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High competition, a low employee retention rate and talent development challenges are just some of the talent management headaches that may be keeping you up at night if you’re an HR Manager.

Additionally, the processes and systems you use may be complex and it can be difficult to manage these in an efficient way. You find your team are spending a lot of their time undertaking manual admin tasks which slows the entire process down, resulting in a negative employee experience.

Digitally-savvy employees continue to raise the bar when it comes to setting their expectations around recruiting, onboarding, performance management, rewards and development.

Transforming your HR processes will therefore be key to delivering on those expectations.

Read up on how to incorporate process automation into these talent management areas:

Hiring the Crème de la Crème

When it comes to attracting talent, the recruitment process steps are critical to get right. In this phase, candidates will interact with many companies at the same time and will quickly begin to compare the experiences they’ve had thus far.

From the very first interaction with your company, you need to ensure a good experience even if the candidate doesn’t proceed to the next stage. We’re all aware of the impact of word of mouth and ultimately a bad experience can have a significant influence on the company’s reputation.

Furthermore, it’s important to understand the candidate’s journey when looking for a new job as well as how they might be feeling at different stages. When candidates approach you as a new employer, they are going through a period of change. Often, talented individuals will be leaving behind organisations that couldn’t meet their expectations and will envisage bigger and better things to happen at your company. In essence, they’ll have high hopes and anything less simply won’t cut it. Evidently, this puts pressure on your recruitment team to succeed. However, with a good hiring process it is possible!

What are you actually looking for? Do your team members understand the requirements of the role they are hiring for? How will the successful candidate fit into the wider business objectives? Being able to communicate this to candidates will alleviate any misconceptions about their purpose within the organisation

This will be the first thing candidates see so it’s worth the effort to get it right. Ensure your team members define the role you’re looking for and the type of person needed to fill it.

Internally, job sites, social media, specialist areas?

Spot the stand out applicants

Spend valuable time with candidates. Preparation is key here to ensure you get the most out of the time. Top talent will be interviewing your company just as much as you’re interviewing them so ensure your team is selling the benefits of the role and organisation throughout the entire recruitment process. Expectations will be even higher in the 2nd and 3rd interviews and candidates will want more detailed information about career frameworks, progression etc.

Often consists of using a template that can be adapted

Onboarding starts here. Make an effort to make them feel comfortable from the moment they accept the offer.

Ready to transform and automate your HR Processes?

What’s the secret to future-proofing your HR applications so you don’t need to re-architect them each time there’s a change?

How can technology support your hiring process?

In many organisations, the hiring process involves lots of administrative tasks such as, typing up handwritten interview notes and manually inputting data. So much so, it’s not uncommon to see businesses lose out to another company that had a quicker, more streamlined recruitment process.

Just as consumers demand a more digitalised, personalised buying experience, candidates too, expect a smooth hiring process. As recruitment activities incorporate digital and physical interaction, the seamless transition between the two must be experienced by candidates in order to attract the best talent. As a result, it’s worth investing some of your time looking at technologies to help optimise the recruitment process steps.

For example, tools such as AgilePoint can help make the hiring process more efficient by designing electronic forms to capture information in real time, eliminating the need for pen and paper altogether. This helps make interviews more uniformed and lets you compare candidates more easily. Having defined benchmarks, guidelines and schedules built into forms ensures a consistent, timely and fair process, something which is a number one priority for candidates.

Learn more about the recruitment process steps and how to use technology to increase efficiency.

What does the perfect onboarding experience look like?

A good onboarding process, starting with pre-onboarding can massively increase the employee experience. This helps them feel valued and part of the team before they’ve even stepped foot into the building.

What is onboarding?

Gartner describes onboarding as the business process organisations execute from the point at which a job applicant has accepted an offer of employment to the point at which the new employee is productive at work.

So, when should you start onboarding a new recruit? Day 1, Week 1?

The onboarding process should actually begin on completion of the offer letter. Organisations can often miss out on an opportunity to start engaging with new hires early. In some instances, applicants accept the offer but receive limited information on next steps. From then on they encounter silence until their first day, when they turn up without knowing where to park or who to meet with. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

A good onboarding process, starting with pre-onboarding can massively increase the employee experience. This helps them feel valued and part of the team before they’ve even stepped foot into the building.

One too many problems when your new hires start on day 1? Check out how one company automated their pre-onboarding process to make sure they delivered a great onboarding experience.

 Why is onboarding important?

Essentially, the onboarding process allows new employees to immerse themselves in the company culture, helps them integrate and gain the right skills to become fully competent and dedicated in their new role.

From an admin and logistics perspective, the onboarding process permits new employees to have the right access to the tools and equipment they need to carry out their responsibilities, as well as setting up benefits, payroll and pension contributions.

Most organisations have some form of Employee onboarding, with some more complex than others, depending on the size of the organisation.

Just as the onboarding process differs from organisation to organisation, the time in which employee onboarding lasts also differs. It can often vary from 6 months to 2 years however, the longer onboarding lasts, the more likely you are to retain talent due to greater levels of engagement.

What does the perfect onboarding process look like?

You should begin employee pre-onboarding from the moment a candidate accepts your offer of employment. This means you can start engaging with them from the get go and allows you to reassure new hires they made the right decision by accepting your offer of employment. It’s also an opportunity to get organised early and provide a seamless first day experience; a desk, an email address, hardware equipment and access to the relevant software etc

Tell them you’re happy to have them on board. Get them excited about what the future holds. Let the team know you’ve got a new recruit starting as soon as possible so they can reach out personally to give them a warm welcome. This also includes getting senior leaders to connect with them.

Will you give them a buddy? How will you get them acquainted with people in different departments so they can start building their network? How will you communicate important company information such as history, vision, mission, values and product information? How will you give them access to company policies and procedures? Will you have an employee portal they can access before they start?

It’s vital you gather feedback on how new employees rated your onboarding process to help you improve it going forwards. What’s more, make sure you communicate the changes you’ve made to let new hires know you value their feedback.

Designing and developing an effective onboarding process will be critical to your success. If you’re recruiting many new hires or scaling up, it’s well worth exploring automation workflows to help create a consistent, timely and efficient employee onboarding programme

Often consists of using a template that can be adapted

Using tools to improve your onboarding process

Although most companies have an onboarding process, it’s common for senior level managers to have inadequate visibility of the process and whether it’s actually being executed correctly, if at all. This can ultimately lead to inconsistency across the business and reduce line of sight for senior leaders.

Companies investing time and resource to streamline and automate their employee onboarding processes see greater gains and lower costs in the long run. This is because they eradicate the reliance on people to filter information regarding onboarding. They use digital processes to reduce manual tasks and minimise paperwork.

Equally, turning the process into a positive experience by using new technologies for new hires encourages good retention rates. With companies losing on average 17% of new hires within the first 3 months of employment, the onboarding process is critical to success and once identified serves as a fantastic opportunity to improve employee retention.

Continue reading about the ultimate onboarding process in our blog.

Creating the slickest experience for your workforce

Although employee experience was highlighted as a major trend in 2017, overall it is still a relatively new term within HR. Traditionally, organisations would focus solely on engagement and culture.

Although employee experience was highlighted as a major trend in 2017, overall it is still a relatively new term within HR. Traditionally, organisations would focus solely on engagement and culture. However, as the digital landscape evolves, and transparency and personalisation become key, organisations are starting the recognise the importance of focusing their efforts on providing integrated solutions centred around the complete employee experience. Essentially, this is about bringing the workplace together through HR and talent management practices.

That being said, according to Deloitte’s recent research, only 22% of executives reported their companies were excellent at building a differentiated employee experience (despite 80% agreeing it was an important factor).

So, what factors could potentially hold you back?

Employee experience hasn’t been made a priority and you’re still relying on an annual engagement survey to collect feedback

Roles and responsibilities to design and deliver the employee experience have not been assigned

Siloed HR streams with different priorities are working independently and have yet to be addressed in an integrated way

You have tools and/or legacy systems in place which won’t integrate to enable a complete employee experience

Creating a holistic solution

Traditionally, HR teams managed employee engagement, culture, rewards, learning and career management, which had their own set of people, tools, systems and metrics as separate entities. While this worked in the past, companies have come to realise it’s not how an employee sees things. From interviewing, onboarding, employment to retirement, employees see their time at work as one experience which impacts their daily life.

As a result, just as product development, marketing and sales are having to evolve their thinking in terms of creating a purposeful customer experience, you as HR will also need to evolve in the same way to pull together the relevant components into one holistic view of the employee experience.

Thinking about automating your recruitment and/or onboarding processes?

Read how our Partner helped a customer turn their manual processes into digital ones, taking back days of their HR teams time and improving the employee experience.

How should you get started with your employee experience strategy?

Make employee experience a priority within your organisation and ensure the experience encompasses all the elements where the workplace is concerned

Assign an employee experience sponsor – A sponsor is vital to the success of the transformation. It’s critical to have backing to effectively execute and achieve your desired outcomes

Start thinking like a designer – get into the weeds of what employees are doing everyday and come up with more straightforward ways to work more productively

Create timely feedback loops – move away from annual feedback surveys and start collecting responses from employees in real time using feedback apps such as The more you ask questions to gather people’s views and the quicker you act on their judgements, the better your employee experience will be.

Interested in learning more about how to create a good employee experience? Read our blog ‘Creating a digital employee experience: what you need to know to get started’

Enabling talent progression

Prioritising career management is the best way to engage your most ambitious and valuable employees. In fact, research shows organisations providing meaningful career management are six times more likely to engage their employees.

So, what does meaningful career management look like?

Career management encompasses structured planning and the active management of an employee’s own professional career. Career management should comprise goal achievement, financial stability and personal fulfillment.

Career management has changed in recent decades. Traditionally, employees would look for long-term employment where progression stages were distinctly mapped and career paths were well defined. That’s not so much the case anymore. Career plans are not as linear as they used to be, presenting more opportunities for movement. As a result, employees stay at any one company for a shorter period of time, as a way of climbing the ladder quickly.

As the career management landscape evolves, employees value their progression more than ever. Highly motivated, talented individuals drive their own career advancement and strive to prosper. They’re looking to rapidly build their competencies and skill sets to work towards their desired objectives.

Whilst employees recognize career development is their own responsibility, they expect you as an organisation to provide the relevant guidance to support their development. As business-focused, talent-led initiatives continue to steer career management, you will need to redefine your career framework to create personalized experiences, aligned to your employees goals, aspirations and values.

Consequently, you will need to build flexible career management programs which can be continuously adapted and improved to ensure they’re always providing a good experience to your employees.

Using technology to enhance these programs can be extremely beneficial. Digitising aspects of your career framework, in the first instance, is a great way to get started. Automating various steps and activities such as timescales to ensure personal development plans are being reviewed on an ongoing basis, collecting feedback from employees and linking to performance management are all ways to create sustainable programs, conveying to your employees your dedication to their development.

Read more about the best practices for the transformation of your digital career management process.

What is a Performance management cycle?

A performance management cycle comprises of the following stages:

Laying performance expectations for individuals to help them achieve business objectives

Consistently measuring performance and progress of employees reaching their objectives

Providing training, higher levels of responsibility or incorporating new skills to help maintain good employee performance

Evaluating employee performance against the employees performance plan and assigning a rating

Providing employee recognition for performance and acknowledging contributions made towards achieving business objectives

Like many of the talent management components we’ve already discussed, the performance management cycle involves lots of processes and systems. Equally, it touches many different stakeholders who all have different needs, roles and responsibilities.

The employee expects the performance management process to be fair and consistent across the board. They expect their managers to support their development and ultimately they want to achieve their objectives and be recognised for their contributions. Forbes reported that recognition is the number one thing employees say their manager could supply to inspire them to do their best work. It’s important you focus on recognising contributions to keep employees engaged.

From a managerial perspective, line managers expect to be given the support and the relevant tools to be able to carry out performance reviews. In reality, this is not always the case. A study by CareerBuilder.com found that a huge 58% of managers didn’t receive any formal workplace training. Therefore, companies need to establish resource to support training and guidance for line managers, including sharing best practices on workforce management.

Equally, senior leaders need to have visibility that managers are consistently doing performance management reviews. In this instance, it can be difficult for them to have line of sight across every department. Relying on people to feed the information up can be challenging and unsustainable in many organisations.

How can you use technology to optimise the performance management cycle?

Performance management is an ongoing process. Most employees will have an annual review with quarterly and/or half yearly check in’s. This relies on managers manually scheduling review meetings with every member of their team. Automation tools, such as AgilePoint, allow you to design and develop a scheduling process, minimising the risk of missing review checkpoints. This creates dependable timing and eliminates the need to schedule meetings manually.

Eliminating tedious manual tasks

HR management is integral to any organisation, no matter the size or number of employees. Whether it’s recruiting, training or complying with employment laws, HR is fundamental to the running of your business.

Typically, a very process driven environment, HR departments have traditionally incorporated time consuming manual administrative tasks, producing lots of paperwork. As a result, your HR team isn’t as productive as you’d like them to be.

You might also experience other pain points, such as:

Clerical errors: Processing timesheets, calculating payrolls, managing leaves. These are all manual tasks that could pave the way for errors.

High workloads: Your HR employees spend many hours of their day completing administrative tasks. They still need to complete strategic activities so they find themselves managing a high workload.

Candidates receive a poor experience: New recruits expect a good experience and they’ll be disappointed if they don’t get it which, can impact your employee retention rate. Following up with candidates in a timely manner is a challenge.

These HR problems are common. You’re not alone.

The good news is there is a fix.

Process automation for HR is surging and will revolutionise how HR teams work. In fact, HR teams soon won’t have a choice but to digitise. In a recent study by Gartner, 88% of Chief HR officers say they need to invest in three or more technologies over the next two years to stay competitive.

Download our whitepaper and learn more about building future proof HR applications

What is automation for HR?

Automation for HR is the process of boosting efficiency by eliminating repetitive manual tasks. This reduces the time and cost your organisation spends on HR processing and lets your team use their time more effectively by focusing on strategic elements like acquisition of talent and employee retention.

How can automation make you more effective?

  • By accelerating processing and data sharing
  • By improving employee experience
  • By improving line of sight for senior leaders
  • By reducing risk around compliance
  • By minimising clerical errors
  • By shrinking paperwork

Examples of using automation to improve HR processes

Using workflows to manage your onboarding process automatically

Setting up scheduling alerts to ensure reviews are conducted accordingly

Eliminating the need for handwritten interview notes by designing electronic forms to speed up the recruitment process

Automating processes around disciplinaries, grievances, redundancies etc to ensure you comply

Here, we’ve highlighted several components of HR and outlined the opportunities to incorporate technology to streamline processes. We’ve acknowledged the need to improve efficiency, decrease human error and enforce best practices to provide a fantastic employee experience.

Continue reading about process automation in our blog.

See what one of your HR processes could look like once automated.

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