Improve Productivity with These HR Tech Solutions

May 5th, 2017
Jon-Mark Sabel
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Every week uncover the best HR news, articles, and insights, compiling them here in a weekly roundup. In this week's roundup, we look at using tech to improve productivity, analogues between sales and recruitment, and organizational momentum. We'll also examine the latest news regarding women in tech, and dilemmas in healthcare recruiting.

8 Ways HR Teams Can Use Tech to Encourage Productivity

Kayla Matthews, TalentCulture

HR plays a huge role in the success of a business. From training programs to hiring, HR curates the quality of an organization’s makeup. In order to fully fulfill these duties, HR can use a bit of help. Kayla Matthews identifies eight ways HR can use tech to boost productivity:

  1. Streamlined Recruiting Process. HR can sort applications, post jobs, and manage candidates from a single portal.
  2. Easier Payroll Processing. Mathematical errors can have huge repercussions. Tech makes these a thing of the past.
  3. More Honest Feedback. With the ability to easily gather anonymous feedback, HR can build strategies around actionable data.
  4. Easier Collaboration. “Content management software allows most employees, or certain selected employees, to gauge the status of a project or task,” Matthews explains. “They can see precisely where they are in regard to the project and what tasks they have left to complete.”
  5. Increased Access to Meaningful Data. 80% of an organization’s data is unstructured. Software can make build out meaningful patterns and provide a path forward.
  6. Less-Cluttered Employee Onboarding. Employee onboarding software helps new hires complete necessary paperwork without the paper.
  7. Automated Time and Labor Management. “HR can implement automated time and labor management software to make attendance more efficient,” Matthews says. “The same software can be used to adjust schedules on the fly, preventing scheduling and time mishaps, which improves productivity in the process."
  8. Benefits Management. Benefits management software not only replaces cumbersome paperwork, it can also educate employees - so the busy HR professional doesn’t have to.

HV Analysis:

I think we can take Matthew’s first point a step further. We’ve looked at the power of transforming the hiring process before, and it does not stop with the ATS. The “traditional” hiring process looks something like this: Online application -> ATS screen -> manual resume screen -> pre-employment assessment -> phone screen -> live interviews with stakeholders. Any number of these steps can be compressed or eliminated with the right investments and a little innovative thinking. A streamlined recruiting process doesn’t just provide an advantage when filling competitive roles, it also makes for a great candidate experience.

Recruiting is Sales: How to Find, Hire and Retain the Best Workers

Laurie Ruettimann, SkillGigs

“Sales professionals are at the heart of our resurgent American economy,” Laurie Ruettimann begins. “They do everything from selling cars to sophisticated SaaS solutions, to working as recruiters and talent acquisition leaders.” Unlike the stereotype would have you believe, sales is not a one-way bombardment of information. Recruiters work with hiring managers and clients on hiring strategy while at the same time sourcing and screening candidates. Ruettimann examines three ways to help your recruiting “sales” process along:

  1. Understand employment branding. Employment branding is a long-term play that drives inbound interest. This means leveraging storytelling as a competitive talent advantage.
  2. Total rewards packages. “Perks make the ultimate difference,” Ruettimann explains. “This is why recruiters are learning the language of healthcare, career-pathing and PTO.”
  3. Technology is a crucial tool. Without data, hiring decisions are just guesses. “If you lack access to proprietary tools and platforms, learn how to make a case for change and ask for additional budget,” Ruettimann says.

HV Analysis:

Both rewards packages and technology can work in unison to boost an organization’s employer brand. If an employer gains a reputation for great perks and forward thinking, it will be reflected in review aggregation sites like Glassdoor. Getting financial support for these initiatives tends to be another story. Dr. John Sullivan just wrote a great piece on appealing to your CEO, and there’s a lot to be said for creating a shared language with those that hold the checkbook.

Stop Doing These 6 Things that Slow Organizational Momentum

Sharlyn Lauby, HRBartender

Momentum is the force that drives an object to increase in speed or strength over time (think a boulder rolling down a hill). In the context of the workplace, momentum plays a key role in creating a “critical mass” of productivity, engagement, and innovation. Sharlyn Lauby examines six things that can bring organizational momentum to a sputtering halt:

  1. Operating the organization without goals or a plan. Without a goal to work towards, momentum has no direction.
  2. Shortening the new hire “honeymoon”. The value that fresh eyes bring to an organization is immensely underrated. Make the most of the new-eyed perspective.
  3. Overlooking the need for organizational investments. “The better companies are about investing in all areas of the operation, and the better their momentum will be,” Lauby explains.
  4. Losing focus on products and/or services. When shiny objects distract from the customer experience, momentum loses its way.
  5. Assuming employees know how they are performing. “Organizational feedback fuels high performance,” Lauby says. “And high performance creates organizational momentum.”
  6. Forgetting the value of employees (even when they are leaving the company). Don’t underestimate the ability of past employees to positively (or negatively) affect your employer brand.

HV Analysis:

Lauby’s second and sixth point are hugely underrated. There’s always been a huge push to bring employees to productivity as quickly as possible, but maybe this approach is short-sighted. Putting new eyes on old business practices could very well be the fuel a struggling organization needs to jump-start its momentum. In regard to the sixth point, employer brand encompasses the whole of the employee experience - even if that experience involves leaving. Referrals continue to be the best source of high quality talent, so building bridges (rather than burning them) is a great way to cultivate a healthy talent pipeline.

Mistreatment is forcing mostly women and minorities out of tech jobs

Valerie Bolden-Barrett, HRDive

A new Harris poll found that 37% of tech workers left their jobs because of mistreatment, with women and minorities the hardest hit. All in all, 80% of respondents indicated they faced sexual harassment, bullying, stereotyping, or unfair people management. “The tech industry claims to have difficulty recruiting and hiring under-represented employee groups, namely female, African American and Latino candidates,” Valerie Bolden-Barrett says. “Even if tech firms met workforce diversity hiring goals, this new survey shows they would still struggle to retain women and nonwhite hires due to deep company culture issues.” To combat these issues, organizations need to:

HV Analysis:

Just this week, a number of female engineers at Facebook released data showing their code was rejected 35% more often than that of their male counterparts. Which is odd, considering that women are consistently rated as better coders than men - so long as their gender is hidden. It’s no wonder then, that underrepresented groups in tech are inclined to leave - even if they perform better work, they receive heavier criticism. And if the best workers leave due to bias, they don’t get promoted, and the vicious circle continues.

Healthcare Recruiting Is Getting Ready to Fall Off a Cliff!

Tim Sackett, Fistful of Talent

“As unemployment numbers continue to drop to historic lows, healthcare recruiting is becoming a full-blown crisis,” Sackett begins. According to SmashFly, over 400,000 new nursing jobs will be created by 2024, while 700,000 will retire - creating a nursing deficit of over 1.1 million. To stay competitive, TA leaders in healthcare organizations need to adopt a more progressive approach:

  1. Invest in building an employer brand that kills your competition. While you might be a nonprofit, that doesn’t mean you can’t be competitive. Hire professionals to build a brand that creates inbound talent opportunities.
  2. Build the most dynamic TA Tech Stack on the planet. Don’t follow healthcare tech trends. Innovate your own process while following the lead of the world’s most innovative recruiting teams.
  3. Build a recruiting team of hunters, not farmers. You need a team that is paid for performance, not “fat-happy salaries.”

“You need to build a recruiting organization that never sleeps. Just like your hospitals, you need to be running 24/7,” Sackett concludes.

HV Analysis:

Children’s Mercy Hospital provides the perfect example of innovation in the hiring process. Rather than starting the hiring process with a job application, people who are interested in working at Children’s Mercy upload a short video introducing themselves to the recruiting team. Healthcare job postings tend to be filled with jargon, and every hospital has a different name for similar duties (at Children’s Mercy, a front desk clerk is listed as an “Access Representative). But when interested individuals introduce themselves, recruiters can suggest job openings that are a good fit, bypassing this issue entirely. As a great unintended consequence, the proportion of diverse hires made through this program is significantly higher than that of traditional channels.

If you're wondering how reevaluating the hiring process can impact your recruiting initiatives (and your bottom line), check out Rackspace:

They accomplished all of the above while cutting quarterly screening costs by 87%.