This article is part of our new State of Employee Feedback Series which will interview a diverse mix of HR experts and thought leaders with a goal of better understanding their perspectives on the current state of and future of HR.
It’s definitely a different world. We’ve seen recruiters in some industries - especially for hourly roles - struggling to simply get candidates to show up for interviews. So many formerly available hourly candidates have moved on to other industries and many are looking for remote work and finding it. This means that we have to work harder to recruit candidates for hourly positions.
I think most companies are facing chronically disengaged employees, many who were not accustomed to remote work before the pandemic. As HR leaders, we have to over-communicate, offer full transparency about leadership decisions, and give employees an opportunity to be part of this feedback loop. Communication should focus on things like psychological wellness and offering resources for employee safety and well-being. The communication should be two way, not just the executive team talking to the employees. Other ways of boosting engagement: transparency about policy, flexibility for working parents or employees who wish to continue working from home, and ensuring that your employees feel safe returning to work.
Give your employees the opportunity to contribute to the conversation around culture. As I mentioned previously, full transparency is necessary in order to earn the trust of employees and HR should be taking that lead. In HR, this is our default setting, so my best piece of advice for those in our industry is to train your company leaders on how to communicate openly and with empathy, how to listen, how to set an example for our employees when it comes to sharing information and being open about how challenging this time has been for them as well.
It looks pretty bright from where I sit. Over the past year and a half, companies have relied so heavily on HR teams to help support everything from safety protocol to crisis management to newly remote workforces. What we’re seeing today, the talent gap that many companies are experiencing, didn't come from a vacuum. If your company leadership takes employees for granted, you are likely feeling the fallout from that now, and potentially for years to come. HR and recruiting teams are central to an organization because people are central to an organization.
With a people-first approach, HR no longer questions whether or not we have a seat at the executive table. I’ve interviewed dozens of Chief Human Resources Officers and VPs of Talent - leaders in our industry - and these roles are becoming increasingly common. Additionally, SEC filing changes at the end of 2020 means that HR metrics are front and center for public companies and HR has the keys to all of that data.