At BR’s recent Working Romania, Aurelian Chitez, Director of Sales at Romanian Software, was interviewed by Aurel Dragan, Tech Journalist, Business Review Magazine, in a Stage Time Spotlight Interview: HR Talks with a spark, in which he talked about the main challenge for companies in their employer branding strategies, HR technologies and their impact on the new hybrid ways of working, and more.
- What is the main challenge for companies in their strategy of creating an employer brand?
The main challenge for companies in 2022 is attracting and retaining talent. How does this influence employer branding? The inconsistency between the image that the company creates externally through marketing efforts and the experience of the candidates in the recruitment process. For the potential future employee, the image of a company is currently designed from what he sees online and from the opinions of friends and acquaintances – because there are too few campaigns and offline events at the moment. Employers have quite a bit of control over their online image, but the challenge comes when candidates meet the first employees of the companies they apply for: HR specialists.
At that moment, the HR department is responsible for maintaining the incredible image of “a place you would like to work” in the future. And this is not always possible because their internal recruitment processes are long, complicated, and need to be followed carefully. If we add to this scenario many open positions, we understand why recruitment experiences are not the most pleasant.
- What can companies do to balance the expectations between reality and the employer brand?
Redefine their processes and standardize them where appropriate so that the HR specialist can have time to prove “from the first meeting” that they are as impressive in real life as they are online. Current HR technologies help specialists right from the early stages of the recruitment process and then streamline everything related to preparing the employee’s file and the onboarding process. By automating repetitive tasks, HR specialists can shorten the recruitment process and leave the administrative work to the software to focus on employees and potential employees.
Because the pace is changing, the technologies are changing too in order to meet the needs of HR specialists and the expectations of the candidates.
- What is the most significant change happening today in the field of HR technologies?
As this more flexible than ever way of working evolves, the next era of HR technology is shifting from employee management to employee control. Given the competition for great talent, it is essential for companies to put people at the center of everything they do to keep their best professionals. Managers need to meet their employees where they are and allow them to get where they want to go. And they can only do that through technology.
For two years, HR technologies have been evolving in the direction of flexibility. This is the real change that businesses have had to adapt to so that they can thrive while things continue to evolve. The flexibility of the companies has allowed the adaptation to work-from-home (in the first phase). Also, the flexibility will allow the rethinking of the ways of teamwork in a hybrid system.
Technologies are proving to be a valuable asset this time, too, because they allow all HR processes to be digital while going to the office can make up for the shortcomings of remote work: socializing, interaction, the need for breaks.
- Why does technology play a critical role in the hybrid way of working?
For HR professionals and managers, the right technologies can improve our ability to manage our teams, track their progress, and facilitate close collaboration, among other benefits. From the employee’s point of view, collaboration, performance improvement, and connectivity will happen more naturally with tools that allow the perfect integration of internal staff in dynamic teams regardless of whether the work is done from the office or home.
Organizing the workforce becomes much easier when you keep the Time & Attendance up to date in a few clicks, regardless of the work schedule their employees choose (in the case of atypical hours, out of sync with other team members). Moreover, digital onboarding becomes indispensable when you have a remote workforce. Self-service for employees is another handy tool for both employees and the HR department. Employees can be independent in the administrative tasks they have to perform (leave requests, updating personal documents, logging in time and attendance, etc.) without involving the HR department.
These tools, and many others, help create the most effective collaboration possible between home and office staff. By promoting clear and consistent communication between employees, technologies will help everyone feel part of a team.
- What types of technologies do the hybrid workforce require?
First of all, technologies that facilitate flexible workforce management. For example, electronic employee files and documents are easy to generate, access, and find because businesses must carry out paperless administrative processes.
A recruitment software (applicant tracking system) is equally necessary, especially if employers intend to extend their recruitment strategy to the national level or have rather ambitious goals to increase the number of employees in a relatively short period of time. An ATS does more than makeing recruitment more efficient; it is also a super helpful collaboration tool between the HR department and managers because it helps them work together.
Once recruited, candidates should go through an induction period. Digital onboarding is a feature we developed at the beginning of the pandemic to help companies more easily support a work-from-home model, but it is just as useful today for hybrid work. Through digital onboarding, employees get through the period of integration into the new work environment more easily. The software helps to monitor and manage employee induction as it has options for tests and questionnaires, tasks, trainings and 1-to-1 sessions.
In addition, companies need to develop how they carry out their Learning & Development, and Assessment process. Hybrid work makes it difficult or even impossible to offer training at the company’s headquarters to several employees at once. So, we need a digital solution that tracks the progress of each employee, regardless of the location they choose to take their courses. In the context in which this year we are talking more and more about “reskilling” and “upskilling”, we also need effective evaluation software to be always up to date with the progress of employees.
And, of course, let’s not forget the payroll. The new way of working and the flexibility have made part-time employees or employees with PFA a viable option for many employers. In a hybrid team where everyone works from wherever they want, at what time is most convenient for them, it is extremely important that the payroll process is accurate, simple, and as automated as possible.
These would be some of the most important. However, it is not a foldable recipe for the needs of any type of business. When we digitize departments and businesses, it is our duty to be creative in finding a mix of technologies that meet the real needs of the customer.