The Evolution of HR and Talent Acquisition

The Sky's The Limit....or is it?

When I first started this blog back in June of 2012, my experience with HR had been quite different than what it is today. At the time, my knowledge came from textbooks and from working at small organizations with one-stop-shop HR departments. My job experience typically had me in roles that did everything from initially recruiting candidates, on-boarding, new hire orientation, training, employee relations, payroll, off-boarding, and general HR management. I had a hand in everything and at the time I thought this was everything I needed to know about HR. It wasn’t until shortly after I started the blog that I realized how wrong I was. Either my experience had been sheltered, the HR function had changed rapidly, or a bit of both. Regardless, the HR function has evolved right before my eyes.

Some of my most noteworthy discoveries:

  • HR and Talent Acquisition are two different things: Due to the fact that my experience had dealt with everything from start to finish, I thought that this was the norm across the board. It wasn’t until I got a new job as a sourcer (which I had no idea what that was at the time) that I learned how talent acquisition is a beast in its own right. Effective talent acquisition involves an in-depth strategy, involving anything from candidate mining, to employment branding, to better interviewing options. Once I saw how this was done, I almost wondered how anyone could even fathom handling all the other HR duties on top of this function. As time went on, I saw more and more companies splitting talent acquisition off from the HR department.
  • Recruiting has gone social: When I first started this blog, I was using it as a supplement to my resume. I wanted people to see my knowledge and passion. To promote it, I started using social media sites only to eventually get hired via Twitter. Once I got settled in my job as a sourcer, I was deemed the social media recruitment queen and had to create training on how to do this effectively. Needless to say, I like to practice what I preach so I often incorporated social media into my sourcing efforts. Candidates are also recognizing how much social plays in the job hunting game and now take the time to use social as a means for personal branding. Honestly, looking at some of these creative resumes was a lot more fun than staring at the typical resume format over and over.
  • HR tech is going beyond HRIS and ATS systems: Prior to my most current employer, my experience with HR tech was the typical HRIS and ATS systems. With the acceptance of social media in the workplace and the increase of technological advances, new HR vendors are emerging rapidly. HR technology now can include anything from video interviewing and social media recruitment platforms. Also, there are platforms for onboarding, recognition, training, career succession, and more. It’s wild how much has been developed over the last few years and I hope to make it out to the HR Tech Conference one of these days to see some of the interesting options.
  • The 2020 workplace is right around the corner: Not to alarm anyone but time is flashing by. Although it’s no secret that 2020 is known as the “Gen Y Takeover” of the workplace, companies need to start revamping their offerings to attract these candidates. Competitive companies are taking the time to understand Gen Y values and apply it to their culture or perks. For example, some companies are offering flexible work schedules, telecommunication options, social media friendly environments, creative workplaces, assistance with student loan payments and more. It’s no longer about offering a hefty paycheck but about creating a situation where work-life can be blended better.
  • Typical employment is changing: Say farewell to the idea that your employees are bound to stay with you for their full career. That’s not really a thing anymore. In fact, it seems as if more companies are contracting employees or more people are becoming free agents and/or consultants. When I first started recruiting, I was told to stay away from the job hoppers but as the years went on, I’ve realized that “job hopping” is becoming more of a regular occurrence. Some employers are actually even embracing those types of people because the amount of knowledge and skill they picked up from employer to employer.
  • Talent acquisition is becoming more proactive: Companies need to be prepared because any one of their employees can be a potential risk thanks to proactive recruitment. Recruiters are now taking time to build relationships with passive candidates and talent pools are now being upgraded to talent communities. Passive and active candidates are easily in contact with recruiters and are up to date about opportunities as they arise. Posting and praying is becoming a thing of the past and recruitment is now about two way communication.
  • HR law is becoming a bit trickier: HR law seemed to be so much easier to handle before social media and alternative workplace options came creeping in. Sometimes it boggles my mind to even try to consider what could be a liability in these situations so I’ll leave that to the professionals. There are way too many gray areas for me to process.
  • The usual training programs don’t cut it anymore: If you’re relying on classroom trainings during new hire orientation only, you’re doing it wrong. More companies are expanding their training through various means, such as job shadowing, social learning, mentorship, support for continued education and online learning. Additionally, training is no longer focused only on new hires. Instead companies are now offering trainings or refreshers for people who want to keep up with the fast paced changes in their industry. If an employee wants to take control of their career progression, these new options for training and development can allow them to do so.

If someone asked me two years ago what I thought my career progression would have been, I would have said HR assistant, to supervisor, to manager, to assistant director, and so on. If someone were to ask me now, I would have absolutely no idea. For example, my current job role is in marketing for HR and the talent acquisition industries. Never in my life would I have thought I would fall into marketing but apparently this is one of the many areas that someone in HR can go, especially with the emphasis on employment branding. I definitely am not complaining because it allows me to keep up with the industry and continue to learn. The sky’s really the limit and based on what I’ve seen over the course of the last year, I think that’s going to continue to be the case.

Photo Source

HR Tech: HR Cloud On-boarding Platform

The other day, I had the pleasure to speak with the individuals from HR Cloud again. As stated in my previous blog, I found their platform to be particularly interesting. I loved the fact that everything an HR professional would need was located in one, easily-manageable interface. Additionally, I really enjoyed how customizable these features were, which not only saves a lot of time but also helps strengthen the internal employer brand. After initially getting an overview a couple months back, I was happy to connect with HR Cloud so I could get a closer look at each portion of their platform. This time, we focused more on the on-boarding piece.

Here are some interesting features:

  • Landing Page: this page can be the “Welcoming Page” for a new hire. Your organization can provide a username and password for the new hire so they can get some of the on-boarding processes done before their start date. This landing page’s layout and widgets can be customized to include: videos, specific HR forms, tasks with due dates, a welcome message, and so on.
    • Key take-aways:
      •  Reduce time and money by having new hire paperwork on this platform, rather than shipping, printing, faxing, etc.
      • New hire paperwork can include additional paperwork or customized paperwork for specific job role or department. Digital signatures can authenticate paperwork.
      • You can build an employer brand and strengthen the culture by including videos, internal information, welcoming messages, and anything else that can help increase transparency of your organization to the new hire.
  • Administrative Tab: this tab can be utilized by HR professionals and department heads. The tab can be configured for specific needs, help reduce time, and keep everything organized and on track.
    • Key take-aways:
      • HR and department heads can send out messages/forms/tasks either to a collective group of people or to individuals.
      • Checklists and tasks are easily visible to allow HR and department heads to know what needs to be completed.
      • IT will receive an automatic alert to help prepare for new hires. For example: an alert to order laptops/computers/equipment; and to create passwords/usernames.
  • First Day Activities: This feature streamlines new hire paperwork processes and training to help your new hires jump right in.HR can create a task to-do list so new hires can be productive in their on-boarding. This feature will also include an organizational chart so employees know who they will be reporting to and who they’ll be working with. The organizational chart will be complete with avatars so new employees can put a name to a face.
  • Form Creation and Customization: This feature allows the system to upload any forms into their PDF creator. These forms can include the usual 1-9s, W-4s, direct deposit forms, and so on. Also, companies can create forms that are specific to job role, industry, department, or their company. These forms can also be auto-populated with employee details to save time and ensure that information is accurate.
  • Career Planning: Employees can review the expectations and goals of their current position so they can properly position themselves on their career path. This transparency can allow employees to take control of their professional development.

The on-boarding process can be grueling, both from an HR perspective and a new hire perspective. Time can be wasted if: forms aren’t completed properly; you have to wait for shipping and receiving; or you have to wait to give/receive directions on your first day. To do lists and checklists can make it easier for the organization to keep track and make sure everything is squared away, which will potentially limit any headaches down the line. The first day activities and organizational chart can help a new employee feel more comfortable in the transition. The interface makes navigation effortless and it’s very user-friendly, which can cut down time and frustration. Overall, I think this platform is organized, effective, and can make the process stress-free for all individuals involved.

Contact HR Cloud today for a demo.

 

Spotlight on HR Technology: HR Cloud

Recently, a contact of mine reached out to me when he noticed that I had a love for technology, especially when it dealt with Human Resources. He informed me that his employer, NEOGOV, had come out with a platform geared towards the private sector. After a quick chat about what this platform did and the future of it, I was eager to be shown a demo.

HR Cloud really takes HR management systems and HRIS to a different level. It allows you to have a full view of your employees by centralizing all your employees’ data and records. Anything you need to research on an employee (such as position, performance reviews, pay, PTO, and so on) can be easily accessed on one cloud-based platform. HR professionals that work remotely or travel over a region can appreciate being able to access this secure information from anywhere.

I’ve done the operational side of HR before, so I know how annoying and frustrating it can be to have to log into multiple systems or deal with a slew of paperwork when handling on-boarding or off-boarding processes. It was nice to see that HR Cloud was a one-stop shop for all your on-boarding/off-boarding needs. HR professionals are able to customize the necessary paperwork and processes to fit their specific needs. Additionally, it is organized nicely so HR can see what has been completed and what still needs to be done. Having all these processes located in one place makes it quick and efficient.

HR Cloud even offers a self-service portal for new hires. This can help new hires get prepared and engaged before their start date, on their own time. They can do anything from: completing pre-employment paperwork; review the organization’s mission and values; and even get involved in trainings and videos. This can help ease employees into their new role with the company and get a head start.

Being a lover of social HR, I enjoyed the fact that this platform supported social collaboration. You are able to get feedback, manage projects, visually see organizational charts, and pass along real-time messages. Along with this, it also has options for employees to see their career planning options. Employees can easily compare their current role and skills against the position they’re targeting. Additionally, they can learn the necessary steps they’d need to take to achieve that career goal. Expectations are clearly communicated and employees can easily track their progress. It’s always nice to see that employees are able to take charge when it comes to their professional development, and this platform really makes that an option.

But it doesn’t stop there- managers also will be able to track their employees’ progress, as well. With the performance management system, managers and HR can easily monitor individual performance against goals and expectations. The platform allows them to easily track, cross-organizationally collaborate, and document. All information is neatly stored there so auditing and referencing is easy. Managers can effortlessly see how employees are progressing and provide solid feedback with reporting and visual dashboards.

After being impressed by the demo, HR Cloud informed me of some of their future plans to make this platform even more mobile. Needless to say, I think HR professionals can sincerely benefit from this solution, mainly because it organizes it all in one user-friendly platform. No more logging in to multiple systems, toggling screens, and cross-referencing against multiple resources. It’s all right there: visually; analytically; and documented. And even if you do have trouble finding the information you need, status updates can show you who the last person was that updated the record so you can easily reach out to them for clarification. Sounds like a dream come true for the HR professional!

Read more about HR Cloud and schedule your Demo today: http://hrcloud.com/

 

Bitrix24: Social Workplace Collaboration Made Easy

 

Recently, an employee of Bitrix24 had reached out to me in regard to their social workplace collaboration platform. Of course, I was intrigued by this because I find these types of tools to be fascinating. Over the past couple years, I have been researching, testing, or using different SaaS to see how it can help organizations be more efficient. Naturally, I wanted to hear more about this and learn about the features it can offer an organization. Stephen Ankenman of Bitrix, Inc. was kind enough to speak with me in regard to their concept.

Ashley Perez (AP): What is the core concept of Bitrix24 and why did you decide to develop this idea?

Stephen Ankenman (SA): “Small businesses need classic intranet tools and social collaboration just like enterprises. Our driving philosophy is to unite the management of a company to a single platform that can handle all standard company operations: vertical and horizontal, internal and external.”

AP: What are some key features that help employees collaborate and coordinate more effectively?

SA: “Content can be shared instantly to any subset of users, whether it is a comment or file. Internal notifications, automatic reporting, and the activity stream replace a lot of email and greatly reduce the need to repeat information. For some companies, simply having anywhere, anytime access to files, tasks, and other data is a game-changer. There are also Business Processes available in the CRM and file library which can draw on other parts of the intranet, such as the company structure, instant notifications, and tasks to keep operations running smoothly.”

 AP: How does this SaaS help all levels of employees communicate and socialize?

SA: “The Activity Stream keeps users informed of everything that pertains to them and provides commenting and other methods of instant feedback (public or private). The social layer of Bitrix24 provides discussion threads directly attached to objects such as tasks and files, and spontaneous conversations can be started, shared, and enhanced with new files, pictures and videos.”

 AP: How has this helped project management?

SA: “Any number of project groups can be formed. Tasks inside groups can be viewed as a Gantt chart and are visible to all users.  With a group-only activity stream on the front page, it’s very easy to get a snapshot of what is going on.”

AP: What are the different features that help employees navigate to find relevant documents, knowledge-base, information, and resources?

SA: “ Search is very powerful in Bitrix24.  Search covers file content, comments, tasks, wiki entries, the CRM and other objects. It’s important to note that simply having all of these objects under one roof provides a distinct advantage for Bitrix24’s search.”

AP: Is Bitrix24 flexible and mobile? If so, please explain.

SA: “Bitrix24’s CRM is highly customizable to reflect products, sales stages, contact types, and all other nuances that are unique to each company’s sales process. In the intranet side, the access system lets you share what you want how you want and with whom you want.

“Business processes, available in the CRM and document library, allow highly specific workflows to be created according to the very specific needs of a company concerning approvals, conditions, and drawing in information at various stages of the workflow.”

Recently, I spoke with an individual, Jim Sweeney, who had started using Bitrix24 for his start-up company’s needs. As he had stated, “I’ve used other platforms before that seemed much more entailed and weren’t really necessary for smaller companies and start-ups like my own.  Bitrix24 helps with communication, organization, and project management. It’s simplified and user friendly so it’s very easy to find the information that you’re looking for. It helps organize each person in our group so we can clearly see what the next milestone is and what the next due date is. It helps us easily link our tasks to our process mapping.

“I can see it being really great for project management, and is especially good for inter-office communication. This is extremely helpful because all of the team members of my company is scattered throughout the country. The communication features are so clear and easy to use that we can get straight to the point rather than having to mess around with customization features.

“The selling point for this platform over larger platforms is the pricing (it makes it easy for small start-ups) and that its simple- I don’t need all the features that larger organizations need. It works for us. There is a very small learning-curve. For smaller companies, we don’t have time to waste on trying to learn every aspect of a platform. We’re more concerned about getting our product/service up and running. Bitrix24 takes away the hassle and allows us to get to what matters.”

After speaking with Stephen about Bitrix24 and also hearing some real, customer feedback, I’d have to say I’m impressed with this. Sometimes having too many customization features can be daunting, confusing, and can actually slow down productivity. I like the fact that Bitrix24 allows companies and users to get straight to the point and makes using the SaaS a lot easier.

If you’re interested in learning more about this company, please feel free to go to www.bitrix24.com

Human Resources Technology Made for Management

Some managers believe that micromanagement is needed to be able to verify that their employees are productively performing. Some managers believe that doing “walk-throughs” can help create a presence and also help them manage more effectively. Although these methods may have helped managers get a clear picture of how efficient employees were working, there seems to be new technology emerging that actually helps managers manage more effectively. Additionally, this technology helps document work progress more accurately to help Human Resources during performance reviews. This technology is once again helping HR and the business as a whole.

Companies like 4 Spires and Workday are developing useful software and technology to help HR, management, and subordinates to not only be more social, but also more capable. Work management technology helps managers to easily delegate tasks and project needs to employees. This software helps increase communication, shows status updates, and even shows which employees are contributing to what. This helps managers cut down the time that they do walk-throughs and micromanage and allow them to actually spend their time managing.

A company called Rypple has honed into Gen Y needs and created a social-performance management platform. This platform is used for work goals, feedback, and recognition (all which are highly desired by millennials). In addition to this, employees are able to create their own goals and welcome other employees to help them achieve their goals. This allows management to once again see who is involved in the process, be able to provide feedback during one-on-one meetings, and even offer rewards and recognition (much like you would see in gamification).

Not only does this technology help managers ensure everyone is doing their part and staying on target to reaching their assigned projects/goals, but it also helps the Human Resources department when it comes to performance reviews. This technology helps keep accurate documentation of each employee’s performance and contributions throughout the year. This can help HR make informed decisions about an employee’s performance rather than basing it off of potential biased opinions or questionable information.

Simply stated: technology is once again making a huge impact in business. From a HR standpoint, this can make their jobs so much easier when it comes to being compliant and fair to employees.

More reading on this technology:

Work Management Software

Tech News: Salesforce Debuts Rypple (also, Photo Source)

Death of the Traditional Resume

A couple months ago I had written a post regarding a new twist on resumes. The post went over a couple ideas on how to add a little something extra to your traditional resume. Today, I would like to revisit this topic and also add some more suggestions and details on how to make your resume outshine the others. A recent Twitter chat on Friday called #HRTechchat revealed that many other recruiters and HR professionals believe that the traditional resume is dead and had strongly suggested that job seekers find other means to display their abilities and eligibility for a job. Therefore, a few suggestions below might help make a positive impact in job seekers’ searches.

Here are some tips that can help you through your job search:

  • Spruce up your traditional resume: Although HR professionals and recruiters claim that this is “dead”, it is still used when applying for jobs. Consider your resume as just one piece of the puzzle and a way to get a foot in the door. Make sure your resume is updated to have relevant information. Add industry specific keywords to make it more searchable. Reformat your employment details to use verbiage that matches the job postings you’re applying to. Include specifics of size and scope to help employers see how you’d fit in with their specific company needs.
  • Determine what you would like your personal and professional brand to be: Even if you aren’t a marketing guru, it is important to learn how to sell yourself. Make sure your resume reflects the brand, job, and industry you are targeting. Network with relevant people to show your knowledge on this subject. Help others, volunteer, and try to become the “go-to” person in your networking circle. Put yourself out there and make it known that you are the epitome of this brand.
  • Build your online presence: Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date.  Join other professional websites relevant to the industry you’re branding yourself in. Join in discussion posts on career websites and social media sites. Create your own blog to show that your industry knowledge is tangible. Offer to write for other websites’ blogs as a guest. After you take part in all of these things, do a quick online audit of yourself. Recruiters most likely will be Googling you, so be sure to check and ensure that you’ll be appearing in the search results in a favorable way
  • Show results: Many recruiters and employers rely heavily on results. You can say that you’re capable of “x, y, and z” duties but unless you find a way to put tangible results as supporting documentation, it won’t be seriously considered. Build a portfolio if you can or even get creative and make an infograph of your experience and results. This can help add a quick, visual document that can show recruiters that not only can you perform the duties, but you are also successful at them.

Job seekers- you need to do your due diligence in your job search. Recruiters are bombarded with resumes and eventually they all look the same. In this day and age, you can no longer simply submit a resume and assume that it will get noticed. You need to set yourself apart from the mundane masses and find other ways to capture employers’ attention. Set yourself apart, brand yourself, and make yourself searchable. Doing these simple things will help you land a job faster.

Links:

Death of the Resume.

Visual Resume.

Yes, the Traditional Resume is Dead.

Photo Source.

Social Media Uses for the HR Professional

I’ve always been interested in human resources but lately I’ve really been on a social media kick. Some of my Twitter and LinkedIn followers poke fun at me because it seems as if I’m posting all over the place. Although this is somewhat true, there is a reason why I’m becoming more present on social media sites. As I become increasingly involved in the discussions and chats, I’m learning more and more. There are so many wonderful people out there that are supportive, informative, and helpful. I appreciate everyone that I’ve connected with because they’ve exposed me to so many interesting things. This experience has really allowed me to see that there are more uses to social media than the typical stereotype.

A lot of people and companies feel that social media is a distraction and do not associate it with being useful in the workplace. Those people would be correct if they only used social media in the most general of forms. However, internal social media can also take a business to great heights if utilized properly. I recently researched and wrote a post about social media uses in the workplace that touched upon some of the effective ways to apply it.  One of the areas I mentioned was in regard to the ways that human resources can use it as a tool. Today, I’m going to dig deeper into this topic.

Human resources can use social media as:

  • As a performance management tool: Social media is a way to have information in one central location throughout the business-spectrum. It also can have customizable reporting to allow human resources and management to be able to gauge how the business is doing. Metric reporting and scorecards can compare employee output against organizational goals. This allows the business to determine how they are performing as a whole, departmentally, and can even score each individual employee. Human resources professionals can take the individual reports and use it for regular feedback and performance evaluations. This can also help HR and managers know what areas in training need to be improved and what tasks individual employees need additional mentoring on.
  • As a rewards and recognition tool: Social media allows collaboration throughout the organization. It also helps managers and HR to easily and openly see what employees are coming up with the creative/innovative solutions and which employees are truly putting in 110% contribution towards the organizational goals. With this information being accessible, HR professionals can reward employees accordingly, whether it is with monetary bonuses or even just recognition. It is becoming more apparent that employees appreciate the regular feedback that they can receive via social media. Additionally, employee engagement has increased due to the social media recognition programs that companies have implemented. Who would have known that simply saying, “thank you” would make that much of a difference?
  • As a training tool: The training aspect of human resources can really be brought to life via social media. HR can put up training tutorials, documents, SOPs, and videos for employees to easily reference. These training materials can be updated quickly as processes change. Employees can use it as a knowledge base and have easy access to these materials at all times. This can assist them in gaining the information and knowledge they need to complete duties accurately. It can also allow them to be more efficient because the information is instantly available, therefore, they do not have to rely on or wait for someone else to assist them. In addition to materials, social media can give employees the ability to connect with other individuals throughout the company and set up mentoring sessions.
  • As a promotion and/or internal mobility tool: Social media can keep a detailed, documented history. This means that all employees’ contributions, projects, and efforts throughout their employment are easily visible. When it comes time for an employee to ask for a raise or a promotion, this tool can allow human resources to review supporting documentation and decide whether or not the employee displayed characteristics worthy of a promotion or raise. This tool can aid recruiters and HR in seeing which employees show potential to do further things than just their current job and expected career path. This can benefit employees when they are attempting to prove that they’re capable of a lateral or upwards move in the company.

The more I research this topic, the more I get excited about it. Some of these uses can be more efficient than the combined practices and procedures HR have used in the past. If social media can be this valuable just in one department, think of how beneficial it can be for all departments. The possibilities that can arise for an organization are endless.

If you are interested in learning more about this topic, please feel free to join the following chats on Twitter:

#SWChat held on Thursdays at 4PM EST

#HRtechChat held on Fridays at 2PM EST

#TChat held on Wednesdays at 7PM EST

Some interesting links:

The Social Revolution of Rewards and Recognition: http://www.thesocialworkplace.com/2011/09/23/the-social-revolution-of-rewards-and-recognition/

Social Media Performance Appraisal Process: http://www.hrmagazine.co.uk/hro/features/1073216/could-social-media-revolutionise-performance-appraisal-process

Social Media for Performance Management and Reporting: http://sustainablebusinessforum.com/joan-justice/58610/using-social-business-tools-increase-performance-management-and-reporting-sustain

Social Media Corporate Training: http://www.sayitsocial.com/