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Four tips to help HR Professionals to succeed in 2021

Updated: Feb 9, 2022

Although most of us were happy to see the back of 2020, the reality is that uncertainty will continue for some time to come, and the way we work has changed, perhaps forever. The HR function will play an important role in enabling the new world of work and savvy professionals will get on the front foot today.

Here are four tips to succeed in 2021 and beyond.

Revisit workforce planning

As an HR professional, you are pivotal in workforce planning, and your role has perhaps never been more critical in ensuring a strong future for the business. Now is the time to revisit your workforce planning and look at the existing skills you have in your business and understand where the gaps are.

Before COVID-19, experts were predicting that by 2025, 60% of the workforce would be transient, working in gig economy roles and working remotely and flexibly. There’s no denying that this has now been accelerated.

You can now tap into a workforce anywhere in the country or even across the globe, and while this presents challenges, it also presents a great opportunity. Now is the time to be thinking about the skills you need today and into the future and where and how you will tap into them.

Look for transferable skills and opportunities for upskilling

The skills your business needs were already changing due to the rapid pace of technology, and now, with a whole new business landscape, these shifts have been exacerbated. Reviewing where you can upskill or reskill existing employees and make use of transferrable skills will be critical.

We already know that Millennials and Gen Z, who now make up most of the workforce, are looking for roles where they can upskill and move on to the next challenge, so make use of this attitude to help your business grow from within.

Attract the right candidates

Once you understand the current state of play, you will have a better picture of where you need new hires to fill skill gaps, and it pays to revisit your recruitment processes. In particular, your job ads.

The increase in job seekers and the removal of geographic barriers has led to bigger candidate pools in many industries, but it’s also made it more important than ever to make sure you are reaching the right candidates the first time.

With so much uncertainty, hiring for transferrable skills and cultural fit is more likely to give you a better bang for your buck in the long term and this is really about getting the message right in your job adverts.

Today’s candidates value supportive employers and want to know what an employer stands for – beyond its espoused values. Your employee value proposition is more important than ever, and it should be tailored to the position you are hiring. Think about how you position:

  1. Flexible and remote working 

  2. Culture and values 

  3. Career development opportunities 

  4. Soft skills vs. technical, think critical thinking, communication, collaboration, agility – and how important these are to the business in the long-term versus technical skills and industry-specific experience.

Embrace technology to make hiring easier

The right Applicant Tracking System (ATS) can be a fantastic ally in helping you screen large talent pools. These systems are being used to great effect in the recruitment industry, and forward-thinking HR teams are starting to make use of them too.

Look for a system that allows you to automate much of the admin, reducing the time you spend on admin-heavy processes, like pre-screening and reference checking. This will enable you to spend more time in the areas you can offer more strategic value.

One feature to look out for is candidate self-service portals, where candidates who are interested in working for your business can update their details and experience, even if you aren’t advertising for a specific role right now. This means you can effectively create an up-to-date database of candidates who are keen to work for your brand, and when a new role arises, it can be your first port of call. These systems require little to no admin time for you or your team but can be a cost-effective and time-saving way to find engaged, qualified candidates who are already interested in what you have to offer.

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