The Employment Cycle
The HR profession has expanded a great deal over the past few decades. It is no longer focused on a myriad of administrative duties or compliance related activities. Today’s HR is expected to know and understand the big picture including every facet of the human resources function. Learning the employment cycle is a perfect method to obtain a complete understanding of human resources in the workplace. Although it may seem overwhelming, this course will breakdown each phase in a simple, practical manner, highlighting challenges and best practices. Starting with Recruit and ending with Transition, the course provides an overview of each phase and digs deeper into the details so you, the HR professional, can recognize how best to support and guide the cycle for a successful employee/employer relationship.
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This activity, has been approved for 1.75 HR (General) recertification credit hours toward aPHR™, PHR®, PHRca®, SPHR®, GPHR®, PHRi™ and SPHRi™ recertification through HR Certification Institute® (HRCI®). For more information about certification or recertification, please visit the HR Certification Institute website at www.hrci.org.
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Title: Additional HR Disciplines
Module: Setting The Foundation
Before I dig deeper into each of the cycle stages and review more specific HR activities, I want to discuss the HR disciplines that span the entire employment cycle. Diversity and Inclusion, Compliance, Labor Relations and Human Resource Information Systems affect all five phases.
First, Diversity and Inclusion also referred to as D&I.
Diversity and Inclusion is key to developing a high performance culture and achieving successful business results. Today it is more important than ever to ensure an organization is recruiting, engaging and retaining a diverse workforce. And in order to maintain a successful employment cycle, management must develop an inclusive work environment. In collaboration with leaders, you should be implementing activities during each phase of the cycle.
For example, when your team is recruiting a new hire, you’ll want to cast a wide net and improve efficiency through diverse sourcing activities. Target professional associations, community groups, diversity-specific job fairs and websites. Also, during the develop phase continually update training so D&I is embedded into all soft skills workshops. The more you incorporate diversity and inclusion concepts into your HR presentations and training, the better. And one more example, having a structured performance review process will reduce the concerns around unconscious bias and its effect on providing valuable, credible feedback. If you want to learn more, check out my course on Diversity and Inclusion.
Next, compliance. Like Diversity and Inclusion, following all appropriate state and federal laws is incredibly important to a successful operation. There are a number of laws throughout the globe that can affect the employment cycle.
In the US there are federal regulations associated to equal employment opportunities, workplace harassment, compensation and employee relations.
For example, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). According to the US Department of Labor, FLSA establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor standards affecting full-time and part-time workers in the private sector and in Federal, State, and local governments.
The European Union has established laws to protect the rights of workers covering the conditions of employment and protection of personal information. All of which is a part of your initiatives during the employment cycle.
And Asia has been experiencing a great deal of change in recent years, according to experts. Some countries continue to make attempts at simplifying its employment legislation while others are placing greater burdens on employers.
Speaking of employment laws, let’s turn our attention to the National Labor Relations Act or NLRA enacted by the US Congress in 1935. This law protects the rights of employees and employers to encourage collective bargaining, and to curtail certain private sector labor and management practices which can harm the general welfare of works, businesses and the US economy.
Another HR discipline associated to the entire employment cycle is labor relations, also referred to as industrial relations. Your workforce may or may not be affected by union activities but it’s important we acknowledge this particular human resources specialty. In the US, according to the Department of Labor, the National Labor Relations Board is charged with administering the NLRA by conducting elections to determine whether or not employees want union representation and investigating and remedying unfair labor practices by employers and unions.
Europe’s trade unions came together to form the European Trade Union Confederation in an effort to defend worker’s rights and have a stronger voice in making decisions at the European Union level.
And understanding labor relations issues in other parts of the world including Brazil, Russia, India and China, often referred to as BRIC, has become increasingly important as they dominate the supply chain for manufactured goods and services.
Human Resources Information Systems has emerged as a prominent HR discipline in the past decade. HRIS focuses on programs for managing employee data, reporting and analyzing employee information.
Today systems may be used to increase efficiency and effectiveness in each of the employment cycle phases. For example, recruiting software helps keep track of job applicants. Onboarding programs make it easier to submit new hire paperwork and complete mandatory training. Learning Management Systems maintain employee development activities, and employee self-service technology allows your workforce to access personal information such as W2 forms and benefits.
Let’s close out this lesson with a few more HR activities that span the entire cycle.
First, employee engagement. All HR and management activities in relation to each employment cycle phase should engage the employee. From Recruiting to Transition, we want them to be more than just satisfied but committed to the organization’s goals and success.
Next, Organizational Development, also known as OD, may also affect the entire employment cycle. OD activities are typically meant to improve the overall effectiveness of an organization including individual employees and teams. It has been associated to Change Management as well. I was very much involved in this type of work when our leadership team at a former employer was making significant changes to its strategic direction. I went through extensive training and facilitated workshops all in an effort to help employees simplify their work, remove redundant tasks and increase customer satisfaction.
Probably the youngest of these focus areas is HR analytics. It means to carefully analyze employee data for identifying trends, producing insights and determining outcomes. Now HR is being asked to transform data into meaningful information. Analytics is meant to examine raw data and draw conclusions from it. With the advancements in technology and the Human Resource Information Systems mentioned earlier, we are in the right position to use data gathered during the employment cycle for improving each phase! For example, in recruiting, we can predict how to achieve a better response rate for a job posting. Or in the Rewards phase, we can figure out the most appropriate salary range for employees and what incentives are the best motivators.
These examples may not include every process you support in your HR department but contain an overview of major activities that’ll impact the success of the cycle.
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Christina A. Danforth, SHRM-SCP & SPHR, launched HR Jetpack in 2016 to support the development and professional growth of her fellow HR colleagues. She started her HR career in 2002. After obtaining her Master’s in Business Administration degree, Christina joined United Technologies Corporation. She moved across the United States...