Guest Blog By Maria Dillon, Senior HR EMEA Manager at DocuSign
It is predicted that millennials will make up over a third of the global workforce by 2020. With the majority of these young professionals embarking on their careers straight out of university and apprenticeship programmes, they are ambitious, digitally-savvy and keen to move up the corporate ladder fast. That said, it’s important to remember that everyone is an individual, and prospective employees shouldn’t be looked at as generational stereotypes.
But, as the war for talent grows increasingly competitive, the HR department is under more pressure than ever to deliver a smooth and fully digitised service to attract this new workforce. With today’s digital landscape enabling immediate access to online platforms at the touch of a button, the need for speed is particularly prevalent amongst millennials. As a result, prospective employees from this generation are unlikely to wait around for offer letters or contracts tied up in mundane paperwork.
Unfortunately, some HR departments are still lagging behind in their digital transformation projects, which often means teams are operating at a significantly slower pace than more digitally mature organisations. That’s according to Capgemini Consulting, which found 75% of HR executives and talent management leaders believe their organisations are lagging behind with respect to innovation. Therefore, attracting and retaining the best employees in today’s digital landscape means HR teams must have access to the most efficient digital tools. From reducing the time spent on processing contracts through to sending digital offers, utilising the latest technology is the boost that HR departments desperately need in this talent war.
Say goodbye to paperwork
One of the most common HR pain points and the biggest frustration applicants face is the onboarding process. For HR teams, the time spent emailing, posting, faxing and writing offer letters can take a substantial chunk of resources – especially when forms are filled out incorrectly or errors are made. When digitally savvy millennials are faced with cumbersome paper-based forms and a back-and-forth process with HR teams, it can create a negative first impression, or even put them off the company entirely. If joining a business is time-consuming and inefficient then candidates will likely consider working there to be the same.
A simple measure to reduce unnecessary paper processes is to take the operation online. With an e-signature solution, HR departments can reduce 95 percent of contract processing time from 3 weeks to 1 day. However, speed is not the only benefit of taking this process online, it can also help reduce errors and delays when paperwork can be lost in the post.
Are you digitally mature?
If HR departments are to retain the best talent, they must recognise the value of establishing digital maturity within their organisation. The advantages of deploying digital tools that help HR improve employee satisfaction extend far beyond the onboarding process – they should stay with an employee throughout their tenure.
For example, technology that allows HR to monitor the reviewal process and partner with the business to ensure regular feedback is given to employees – whether that be through an annual review or other regular feedback tools – is invaluable for maintaining employee satisfaction. This also provides the ability to map out whether the management team is providing reviews and development schemes in a timely manner. This is invaluable for maintaining employee satisfaction, because it allows HR teams to proceed with any necessary actions before employees become disillusioned, or think that managers aren’t providing them with the support they need to progress in their career.
Getting on the front foot
There is more to HR than just contract signings and filing paperwork. If digital tools are implemented across the industry, HR departments can dedicate much more time to developing new schemes and strategies to support employees’ career development and experiences. Developing employees’ skills with training and learning opportunities not only benefits them, but the organisation as a whole. After all, increased motivation and engagement enhances productivity levels.
Acknowledgment that there is no one-step approach that works for all employees means that HR departments needs to be able to adapt and tailor its employee engagement strategy, and with the extra time gained from the use of digital tools, the department has the potential to explore new ideas and invest in skills to provide support for all employees.
It is clear that the latest digital tools can put HR departments at the centre of improving employee retention strategies and driving an entire organisation forward. For this reason, it is time that HR embraces digital transformation not only for its current employees, but for the next generation ready to dominate the global workforce. Our digital landscape doesn’t wait for anyone, you either catch up or stay behind.