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How to Overcome HR Challenges

The most important part of any company is its employees. The task of hiring, paying and training staff falls under human resources (HR) departments. Recent developments in technology and social media have added new opportunities and challenges for HR personnel.

Possible Solutions to Common Challenges Facing HR Managers

Recruiting and hiring talent requires a large investment of time and resources from HR managers. Because there are no guarantees that a candidate will be the right fit for a particular business, small companies with modest HR departments often hire outside staffing agencies to ensure potential employees are qualified and can match a company’s work culture. The temp-to-hire arrangement allows managers to try out employees with less risk, possibly saving money, time and frustration down the road.

Employee turnover is not only costly, it can distract businesses from their missions and slow business growth. A new hiring trend called onboarding is seen as one way to improve employee retention. While companies have settled for handing out new-employee handbooks in the past, onboarding is a more comprehensive approach to introducing new hires to an organization.

A Gallup study compared employees’ perspectives on their onboarding experience with their feelings of preparedness and support in their new positions. The study found that employees who rated their onboarding as exceptional (5 on a 5-point scale) were twice as likely as other employees to “feel fully prepared and supported to excel in their new role.” The onboarding process, which includes an overview of a company’s job expectations, goals, objectives and insights into work culture, can last well into a worker’s first year on the job.

Other ways to increase job retention include ensuring workers understand their benefits program, creating a system to recognize and reward high-performing employees and tracking job satisfaction.

As they juggle resource-intensive tasks like hiring, training and record-keeping, HR managers still need to find time to train employees at all levels. Small companies often struggle with this task, but two common solutions include offering online training programs and using managers to mentor new employees.

New Challenges and Opportunities for HR Managers

Technology and social media are two key drivers of innovation within the HR field. While technological advances have added new challenges, companies can leverage those tools to improve recruitment, talent acquisition and communication strategies and practices.

A TechTarget article highlights how tools like social media and applicant tracking systems are being used to support modern approaches to “recruitment marketing.” In a candidate-driven market, HR must strive to actively attract top talent, just as a marketer works to identify and attract a target audience. For HR, this involves creating an ideal candidate persona and designing recruitment marketing strategies around that persona.

TechTarget also explains the importance of focusing on building a strong company culture. In addition to improving retention and the employee experience, a positive workplace culture can become part of the employer brand and reputation. How a company is outwardly perceived can impact its access to talent pools and quality candidates. Fostering this positive employer brand is an integral part of marketing a company as a “talent destination.”

Software as a Service (SaaS) applications have become nearly ubiquitous in organizational operations like HR management. According to BetterCloud’s 2021 State of SaaSOps report, the average organization uses 110 SaaS apps. SaaS operations are also becoming increasingly automated. In freeing up valuable time through automating routine payroll, hiring and other processes, HR professionals can focus on the human-to-human processes that matter most, and HR managers can take on more impactful leadership roles and responsibilities.

Similarly, the field of analytics has grown exponentially in recent years. Advances in hardware and AI-driven software allow businesses to analyze big data to make predictions and highlight trends within different industries.

For HR, in particular, people analytics allows employers to find insights into employee performance and recruitment effectiveness. According to McKinsey, “70 percent of company executives cite people analytics as a top priority.” People analytics can help HR management do everything from predicting the future performance of new hires to forecasting and preparing for potential attrition and vacancies.

The field of HR management is constantly evolving, spurred by new tools like data analytics and social media platforms. The online Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resource Management from St. Thomas University provides courses in business data analytics, organizational behavior, strategic marketing management and other forward-looking concepts. These studies prepare students to overcome a wide range of HR challenges, from forecasting staffing needs and effectively recruiting new talent to fostering positive workplace cultures and employer-employee relationships.

Students can finish this accelerated degree program in as few as 12 months.

Learn more about the STU online MBA with a concentration in Human Resource Management program.

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