Growing a business is seen as a sign of success and the faster a business grows, the better right?
All businesses pass through three stages of growth, infancy, adolescence and maturity. During these stages, businesses are faced with the dilemma of figuring out what the right rate of growth should be in order for them to move from one stage to the next.
If they grow too fast, they tend to collapse under their own weight but, if they grow too slowly, they run the risk of becoming stagnant and not being able to compete in a rapidly changing market.
This may seem like a “catch 22” but it doesn't have to be if the business is aimed at sustainable growth.
What is sustainable business growth?
Sustainable growth in a business is the upper limit at which a business can grow, without increasing its financial leverage i.e. It is the maximum growth rate that can be achieved given the company’s current profitability, asset utilisation, human resources, dividend payout and debt ratios.
That is a long definition for saying, a sustainable growth rate is the middle ground between the two extremes listed above.
As a business grows, the workload will inevitably increase, and finding the right people should be amongst the business’s top priorities. This is typically when the HR Department would get involved, as they play a significant role in making sure the right people are placed in the right positions.
The HR Department is always faced with the challenge of:
How and where to find the right employees,
How you train and upskill them so that they are exceptional at their work, and
How to keep them in the business for the long term.
We believe that by leveraging HR Tech these problems can be solved. Let’s jump right in and take a look at 4 reasons why you need to leverage HR Tech for you to grow your business sustainably.
1.HR Tech can assist in employee recruitment
The first challenge that the HR Department will face is how and where to find the right employees.
When a company starts growing, its human resource capabilities need to keep up because its growth trajectory can easily be derailed if the right people are not in the right positions.
Social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter can be leveraged when it comes to finding these people because the platforms give HR Departments the ability to spread the net wide in their search at a fraction of the cost. The number of candidates whom they would have previously missed is dramatically reduced.
HR Tech can also be used to shorten the length of the entire recruitment process as they can now interact almost immediately with prospects who have completed the job application process.
The advancement in broadband speeds and apps such as Skype mean that interviews can be conducted in a matter of days rather than weeks when candidates would have had to travel to far away cities for a face to face interview.
Speed and reduced recruitment cycles ensure that companies stand the best chance of recruiting their first choice candidate as revealed by a British study that 33% of candidates are choosing their second choice employer, simply because their first choice took too long to respond.
2.HR Tech can assist in avoiding hiring mistakes
An immaculate CV was once the gold standard when businesses were making hiring decisions, but with the rise of the gig economy - where people prefer alternative work arrangements other than the 40 hour work week, the traditional CV is losing the weight it once had.
Luckily, HR Tech now gives companies more than just a CV to go on. Job seekers with profiles on professional social networks or online job boards are able to post virtual portfolios that highlight their real-world skills, share examples of their work, and establish a more well-rounded presentation of who they are as a professional.
HR Tech can help companies do a thorough screening of potential candidates. Looking through the social media profiles of potential candidates can help filter out those who may not be the best fit for your business.
As a general caveat, candidates also have the same ability to screen companies to see which ones would be a good fit for them. This can further work to the advantage of the business as it gives them the opportunity to build an employer brand and uses marketing tactics to attract candidates who may have never considered the company as a potential employer.
3.HR Tech can assist with your employee training and development needs
The second challenge faced by HR Departments is how to train and upskill their employees so that they are effective in their work.
HR Tech can help in strengthening the quality and competency of the workforce within the business by creating and deploying training and development programs.
Advances in technology can be harnessed by the HR department to develop personalised training programs that meet the specific professional development needs of individual employees.
On a broader scale, HR Tech can be used to develop training programs that match the “Just in Time” learning that has become prevalent in the last decade as employees struggle to find the time or businesses may not have the budgets for weeklong workshops.
This has led to microlearning and gamification being given priority over traditional learning methods where badges, points, leaderboards and community involvement are used to encourage self-led learning from employees.
4.HR Tech can assist with your employee retention
Another challenge faced by HR Departments is keeping employees in the business for the long term.
When employees have been with a business for an extended period of time, they tend to perform more efficiently, need less supervision and can innovate faster.
One of the biggest determinants of how long employees will remain at a certain business is their level of engagement but since it can be difficult to measure qualitative data, HR Departments can use HR Tech to design surveys and exit interviews to get insight into how the company can get better at keeping their employees engaged.
HR Tech is giving businesses the ability to process information from surveys and interviews in new ways. Businesses are now able to measure employees' levels of engagement over a period of time or how one team’s engagement compares with that of another. This unprecedented ability to take apart data and reconfigure it makes it incomparably valuable for measuring the effectiveness of different employee engagement initiatives.
The ability to grow a business in a sustainable manner is a balancing act between scaling unsustainably and falling into the trap of stagnation. The HR Department in any business will always have a critical role to play in finding, attracting, growing and retaining the right talent.
Businesses and HR Practitioners should be encouraged to embrace HR Tech in their growth efforts as it’s a great way to provide solid quantifiable data to back up the psychological insights that have developed over the years. HR Tech streamlines the process and sets the business up for sustainable growth.