Welcome to another brand new edition of our ‘Must-Read Digital HR and HR Tech Articles’.
The top articles of September feature a business case for onboarding automation, an article on the pipeline opportunity for diversity in tech, a piece on the importance of hiring for soft skills, and a video with our experts explaining what excites them about Organizational Network Analysis (ONA).
I’m sure you’ll find a few pieces that you’ve missed and really should read. Enjoy!
[VIDEO] What Excites You About ONA?
Regular readers may know by now that I like to start our monthly round-up with a video. Our friends at AIHR asked several analytics experts what it is that gets them excited about organizational network analysis or ONA.
#3: How to Make the Business Case for Onboarding Automation
Tina Eaton makes a strong (business) case for automating your onboarding process in this article.
According to talent acquisition firm iCIMS, turnover is three times higher for new employees who are onboarded manually than for those who are onboarded using automated HR practices. Ineffective onboarding has been tied directly to the decision to quit in at least 15% of employees.
In other words: if you have 100 employees, that is 15 employees – almost a sixth of your entire workforce. Depending on their salary, the cost of these turnovers could make or break your profit margin for the year.
On the positive side, Human Resources Today found that effective onboarding can increase retention by as much as 25%.
Onboarding is the second-most impactful HR practice after recruiting. Over 80% of employees decide in their first six months if they’re interested in sticking around for the long haul. And nearly 70% do decide to stick around for more than 3 years – if they participated in a structured onboarding workflow.
As such, detailed, proactive onboarding – especially one that starts as soon as possible – is a major retention booster. Even more so in a market where top talent has their pick of employers.
Is your organization ready to provide that level of onboarding? To implement handy onboarding automation tools to create killer workflows that automatically instill company culture, encourage productivity, and otherwise boost retention from before day one?
The good news is, the thoughtful implementation of a smart, customizable HR automation tool can cut your current onboarding costs by as much as 80% just by automating the repetitive, mindless tasks you don’t fancy doing anyway.
HR automation also eliminates costs associated with human error and uses digital reminders to bridge the disconnect that can occur when other departments or individuals need to sign off on something or complete a task.
Digital reporting also proactively increases productivity and retention by identifying bottlenecks and watching for an overlooked training session that could keep new hires from being productive and happy in their roles later on.
In addition, HR automation to handle logistics – think placing supply orders, managing technology requests, and getting permissions set up – cuts onboarding costs in half per new hire.
Automated onboarding doesn’t only have to keep up with fast-paced businesses, it can actually be the fuel that empowers businesses to scale up.
Tina finishes by saying that less than 20% of HR practitioners are considered strategic partners in their organizations. She encourages HR professionals to make the case for automating time-consuming onboarding tasks, and finally claim the seat at the table they deserve.
Read the full article here.
#2: Diversity in Tech Across Geography: The Pipeline Opportunity
Diversity in tech continues to be a challenge. A common explanation is the pipeline problem: members of underrepresented groups tend to be less likely to pursue technical careers. But this alone doesn’t explain the full gaps we see in tech, Jared Valdron says.
Another complication, for example, lies in the fact that (technical) workforces are becoming increasingly distributed across geography. Different geographies vary in:
- The population base rates of different groups
- The labor force participation rates of different groups
- The technical working population of different groups
It’s exactly this variation though, that provides an immense opportunity to drive improvement in terms of diversity. Imagine, for instance, that a company knows that some of their locations have large populations of technical women that are not being fully tapped. It could then focus solely on locations with the best-expected results.
The pipeline opportunity describes how varying sizes of technical workforces across different geographies can allow companies to allocate their limited resources more efficiently.
To apply the approach in practice to any organization that is geographically distributed, one can go through the following 5-step process:
- Identify which locations have a much smaller percentage of employees from underrepresented groups than local workforce compositions would imply.
- Of those locations, find which ones have application rates of underrepresented group members that are lower than the local workforce composition would imply.
- Focus outreach recruitment resources on the locations identified in this way.
- Every 6 months, revisit (1) and (2) to see if improvement has been made for any locations.
- Follow-up actions (for locations with little to no improvement, change your outreach recruitment strategy, etc.).
This process can also be tailored to specific types of workers and departments.
Jared finishes his article by saying that the pipeline opportunity he outlined only addresses a small part of the problem of diversity in tech. But since there is a community of people passionately working on these problems, we’ll slowly, but surely, build a better future together.
Go here for the full article.
#1: If You Aren’t’ Hiring People with Soft Skills, You just Arenn’t Hiring Right
John Hollon gives his take on the importance of hiring people with soft skills. First off, what are soft skills? A definition that Hollon likes is the following:
Soft skills is a synonym for people skills. The term describes those personal attributes that indicate a high level of emotional intelligence.
Companies across the US say it’s becoming increasing y difficult to find applicants who can communicate clearly, take initiative, problem solve and get along with co-workers.
Those traits – often called soft skills, can make the difference between a standout employee and one who just gets by.
A LinkedIn survey among 291 hiring managers also found that 58% of them say the lack of soft skills is limiting their company’s productivity. In a Wall Street Journal survey of nearly 900 executives last year, 92% said that soft skills are equally as important as technical skills. And yet 89% said they have a (somewhat) difficult time to find people with the requisite attributes.
According do Hollon, soft skills don’t get much respect in the workplace (yet).
But the ability to connect with employees and get the most out of them continues to grow in importance. Especially when it comes to the Millennial generation as they don’t respond very well to top-down edicts or military style command-and-control management systems.
There’s a bottom line component to all of this too. Chief Executive magazine pointed out that 77% of respondents in a CEO Survey believe that the biggest threat to their businesses stems from underdeveloped soft skills.
John finishes by saying that if there is one thing Millennials have made clear, it’s that the ability to connect with people personally will never go out of style. If you aren’t focusing on soft skills in your recruiting and hiring yet, you better get to it. Because you’ll need them more and more as Millennials and Gen Z become the largest – and most important – part of the (American) workforce.
Read the full article here.
Alright, that’s a wrap. If you read a great Digital HR or HR Tech article this month and you feel it deserves a place in next month’s list, please share it in the comments!
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