is the second biggest challenge they’ve had, with 37% of practitioners claiming as such. One problem is that there is a limited choice of talents but a huge competition, which often leads to wrong hires. In addition, there is no way of knowing if a candidate is a good fit for your company from the get-go.
Then, there’s also the non-collaboration of hiring managers and recruiters. In a study, iCIMS found that 77% of hiring managers find recruiters’ screening inadequate, while 51% of recruiters believe that hiring managers should properly communicate “what they are looking for in a candidate and provide relatable examples.”
Prevent wrong hires by clearly defining the positions available, when it should be filled, the requirements of ideal candidates, and the skills they should have. You can also consider a staffing company that provides temp-to-hire solutions so that you can try out new employees without costly risks.
9. Retaining Talented Employees
Employees leaving their employers at the end of the year is becoming more common. While some do it to grab better opportunities, there is a myriad of other possible reasons; for one, managers who lack leadership skills or are micromanaging their subordinates.
It may also be the company culture as a whole– an unfriendly work environment, lack of openings for growth, inflexible policies, and many other factors can result in high employee turnover, which is a costly challenge that comes with negative impressions. A survey by Duke’s Fuqua School of Business shows 92% of leaders claiming that better culture would “improve the value of their company.”
Not only can it hamper business growth and damage your reputation as an employer, but the resigning employees often take with them your business’ proprietary information and unique skills that you are losing.
Aside from coming up with ideas for promotions, opportunities, and a healthy work-life balance, HR can also leverage onboarding. As per research, workers are 58% more likely to stay in a company with a structured onboarding process for three years or more.
HR can also step in and mediate between managers and employees to discuss their expectations, or find ways for the subordinate to work on their responsibilities with limited control from the manager. Of course, improving company culture through better policies is also necessary. There may be other underlying, interconnected factors for poor retention, but they can be detected and addressed early on.
10. Workplace Diversity
Modern-day businesses are expected to be more open to workers of different generations, ethnic, religious, cultural backgrounds, sexual orientation, and gender identity. Diversity can help with the synergy of creative thinking, while the lack of it can be troublesome for your business goals.
As workplace diversity becomes commonplace, the responsibility to spot potential cases of discrimination becomes more crucial. No business wants the risk of lawsuits or a tarnished image that can make it hard to attract and retain talents.
Develop a culture of diversity through better hiring strategies. Consider different demographics and review your hiring history to see if you’re consistently tapping potentials from diverse backgrounds. Then, employers should set the standards and policies regarding diversity, including a training program for all employees. It also helps to build a culture of teamwork and respect early on.
Make sure that employees who are experiencing discrimination can come forward without backlash, and that the case is taken seriously and investigated.
Take Care of Your Best Assets Today
HR and recruitment issues are bound to come about every end of the year. Make sure that you know which problems are prevalent in your company, and have the tools and skills to take them on before it can make any adverse, significant impact on your business.
If possible, tap your business partners for possible solutions to some of your woes. For instance, working together with a recruitment firm in the Philippines can help you scout the right applicant for your recruitment needs.