Employers are having to work harder than ever to keep their employees and find new ones. Digital HR processes and comprehensive people management, which takes trends such as social recruiting, people analytics and diversity into account, help here.
In the USA, millions of employees are currently resigning from their jobs – experts speak of a “Great Resignation”. In Germany, too, the pandemic has given many employees food for thought. The desire for change is stronger than ever. In a survey published by the StepStone job platform in the summer of 2021, almost one in three employees said they intended to intensify their job search.
Employers must therefore make even greater efforts than before to retain their employees and recruit new ones. The right strategy and the courage to change will help. These five trends in people management provide assistance on how companies can prevent an impending wave of layoffs:
1. “Re-Onboarding”: Ensuring digital know-how
In the past two years, the pandemic has turned things upside down. Working models and systems were put to the test, processes had to be digitized faster than the original schedule envisaged. “Remote work”, i.e. decentralized and mobile work, has become the new standard in numerous industries.
In many places, the infrastructure has now been adapted to the working world of the future – but what about the employees? Most of the pandemic-related changes happened overnight and in an exceptional situation. Innovations such as modern cloud systems and hybrid working models are now a matter of course. However, the HR department must now also ensure that employees have the necessary digital know-how and can cope with the new technologies and working models. A “re-onboarding” is necessary, so to speak. If employees have difficulties with the technological infrastructure of their company, understanding and constructive support help to avoid frustration.
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2. Social recruiting: Exploit new potential for recruiting employees
Career starters and young specialists are usually very digitally affine. Social recruiting, i.e. recruiting employees via social platforms such as LinkedIn, therefore offers enormous potential. For example, digital job advertisements can be stored in social networks with an advertising budget and played out to a specific target group. This increases the chances of getting more applicants who exactly match the company’s requirements. Or a recruiter researches suitable candidates himself via the platforms and addresses them directly there. Social recruiting offers small and medium-sized companies in particular the opportunity to keep up with the competition.
3. Staying in dialogue: What do employees expect?
In today’s HR management, the well-being of employees is a top priority. And the demands are high: Many employees strive for self-realization and see the corporate values as a decisive criterion when choosing an employer. They question their employer about issues such as crisis management or the so-called purpose of a company, i.e. the meaning and purpose of a company beyond maximizing profits. In addition, many employees are fundamentally questioning their current job as a result of the pandemic. According to a StepStone survey, a growing number are interested in lateral entry into other sectors.
It is therefore more important than ever that HR professionals remain in dialogue with their employees. Regular surveys and one-on-one interviews provide information about employees’ personal expectations of their role and their future in the company. This also gives a good picture of overall satisfaction with the employer.
4. Digitization of HR processes: More time for strategic tasks
In order to create facts and not just make decisions based on the proverbial gut feeling, a modern HR department needs fast and reliable ways of data collection: People analytics, the collection and strategic analysis of employee-related data, is indispensable today. It enables an overview of the personnel structures as well as the wishes, ideas and needs of the employees – and thus provides a better basis for decision-making.
Digitization of HR processes is also important. This allows the HR department to have more time for strategic tasks that cannot be replaced by systems – such as appraisal interviews, employer branding campaigns, recruiting and strategies and measures for better employee well-being. Over the past five years, HR has developed into an important strategic partner for management and can make a significant contribution to corporate success – especially in times of a shortage of skilled workers.
5. Actively promote diversity and inclusion
Companies that want to remain attractive to the new generations promote diversity, equality and inclusion and adapt their HR processes accordingly. This is the only way they can keep up in the competition for the best talent. It is worth including everyone in communication with your own and potential employees. Modern HR leaders fight against discrimination and take measures for equality and individual advancement.
Simone Seidel, Director People Management at Sage in Central Europe, comments: “The pandemic has brought the important role of HR in the modern working world into focus: In the shift towards an increasingly flexible and employee-oriented work culture, HR professionals are becoming the drivers of the future and actively transform the companies alongside the management. Should a wave of layoffs actually roll over German medium-sized companies, then those companies that are now preparing themselves for the future and modernizing their HR processes will have an advantage. It has never been more demanding to work in people management – and it has never been more exciting!”