Why 2023 is the year you need to fix HR

by Jody Robie, SVP for North America, Talent Works

Human Resource teams are overwhelmed, and it shows – there’s a new emphasis on delivering a superior employee experience. Line managers and employees now expect more on-demand access to HR services. The problem is organizations that used to be able to leverage referrals and employees for recruitment aren’t meeting their numbers. Something needs to change.

It’s telling that only 30% of HR leaders believe their current structure allows them to adapt quickly to changing business priorities. This new landscape necessitates new priorities: it’s time to move to the new HR operating model of tomorrow.

A new landscape sparking change

There are new processes, systems and employee expectations in HR today. We have new methods of working, the pace of business can be much quicker and there’s an increasing use of technology and automation.

As well as supporting the wider team, HR staff now need to be able to bridge any gaps between the workforce and the team members. They need to add more value by improving things like operational efficiency. Making changes that afford the team more time for creative and innovative thinking is vital for HR teams.

There’s never been a more important time to know who you are as an organization and be free to tell your story. Unattractive Employee Value Propositions (EVP) drive 65% of candidates to abandon their efforts during the hiring process and just 31% of HR leaders think their employees are satisfied with their company’s EVP.

The HR operating model of tomorrow

What does the HR model of the future look like?

HR departments often are split covering people and process. We have people leaders and problem solvers, usually running Employee Relations, Learning & Development and Talent Acquisition. These areas are focused on developing and supporting the capabilities of your current and future workforce.

The other core function is the HR operations team. Often led by a Chief Human Resources Officer or a Chief Operating Officer, this team is responsible for designing, implementing and administering HR services needed to address business priorities and organizational success.

Tying these together, and perhaps key to success for most companies, is the connection with the business. Human Resource Business Partners (HRBPs) boost confidence in both the business and the HR teams since they work closely together. HRBPs become trusted advisors, involved in managing operations and strategy, overseeing and championing content and connecting with the business beyond HR workstreams. As a result, they’re critical to the success of most organizations. They help keep all sides of the business engaged and supported. This is essential to both the HR teams and the company leadership.

The technology and automation impact

Technology and automation now play a hugely important role in HR. Around 80 million people in the U.S work remotely and in the UK, it’s around 20 million. Investing in video conferencing software like Zoom, Teams etc. can help your employees stay in communication. Cloud storage like Sharepoint and Dropbox gives your team a place to share and save content and work collaboratively. Shared technology allows companies the chance to have “always ready” documents to allow for collaboration in a new flexible workday. Whether you are crossing time zones or just personal core hours, technology removes the stigma of not always needing to respond in real time to an email.

Automation in HR can be used for a variety of tasks such as healthcare, pension, benefits signups etc. This can save HR staff valuable time while providing data and metrics.

By automating processes that typically needed processing for each employee, HR’s time is freed up. This allows them to focus more on supporting the team and being a bridge between the different areas of the business. Most importantly, it allows for more thinking time.

Restructuring HR to build – not just buy – talent

In addition to what’s already been mentioned, the future HR model requires you to have foundations for building, rather than buying talent.

To determine what you need to do, you need to think about your recruitment goals. If it’s to have the ability to scale, finding out what skills you have and what skills you need by using data, will inform you of what infrastructure you need to put in place. Following on from this, you can build a ‘skills hub’ with things like learning journeys and technology. This allows people to acquire new skills. Once this ‘skills hub’ is operational, talent can be grown from within, rather than bought in.

HR teams should focus on upskilling their staff in areas such as analytics, other relevant technologies and a people-first approach.

2023, the year to make it easier to succeed

Outsourcing can offer a fast, viable and cost-effective way of achieving change, but the likelihood is that addressing the four steps discussed in this blog will make you less reliant on external providers. You will have the infrastructure, the buy-in from your teams and the technologies needed to improve your operational efficiency. You’ll also have the necessary foundations to begin ‘creating’ the staff you need by training and upskilling people. You’ll then be able to select vendor partners for key areas of support (recruiting, benefits, training etc.) to support a stronger, more engaged internal team.

HR departments need to focus on the foundations that give the rest of the team some autonomy. Be sure that what you offer is meeting employees (and candidates) expectations. Provide the right technologies for your team to tackle current and future challenges, and ensure any new processes and systems are in place supported by proper training and onboarding. Once your employees have the relevant tools, technology and autonomy to do their jobs, success should come much easier.

Talent Works’ predictions for 2023

Here are a few key areas to focus on during your budget cycle and planning for next year:

  1. Hiring managers need to be realistic and honest about what they need as mandatory requirements for a role, and remove traditional requirements (i.e. only wanting Ivy League graduates) in 2023.
  2. Businesses will look to more flexible and scalable outsourced recruitment options. Many will do this for the first time.
  3. Company health and fundamentals will be more important to candidates than ever before.
  4. Organizations will need to ensure their employer branding is relevant to the conditions of the current/2023 market and what candidates want.
  5. Even if hiring has slowed down or paused, there will still need to be a continued focus on identifying and connecting with passive talent with a clear message of why they should want to work there.
  6. Smart employers will learn how to use automated tools in a complementary way to human recruiting rather than an over-reliance on unproven AI.

If you’re thinking about working with a provider of RPO or Embedded Talent solutions, we’d love to chat with you. With close to 15 years’ experience helping companies brand themselves and hire the right talent, our teams in North America, UK and South Africa work as an extension of your team. To find out more about how our flexible approach to recruitment can help you or to let us know more about your future recruitment projects, contact us.