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7 New Year’s resolutions for HR professionals and recruiters

January 3, 2024

2024 is officially here, and we’re back to work with a bang. While we all have our personal new year’s resolutions, this period is a great time to reflect on the passing year and establish some resolutions for the year ahead from a professional perspective.

In case you’re struggling to come up with some on your own, here are seven of the most important resolutions you can have as an HR or recruitment professional.

Further reading: Top 12 hiring trends to watch out for in 2024

1. Invest in diversity and inclusion

We know you’ve already thought about it. You probably have a diversity policy in place, and genuinely want to make your hiring process as inclusive as possible. But a good diversity and inclusion programme requires constant re-evaluation to ensure you’re where you need to be. With diverse companies producing 19% more revenue than their competitors, it’s not just a nice-to-have but an absolute must.

For the new year, try to consider your recruitment process. What can you tweak to ensure you’re hiring the best candidate, not the one that looks or sounds the most like you? It’s also important to consider diversity as an umbrella: the efforts you put into making your workplace gender bias-free might not ensure neurodiversity — you need to specifically account for each category. Look into the data you have and see what has been successful.

Further reading: 5 steps to mitigate unconscious bias in recruitment and hiring

2. Review HR policies

We wanted to start with diversity because of how central it is. However, we believe that this process of re-evaluation and reflection should be extended to pretty much every HR or recruitment policy and procedure you have in place. Is it fit for purpose? Are there things you can update, make more efficient or accurate?

After conducting a review, we recommend taking the time in January to plan your HR and recruitment strategy for 2024 — you might want to do that in a management meeting, or prepare a presentation for stakeholders. Either way, in order for your HR department to work well, it first needs to have an updated framework.

3. Predict future trends

In the process of planning, while reflecting on the past is important, perspectives for the future are also vital. When you make decisions on how to tighten your processes, you should consider where your industry is headed, your available talent pool, and where you think your gaps are going to be. It’s better to prepare for these gaps before they occur, and that’s why looking into the future can help you predict and correct in advance, before it becomes a problem.

For example, generative AI has stormed into our life at the end of 2022, and in 2023, businesses of all shapes and sizes have utilised ChatGPT to help them become more productive and efficient. Automation is also a big trend we’re seeing. If your department is not using any automation or AI, 2024 might be when it would be forced into it — so consider how to implement these.

4. Highlight a work-life balance

In the post-COVID world, employees are all aware of how work impacts their mental, physical, and financial wellbeing. They are also keen to ensure they have enough space in their lives for their family, friends, and hobbies. Gone are the days when you expect an employee to be available 24/7 — they now know the impact of taking time for themselves.

This means that if your offering doesn’t take your employees’ work-life balance into account, a competitor will. If you chose to bring your employees back into the office full time, for example, consider what you can do to improve their work-life balance in other ways, such as shortening work hours, offering a four day work week, or closing the office at 6pm every day to ensure employees don’t work overtime. Otherwise, flexibility and remote work are great ways to give your employees control over their time management. In any case, make sure you’re setting the example and show your workforce that you, too, are taking personal time.

Further reading: How to do remote work right

5. Improve your candidate experience

LinkedIn is a special place. As HR professionals and recruiters, it’s pretty much the website we spend most of our time on, and most of us have a love-hate relationship with it. However, there’s no doubt that it’s a powerful tool and will continue to be that this year too. In the last year, we’ve seen many posts about bad recruitment experiences from candidates mushrooming online. As 83% of candidates say that a poor candidate experience would make them revise their once positive opinion about a company (and 72% actually share their negative experience online), if your business doesn’t ensure candidates receive the best treatment, this can cause serious problems. When you consider 60% of job seekers report they’ve had a bad experience, it really crystallises the significance of it.

Try to consider your recruitment process. At what stage do you provide feedback (if at all)? How detailed and personal is it? Do you keep in touch with unsuccessful candidates later? Do you take the time to offer your help in finding other opportunities for candidates you liked but didn’t make the mark? There are many ways to make a rejection feel less harsh, while boosting the reputation of your company as one that truly cares about its employees. For example, sending candidates their Thrive assessment results is a great way to provide detailed and personal feedback without taking any time out of your day.

Further reading: How to perfect your candidate experience

6. Promote from within

Let’s say you have a vacancy. What do you do?

If your answer is, write a job ad, advertise, interview, and hire, you’re probably missing out on a big opportunity — promoting a current employee. Not only will this save you money on recruitment costs, you already have the benefit of knowing this person fits your culture. What’s more, you’re going to show all employees that your company is all about developing them and their skills, and that those who work hard get to reap the benefits. There’s space for progress working at your company. It’s no wonder that 81% of hiring professionals agree that internal recruiting improves employee retention and 69% think it can accelerate the new hires’ productivity.

Make sure you add this into your recruitment process, and ensure you regularly chat with team leaders to identify employees who are particularly valuable to keep an eye on when a promotion becomes available. After all, it’s a no-brainer. Make yourself a goal of promoting at least a certain number of employees this year — and start considering which roles they’d be suitable for.

Further reading: Top tips to elevate your internal promotion strategy

7. Give and gain feedback

There’s nothing more important than an open communication channel between employees and HR. This can prevent frustrations from growing, ensure everyone is on the same page, and help identify issues before they arise. This refers to both the candidate experience and for employees, as we all know retaining an employee is just as important as securing a hire.

Consider how, when, and how often you give feedback, and how you check progress. Are you giving useful feedback — structuring it constructively with clear assessments on how to approve and what’s expected? Be as clear and practical as possible, and try to avoid amorphous language.

However, feedback should go both ways. Try to employ anonymous surveys to gain insight without bias relating to fear of reprisals, for example. Make sure you’re asking your employees relevant questions to infer where you and your company can improve to make everyone happy, productive, and well.

Want to learn more about Thrive’s surveys? Book a demo with us today.

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