No trend watcher in the 1990s would have thought that we will still have applicants waiting months for an answer in 2021. That can be done differently!
In the last few months I have been really amazed about how things are still going in most companies. Old-fashioned application processes that are far too slow and frankly, do not contribute in any way to a qualitative selection and/or the creation of a unique employee experience. It is still the result of an administrative process from the 1990s. From an HR era without technology, responsibility for results, participation or business impact.
And that while the change in the handling and communication with customers since that time can be called revolutionary. Who could then have imagined our current world of e-commerce and customer relations? That if your washing machine stops working at 11 o'clock in the evening, you order a new one via your mobile phone, and the machine will be delivered and connected in your home the next morning. Nobody right?
Conversely, which trend watcher in the 1990s could have suspected that we would still apply to a job, in 2021 in the same way as then. That you still have to send a cover letter with a motivation, and then wait an average of 4-6 weeks to get back a formal form letter stating that you do or do not match some traditional profile. Nobody right?
May I ask you to reflect on the following 2 questions for 30 seconds?
Score on a scale of 0-10:
- How does your company deal with the modern way of communication towards (future) employees?
- As an HR executive, do you feel ultimately responsible for communication to your (future) employees?
What do I actually mean by modern HR communication?
- Be available 24/7, fast and good
Is your HR / Recruitment team formally only available from Monday to Friday from 08.30 – 17.30? Most companies are now available 24/7 for their customers, but what about the internal services? Why isn't it available 24/7? If you decide to be more accessible, the next question is, in what way? Only via email? You may be using a general telephone info line and forward it. Or do you already use a chatbot for the most frequently asked questions? Do you have a separate HR whatsapp channel or can you, as an employee, simply call or app HR management?
- Be visible online and active on social media
If your employees post online about your company or their work, do you respond in a cool way? Do you keep an eye on sentiment online and do you make quick and smart adjustments? Are you active on the same platforms where your people are located? Does your HR team shine online due to presence or absence?
- Individualise employee communication
What is your tone of voice? Are you still very formal? Are you businesslike and distant or do you use the language you speak with your friends? Do you still only use formatted letters and templates? Or can it also be more personal? Is your information 100% relevant to your recipient?
- Use video
Often and with short messages. Especially from the management. Less (text) is more. No manuals, emails, memos, protocols, regulations and newsletters. Keep it simple. Be sincere.
- Communicate proactively
When was the last time someone from your HR team sent a spontaneous message to an employee to ask how things are going? Just simple: “Hi, I was wondering how you are? Greetings Noor from HR ”. Or to a manager “Hi, how are you? I was wondering if I can help you with anything. Greetings Noor from HR ”.
Sources of inspiration for HR
As an HR leader in the year 2021, we should not accept that our HR teams still think and work as if it were the late 1990s! Customer relations and e-commerce will serve as sources of inspiration for HR in 2021. Why not apply the same principles?
Today there are so many great ways to create a fast and unique candidate and employee journey, and to be able to communicate nicely with your employees. You don't have to be a millennial for that. It's a matter of making yourself important, making it a priority and taking action. Lots of action!