Last week at the 2013 SHRM Conference, human resources (HR) professionals gathered to share insight, best practices and case studies on managing the ever-changing world of human capital. Global workforce trends, including technological advancements, changing demographics and shifting employee values, are constantly evolving the nature of the workplace, presenting new challenges for HR professionals.
According to recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average worker will change jobs more than seven times over the course of one career and organizational life expectancy is less than three years. With the increase in the rate of job turnover, HR professionals are left with the question of how to either fight this trend to retain and engage workers or how to minimize the demands of adapting hiring to keep up with this trend – such as the time and costs associated with finding employees, training employees and getting them to productivity.
In the session "The Changing Nature of Work: Five Global Trends Affecting Strategic Human Resources," Gary Kushner recommended that HR professionals start by examining how work gets done, and by who, to understand their human capital requirements. Kushner suggests that a company's workforce should be made up of four groups – internal employees, outsourced resources, temporary workers and free agents. By understanding how a company's business needs translate into its workforce make up, HR can more effectively plan how to retain and engage critical groups while refining talent acquisition strategies for other groups.
As the emphasis on engaging and retaining employees grows, hiring practices are shifting from a hire-for-skill model to a hire-for-fit model. The takeaways from sessions at this year's SHRM Conference included three recommendations for HR professionals:
• Analyze the company brand to ensure that hiring decisions are consistent with the company's brand promise.
• Build ideal employee profiles based on current high-performing employees. Consider the best performers and look at how they get work done, how they stay engaged and other factors that make them successful.
• Create success profiles instead of job descriptions. While job descriptions focus on the skills needed to perform, a success profile takes into consideration the behavioral competencies and characteristics needed to ensure that a candidate will be successful in the role and within the company.
Supporting this trend, a 2011 Aerotek study found that companies that have high satisfaction levels with new hires have a well-defined recruitment strategy that goes beyond the simple screening and interviewing process. These companies take the time – prior to starting the recruitment and screening process – to define the job role and company culture, quantify hiring manager satisfaction, and implement these things into the qualifications for new candidates.
Change in the current state of business occurs faster than ever before. HR professionals that can understand, adapt and apply these changes to their talent acquisition and talent management strategies are going to be the most successful.