In the breakneck-pace economy of 2018, the importance on attracting, hiring and onboarding new employees efficiently and effectively became a focus for employers. As you head into 2019, take these emerging best practices with you to hit important marks from employee satisfaction and retention to appealing cultures and employer brands.

Employer Branding

What’s an employer brand? It’s your reputation as an employer. Increasingly, employees want to be impressed by their employer. That puts the ball in your court – here’s what you need to do to nail your employer brand:

  • Check your reviews on job referral sites and social media to see what kind of “first impression”: job hunters are taking in.
  • Ask current employees about their opinion of you as an employer through anonymous surveys.
  • Create brand ambassadors to send into the community for talks and volunteer opportunities.
  • Tout and/or improve your company culture and use that momentum to create enthusiastic employees who generate reliable employee referrals, which average a 46 percent retention rate compared to just 33 percent of organizations that only use career sites (Firstbird).
  • Post jobs with fantastic job descriptions.

Atypical Working

The current job markets demand you be an employer of choice if you want to get the best candidates on your team. Look for ways to make your employees’ lives easier with benefits that promote work-life fluidity.

  • Flexible work time, like remote working, flexible hours and transparent shift-scheduling, is a benefit that 51 percent of workers would leave their job if another company had it (Gallup).
  • Provide Financial Assistance to employees with child care expenses, student loans and/or tuition payments.
  • Commit to responding to feedback.
  • Make busy lives easier with things like catered lunches, pet-friendly workspaces and on-site fitness, child care and health care (think flu shots and chiropractor visits).

Form Your Culture Via Behaviors & Attitude

Precise background requirements and exact-match skills have been the bread and butter of hiring for decades. Now, we’re moving beyond those “hard skills” to evaluate character traits like attitude, ambition, culture fit and leadership potential. This focus on expanding requirements will lead to more applicants with more diversity (a trend in its own right).

  • Hire for the culture you want by bringing on personalities that will enhance your workplace.
  • Retain the right employees – those who demonstrate your ideal company values and mission focus.
  • Cultivate brand ambassadors among your happy employees to increase employee referrals.


Artificial Intelligence & Data Analytics

“If you are typing employees’ names more than 0 times, it’s too many” – Jason Averbook

The rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in HR is here. From automation to data collection, the tech industry is moving into HR in all sectors. Thirty-three percent of HR teams in the U.S. are using some form of AI to deliver solutions (Deloitte), and the number is expected to continue growing. Here’s how, where and why AI is taking over (but not literally – we don’t predict an AI revolution):

  • Applicant tracking
  • Candidate batching
  • Automated communication from application through retirement
  • Organized, digestible data collection to be used for planning promotions, succession and performance reviews
  • Data analyzation – think pinpointing ROI on Core HR solutions, identifying the cost of turnover or tracking training costs
  • Integrated systems that can operate anytime, anywhere without special equipment

Employee Engagement

Happy, focused employees mean higher engagement – the Holy Grail of workplace success. It not only makes your organization a great place to work, it encourages employee referrals and increases employer brand. Here’s how to ratchet up your engagement scores:

  • Make performance reviews two-way conversations, and do them more than annually.
  • Encourage professional, personal relationships – Employees are more likely to be engaged when they can approach their managers with any type of question and talk about nonwork-related issues.
  • Hook new employees early with emotional onboarding.
  • Provide opportunities for growth through learning. A top reason employees leave their jobs is a lack of career growth opportunities (Gallup).
  • Make learning easy with anytime, anywhere systems that don’t need special technology.

With 2019 looming, many employers are looking ahead and evaluation the “where we are, where we’re going, and how we’ll get there” mantra. With HR, the trending path is clear: focus on employees to drive your brand, your culture and a positive bottom line.