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HR Topics Trending in September 2022

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September 2022 HR trends

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This month, trends are shifting to assess ways to hire and retain workers through unique methods. Recruiters have to stand out from the rest, and so trends we are seeing include hyper-personalisation to attract top talent. Once hyper-personalised outreach is successful, conversation-style interviews are taking off.

With remote and hybrid work now normalised, we’re also seeing an increasing focus on the wellbeing and connection of employees when working from a distance. The human element is still so vital. 

However, supporting those workers who come in daily is also important. Attrition is on the rise for those like health care professionals and supply chain workers who turned up every day throughout the pandemic. If these people make up your workforce, how can you support them?

Keep reading to understand the top five HR and recruitment trends for September 2022.  

Trend #1: Quality not Quantity OUtreach

#1 Hyper-Personalisation: Quality not Quantity Outreach 

While the talent shortage can make recruiters desperate for talent, the spray and pray approach is no longer effective. In an increasingly personalised world, candidates want to feel that their skills and experience are put to good use in well-suited roles.

Quick tips for better outreach: avoid generic phrases, use specific examples, try video

This blog by Firefish, featured on Recruiting Brief, offers some quick tips to make your outreach more human. 

  1. Avoid generic phrases: Instead of using words like “You’re the ideal fit”, show that you’ve done your research on a candidate. 
  2. Use specific examples: Draw connections between their experience and the role on offer. What will make them love the role you have?
  3. Try a video: Studies have shown that video outreach receives three times higher engagement. 

At Xref, once we find an ideal candidate, we tailor an open role to fit their interests and skill set. This helps our people feel seen and valued.  

Trend #2: Conversation Style Interviews

#2 Conversation-Style Interviews: Know your Candidate Better

We’ve all had bad interviews. You’re sitting opposite the hiring manager, and it feels like an interrogation - quick-fire questions coming at you. 

So, what does a good interview look like? The latest interviewing trend revealed by LinkedIn’s Talent Blog explores conversation-style interviews that help you dive deeper into finding the right candidate for you. 

Conversation interviews “unfold like a dialogue, a two-way exchange of information that’s relaxed, focused, and insightful.”

It can reveal strengths and weaknesses as well as encourage interest in your company. It can be hard for some candidates to open up during an interview due to nerves, but good conversation skills are highly sought after in this current job market as recruiters' interest in soft or power skills are on the rise.

The article reveals four tips for having better conversations with candidates. 

4 tips for better conversations
  1. Listen more than you talk. The article shares how studies have revealed top-performing salespeople have a talk-to-listen ratio of 46:54. By listening, you let your candidate know they're being heard and appreciated.
  2. Ask follow-up questions: If you’re listening, you know where and how to probe to get more information. Follow-up questions also help keep the conversation flowing. 
  3. Ask open-ended questions: An oldie but a goodie. Closed questions are conversation killers. Open-ended questions give you more insight to the candidate - their motivations, hopes, concerns, problem-solving strategies and more to help you gain a more complete picture of the type of person you’re recruiting.
  4. Have a sense of humour: You don’t need to tell jokes to keep the conversation light. In fact, a poorly executed or inappropriate joke may negatively impact your interview. However, where relevant, a real-life story can help make a connection with your candidate. It can also help lighten the mood for nervous candidates and help conversation flow easier. 

When our Senior PR and Communications Specialist, Annalise Richardson, interviewed at Xref with Karina Guerra, GM of Customer Intelligence and Marketing, Annalise was thrilled that the interview took on a conversation style. 

“I felt like I was chatting with a colleague, more than interviewing for a role, which put me at ease. I appreciate that Karina listened to what I had to say and asked relevant follow-up questions. As a result, I ended up in a role tailored to my interests and strengths.”
Trend 3: Connection versus connectivity

#3 Connection vs Connectivity: Assessing your Employees’ Connection with Others and their Work

Last month we spoke about Chief Wellness Officers. This month, wellbeing in a hybrid workplace is still very much on trend. In September, Australia recognises R U OK? Day - a day to remind us to check in on our colleagues, friends and family to open up honest conversations and seek support for mental health where needed. 

As such, we’re seeing plenty of content around workplace wellbeing and HR involvement. This article by SpiceWorks explores how we are increasingly connected to one another through technology, but do we actually achieve human connection? 

More than ever before, despite being continually switched on, employees are reporting increasing levels of loneliness. “While flexible working brings many benefits, there is one indisputable impact; more people feel lonely at work than ever before.”

Isolation at home, lack of connection to colleagues and/or company culture and lack of visibility and recognition all contribute to feeling lonely at work. The impact of lonely staff can increase turnover and decrease productivity. So how can this be overcome? The article offers two solutions with some tips:

1. Create an open culture that has time and space for people. 

  • Encourage leaders to create a safe space for conversation, empathy, and diplomacy.
  • Encourage employees to build routines that work for them, complete with time for connecting with others. 
  • Ensure everyone has the time in their workday to socialise.
  • Encouraging people to make full use of their breaks and ensuring that they are not continuing to work once the workday ends 
  • If people are working from the office, put a regular slot aside each week for people to unwind together.  
  • For those that are shy and do not enjoy socialising in large groups, consider a mentorship program for 1-1 interactions or create smaller interest groups for people to come together.

2. Embrace technology

  • Encourage video conferences and telephone calls wherever possible. 
  • Strive to ensure that time is saved at the end of each conference call for informal and open conversations, 
  • Ensure communication channels are open to connect with colleagues.
  • Consider mental health apps

As a remote-first organisation, Xref strives to ensure all our people feel connected. We have regular team meetings on Zoom with cameras on to encourage interpersonal, face-to-face interaction. Some teams have regular office days, but this isn’t mandatory. We use chat services such as Slack and Workplace by Facebook to keep in contact and share gifs or other fun information. We even have a recipe channel to share delicious foods we cook! 

Trend 4: Deskless Workers

#4 Deskless Workers: Retention Strategies to Keep Those who Can’t be Remote

In July, there were numerous reports of ‘deskless workers’ leaving their roles in droves. Deskless workers are those people who worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic, physically turning up to work every day to support some sense of normalcy. Think supply chain workers, hospitality employees and healthcare staff. 

But now, these people want out. They’re burnt out, so the conversation is shifting to embracing retention strategies or finding new ways of work for those who can’t sit at a desk behind a computer screen from anywhere in the world. 

How companies can build engageent with deskless workers

This recent article, published by HR Executive, explores how companies can increase engagement among frontline and deskless staff.

1. Get the basics right and then build

At a minimum, ensure your deskless workers are happy with their working arrangements. Do they understand health and safety guidelines? Do they feel enabled with the right equipment to get the job done safely and efficiently?

What about remuneration and benefits? Do they know how and where to access rewards, request schedule/shift changes and have remuneration discussions? 

Once you have successfully engaged your staff with these points, it can be easier to build retention strategies. Without the basics, any other retention efforts feel hollow and can fall short. 

2. Bridge communication gaps

For many organisations, especially larger ones, or ones with remote workforces, it can be easy for Head Office to think, “I need to update staff on Policy X, I’ll send an email.” However, for many deskless or frontline workers, access to email is extremely limited. 

Therefore sending ‘important’ messages via email isn’t likely to hit your intended audience. Instead, think of how these important messages can be communicated. If you have warehouse staff, for example, consider printed messages on a bulletin board in the staffroom. Or call a quick team meeting. If you have shift workers, consider sharing important messages in the same way you let employees know of their new shifts.

3. Seek employee input

Any retention strategy “must have employee input from the outset rather than be handed down.” Employees’ opinions, feedback and professional goals should be regularly collected and acted upon. This can be done using Pulse Surveys

For essential workers to feel engaged and supported, HR leaders need to be proactive and creative to keep them feeling connected to each other and the organisation as a whole.

Trend #5L Content Management for HR

#5 Content Management: Powerful Tech to Manage Policies

Content management isn’t just for marketing anymore. Increasingly, HR teams need to manage what content their organisation needs and how to appropriately share it. For example, how do you document policies and procedures like remote working or diversity and inclusion? Furthermore, where do you store these policies for staff to access?

HR Tech Cube talks about the rising trend of HR professionals using a Content Management System (CMS) to “to document and preserve resumes, application forms, paperwork, and policies.” For this purpose, a CMS is a collaborative tool to streamline HR activities and enhance productivity. 

For HR professionals, CMS technology can help with:

  • Current employee management, 
  • Onboarding of new staff
  • Managing roles and job descriptions
  • Organising files and safeguarding documents 
  • Decreasing paper usage
  • Increasing transparency of policies and procedures

At Xref, we have an online knowledge base that stores the latest information about our product as well as policies and procedures such as privacy and data compliance. 

If you need to find a training video, a CMS can help an organisation structure content so it is easy to find and refer back to. A CMS can also support strong compliance practices as it can be easy and fast to update files. 

Final Thoughts

This month, the focus of the trending topics is around strategies for good hiring and good people management. We learn how good tech can increase efficiencies for HR procedures and policies and how adjustments to the hiring process can allow an organisation to recruit and retain top talent. 

To understand the HR and recruitment trends covered in last month’s blog, see 5 trending HR topics for August 2022. 

You may also be interested in:

  1. Is AI and Tech the Answer to Effective Recruiting
  2. Three Trending Pain Points for Talent Acquisition Professionals
  3. How HR Automation can make a Difference in your Business

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