Future of HR: It’s Not Rocket Science, But Behaviour Science !

hr behaviour scienceImage Source: bookboonglobal.com

Story 1: Romeo graduated from a good university in Mumbai with an Engineering degree in Computer Science in 2014, and approx. 2 years’ experience landed a perfect job with a mid-sized software firm, he was excited about his new career path.

But when Romeo (not his real name) arrived the first day, it was obvious that the hiring manager or HR hadn’t given much thought to the role of their new Software Engineer. They gave him a desk with lot of paper forms to fill-in and told him to “sit tight” while they figured out what to do with him.

On the second day, Romeo had go through a lot of paper policies and SOPs. On the third day, an associate asked him to help him out with some research work. Since he had good googling skills (and nothing else to do), he agreed. The next day the hiring manager informed him that, in addition to being the Software Engineer, he would be the team’s official googler (I mean researcher).

By the end of the second week, it was clear that the job was more googling than software development. He decided that he’d rather be unemployed than unhappily employed—so he quit.

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Story 2: Juliet (not her real name) from Chennai with 5 years of experience in Software engineering landed a job in a large software firm in Bangalore. She was excited about the new role as an IT Analyst.

It was a new place and a higher responsibility (job wise) for her; she was excited at the same time had lot of questions. The only go-to person was the recruiter and whenever she tried to call the recruiter for help; the number was either busy or the recruiter was not able to guide her positively. There was no way to reach out to the hiring manager; because she saw the hiring manager only at the interview time and that’s about it; no contacts exchanged.

As the days near to the date of joining; she was even more confused (as to whether it’s a wise decision to join the new Company, new team, new location etc.) and about that same time; came the counter offer from her current boss. Juliet thought, known devil is better than an unknown angel (what a cliché) and decided to not to show-up on the DOJ at Bangalore (and now Juliet’s number was always busy or switched-off for the recruiter to get a hold on)…..

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Now think about the situations (in disguise) above. In both the cases everyone started great and were happy in the beginning; but somehow managed to reach the unhappy lane and part ways, dissatisfied.

Do we need any kind of Rocket Science to figure out what happened in both these cases? Is it the Recruiter or HR’s fault? Is it the Hiring Manager or New-hire’s fault? A BIG NO.

So the actual question is; Why do people do what they do? And why don’t they do what they should do? It’s all about BS (Behaviour Science).

  1. Recruiters often oversell a position, because they’re being pressured to hire someone; even if that person isn’t a good fit for the job or the organisation. And once they close a position; it’s not like they have free time to help the offered candidates with their questions.
  2. Hiring managers are already juggling with many tasks in hand and do not enough mind space to track and nurture or help the candidates offered.
  3. HR doesn’t seem to have enough bandwidth to tackle internal engagement, let alone the new-hires. While HR team is challenged to develop successful onboarding programs; many have to deal with a lot of prejudices (on their value add). Mostly, HR is kind of hidden, or seen as the place you go only when you’re having problems.
  4. New-hires are all about learning and growth (especially millennials and gen Z). If they aren’t learning and growing, they will leave or quit even before they join.

Everyone knows the importance of nurturing, mentoring and connecting with the new hires. But no one is aware of when to do what, because; it is very complex and time consuming to keep track of all the new hires and their expectations or engagement levels, to do the right thing. At the end of the day, poor expectation management becomes one of the main reasons for offer drops (No-Shows) and early attrition.

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There are three main expectations new-hires (for that matter any employee transitioning to new roles) hold dear and look for help within the organisation to have the expectations fulfilled.

  1. Role clarity – Am I clear about the role and responsibilities
  2. Self-efficacy (self-confidence) – Am I confident in doing the role offered
  3. Social acceptance – Am I accepted by my team and feel a part of the organisation

So, let’s get one thing right; Onboarding begins way before the first day. Onboarding works best when it is a comprehensive, systematic process of integrating new-hires into the organization.

Once you’re sure you’ve found the one, don’t waste any time making that call. It’s a competitive job market out there and candidates get swooped up very quickly. Make a verbal offer, including salary and benefits and see if the person will commit verbally. After your discussion on the phone, follow up quickly with the formal letter of offer.

Job accepted and new-hire locked in, whew! time to hang up your ‘Recruiter/Hiring Manager’ hat and get back to work as usual, right? A BIG NO again!

Get this right folks, any time you spend helping your new-hires integrate quickly and effectively is not time wasted; especially if it prevents them from being one of the 22% of new-hires who quit within three months.

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So, consider the below tactics (only a dozen);

  1. Set-up the new-hire’s pre-boarding conversations well in advance of the first day
  2. Send a personal welcome letter from the team or hiring manager
  3. Introduce the new-hire to behind-the-scenes networks; such as sports teams, CSR team, Fun club, communities of common interest, etc.
  4. Invite the employee to meetings and events that can further help him or her adapt (before joining)
  5. Provide prescheduled meetings with managers and key employees. Also ensure frequent opportunities for two-way communications and “check-in” feedback sessions
  6. Introduce the new-hires to: Company social networks, buddy, cohort, blogs, wikis, etc.
  7. Make sure their workspace, computer and necessary programs are set up and ready to roll
  8. Prepare a welcome kit that outlines important procedures and explains how to do key tasks
  9. Treat the process around a new-hire joining your Company as a celebration, rather than an administrative task
  10. Choose a colleague to act as their mentor/buddy during the first few weeks or months
  11. Assign the new-hire to special projects that can further his or her assimilation
  12. Don’t just throw them into the deep end and leave them alone to figure things out for themselves

Technology helps but never drives human beings. The point is that we all want to be connected (purpose); and Neuro-biologically that’s how we are wired.

Behaviour Science it is. Some call it an art; we call it IOXY.

Light Speed.

(Disclaimer: This is a guest article contributed on Techstory. All content as well as views expressed are those of the author. Techstory is not responsible or liable for any content in this article.)

Image Credits: gcn.com

About The Author:

Preboarding Smart bots author AnishAnish Padinjaroote Co-founder & Learner Aout Innovations.

Aout is a technology company with Behaviour science based SMART bots and next generation AI at its core. IOXY is their first product; addressing Pre-boarding issues.

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