HR Administration

Human capital management: Enriching your human resources

By Jana Reserva

Jul. 13, 2020

Human resource management is an ever-evolving discipline in business management. 

Dating back to the early 1900s, experts recognized that managing a workforce goes beyond carrying out transactional tasks and ensuring that there are hands on deck to get the job done. Gradually, more attention is given to understanding employee well-being and its importance in delivering quality work. 

One expert who delved into the study of the workforce was James R. Angell, president of Yale University and the Carnegie Corp. He started a joint initiative between the Engineering Foundation and National Research Council to propel a research movement that looks into the science behind workforce management through unifying modern engineering, labor management, and educational bodies. It has given birth to Workforce.com today and for 98 years, this initiative has delved deep into the issues within the workforce and understand best practices in human resource management. 

As market trends change and employee behavior and preferences shift, an organization’s human resources management practices should also pivot to meet these developments. Today, it is all about engaging the workforce to push the business forward and is a key component of business success. 

Human Capital: Investing in your organization’s best asset

Human resource management, as its name suggests, is an area of business management that ensures a holistic experience for the organization’s most important resource — its people. It’s involved with the following:

  • Recruitment: Recruitment is the core foundation of building an organization’s human capital. It is involved in identifying the needs of the company and the particular roles that can fill those gaps. Attracting, screening, and onboarding candidates are all part of the recruitment process. The goal of the recruitment process is to successfully find candidates whose skills, values and motivations are aligned with the organization’s goals and culture. 
  • Compensation and benefits: Compensation and benefits refer to what the company gives its employees in exchange for their work or service, and they include monetary and non-monetary components. A company’s compensation and benefits package includes an employee’s salary and government-mandated benefits. Other perks and incentives can be part of the deal such as insurance coverage, gym membership, housing allowance, company-sponsored trips and events. 
  • Labor law compliance: Running an organization is governed by employment laws. Human resource management is involved in creating company policies that comply with labor regulations. Labor law regulations vary per region and they can change from time to time. That being said, a crucial part of human resource management is staying at pace with these changes and ensuring that company policies remain compliant. 
  • Training and development: Training and development are focused on nurturing the potential of employees. Training refers to programs that are geared toward improving skills or learning new technical knowledge needed to perform tasks. Meanwhile, development is focused more on programs that enrich an employee’s overall growth concerning soft skills, leadership, communication, and adapting to certain situations. 
  • Retention and engagement: Human resource management is also involved in creating strategies to keep employee turnover to a minimum. Retention and engagement programs are proactive steps to ensure that employees are motivated to perform their best not just for a paycheck but because they have a clear alignment of values with the organization. All of these parts should move cohesively to ensure the best experience possible for staff at every stage of the employee lifecycle. 

Overcoming human resource management problems

Human resource management involves a lot of moving parts and these can come with their own sets of challenges. Here are common challenges in human resource management and ways to solve them. 

Difficulty in attracting the right talent.

Delays in hiring can be costly, but an unfit hire can also be detrimental to an organization. So how do you know a candidate is fit for the role? While skills and experience are important in assessing whether an applicant is qualified or not, it’s also essential to look into whether they can fit into your company culture. 

How to solve: 

It’s all about clarity and a good candidate experience. Create your job ad in such a way that it highlights what you’re looking for and what’s in it for a qualified candidate when they get in. Provide information about the working style and culture that you have in your company. This will attract people who both have the required skills and similar values as you. At the same time, this can also filter out candidates who have a different working style and culture preference. Another common challenge is convincing candidates who are highly skilled and qualified yet passive. These candidates are most likely in touch with a lot of recruiters and are considering more than one job offer. How do you stand out? Look into what motivates this type of worker. Investigate what that person is looking for in an employer and see if that aligns with your goals, culture and compensation package. Customize your messaging accordingly. 

Boosting your brand as an employer can also help increase your chances of attracting the right talent. According to research from Glassdoor, organizations that invest in employer branding are three times more likely to make a quality hire. 

Poor candidate experience can also be the thing between you and a quality hire. Communication is at the core of solving this. Make sure that all details and instructions are clear at every stage of the process. Timely feedback and response are also crucial. Take a look at your current process and see how it’s affecting candidate experience and employer brand. Glassdoor found that organizations that create a strong experience for candidates improve their quality of hires by 70 percent.

Dealing with too much paperwork.

Human resource management deals with a lot of information — from employee details, company policies and other essential business documents. And too much paperwork can be a burden, especially when done manually. It can take time away from more valuable tasks like strategizing and optimizing programs and processes. 

How to solve:

There are digital solutions that can remove the tedious task of processing paperwork. For instance, digital employee onboarding solutions help eliminate the long forms that new hires need to fill. They enable new staff to log in their information and upload important documents online. This ensures better accuracy of information, improves the employee onboarding experience, and allows for a better way for a new hire to spend his first day at work. 

Understanding and applying labor laws.

Staying compliant with labor laws is a must. However, understanding regulations, applying them in policies, and staying at pace with labor law changes can be very challenging. 

How to solve:

Implement a compliance strategy to avoid any potential financial and reputational repercussions of failing to comply. A compliance strategy is a set of programs and processes that’s geared towards ensuring regular updates and audits of policies and communicating any changes with staff promptly. Given the ever-evolving nature of regulations, it’s best to build a strategy and assign a working group to focus on compliance. Technology is also helpful in staying at pace with changes. For instance, some solutions automate labor law updates and ensure that these are reflected in the payroll computation. 

Retaining employees.

Attracting the right talent is just half of the battle. The other half is retaining them and keeping them satisfied with their role, especially those that are performing above and beyond. 

How to solve:

It’s all about consistent growth and learning. Employees are more likely to stay the course when they are given opportunities to grow and are recognized as a vital part of the organization’s success. 

Training and development programs are essential to retaining employees. But creating these programs is not a one-time thing. That’s why it’s important to have regular alignments with your staff. Regular check-ins can help you get a pulse on their current sentiment about working in the organization, satisfaction with their roles, and the challenges or gaps they’re facing. From there, you can customize programs or identify next steps that can help them stay engaged. 

It also pays to have a competitive compensation and benefits package. One of the things to keep employees happy and make them know that they are valued is by providing not just what they need to get their job done, but also offering other incentives that will motivate them to perform better and stay aligned with the values of the organization. 

Engaging talent at every stage of the employee lifecycle.

Human resource management plays an important part in engaging employees, and it is a continuous process throughout every stage of the employee lifecycle, from onboarding up until the time an employee leaves an organization. All of these stages affect culture, staff morale, and the success of the company.

An organization is only as good as its employees. It’s imperative to nurture and cultivate staff no matter where they are in their tenure with the organization. Doing this takes time. That’s why it’s important for human resources to have the right technology in place so that they can reduce time on administrative tasks and focus more of their energy on engaging employees.

Jana Reserva is a content manager for Workforce.com.

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