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January 6th, 2020 | Vincenza Caruso-Valente, General Manager, Retail and Staffing, Sterling

How HR’s Digital Transformation Will Elevate the Candidate, Employee Experience in 2020

How HR's Digital Transformation Will Elevate the Candidate, Employee Experience in 2020

Human resource and recruiting leaders have experienced unprecedented change in recent years. An array of workplace trends and innovations have combined to reshape how HR delivers value to its business line partners, how recruiters use next-generation technology to perform their jobs, and how the HR function is perceived in the C-suite.

In this new year, many of these trends will accelerate, and new ones will also emerge. Here’s what to expect in the human resources field as we turn the calendar to the new year.

Candidate as King: The First Step in Employee Engagement

The importance of creating a positive candidate experience will grow in 2020, reflecting the ongoing job seekers’ market in light of currently low unemployment rates. Top candidates may quickly reject recruiting experiences that are too cumbersome, don’t keep the communication open by keeping them in the loop, or fail to integrate modern technology for better user experiences during the hiring process. Candidates will prefer processes that are friendly, intuitive and friction-free.

One study found that 72% of applicants with a poor candidate experience will share that experience on sites like Glassdoor, on social media, or with family and friends. Another recent study from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) found that nearly half (49%) of job seekers targeting in-demand fields say they’ve turned down an offer because of a bad experience during the hiring process.

The need for a candidate experience that mirrors the convenience, efficiency and speed of the best online consumer transactions should extend to the background screening process. Inaccurate screening reports, unwieldy information-gathering processes, or delays caused by use of outdated technology can cause candidates who’ve already accepted a job offer to reconsider their commitment.

Employers should be giving candidates the flexibility to enter needed information from any device, providing text notifications and reminders to help them complete tasks, and offering time-saving features like document uploads and e-signature. In 2020, these should constitute table stakes that employers must expect from good background screening service providers in 2020.

Technology Innovations Will Continue to Transform Recruiting

Recruiters have been among the biggest beneficiaries of new technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning. These tools assist recruiters in investing long hours in screening thousands of resumes, answering applicants’ frequently-asked questions, and the juggling act of scheduling candidate interviews.

That trend will likely continue in 2020 as technology innovations help bring new efficiencies and improved hiring outcomes to recruiters. According to a research by the Talent Board, top recruiting technologies companies  are projected to invest in video-based job descriptions and virtual assistants to help source from existing candidate databases. The study also indicates that text-based recruiting and reference checking technologies will be high on the list of technology investments.

Next-generation, mobile-first technology can make background checks faster as well as more accurate and comprehensive. For example, the most common background check on candidates – county courthouse records – can now be done in one business day in some cases.

The best systems allow recruiting teams to set up an account and submit their first background check order within minutes, an efficient feature of recruiting in-demand talent – where time is the essence.

Onboarding Assumes New Strategic Importance

Organizations that don’t take new-hire onboarding seriously can pay a steep price. A negative onboarding experience can cause new hires to leave a company. For example, the average US employer spends $4,000 and 24 days to hire a new worker, according to a Glassdoor study. That same study also found companies with a strong onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%.

With labor pools shrinking and top talent hard to find, retaining good employees will continue to be a front-burner issue not only for HR and hiring managers but also for the C-suite.

Background checks should be viewed as a critical first step in the onboarding process. If the screening process is too cumbersome, lengthy, or is not mobile-friendly (where it doesn’t allow candidates to use their phones to submit needed information or provide consent during the process), it can set a negative tone early for your newly-hired employees or candidates. An intuitive, frictionless, and fast screening process sends a message to new hires that their new employer “walks the talk” about creating great employee experiences.

The Employee Experience Will Remain Front and Center

In his keynote speech at the 2019 HR Technology Conference and Exposition in Las Vegas, industry analyst and thought leader Josh Bersin said that human resource leaders should think of their technology systems not only as HR tools but as “action platforms” designed to streamline workflows and create more actionable insights for business unit leaders.

Bersin said providers across HR technology categories are increasingly focused on building platforms that improve the user experience for both employees and job candidates, not just back-office HR users. These vendors are designing more of their HR applications to be accessed within the flow of managers’ daily work and to integrate with mainstream work platforms.

Employee experience has become a new engagement mantra. In 2020 HR leaders will remain laser-focused on creating processes and implementing technologies that make employees’ lives easier. The key will be to make interactions with HR more memorable across the talent lifecycle, from onboarding to performance management, from learning to development.

As the trusted screening partner of 70% of the largest staffing firms in the world, Sterling understands the intense competition for talent, complex program requirements, and increased pressure our customers face. Learn more about Sterling’s screening solutions for the evolving workforce, visit sterlingcheck.com/staffing today.

This post first appeared on The Staffing Stream on January 6th, 2020.

This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.