How HR is Leading the Charge Into the Brave New World of Corporate Tech

HR and TechnologyAI Evolves From Sci-Fi Fever Dream to HR’s Best Friend

While typically the fodder of science fiction blockbusters, AI has evolved into an extremely functional and dependable component to every HR department that has chosen to wade into the AI waters. With a versatility that enhances many facets of recruiting, especially when integrated into existing CRM and ATS platforms, the whispers of pending technological advancements to HR are finally coming into fruition and the innovations are proving to be transformative.

A Recruiting Tool of Your Dreams

Although obviously important, recruiting can also be tedious and occasionally nerve-wracking. With the introduction of some straight-forward software packages, however, the more monotonous aspects of recruiting can be automated so a department can concentrate on other responsibilities. In conjunction with other applications, AI can help redefine recruiting procedures with the triple benefits of marketing assistance, communication enhancement and prospect screening.

RELATED: Keep the Best Employees! Boost Retention With Effective Onboarding 

A Social Media Specialist

Good or bad, an organization needs to actively market itself to attract top-tier talent. In a digital world, however, between old and new media, such marketing can be a complicated endeavor. To help HR managers compete for talent in a hyper-complicated digital world, Talemetry and other similar firms have created software packages that completely automate a digital marketing message so the proper information is distributed through the most effective platform at the most effective time. It’s an efficient way to use social media and an organization’s digital assets to reach the talent that can make the entire company thrive.

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A Reliable Digital Assistant

Mya, a purely digital assistant from FirstJob, just might be the recruiting tool an HR department can’t live without but didn’t even know they needed. Her intuitive interface can handle communication throughout the recruitment process, from emails and text messages to scheduling demands. Because she’s AI-based, the software learns to adapt and learn with continued use, also able to mimic natural human conversation so recruits likely won’t even realize they’re conversing with binary code. Since HR maintains complete autonomy over Mya, they can tell her how aggressive, formal, casual or lenient they want her to be, maintaining control over the tone and impression conveyed to recruits.

A Speed-Reader Like No Other

Like email automation, OCR-capable software for resume scanning has been in existence for quite a while. However, companies like Pomato are turning simple resume scanning into an infinitely more flexible and informative tool that not only scans resumes for keywords and phrases but also interprets the underlying contextual meanings. With this ability, HR can get an idea of the applicant’s personality traits, strengths, and weaknesses and not just strictly be relegated to what the resume says. Furthermore, Pomato can also help construct personalized interview questions based on its findings from the resume, cover letter, and CV.

Although AI and other innovations can still be intimidating to those unfamiliar with their practical uses, the positive effects they can have on HR should be enough to persuade even the most vocal of dissidents. Despite what popular science fiction might say, the practical applications of AI and related technologies, particularly when working in conjunction with CRM and ATS platforms, won’t be replacing humanity any time soon. Instead, they simply free employees to concentrate on other tasks, maximizing their strengths and efficiency.

 

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Recruitment Pros: There’s a 33% Chance Your HR Team Thinks You’re Failing

Recruiting New EmployeesIf you’ve ever felt your talent is suffering because of your recruiting and onboarding processes, you are far from alone. A recent study revealed that 33 percent of HR teams believe their organization is “not competitive in the battle for talent” because of recruitment failures.

The U.S. unemployment rate is hovering at low levels, recently hitting its lowest level since 2007. If your company is worried about the national talent shortage, know that avoiding some of the most common HR mistakes could yield a competitive edge.

1. The Wrong Recruitment Tech

Seventy-three percent of HR leaders feel they are not using recruitment technology appropriately. If your organization still scans resumes manually and uses paper checklists, you may have massive potential to become more efficient. From technology-assisted resume matching to automated candidate scheduling, smarter technology can significantly free up time for HR to focus on strategy.

Using the right recruitment technology is also one way to help your organization discover new talent pipelines, from social media candidate sourcing to benchmarking your organization’s openings against talent in your area.

RELATED: How Virtual Reality Will Change Human Resources

2. No Screening for Cultural Fit

Cultural fit is critical for successful employee performance at organizations of any size. Airbnb is one firm who attributes some of their success to hiring employees based on values. Experts recommend using personality assessments and “off-the-wall” interview questions to learn more about who your candidates are as people before making a job offer.

3. Not Setting Clear Expectations With Potential Recruits

Recruitment should be a mutual selection process. Onboarding, or a formal approach to acclimating new hires to your organization, can help your new employees succeed. However, onboarding is also an important way for potential hires to assess fit and determine whether they will thrive in your culture. Some highly successful companies use a “pre-hire orientation” video to acclimate their candidates to culture, values and expectations. Using standardized content, like a video, can introduce massive consistency in global or distributed organizations

Recruitment has never been an easy undertaking, and the nationwide talent shortage has only made it more challenging. Fortunately, there are a variety of technologies that can support comprehensive assessment and efficiency among HR teams.

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With smarter recruitment technologies, you can access new talent pipelines and tools to holistically assess your candidates. With the use of pre-hire orientation materials, you can also support your candidate’s ability to select the right match for their needs.

 

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How Virtual Reality Will Change Human Resources

human Resources virtual realityMost peoples’ experience or knowledge of augmented and virtual reality involves entertainment – for example, the Pokémon GO augmented reality app and the uber popular Epcot attraction Soarin’, which takes “riders” on a realistic virtual journey around the world.

Virtual reality (VR) has obvious entertainment value. And, as forward-thinking companies are discovering, it also has unlimited potential to revolutionize recruiting and training. Savvy human resources professionals are tapping into this technology to woo top talent, overcome geographic recruiting and training constraints, and cement their firms’ position as technologically advanced. The millennial and Gen Z workforces are drawn to cutting-edge technologies, and the “cool factor” of joining a workplace that embraces VR shouldn’t be underestimated. As the following five companies have discovered, VR is more than a gimmick: it’s a genuinely useful tool.

General Mills: Shows Rather than Tells

Most college students are familiar with on-campus recruiting events. Typically, they show up wearing their Sunday best and stroll from one table to the next meeting recruiters and collecting pamphlets or brochures. It’s necessary, but not necessarily exciting. General Mills has stepped up its recruiting game in a huge way. Candidates visiting with General Mills recruiters may be invited to don a headset and goggles and – thanks to a 360-degree GoPro video – take a VR tour around corporate headquarters and the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area. They feel what it’s like to be an employee and experience the corporate culture first-hand. That recruiting approach is certain to leave an impression – a very positive one.

General Electric: Virtually Takes Candidates Where They Can’t Otherwise Go

Like General Mills, General Electric has discovered the benefit of using virtual reality in its recruiting efforts. For example, candidates can don a virtual reality headset to journey to the bottom of the sea and explore the company’s oil-and-gas recovery machines.

Lincoln Electric: Reduces Costs of and Increases Access to Training

Lincoln Electric has discovered that combining traditional and virtual training is a win-win for the company and employees. The company offers students the ability to practice on a virtual reality arc-welding trainer in addition to receiving traditional hands-on training. Studies show the combined approach leads to better communication and significantly higher certification rates.

Boeing: Offers On-the-Ground Flight Training

Boeing runs an Immersive Development Center in which its engineers test new parts and products, and pilots train in virtual reality flight simulators. Additionally, Boeing occasionally invites engineering students to the center so they can explore the company’s technologies, thanks to VR. All of Boeing’s engineers began as students, and the company’s recruiters hope that visiting students will one day return as employees.

Fidelity Investments: Researching VR App to Track Employee Benefits

With a realization that many people are visual learners, Fidelity Investments has created a prototype VR app to explain employee benefits. Users who don the headset are transported to a virtual boardroom populated with employees. Some employees are green, meaning their 401K investment strategy is sound. Other employees are red, indicating that it may be time to revise their strategy. The motivation behind the app is that viewing data in a three-dimensional matter makes it easier to digest.

Clearly, there’s widespread potential for human resources departments to embrace virtual reality. Companies are already using VR to recruit top talent, train existing employees and onboard new hires. How do you think these kinds of applications will change the way your HR and recruiting teams manage the future of your company’s talent?

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How Labor Relations Knowledge Gives HR Professionals C-Suite Skills

human resources labor relationsHuman resources professionals know that union organizing presents a variety of complex challenges, and many dread their labor relations responsibilities. After all, the process of educating employees on the drawbacks of voting in a union can be taxing, and participating in contract negotiations is nearly always stressful.

However, there’s another way to look at labor relations: as a unique opportunity to develop strong skills in leadership, decision-making, communication, and collaboration through experience that can’t be gained any other way. In fact, some C-suite HR leaders credit their labor relations work as their most important development opportunity, giving them the extra boost in skills they needed to reach the top of their career ladders.

Increased Understanding of Business Strategies

The cost of labor is one of the highest expenses in any organization, and maximizing the use of people to produce the company’s goods and services is a core function of human resources. However, many HR professionals find themselves bogged down in the details of the HR function: managing payroll, performance, and interpersonal conflicts, for example.

For unionized companies, collective bargaining agreements bring focus back to the purpose of HR, as these contracts essentially boil down to an exchange of quality labor for specific compensation and working conditions. Experience with contract negotiations gives HR staff special insight into their larger role, as well as an improved understanding of business strategies that will optimize the company’s success.

Improved Ability to Integrate Labor and Operations Solutions

When word gets around that there’s interest in unionizing, HR personnel often limit their union avoidance activities to correcting issues that have cropped up with managers’ behavior, application of policies, and similar matters. However, to be truly effective in keeping an organization union-free, smart HR professionals examine all aspects of the business. From basic operations to compensation rates for skilled workers, they look into every available possibility for improving the work environment. This offers an entirely new set of skills to HR staff. Instead of restricting their work to issues directly in their span of control, they learn to develop larger, more integrated solutions that benefit the business as a whole.

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Enhanced Stress-Management and Conflict-Resolution Skills

Working in HR means you’re regularly dropped in the middle of intense, highly emotional situations. The best HR professionals can handle the stress of these encounters calmly, keeping their own feelings in check while de-escalating tension between others. When labor issues crop up, they tend to be some of the most intense that any HR staff member faces. Greater exposure to labor relations means more practice with this sort of intensity. Before long, you’ll discover that staying composed is second nature for you – an important trait in any executive.

Highly Developed Communication and Collaboration Skills

The foundation of any union avoidance strategy is increased communication, and when a union is already present, collaboration is key to maintaining a productive working environment. Working on labor relations issues is an opportunity to become more effective in both communication and collaboration – skills that are very much on display in leaders.

Of course, not every position has exposure to unions and their related concerns, but you can still work toward improving your skills. Participating in high-quality training such as the Union Proof Certification is an excellent first step in taking your career to the next level.

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Here’s How To Avoid Pay Secrecy Violations

avoiding pay secrecy violationsThe “war” on wage gaps is raging and for good reason: Large wage gaps have historically existed in the United States based on gender and race, specifically when it comes to women and minorities. According to research conducted by the Pew Research Center, black men have earned 73 percent of white men’s hourly earnings since 1980, while Hispanic men’s earnings increased from 69 percent to 71 percent of white men’s earnings since 1980. Moreover, women — regardless of their ethnicity or race — have historically lagged behind men, whether in their own race or not. Today, women across the nation still make 76 cents for every $1 men earn.

As a result of statistics like these, pay secrecy has become a significant issue with serious ramifications for violations. That’s why it’s vital to practice effective methods of training management and staff on maintaining professional behavior with regard to keeping pay information confidential, while still abiding by the requirements of the NLRA. Here’s how:

1. Put It in Writing

Before communicating what your pay secrecy policies are, make sure you have it in writing. It’s vital to give your management team and staff something solid and concrete to reference should there be any questions. Additionally, ensure that your content is up-to-date. By having clear rules written and current, staff and management can have a better understanding of the company’s stance on pay secrecy and how to act accordingly so that information is kept in a professional manner.

2. Communicate the Law

It’s vital that management and staff understand the law to avoid any pay secrecy violations. The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) of 1935 protects employees against pay secrecy and penalizes businesses that violate the law. While it may not cost much to violate the NLRA, a violation (and a history of it) can potentially push employees into organizing into a union and take up union card signing. Union avoidance is possible by communicating the appropriate behavior to have regarding pay secrecy and what the law covers.

Employees have the right to talk about what matters to them at work, including compensation, under the NLRA. Therefore, shunning employees for discussing pay is not acceptable. Incorporating a pay policy that penalizes your employees for discussing pay at work is a violation of the NLRA, even if they sign a nondisclosure agreement.

employee engagement
3. Listen First

Educate your staff that acting irrationally, such as terminating an employee, without getting the facts or going through a defined disciplinary process, especially based on pay secrecy, is not the appropriate behavior. It’s important that they listen to what the situation is first. Businesses can be forced to give employees that were wrongfully terminated the option to get their jobs back, and they also may be required to give them back pay for the entire time they were without the job under the NLRA. Therefore, it’s significant that your staff and managers understand the ramifications of violating the NLRA and what constitutes a violation. Certain states also have their own laws pertaining to pay secrecy, including Colorado, Maine and California, so it’s important to clarify state and local laws regarding pay secrecy as well.

Final Thoughts

Training your staff and management team to avoid pay secrecy involves communicating the correct information and having a plan in place. By taking these steps, you can be proactive and prevent your employees from being pushed away into union organizing.

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