Meet the New Brand Builders: Human Resources

February 17th, 2017
Jon-Mark Sabel

Every week we comb the internet for the best HR news, articles, and insights, compiling them here in a weekly roundup. This week we tackle the issues surrounding workplace diversity, HR as a branding function, and boosting Millennial engagement in the workplace.

HR and Branding - The Perfect Partnership

As social media remains the preferred method of conversation online, it has become apparent that branding and Human Resources are inextricably linked. A strong brand provides a solid platform on which to leverage your recruitment initiatives. New employees hired this way will then act as brand advocates to the outside world, effectively creating a positive feedback loop. In her article HR and Branding - The Perfect Partnership, Rebecca Longman provides five ways to knit together your HR and branding initiatives:

  1. Become best friends with your branding colleagues. “Make it your mission to learn the messages that are being delivered to your customers,” Longman says. “Educate employees on what those messages mean for them and how they interact with each other.”
  2. Reinforce brand behaviors to drive double satisfaction. Recognize and reward employee practices that stem from branding initiatives.
    Make in-house technologies dual purpose. “Building internal technological solutions that meet customer need while also motivating and engaging employees is key to building HR’s strategic advantage.”
  3. Alight analytics to ROI. Align statistical analysis and data tracking with customer and employee data.
  4. Develop recruitment practices that embody your organization’s brand. Coupling current employees’ stories with existing brand narratives creates a compelling tale for recruiters to leverage as they seek out the best talent.

Find Rebecca: Twitter LinkedIn

Can Technology Solve the Workplace Diversity Problem?

Workplace diversity continues to be an issue many organizations have a tough time tackling. Fortunately, tech promises an answer. There are tools that can identify gender biased language in job descriptions, and platforms that offer “blind auditions” with the goal of matching organizational needs to each candidate’s qualifications. But according to Stephanie Johnson of the University of Boulder, bias is worked into our brains - and she doubts these tools will find widespread use. “Most companies will not want to give up control over their candidate screening, and pure merit-based hiring threatens white men,” Kate Rodriguez elaborates. After all, using blind auditions rather than resumes resulted in a 200% increase in the number of women and minority applicants called in for interviews. Another potential problem for adoption is the issue of hiring for culture. While “hiring for cultural fit” might sound great superficially, most of the time it means “hiring people who look like us.” But at the end of the day, a more diverse workforce means greater creativity, ROI, and profits. And what organization would turn down greater profits? Find Kate: Twitter

5 Tips for Creating a Millennial-Friendly Workplace

“The new generation of workers places a high value on flexibility in a job,” Paul Wolfe explains. “Most younger workers expect to have meaningful lives both in and outside of work, and want to harness the flexibility that technology provides.” So how can an organization, looking to attract the best and brightest, provide a flexible work environment while still ensuring the workforce is productive? Wolfe provides five tips to do just that:

  1. Embrace Technology. The ability to share and curate documents across the cloud, as well as hold conferences via video, make a physical office presence more convenience than necessity.
  2. Trust Your Employees. People like being trusted - if the workforce feels appreciated, they will act like adults.
  3. Let the Mission Lead the Way. Creating a common, shared purpose will create an impetus for flexible-workers to do their best even when they are not in the office.
  4. Let Them Take Time Off. Life can be hectic, and creating a PTO policy that reflects that will do wonders for building a flexible workforce.
  5. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask. “If flexibility appears to result in missed deadlines or dropped projects, ask the employee about it and figure out how to get better metrics and measurements of their work.”

Find Paul: LinkedIn

3 Personality Traits the HR Workforce Needs

As organizations continue to turn their focus to people, recognizing that employees are the drivers of profit, HR has found new life. No longer relegated to filing paperwork, the HR professional is now truly responsible for the “human” aspect of “Human Resources.” Hache-Barrois details three personality traits the new HR professional needs:

  1. Leadership, not micromanagement. Have faith that the workforce will take things seriously, and don’t meddle with the small details. “Millennials in particular are keen for more regular discussions with their line managers about their career path,” Hache-Barrois explains.
  2. Comfort with data. Leading with data is key to be taken seriously. Using facts and analysis to drive decisions are “the best way to empower HR to grow beyond its conventional role as administrator and into its more influential function as strategy maker.”
  3. Expert knowledge. Acting as a data-driven consultant will lead to the HR professional assuming the role of go-to expert. “They should be the ones who can suggest the best skilled employees to staff the project,” Hache-Barrois explains.

Find Hache-Barrois: LinkedIn

How Virtual Fitness Can Help Employees Overcome Barriers to Success

Virtual fitness plays a key role in helping employees stick to an organization’s wellness program. Ann Wyatt provides three ways they can do so:

  1. Convenient and easily accessible for all. “53% of employees who do not participate in their company’s wellness programs do not participate because it is inconvenient or they lack support from their employer,” Wyatt explains. “By putting classes, fitness plans, and assessments into the hands of employees, on tablets and mobile devices, employers remove any barrier to information about the program.”
  2. More privacy and opportunity for family involvement. Many employees who would gain the most from participation in wellness programs do not do so because they are embarrassed. Allowing them to participate on their own time not only gives them the privacy to succeed, it allows them to invite their family as well.
  3. Endless customization opportunities. If someone does not like their fitness program, chances are they won’t stick with it. Virtual fitness allows participants to tailor their programs to what they enjoy, enabling them to stick with it for the long haul.

Find Ann: Twitter

Building a great, employee-friendly brand starts with a great candidate experience. Learn more about why Candidate Experience Matters.