Why is it that marketing departments can’t wait to get their hands on the latest cutting edge lead generation technology and automation platforms while, down the hall, old attitudes and outdated systems continue to prevail in HR?

By Susan Saldibar

Why is it that marketing departments can’t wait to get their hands on the latest cutting edge lead generation technology and automation platforms while, down the hall, old attitudes and outdated systems continue to prevail in HR?  

According to Marcus Mossberger, Industry Strategy Director, Healthcare for Infor, it is reflective of the reputation that HR has developed over the years. “HR is sort of like Legal. The referee who calls ‘foul’,” says Marcus. “We need to change that. We still need the whistle, but we need to use it as a ‘coach.’ In other words, we want you to be better, not just act better.”

Fortunately, a young, tech-savvy workforce is blazing a new trail forward; fueled by technology and new ways of working. And HR leadership is beginning to get the message. But they need to embrace it and move forward.

Marcus will be heading up a workshop at September’s SHINE conference entitled “Building a Big Picture Workforce Strategy.” Here are a few of the key elements of change that must be understood and put into play to drive a successful multi-year workforce strategy.

People: Getting the right “fit”

Today’s young workers don’t want to be managed, explains Marcus. They want to be empowered. That means, rather than jobs, they want experiences; and they want to find their “calling.” Can that be a perfect fit for the senior care industry? Yes. But determining which individuals fit well in the senior care space is part of what the new generation of HR can and should be doing.

Tools such as Infor’s own Talent Science, are being deployed, which can assess “fit” on a number of parameters; cultural, behavioral, cognition, etc. So, HR directors no longer have to rely only on intuition to make a final decision. They can get the added support of real assessment technology, developed by psychologists. And these tools allow them to do a deep dive into the personal demographics; in effect answering the questions “Who is this person? and “Are they a good fit?”

Determining “fit” is just the beginning of the relationship. Once on board, Millennials expect to interact on the job the same way they do in their personal lives. Remember, this is the “always on” generation. Social media interaction is a natural extension of their communications. And, organizations are beginning to grasp the benefits. “A decade ago HR was blocking FB, Twitter, etc.,” says Marcus. “Now they are beginning to realize that they can turn younger workers into brand ambassadors. Instead of blocking posts, they are glad to see them picked up by sites like Indeed and Glass Door.”

Process: From on-boarding to off-boarding?

It’s important to realize that the employee life cycle is different today. The average tenure for Millennial is only three years! Recognize that and plan accordingly, suggest Marcus. “What is the number one stat HR departments keep close watch over? Turnover,” he says. “But what if it doesn’t matter anymore? We know they’re going to leave. Why not work to get the most potential out of them while they are under your roof?”

Accepting a three-year turnover as a given, Marcus suggests HR departments focus on developing an off-boarding plan. The purpose, he explains, is to optimize the employee experience as they leave the community. Why? Because they are more likely to either come back or refer a friend. The days of retaining employees for decades is obsolete.

Technology: Build the foundation first. Then the rooms.

Technology, as Marcus sees it, is much like building the foundation of your house. “Once your technology infrastructure is in place you can decide what to build upon it,” he says. “And you don’t have to start out the gate with succession planning. With a strong tech platform, you can get other pieces in place first; a learning management system, performance management, and so on. Once you’ve automated those pieces, they will flow naturally into a succession planning model.”

Yet Marcus warns HR to use technology in a way that doesn’t drive the humanity out of human potential. As an example, using concepts like talent science, according to Marcus, can actually result in a more diverse workforce, by removing human biases. Infor conducted a study with 51,000 hires. There was a 26.61% increase in diversity in new hires using the tool. And diversity, especially in today’s world, marks a clear advantage.

Developing a big picture strategy means embracing the future. And the technology.

“We can learn from the turmoil of Brexit in the U.K.,” says Marcus. “There are those who want to go back to another time. We can’t. A new generation of workers, automation and technology won’t let us,” he adds. “We need to embrace the disruption, embrace the change, and use it to make all our lives better.”

And Marcus suggests there may be a name change in store for HR. “Instead of the Human Resources department, how about the Human Potential department?”

For more information on this workshop, please visit the SHINE website [need the link to actual session]. To find out more about the advantages of technology for building a successful workforce strategy, please click on the button below to visit the Infor website.