The concept of hire-to-retire seems like it would naturally be employee-centric: working with employees from the moment they’re brought on board to the day you cut the cake and celebrate their final day at your organization. But often, employees get pushed aside in favour of cold, hard numbers. But what if this concept could incorporate both the numbers and the people? What if, by doing that, these processes could become even more effective?
Let’s explore this idea a bit further. For anyone who’s unfamiliar with the concept, hire-to-retire covers every part of an employee life cycle with your company. For the purpose of creating process plans and strategies, the employee lifecycle can generally be split into 5 parts:
- Recruiting and Hiring
- Compensation / Total Rewards
- Onboarding and Training
- Employee Performance, Management, Development and Engagement
If you’ve been doing this for a long time, you’ve probably noticed that the underlying strategy is constantly changing. That’s because every step in the process is a moving target. Expectations of employees and prospective employees change over time, which means that your strategy needs to remain dynamic and flexible. Static and unchanging strategies will quickly become outdated – and at some point, unacceptable.
Technology has changed the way we access and interact with our employee data, and it will continue to disrupt how HR departments operate and ultimately how we all work. Of course, the roadmaps for processes like these have typically been data-centric, but the kind of data that our technology can process has evolved as well. 2018 will see a bigger focus on the people behind the data, leveraging technology to go beyond simple number crunching. Making that link between your employees and your data is how these processes can become more people-centric. HR leaders have indicated that candidate and employee experience are top priorities, so here are a few things we can expect to see when it comes to updating your hire-to-retire strategy.
The Applicant Tracking System (ATS) has changed the way we recruit. HR leaders are recognizing that recruiting is a science as well as an art, and they’re using their ATS in conjunction with objective data, like psychometrics and skills based assessments, to make hiring decisions. The problem is that while an ATS might make recruiting more efficient, some are difficult to interact with, time-consuming, and not overly friendly across devices. This affects the candidate experience, which can have lasting effects across your entire hiring process. To make this section of your hire-to-retire strategy more people-centric, consider approaching the recruitment and hiring process the way you do with the customer experience. Can submitting information become easier for candidates? If you use assessments, could they be integrated more seamlessly into the platform? Also, keep an eye out for skills-based assessments becoming more fun, with gamification making its way into the candidate assessment space.
The HRIS made onboarding easier, but Day One for most new employees still has them bogged down with forms to fill out and data to enter. How can these processes, admittedly critical to your overarching strategy, refocus on the people doing the grunt-work? In your organization, examine how this process can be modified to maintain its accuracy, but also help employees get up and running on their first day. Consider gathering this critical information ahead of time, or indicate beforehand which items they need to complete the setup process on their first day. That way, HR still gets what they need, but new hires can connect with their team sooner, and begin establishing short-term and long-term goals. Your HRIS can almost certainly help in this process, especially if all that’s needed is a simple change in timing. And many services offer guided online forms that can be completed anywhere from any device – so your new hire can get this critical information to you at a time that’s convenient for them. Now that’s a positive first step in the onboarding experience.
Employee engagement is one of the top priorities for HR leaders this year, but sometimes it’s hard to figure out exactly how to monitor and improve something that feels intangible, like engagement. What’s great, however, is that the learning and performance management systems you already have in place can offer insight into real-time employee performance. And with a people-centric focus on strategy, expect to see this performance data translated into real-time engagement data from employees. Plus, with an upswing in the number of organizations that provide immediate feedback for employees, it’s becoming more common to see the conversation about employee performance shift to a conversation about employee engagement. For years, HR thought leaders have been predicting the end of the annual performance review, and now, with the immediate data that our performance management systems can give us, you might be hearing that prediction more frequently. With more immediate feedback, it’s easier to identify and address gaps in knowledge and training. And as the data comes in, you might find that learning modules, specific and relevant development initiatives that are specific to individual employees, improve performance and engagement over time.
With a hire-to-retire plan that’s rich with data, HR leaders can transform their data-centric strategies into people-centric ones, leading to better hires, a more engaged workforce and more productivity. And as we all know, the more engaged your employees are, the better your retention rate becomes. And if you really nail this – well, you might literally see an employee stick with your organization from the day they’re hired to the day they retire.