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Attract and Retain Talent: Are Your HR Teams Ready?

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To recruit and engage the best talent, you need a strategy that goes beyond simply posting job offers.

Are your Human Resources (HR) teams ready to meet the challenges of a changing workplace?

In the past, the role of Human Resources teams was largely confined to hiring procedures and all transactional aspects of the employee lifecycle. No longer.

Today, these experts must embrace a much broader vision of the organization’s needs, and find ways of adapting employees’ working conditions to these new standards.

Increase HR’s role in your recruitment strategy

To recruit, develop and retain a skilled workforce in today’s critical labour shortage, you must set up a strategic plan and make sure you support it with HR programs, projects and processes.

This plan must take into account all these new challenges, including inflation (and the rising cost of wages), changes in work-life balance, new organizational methods, and the extensive integration of information technology and artificial intelligence into workers’ lives.

Transform your HR team to adapt to new needs

Your Human Resources team has a strategic role to play in supporting your organization in all aspects of recruitment and retention, including employee integration, a corporate culture that fosters well-being, and occupational health and safety.

Yet, HR teams are often predominantly made up of support staff. This makes it crucial to transform the HR function.

Tackle your HR transformation in five areas

To implement all the components supporting the transformation of roles, you must assess five key areas.

1- Repositioning of the HR partner’s role

The HR team of experts must play a central role in both strategic development and day-to-day operations.

First and foremost, you have to identify which of your organization’s strategic activities would benefit from the input of an HR business partner: you may do this through interviews, surveys, performance indicators, and so on.

So, how can your organization benefit from the support of more strategic players? The Ulrich model identifies and categorizes HR employees’ activities into four main roles:

  • The Administrative Expert, who ensures that HR activities, such as payroll and staffing, are thoroughly and efficiently implemented;
  • The Employee Champion, who aims to raise employee engagement in the business and handles matters such as union and management relations, performance assessments, and the management of health and safety files;
  • The Change Agent, who helps employees and management embrace organizational change;
  • The Strategic Partner, who aligns with the organizational vision and makes it a reality by implementing HR best practices.

2- Review of the HR function’s structure

Once you’ve identified the activities that are most valued and useful to your organization, and those that need to be optimized, you need to think about the structure that will support the necessary changes. For example:

  • Do positions meet the organization’s business needs?
  • Are there enough positions to meet current demands and issues?
  • How can the HR function be professionalized to enable HR to fulfill its role to the utmost?

3- Review of HR business process automation

Once you’ve assessed the above factors, you should determine how to limit your HR staff’s administrative tasks to enable them to focus on more strategic, value-added tasks.

Simplifying processes (steps, number of actors, clarity) and automating them (with tools, software, etc.) will greatly benefit your analysis. Also, to prevent conflicts, it’s essential to clarify everyone’s roles and responsibilities.

4- Managers’ ownership of HR strategies

The HR function is one of the most cross-cutting in any organization. Everyone is affected by HR management because everyone, without exception, is an employee.

Middle managers are the key to ensuring that the organization’s HR programs and management philosophy are practised on a daily basis. They must therefore be properly trained, equipped and supported to assume their role in a way that is fully consistent with organizational objectives.

5- Enhanced employee experience

It is possible to assess your employees’ satisfaction with various HR management aspects directly related to the above points. Do employees feel a sense of belonging within their team? Do they have confidence in the organization and their manager? How do they feel about the work climate?

To help you put the right team together, it may be a good idea for your business to call on the services of an external expert who can guide you through the various stages of your journey. Using the high-performance organization model, as well as surveys, team interviews and focus groups, this expert will provide you with a precise context-specific diagnosis and improvements that will lead to building and implementing a strategic action plan.

This article was written in collaboration with Martine Haines, Director, Management Consulting, at Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton.

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