This question is a bit self-reflective as we essentially asked leaders and HR professionals where they’re slacking. Not an easy mirror to hold up after a difficult year. Regardless, we still got some very thoughtful responses about where we can do better. (Thanks, everyone!)

We need to adapt recruiting to better match our new world of candidates

We aren’t focused enough on how we attract and retain talent, which means everything from having a mission that people want to be a part of to offering competitive benefits to the recruiting process. Previously, companies could recruit from a position of power, which led to feeling like they could treat candidates however they wanted because the pipeline was always full. That’s no longer the case. We need to take a closer look at the application processes. For example, how many hoops you make a candidate jump through before an interview, training recruiters on how to have difficult conversations so they don’t ghost candidates and most importantly, training hiring managers to interview better.

We don’t talk about this because interviewing is something that we are just supposed to know how to do, or you are supposed to figure it out. It’s assumed that if you can do a job or manage a team, then you can interview and fill roles on your team, but that’s not true at all. Many hiring managers were never trained to interview. When faced with several different candidates, an untrained hiring manager will trust their gut and hire the person they get along with the best, which leads to a lack of diversity and departments that are not innovative.”

Anna Papalia CEO, Shift Profile

Anna’s absolutely right, and this is a resounding sentiment we see in our HR community and via social media. Candidates are complaining about archaic ways of hiring and that they simply don’t need to put up with it anymore. For better or worse, the ball is in their court, and HR teams need to adapt or get left in the dust.

We need to prioritize financial literacy

Yes, we’ve already discussed the importance of financial benefits. But what about helping our people become more financially literate and independent? It’s not enough to simply offer the resources. We need to educate and empower them so they can put their families into a better financial position for the future.

Larry Brand pinpoints this HR deficiency:

Americans tend to lack financial literacy when they enter the workforce. Employers could play a more significant role in helping their employees become more capable and informed in this critical area. Programs might include offering more robust and comprehensive financial planning services and hosting regular educational sessions on everything from retirement planning to basic budgeting for their employees from the hourly level to salaried professionals. Financial planning tools could include automated resources to help employees establish and stick to a financial plan and budget.”

Larry Brand Chief Human Resources Officer, Elkay

Deb Gordon agreed, commenting, “I don’t think we’re talking enough about consumer financial vulnerability and the role employers can play to ease employee anxiety.”

Putting Ideas 💡 Into Action ⚡️

You can read about all the ideas you want, but nothing will facilitate true change other than action. Of course, not each of these chapters will resonate with your ecosystem or match the unique needs of your employees. But hopefully, a few of these insights spurred inspiration on how you can adapt your approach to benefits engagement and optimize your HR leadership for the upcoming year. 

Join us for Engage 2022, a virtual event on January 20, where we’ll discuss how to turn the ideas in this book into an action plan for the year ahead. Speakers include benefits and HR experts covering topics such as:

  • How to drive employee benefits engagement from a new perspective—a perspective that finally works
  • Innovative engagement tactics real HR leaders have implemented to improve both workforce happiness and the company’s bottom line
  • What you need to prepare for the benefits package of the future—accounting for virtual solutions, a focus on mental well-being and the critical nature of equity and inclusion in healthcare

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