HR at the Helm

In a newly remote world, HR technology is enabling hiring teams to be more strategic.

By Marta Chmielowicz

In a moment of nationwide uncertainty, HR leaders are stepping up to provide safety and stability in their organizations. From communicating health and safety guidelines in the midst of a government-mandated shutdown to managing a newly-hybrid workforce, they have had to be more agile than ever, responding to unprecedented market conditions with new business models and talent strategies.

“HR has taken on an increasingly important role,” says Brian Knapp, head of MSP programs at Sevenstep. “HR leaders have essentially become the spokespeople for company health and safety communication, and a conduit between the company’s internal and external audiences. Increasingly, going forward, they have to be able to share the story of how their company handled the challenges of the past six months with future talent.”

As the role of HR expands, the necessity for technologies that reduce administrative burden while making people processes more seamless, user-friendly, and—most importantly—virtual are on the rise. Communication tools like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Slack have become ubiquitous in the post-COVID-19 reality—and Knapp says the switch to virtual is here to stay.

“In our remote world, tech has become paramount,” says Knapp. “The old method will never come back—it’s all about leveraging tech to make it easy to conduct business. Everything should be automated, effortless, and seamless to make up for the shortfalls that exist in not being able to meet someone face to face.”

According to Knapp, the push to virtual technologies is transforming both back-end and front-facing hiring approaches. On the back end, systems and technologies are being enhanced to better source, evaluate, vet, and interview candidates, with easier access to data driving more strategic hiring decisions.

The candidate experience is also top of mind; Technology is being adopted to enhance the remote hiring process, with touchless recruitment tools giving applicants the ability to apply quickly and interact more consistently with hiring teams. Communication is a continued priority as HR leaders lean on technology to overcome the limitations of a fully remote hiring process.

“We’re seeing HR adopt and leverage technology to increase communications across multiple channels,” explains Knapp. “With the lack of in-person interaction, there’s a need to overcommunicate through all the available mechanisms. This isn’t just about getting through the pandemic—this is the new normal and HR is laying the groundwork for the future. It is an opportunity to look at current processes and evaluate and adopt strategies to make TA more communicative with candidates or constituents.”

Doing virtual hiring well will deliver a competitive advantage—and not just among younger generations, Knapp says. He notes that even Gen X employees are now relying on mobile capabilities in their job search. At the end of the day, adopting a virtual hiring process positions companies as forward-thinking employers of choice and allows talent acquisition teams to be more productive, with time to focus on what they do best: making meaningful connections.

Posted September 17, 2020 in Enabling Technology

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