From technology improvements to remote work enforcement due to lockdowns, the business world as we know is shifting underneath us. As a result, human resources departments all over the world are going through massive changes as well. The ongoing pandemic has forced many in-office companies to transition to fully work-from-home.
Many organizations don’t expect their workers to come back to their offices until well into next year. And some companies have benefited from the savings remote work has created, leading them to institute new 100% remote work policies. HR departments have changed and are still changing in light of these transformations. But that’s not all. HR has also seen a rise in reliance in AI technology, so human recruiters can focus on larger goals rather than rote tasks like sorting through candidate applications.
Below, we’ll explore some of the biggest HR trends seen across the nation.
AI in Talent Acquisition and More
AI-powered recruiting tools are beginning to dominate the workplace. And, it makes sense. By automating the recruiting process, recruiters and HR leaders can take on more strategic roles. AI is also being used for other HR processes, like reporting misconduct or screening job candidates.
HR software can serve as a kind of one-stop-shop for employees who want to track career development, explore career paths within their company, connect with a mentor, and access other resources. As time goes on, many companies and HR departments will incorporate AI to make organizational processes more efficient.
Hiring More Remote Talent
One of the biggest hurdles companies have faced during the pandemic is figuring out how to secure top talent while remote. In some cases, remote hiring has made the process easier. Instead of focusing on candidates in a local area, a wider net can be used to find great talent across the country – or even around the globe. This can make it easier for companies to find people with specialized skillsets.
On the other hand, hiring remotely presents a unique set of challenges:
- Time zone differences: If you’re interviewing or hiring someone who is living in a different location, it can be hard to coordinate schedules.
- Emotional intelligence and communication skills: If a candidate has the correct technical certifications for the job, but is terrible at communication, he or she is likely not a good fit for remote work at your company. Remote workers require great communication skills and emotional intelligence.
- Large numbers of applicants: A larger pool of potential candidates comes with a drawback – having to sort through large numbers of resumes and applications. For companies with a small HR department, this presents a serious logistical issue.
- Virtual interviews: With in-person interviews, hiring managers can get a more nuanced perspective of candidates. Virtual interviews literally flatten the interview experience. If you prefer free-flowing, unstructured interviews, virtual Zoom meetings can be an awkward disaster. To get around this, make sure you come to the interview prepared with an objective and a solid set of questions. It’s also a good idea to set up the candidate with all the information they need to know: the virtual interview platform and a test link.
- Technology mess-ups: You might have everything set up properly for an interview on Zoom but, even the best-laid plans can go awry. For example, your microphone might pick up extraneous noises that limit what the candidate can hear. Or, maybe someone’s internet drops midway through.
In order to get around these issues, it’s important to provide candidates with resources to properly prepare before, during, and after an interview. It’s a smart idea to draft up a document that explains the hiring process, expected timelines, and specific contact information for any remaining questions the document doesn’t answer.
Virtual Team Bonding
HR departments play a huge role in understanding and developing company culture. HR needs to nurture a strong culture, which starts with recruiting and choosing the right talent whose personal values align with the company values. Beyond hiring for cultural fit, offering unique benefits such as will writing services or unlimited PTO, HR also needs to foster a healthy culture continuously with constant communication, logistics tracking, and other factors that shape company culture.
Although there’s plenty of evidence that remote work is a boon for the workforce in terms of work-life balance and other benefits, there are also some disadvantages. Namely, a company with a once lively culture can go through a period of shock as casual social interactions and chatter around the water cooler completely disappear.
Workers might feel more socially isolated and collaborate less with other team members as a result. To combat the physical distance, HR departments can create virtual team bonding events. You can set up games through Zoom, create competitions, or simply host a virtual happy hour.
Here a few more ideas for virtual events to facilitate conversation among departments and teams:
- Picture sharing: Allow your team members to share one photo that describes their life at the moment. It can be a photo of their pet, hobby, family members, etc. Then, the team member can give context about the photo.
- Bucket list: Give your employees time before a meeting to draft a bucket list consisting of three things they want to accomplish before they kick the bucket. During the meeting, go around sharing these personal life goals.
- Show and tell: This is an elementary school classic that’s still worthwhile well into adulthood. Give each team member one minute to talk about a specific object in their home – it can be serious or funny.
- Virtual book club: If your company has a lot of readers, this is a great idea. Buy a book for your team and give them a month’s deadline to finish the book. Use the meeting to discuss the main takeaways, opinions, and other aspects of the book.
Takeaways: HR Trends in a Virtual World
Although the pandemic has forced many companies and businesses to adapt to a virtual model, it’s allowed many organizations to innovate and grow. Human resource departments have new challenges to navigate, like hiring and onboarding new talent without every shaking a candidate’s hand or meeting them in person.
Samantha Rupp holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and is the managing editor for 365businesstips.com. She lives in San Diego, California and enjoys spending time on the beach, reading up on current industry trends, and traveling.