It has been a tough two years for the people charged with staffing at both large and small companies. The COVID pandemic wreaked havoc – emotional and physical – among families, cities and workplaces. This unprecedented disruption, with its health ramifications of working in close quarters with other employees, forced companies to implement a “work from home” strategy among millions of white-collar workers.
This taste of work flexibility was the beginning of the “perfect storm” for what has become to be called the Great Resignation. While this was unforeseen by most companies, some have started to find solutions to this employee exodus in the form of more innovative employee benefits. For the delivery of these benefits, custom software developed by companies such as Asinpa has been a game-changer.
The Numbers Tell the Tale
Even as the pandemic began to fade in the United States and the economy started to gain steam, there were fewer and fewer takers for more and more jobs. According to the Washington Post, “Some 4.3 million people quit or changed jobs in December 2021 — down from November’s all-time high, but still near record levels, as the labor market remained unsettled and the omicron variant swept through the United States.”
Employers reported some 10.9 million job openings in a survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, well above pre-pandemic averages.
Even as recently as late April 2022, CNN reported that “The US labor market remained on fire in March with a record 4.5 million workers quitting their jobs. The number of quits increased most significantly in the professional and business services sector, as well as construction. The overall quit rate moved up to 3%, a level not seen since December 2021.”
Custom Software for Employee Benefits
Gustavo (Tavo) Vasconcelos is the CEO of Asinpa, a company that focuses on enterprise-level software development and strategy. They help clients achieve their business goals through customized value-driven solutions utilizing an on-site and nearshore software service model. Asinpa has become a valued counsel for companies in their effort to retain and attract great talent. This is due to its well-earned reputation for employee benefits and HCM software customization.
“In working with our HR clients,” Vasconcelos said, “I have noticed that a challenging issue continues to be disconnected systems. This causes friction for employees and HR managers in their ability to have the latest data when they toggle between systems. From a retention perspective, companies are looking for ways to be creative and offer more, both net-new benefits, as well as additional options within the existing benefits.”
Since the work from home (WFH) genie is out of the bottle, this is also a recurring concern. He notes, “The ability to work from home is seen as a benefit for most employees/candidates; companies that were forced to go remote and still don’t have the ‘remote work’ as part of their DNA are now requiring those employees to return to the office, despite those employees proving that performance is equal or better when working remote.”
“Advance pay is also an important HR consideration. There are companies like ZayZoon that offer integrations with HR/Payroll systems to allow employers to provide access to wages for their workforce ahead of payday. This is a great option for a certain group of people and/or for special circumstances that is typically more economical than getting a ‘payday loan.’”
In many companies, onboarding new employees is a process that has gotten a little stale, even though this is the employee’s first experience with the company, and it sets the tone for future service. Tavo offers some suggestions for improving this important HR process.
“Onboarding needs a lot of attention”, Tavo notes. “It starts with a great ‘Applicant Tracking System. This shows how the interview process goes from a candidate perspective and it carries a lot of weight that is typically not considered.
“Once the offer is accepted, the bar should be raised for the HR organization and the hiring manager. While there is not a single system that will give you 100% of what you need, hiring someone and leveraging your system/technology will always require some level of custom work/integrations. It starts by activating that employee in the HR system.
“For example, a welcome letter should go out, which is the visibility that the new employee has, but behind the scenes, a lot of things should happen automatically:
- User accounts for the new employee should be created (email, productivity tools, company applications)
- The training modules that every new hire should be enabled.
- Laptop/PC equipment (assuming it is already procured) should be properly setup.
- Team building should begin. This could involve integration with your inventory/vendor to get the company t-shirt. Little things mean a lot!
“Finally, the Onboarding software should include automated notifications for what is next for the new employee to complete or expect and then notify the new employee after each milestone is completed.”
Customizing Your Off-the-Shelf/SaaS Solution
To save money, some companies start with out of the box (OTS/SaaS) solutions leaving integrations and automation for a later phase. This is especially true for HCM. Over time this manual work grows to unmanageable loads and adds a great deal of risk for the organization specifically in the form of errors while processing HR, Benefits and Payroll. Risk that has a direct financial impact in both hard money as well as employee frustration which ultimately results in your managers hearing the two words no employer wants to hear: I quit!
There are substantial differences between HR systems, some offer the entire gamut (for example, HR, Payroll, ATS, BenAdmin, Time and Attendance and so forth), while others may offer only one or a few modules.
“When it comes to your overall HCM solution, there are four factors that should be at the top of your criteria,” Tavo said. “They are security, compliance, accuracy, and efficiency. The ability to have your HR team be as efficient as possible in today’s world will yield positive outcomes for your organization at large.
“With the challenges of employees working remotely, a company should expect a custom software program to be able to communicate with HR in an effortless fashion with excellent and quick feedback from the HR department.
“Often, especially with healthcare benefits, an organization ends up with spreadsheets that are prone to errors. The result is a frustrated employee because their coverage is not what they expected. This causes a productivity impact for those affected and ultimately it could be the last straw that breaks the camel’s back, and you end up losing that employee.”
The Bottom Line
As the CEO of Asinpa, Tavo Vasconcelos has witnessed many changes in human capital management. He concludes, “Everyone simply wants to be viewed as an important member of a successful team and is valued and appreciated. One thing an organization can do right off the bat is to show a new employee this. This involves making sure all the details behind the scenes are taken care of efficiently and accurately, every time.”