During the span of their careers, Human Resource professionals don several hats, from recruitment to training to monitoring the performance of employees. They manage all the services, policies, and programs for the business. She/he is responsible to act as a director for human resources planning, consultation, and even help out with various operations for the organization. While organizations have been prepared for unforeseen circumstances in the past, the COVID-19 brought in new challenges.
Here are some basics of Human Resources Management that HR professionals should be familiar with and ways they could use these resources in the present scenario.
1. Recruitment and Selection
One of the key responsibilities of HR managers is to recruit and select new employees for a specified position in the firm. They must update the job descriptions regularly and recruit people based on what their job role is, and how they would be contributing to the company.
The recruitment process can happen online with the help of video calls and the reference checks can occur through emails and phone calls. Engaging with talent communities and jobseekers regularly can be useful for the process. It ensures that the job postings reach potential candidates.
2. Performance Management
After the onboarding process, the induction of candidates for their job profile, the workplace, and the tasks assigned to them takes place. The HR professionals assess the performances of the recruits to help them improve their productivity. Performance management helps the employees reach their goals by optimal utilization of their skills. Regular feedback might be a great way to encourage employees to improve their work performance.
In times of crisis, work division based on organizational, team, and individual goals can be helpful. Derived from the data, they can predict achievable goals. The company can ensure equal treatment for all by rewarding the employees uniformly as a positive reinforcement, or they could cancel the bonuses for cost-cutting.
3. Training and Management
Popularly known as Learning and Development, its collaboration with performance management allows the professionals to understand areas where the candidates are lacking, and help them improve in those areas with appropriate training.
Internalizing the business is not going to be enough for the employees if they work remotely. They must upgrade and relearn skills suited for the business as well as the new technological advancements.
4. Succession Planning
Succession Planning involves having a contingency plan in place for circumstances where an employee quits the job at a short notice. It prevents the company from occurring losses in such situations. It involves cases such as retirement, promotion, sickness, or resignations where there are key positions to fill in.
While several companies have been putting succession planning on hold during the pandemic, experts have been advising against it. It is a great time to re-evaluate the process given the remote work situation since the location is no longer an important factor. Instead of focusing on the skill criteria of the recruits, Human Resource professionals could also take into account the market results of their work.
5. Rewards and Remuneration
Compensation and rewards is a great tool of motivation for the employees to be consistent at their work. In a competitive work environment, awards work like a charm where the employees strive to do better regularly. Rewards in the form of holidays, bonuses, gadgets, flexible work timings, pensions, etc. are indicative of the company’s appreciation the employees for their exceptional work performances.
During times of crisis, being in touch with the shareholders, proxy advisors, and employees could help in effective planning of compensation and rewards. Strategizing with the management teams to monitor progress and finding solutions can help the business stay stable during stressful times.
6. Human Resource Information System
Human Resource Information System is a tool that can help HR professionals in reaching their Human Resource Management goals in an organized manner with less effort. These include recruitment tools like Applicant Tracking System (ATS), Performance Management System, Learning Management System, and a payroll system to manage and plan the functions mentioned above. It allows HR to make informed decisions despite their increased work hours and helps them maintain a copy of the data on a cloud.
Implementation of an HRIS platform in the company can result in work flexibility and increased productivity. It can work as an optimization tool for human productivity as well as the automation of HR activities.
7. HR Data and Analytics
HR Data and Analytics involve the use of metrics or human resources key performance indicators (KPIs)to understand how HR is contributing to the business, or how they are realizing their HR strategy. It helps keep track of the critical data of the firm. HR can understand the past and future predictions of the state of the business using HR analytics. These predictions can involve the employee turnover intentions, workforce needs, impact of the recruits, etc.
HR Data and Analytics involve the use of open-ended survey questionnaires for the employees, keeping a track of the language processing and machine learning algorithms on the company’s social media platforms, understanding the behavioural data collected through e-mails and meeting calls, and reorientation and training of employees. This data can be useful in evaluating the work protocols and introduce new processes to improve employee productivity and understand the financial metrics of the company effectively.
8. Auditing Wages and Hour Practices
One of the most crucial aspects of the Human Resources is wage and hour practices. One needs to work with the checklist provided for employees by the Department of Labour (DOL).Wage and hour practices audit can generally involve getting in touch with a legal counsel for an employee’s documentation regarding their job description, payroll, and leave policies.
While companies may be tempted to reduce the wages of the employees during a crisis, it is advisable to check the minimum wages allowed by the labour laws based on the quality and quantity of work put in by the employees. In situations where the company has to take such decisions, it is advisable to interact with the employees about the same. The employers as well as employees given the sensitivity of the situation should follow regular work hours in compliance with the FLSA.
9. Safety and Health Practices
HR professionals should pay special attention to the safety and health concerns of the employees. They have to stay updated with the new safety measures when the law changes under certain circumstances.
With the risk of infection from contagious viruses, provision for work from home settings and transport situation in case of in-office settings can ascertain a safe environment. Rearrangement of the workplace can ensure social distancing and the employees follow basic hygiene practices.
HR professionals work towards the smooth functioning of the business and ensure the company reaches its organizational goals. They consider the plausible challenges and other factors that may affect the organization and work upon solving them. They assess the work performance of the employees and turn their skills into assets for the benefit of the business.
The HR professionals now have to focus more on employee relations, providing a safe environment for the employees, and creating a positive work environment hereafter.