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How Technology is Changing the Entire Employee Lifecycle

By Nikki Phillips, Head of People – Global, Hostmaker

Nikki Phillips, Head of People – Global, Hostmaker

With technology rapidly changing every part of our lives, it’s no surprise that it’s now helping human resources teams revolutionise their processes and strategies. At Hostmaker, technology is what enables our whole business and help us connect landlords with property managers to create a better experience for the renter and property owner alike, so we’ve seen first-hand how data can improve the consumer experience.

It’s this principle we’ve tried to bring into our own HR strategy, and in doing so we’ve now seen how technology can bring us better insights on our employees, and also better inform how we execute and operate our HR strategy throughout the entire employee lifecycle. With continued worries about skills gaps postBrexit, companies need to be competitive with their offerings to engage the best talent before others do, and while HR technology isn’t necessarily a key benefit to cite, it does help ensure a slick experience from talent acquisition all the way to employee separation. Here are some of the ways it has helped us at Hostmaker.

Recruitment

Some of the key benefits we’ve seen through HR technology at Hostmaker have been in the recruitment phase. We’ve been able to build our talent pools more smoothly, assign keywords against particular roles so that our systems can surface the most relevant CVs for us, and ultimately speed up our time to hire. We’re also able to consolidate data from multiple job platforms, reducing administrative work for the team, and in tandem measure the return on investment in the hiring platforms we’re using, meaning we can understand which might be most useful for us in future.

Onboarding and Communication

We’re also able to make the onboarding phase into Hostmaker a smoother transition. Our systems are easy to use for employees, following the visuals, tone of voice and more that younger genera-tions particularly expect from the dynamic technology they deal with in everyday life. On a day-to-day level, employees are empowered to get to know each other and better collaborate through our internal social platforms. Employees can discuss projects, ask questions, and also give kudos and shoutouts to each other.

These benefits echo beyond the onboarding phase too, as employees can largely manage their own data and continually update their personal information as required, while also helping the company reduce its paper use and improve security – a specifically important aspect in a post-GDPR world.

It’s critical that every company chooses a trusted partner for its employee data handling, where you can limit who can see certain information or do particular tasks and also ensure employees know and have access to GDPR-related policies. At Hostmaker, we continually review our data protection of both internal and external systems to mitigate risks as much as possible.

Training and Development

One of the other changes that technology has brought for all of us is a need to continually learn and develop professionally to ensure our skills remain up to date and change with technology, rather than being left behind. Learning is no longer just about compliance, and with the help of HR technology we’re able to track our people’s learning progress, assign training by role, and better understand people’s training requirements. Importantly, we also know that a ‘one size fits all’ approach doesn’t work anymore, and we’re creating the right L&D frameworks and platforms to suit everyone across our diverse company, from operations to technology.

Planning and Analysis

On a broader strategy level, the data our HR systems provide give us better insight on where to hire from, which industries and people to target, information on average length of service to help us plan for skills gaps, and an understanding on who’s developing quickly and is suitable for promotion as well as people who are at risk of leaving. With this detailed insight, we can do more strategic workforce planning and ultimately determine the best candidates for both internal and external hiring processes, as well as build on our overarching people strategy which covers not only talent acquisition but also retention and our compensation and benefits plan.

Best Practice

For us, bringing in HR technology to Hostmaker has greatly improved how we’re able to operate and support our people. However, there’s a number of things companies considering new HR technology should keep in mind before purchasing. The first is to do a good amount of due diligence and find trusted partners that can guarantee a seamless, correct implementation of software into your company. It’s also a good idea to find the systems that are best suited to your company by task function (such as payroll, L&D and more), and to choose systems that can integrate with each other, since many companies make use of multiple systems that can work together – we use three key systems at Hostmaker, for example. Finally, to make the most of HR technology, HR teams need to keep their systems up to date and prevent incorrect data from being entered, which could obscure any analysis, payroll and more. Factor these things in mind and HR technology will be your 2020 game changer.

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