The HR profession has evolved drastically over the years. HR professionals have seen a general shift from a transactional focus to a focus on strategic activities. HR also has an increased presence at the executive table and can truly influence an organization. In fact, HR may be more critical now than ever—indeed, not having an effective HR system in place may be the demise of an organization.
The quest to hire and to keep employees is at a critical juncture in North America: organizations that are able to retain employees will prosper, while those that are not will perish.
The statistics coming out of the USA are alarming. The Seattle Times states that American workers’ willingness to quit their jobs is at a 17-year high, and that “there are now just 0.91 unemployed workers for each available job, the lowest on record”.
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These statistics are alarming for any employer that is trying to hire or keep employees. The potential supply of employees is small, meaning companies will have to do things differently to be successful — and HR has to be at the heart of this activity.
The activities HR must do differently include the following:
- Speed up the hiring process. Would-be employees do not wait for HR to get back to them, employment candidates move on very quickly.
- Focus on turnover rates. Find out why employees are leaving and address the issues.
- Be flexible. Millennials and older members of the working population represent two of the largest available hiring pools, but both of these groups want flexibility in the employment relationship.
HR has always been the gate keeper for hiring, and HR professionals now have to find ways to draw potential employees in as fast as they can by offering competitive wages and flexible policies.
Research whether or not using applicant tracking software speeds up or slows down an employer’s ability to hire?
What can HR do to hire suitably qualified employees in a timely manner?