The human resources profession has long required critical skills like the ability to communicate, negotiate, multi-task, and make decisions. While they are still important talents for HR managers and support teams to have, the demands of the modern workforce may now also require being accessible to employees outside of traditional business hours, being proactive about training and development, and approaching workplace benefits and culture in a way that will best support employee retention and recruitment efforts.
Many HR professionals now use modern technology to supplement their team's skills and optimize the efficiency associated with the many tasks that these teams now handle. Here's a look at some critical HR skills, and how technology has come to support these important facets of human resources.
Ensuring Quality Personnel Management
The people in HR are often the first point of contact a potential job candidate has with a company. Even if a company uses online applications, email, and social media as part of their recruiting processes, HR staff serve a critical role in whether a company can attract top talent for its positions. "HR managers must ensure they build a workforce of individuals who they can develop to grow within the company," explains Paychex HR generalist Mary Anne T. Sendra.
Technology such as the hiring services built into Paychex Flex® Hiring can equip HR professionals with the tools to recruit top candidates, and ensure a positive onboarding experience for new hires. These can be used in tandem with more traditional skills like communication and training, allowing HR teams to proactively work to retain quality candidates once they're hired.
"HR managers need to have a high quality of personnel management by way of previous experiences," says Sendra. "We learn major lessons from life and work experiences that cannot be taught in school. With the advances of modern technology in this extremely connected high-tech world, it's so much easier to communicate and brainstorm with colleagues as well as learn new and innovative ways to recruit, hire, train, and retain employees."
Staying Current with Changing Workforce Trends
Some companies may be better equipped than others to offer flexible work arrangements such as remote work options and flexible schedules. From a recruitment and retention perspective, HR’s ability to monitor and adapt to the desires of its employees and job candidates is critical to its ability to retain valuable employees and attract new ones.
The administrative demands that accompany functions like payroll processing and employment law compliance require specific HR skills and knowledge. In addition to traditional human resource functions, HR departments have come to take on an increased role in a company's strategic growth and long-term goals. Today's most innovative HR professionals are part of executive leadership teams and the C-suite; they're tasked with the complex role of people management and engagement. Modern technology that offers data insights makes it possible for these professionals to monitor trends in recruiting and retention, and provide the strategic direction regarding benefits and culture that can keep the company growing.
Deliver an Authoritative, Accessible Employee Experience
"Modern technology means we are always connected," says Sendra. Technology makes it possible for HR to provide employees with access to information when and how they need it, while simultaneously mitigating the administrative burden on the department.
A single, centrally located online HR management system like Paychex Flex® HR Administration makes it possible for HR departments to better manage data related to employees and their benefits. The self-service tools also empower employees to securely access their personal compensation and benefits information when they need it.
HR software can even be used to ease the administration of the termination process, ensuring all steps are completed including that employees receive important documents like COBRA notices and 401(k) retirement plan rollover paperwork.
HR professionals can have a tremendous impact on employee satisfaction, engagement, and ultimately, the success of the company. With the help of modern technology, HR professionals can now supplement traditional skills with tools that can help them keep pace with the real-time demands of the modern workforce.