a growing need for a proactive HR department

During a crisis, many HR departments are scrambling to cover short-term needs such as filling unanticipated vacancies or performing unplanned layoffs. But it doesn't have to be that way.

With the right HR strategy, HR teams can become much more proactive and prepared for unforeseen events.  A proactive strategy is all about securing a properly balanced workforce that optimally supports fluctuating production needs in the long term – and stays happy doing so. Moreover, transitioning to a proactive planning approach will have a significant impact on your company's bottom line, your KPIs, and resources

how to become a more proactive HR department

A proactive HR strategy is a prerequisite for being able to grow in uncertain times as it allows you to adapt to market fluctuations.

As Deloitte noted in its 2020 Global Human Capital Trends report, businesses need to invest in 'resilience for uncertain futures' if they want to succeed in 'a world where the only constant is change'. More than half (53%) of the companies surveyed by Deloitte said at least half of their workforce would need to change their skills and capabilities in the next three years.

By reshaping your talent strategy, you can make sure that you have the right talent at the right time. Below, we have outlined four steps on how to become more proactive as an HR department.

align with your main business goals

As an HR department, you have an essential task of predicting which skill sets will be required in the future. Therefore, you need to work closely with strategic decision-makers to align your HR strategy with long-term business goals. Only then can you predict which roles and teams will most likely be hired next. By having a close dialogue with senior management, you can create a forecast for your staffing needs in the coming years.

build a talent pipeline

When you have identified the roles and made a plan for your future staffing needs, the next step is to make sure you can fill these roles quickly whenever the staffing need occurs. To do this, you need to take a proactive approach to building a talent pipeline. By establishing a network of potential candidates, you won't have to waste time sourcing candidates when vacancies suddenly arise.

There are different tactics to build a talent pipeline. For example, you can send representatives to networking events and conferences, request referrals from your current employees, or bookmark interesting profiles on LinkedIn.  With tools like Brazen, you can even do this online. Once you've identified potential candidates, explain that while your company doesn't currently have any openings, you think they'd be an excellent fit in the future. Then, make sure you stay in touch until a need arises.

leverage flexible talent

To future-proof your organisation for unforeseen events you’ll need to add more agility to your sourcing strategy. This is why the flexible workforce is growing in popularity compared to the traditionally permanent, employee workforce. A flexible workforce gives you access to the right competencies at the right time and offers significant cost savings.

Research by American Express has shown that 75% of businesses think hiring contractors, freelancers and temporary workers will be an important part of their employment practices in the coming years.

strengthen your employer brand

If you have a strong employer brand, you’ll attract more qualified candidates. That's why you constantly need to plan for how to communicate your culture, perks and benefits. Many millennials are looking for meaningful work, and digitally advanced companies that offer ongoing opportunities for learning, development and growth.

learn more about building an effective talent acquisition strategy

If you have further interest in understanding how your HR department can improve, there is more to learn about talent acquisition. We've compiled an in-depth guide on how you can build an effective talent acquisition strategy.

The guide contains the following:

  • introduction to talent acquisition strategy
  • recognising talent acquisition pain points
  • connecting a talent acquisition strategy to ROI
  • steps to building an effective talent acquisition strategy
  • how a staffing partner can help