Amid an atmosphere of escalating socio-economic uncertainty, it is important for both employers and employees to position themselves effectively – and this should involve a serious review of the efficiency of human resources, recruitment processes and payroll administration areas.
Teryl Schroenn, CEO at Accsys, says current conditions are forcing businesses to reassess their abilities in these key departments and also compelling job seekers to fine-tune their skills and polish up on the basics.
"Decision-makers and HR managers have to check the results and outcomes of HR strategies, and whether these are having a positive or negative effect on progress and growth. Their recruitment policies, induction programs, on-and off-site training programs, career development programs all fall under scrutiny," says Schroenn.
Technology application is one of the first areas where decision makers tend to heed a call to action. The rationale is that there is technology out there that can and does make a difference to processes and procedures, if applied correctly.
This is true, says Schroenn, but with any technology investment there needs to be careful consideration over critical business requirements, existing systems in place, training and long-term consequences.
"Technology alone is limited in the elimination of problems with HR or payroll processes. At the end of the day it still requires people to apply their skills and extract the maximum benefit and value out of the technology," says Schroenn.
Accsys advocates the importance and relevance of training and skills development as elements of a corporate growth strategy.
"Companies are also under pressure to ensure that they have a competitive recruitment policy framework in place and that skills development is firmly entrenched into their core operations. Essentially the effective management of people will pay short-and long term dividends and reflect in an improved bottom line," adds Schroenn.
"People management, in terms of the workplace, has changed and is being shaped by a myriad of factors – from technology right through to economic pressure and the need for balance between work and life responsibility. The result is that job seekers are more aware of what they would like from the workplace, but also that employers are more astute in their selection of candidates," she adds.
However, while a company has a number of responsibilities with regard to people management and raising levels of productivity, employees and job seekers need to be aware of the ever-changing dynamics of the modern workplace. While the skilled South African employee is in a strong bargaining position, a long term successful career requires a good track record in terms of a combination of skills growth and stability alongside strategic job moves and promotions.
Today there are many career and lifestyle coaches who can assist employees with their choices.
Schroenn also comments that companies need to look both internally and externally for input on their people management policies.
"It helps to have an experienced partner on board, one that has the knowledge and resources to offer proactive support and guidance to businesses. This is
because a credible service provider can help organisations negotiate the many pitfalls in HR strategies, those that can negatively impact on the effective management of people beginning with the recruitment process. These challenges include miscommunication between employer and prospective employee, misinformation, poor placement of individuals, lack of training or input from management, and much more."