By Ronnie Toerien, HCM Sales Dev & Strategy Leader – Africa
When it comes to human resources, South African organisations face a challenge: despite unemployment being at 29% in the second quarter of 2019, the ability to attract and retain skilled staff remains exceptionally difficult. To exacerbate this challenge, as organisations embark on large-scale projects to deliver digital innovation, skill requirements are constantly evolving. This creates pressure on organisations’ training and development capabilities, as well as increasing the complexity of workforce planning. However, mastering these challenges is critical to the success of the overall business; improving customer experience is a key priority for many organisations, and the employees are the ultimate custodians of that experience. Therefore, those who can navigate these waters are ultimately the beneficiaries of a significant competitive advantage. Based on this, many leaders ensure that they leverage all the capability of the modern Human Capital Management (HCM) platform as a key contributor to their success.
Improving the ability to attract candidates through expanded reach
Organisations are reporting increased competition for skilled staff, regardless of sector. This problem makes every received CV for a skill-intensive job more valuable, but it also increases the opportunity costs associated with a candidate who cannot deliver. Modern HCM platforms improve the performance of organisations in this critical area by providing tight integration with platforms like LinkedIn and by enabling employee referrals, while ensuring that all sourcing campaigns can be managed centrally, through a platform that is designed with the candidate in mind.
The majority of applicants today are millennials who do not want to spend time applying, so this ability to “parse” data from either a LinkedIn profile or electronic CV substantially reduces the time spent applying for a position while getting the maximum amount of information needed. With Modern HCM platforms being mobile-enabled, applications can also be sent directly off a smartphone or tablet. This is done to ensure that the candidate remains engaged throughout the recruitment process. These features effectively expand the reach of the HR organisation in sourcing talent, without requiring a stepped increase in headcount. An additional benefit of the integration to a platform like LinkedIn also allows organisations to use their job profiles to find suitable candidates.
Artificial intelligence in the recruitment process
One of the key challenges faced by HR leaders is related to scale. If the recruitment campaign is successful, the next hurdle is trying to ascertain the quality of the candidate being hired. With a modern HCM platform, technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) can be brought to bear in this critical stage of the recruitment process. AI can prioritize candidates on factors well beyond the simple job profile, including criterion like cultural fit to the organization, expected length of tenure or propensity to accept. These technologies can ensure that the hiring manager has as much information as possible on which to base their decision and is therefore empowered to choose the best candidate.
Blockchain capability can ensure that education, qualifications and experience are validated and Digital Assistants can help a candidate find relevant information about either the job being applied for or alternatives that they may be suitable for.
Brilliant staff departures affect everyone
The ongoing experience an employee has within an organisation will determine their engagement. This experience actually starts prior to employment with the onboarding process. The experience a successful candidate has prior to starting, on the first day at the job and possibly the first month in the role frequently determines whether a new hire will remain with the organisation beyond the first few months or not.
Because the competition for skilled staff is so fierce, once a quality candidate has been placed in the organisation, HR leaders focus on ensuring that he or she continues to have the best experience possible. Firstly, a modern HCM platform deals with the simple tasks quickly and easily: Basic HR questions can be automatically answered using chatbots, meaning that employees get answers quickly. Then, they ensure that employees can engage in a process of career planning, identifying the next step in their career along with highlighting any areas of development to ensure success in that next step.
Change is endemic in today’s business world, and the ability of employees to see a future for themselves (and plan for it) is critical to the success of the organisation. Of course, this is supported by a learning platform that is responsive to both employees’ needs and the needs of the organisation. These learning platforms also deliver learning in the way that employees prefer to learn, typically through YouTube like quick videos which can be embedded directly into business processes to provide “just-in-time” learning. This is all delivered in a single place, so employees need not become HR experts themselves to understand how to leverage these processes.
Against the backdrop of flagging GDP growth, competition among South African enterprises is fierce. To thrive in this context, many organisations are looking to deliver experiences that will set them apart from the pack and ensure customer loyalty. To succeed in this and other endeavours, organisations need to ensure that they can attract, recruit, and retain the best candidate for any given job. And this is where a modern HCM platform comes in — as the essential tool the HR toolbox.
 Source: StatsSA, Quarterly Labour Force Survey Q1 2019, http://www.statssa.gov.za/publications/P0211/P02111stQuarter2019.pdf
2 IDC South Africa Line of Business Survey 2019, #Q35, HR Respondents, n=59