Transforming HCM: Moving Beyond the Traditional Employee Life Cycle

29 June 2017

Regardless of the industry you compete in or the size of your company, you probably aren’t surprised that several trends have converged to redefine what we mean when we refer to the employee life cycle. It was the focus of our recent webinar, “Transforming HCM: Moving Beyond the Traditional Employee Life Cycle” The expanding employee life cycle has created a need for HCM technology that can centralize and streamline data for seamless, efficient talent management for the entire workforce — hourly and salaried alike — and for any company to address the employee journey from well before the first day of work to well after the last day on the job.

Changes in workforce demographics, the increased role of hourly and contingent employees, shifts in recruiting and hiring, and changes in the way work gets done have all expanded the definition of the employee life cycle and brought new challenges to HR strategies. HR now faces dealing with a pre-hire to post-hire continuum. And every step is critical — arguing again for an integrated HCM technology to deliver a seamless employee experience.

For example, there’s now ample data to prove the importance of a good onboarding experience. Research from the Aberdeen Group says 86 percent of new hires decide whether they’ll stay or leave their new employer within the first six months on the job. On the other hand, that research also found that 69 percent of new hires are more likely to stay past three years if they had well-structured onboarding.

Statistics about onboarding are even more important when you consider the changing attitudes toward job longevity. Research from Bersin by Deloitte says employees today will have 11 jobs by the age of 45, and that people under 35 years old expect to stay at a job an average of only two and a half years.

The employee life cycle is also being altered by trends like social media. Job seekers today get a much larger and more nuanced picture of your company from all kinds of sources before they even submit their application. They come in with a more specific set of expectations or assumptions of your company, created by everything from job-search websites to social channels like Twitter. It can be very difficult to change those impressions later — especially with a poor onboarding experience.

Meanwhile, these trends have been exacerbated by HR challenges that are common to nearly every industry, to one degree or another:

  • ACA upheaval — continuing uncertainty and compliance concerns
  • DOL compliance — expansion of rules means more management complications and headaches
  • Increased competition — growth in industries as diverse as software development and construction continues to outstrip growth in the U.S. economy, bringing recruiting, pre-hire, and onboarding strategies to the forefront
  • More contingent workers — new pressure on engagement and benefits
  • An aging workforce — new pressure on retirement planning, knowledge transfer, disability administration, and medical costs

These are all realities that organizations need to consider as they think about their HCM strategies and the software that will implement those strategies. Yet, HR buyers in general tend to hit four key stumbling blocks when it comes to considering new HCM technology to meet the changing environment. Too often, HR buyers are:

1. Overwhelmed by the tumult and requirements of the ACA

2. Worried about the cost of investing in new HR technology

3. Distrustful of the new generation of benefits administration vendors that have merged with insurance providers

4. Concerned over data security and privacy compliance

The answer to all four concerns is HCM technology from a vendor that meets HR’s need to remain competitive and be cost-effective while appealing to their employees from their very first touch with your company. WORKTERRA believes that means working with an HCM technology provider that’s continually innovating to stay current and meet the changing needs of the company and your employees. It also means working with an HCM technology partner that has the technological flexibility to expand its offerings for the entire employee life cycle, and has the HR and HCM expertise to know how that all fits together for companies of any size.

To overcome all four of the most common challenges for HR leaders looking to make a change, HCM technology needs to offer efficiencies that can only come with a truly unified, cloud-based platform that offers a single source of data entry, regulatory compliance that is handled by updates behind the scenes, and, in the case of WORKTERRA, the recruitment and pre-hire solutions we can provide through our relationship with CareerBuilder. It also needs to have the business foundation and belief to grow organically, from within and pragmatically — not simply by growing for the sake of growth. Finally, HR needs HCM technology that administrators and employees find as easy to use as their consumer software.

Combined, an HCM solution built firmly on those features will empower any HR leader at a company of any size to more effectively address today’s expanding employee life cycle.

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