The Human Resources field evolves with the times, just like any other professional sector. Long gone are the days of dreary, menial work keeping and sorting paper employee information in brown file folders and writing weekly wages on hardcover ledgers. Technology has become an invaluable asset for HR departments worldwide.
But technology alone could not have solved the unique challenges posed by the last 24-36 months. The pandemic brought about a seismic shift in work practices that caught most HR departments unaware, forcing the redefinition of what HR departments are, how they work, and what IT solutions can be the most beneficial for the new era of HR.
Over time, and particularly over the last two years, work dynamics have changed dramatically. Power has ebbed away from the employer and shifted to the employee, who is now empowered to choose employers based on a number of factors. This power shift means that it's incumbent on the employer -and specifically, on the HR department- to rise up and meet those challenges, so international companies can attract and retain top talent.
HR departments today face three main challenges:
Shifting circumstances, evolution of market trends, and new candidate priorities collectively mean that HR leadership must develop new processes and attitudes to respond to a rapidly evolving professional ecosystem.
According to McKinsey & Company, 87% of companies globally are well aware they have a talent shortage, or that will be affected by one in the coming years.
This worsening shortage requires urgent and decisive action by HR teams, which must devise suitable strategies to attract the talent needed. For example, candidates today are no longer enticed by just a good salary. Learning and development opportunities are now very much in the candidate's 'wish list' when considering working for an employer.
This ties in with the previous point. As the power of choice and decision shifts to the employee, it becomes harder for the company to attract the best talent out there. Global companies must offer highly competitive packages that include not only a good salary, but also good perks such as remote working opportunities or learning programs.
Many people have adapted well to the remote work environment and the new policies and procedures that this paradigm shift brought about. HR teams worldwide are in the process of evolving, changing, and adapting their systems and procedures in sync with this evolutionary stage.
Technology can play a significant part in this adaptation. Artificial intelligence, Big Data, and other cutting-edge technologies can be integrated into the HR application suite to better manage and administer all processes. Generally speaking, technology can be applied to achieve two overall goals: simplifying the relationship between staff and employer, and considering the local environment while thinking globally.
When a sizable portion (or all!) of the workforce is remote, relations between the employee and the employer can hit certain roadblocks. In times past, people could just walk up to the fifth floor and knock on the door of the HR department, and sit down for a chat. This is now an obsolete concept. People are working from anywhere these days, which might pose a challenge for employers from a management standpoint. This requires a different approach to the old days, and this approach might involve user-friendly applications that can be used on any device, at any time.
Every country had its own labor, tax, and employment laws, and legal so the local knowledge must be there to properly manage employees at each location. What this all means is that adapting HR processes and tools to comply with these local, country-specific regulations is critical.
The concepts of outsourcing and outstaffing have some similarities, but there are also significant differences.
When a company decides to outsource (its helpdesk, software development, or whatever other service or department it might be), the company effectively commissions a third party (a specialized agency, or another company, for example) to do the work for them. Usually, but not always, the outsourcing party is abroad.
On the other hand, when engaging in outstaffing, a company does not commission a third party to do the work. Rather, it enhances (some say, augments) its own internal department (helpdesk, software development, etc.) with the services of remote teams. Also, and this is a very significant nuance of this model, the outstaffing service provider effectively becomes the employer. It provides the salaries, benefits, bonuses, hardware, etc.
We recently published a piece on the very subject of outsourcing v outstaffing, which we'd recommend you to read to become more familiar with these professional practices.
Taking all the above into consideration, what kind of technological solutions and trends can address the challenges posed by the new era of HR? What solutions simplify employee-employer relations, and what solutions take into account the local environments amidst a global enterprise vision?
A company is only as good as its people, hence why a people-focused approach is key to gauging the overall health and viability of any enterprise.
The new era of HR requires a more people-centric understanding of the work environment, which translates into a much more positive 'employee experience.' This understanding of people -through analytics, one-to-one chats, workshops, etc.- leads to a more welcoming work ecosystem where employee well-being and job satisfaction are greater. These two factors may, in turn, support company growth along with the employees' own personal development.
While analytics have been a staple of HR departments for quite some time now, the analysis, understanding, and use of increasing streams of data is likely to become one of the mainstays of this new era of HR. Data-driven strategies mean that decision-making is powered by solid underpinnings, while the analysis of people-related processes yields a comprehensive, 360 view of the environment.
A great deal of people began working remotely during the pandemic, perhaps for the first time ever. Many will never return to an office environment, and while this is a good thing, it does require adaptation by HR teams.
Remote work poses a series of challenges, including lack of personal interaction, more difficulty accessing data and information, different time zones, etc. HR teams can address these through technological means (instant messaging tools or online meetings, for example), thorough onboarding, and a more flexible approach to the working day.
The world of work has changed for many people. Evolved is perhaps a better word to refer to this natural progression. As technology advances, so do the possibilities that it offers. And companies like AllSTARSIT fully embrace this evolution, this shift in the work paradigm. The company strongly advocates a people-centric, work-from-anywhere set of policies to support and foment employee well-being, and takes a leading position in a global, cutting-edge approach to recruitment and technical support.