Employee experience is a top priority for 92 percent of organizations this year according to data from isolved’s Transforming Employee Experience Report.
This means it’s more important than ever for service bureaus – like administrative service organizations (ASOs), professional employer organizations (PEOs) and traditional payroll providers – to offer technology that clients can use to engage their employees at every stage of the employment life cycle.
Starting with Recruitment
Recruitment was difficult before the pandemic, but there are even more challenges with the nature of today’s remote work environment. Clients are expecting applicant tracking software that’s not only efficient, but also provides a good experience to potential employees.
Clear communication is one of the best ways to improve the applicant experience. In fact, data shows that 58 percent of candidates prioritize clear and regular communication during the application process. Service bureaus can help clients meet this expectation by offering a comprehensive human capital management (HCM) platform that makes it easy for hiring managers to stay connected with candidates.
Automated email prompts, for example, can be used to ensure a regular cadence of communication, while virtual interview capabilities allow candidates to independently answer recruiter questions via audio or video. These submissions can be reviewed when hiring managers have downtime, which streamlines processes for employers while also keeping things moving from the applicant’s point of view.
Making a Good Impression During Onboarding
Recruitment may be the first impression, but onboarding leaves a lasting impression. This is why service bureaus need to improve the onboarding experience for new employees by equipping clients with tech that eliminates paperwork and provides self-service tools.
Empowering new hires to electronically sign documents and enter personal information into their HCM profiles, for example, enhances the onboarding experience while also improving data accuracy. Employees are able to take ownership of submitting items like emergency contacts and direct deposit preferences, which frees up human resources (HR) teams to focus on other activities. The ability to electronically fill out and sign forms further streamlines the onboarding process.
Developing Talent from Within
Learning opportunities were identified as the top way employees would like employers to engage them this year according to data from isolved’s 2021 HR Trends Report. By offering a learning management system (LMS), service bureaus can help their clients improve engagement while also developing talent from within: a win-win for employers. In fact, isolved’s Senior Vice President of Network Sales Rick Torrence says that an LMS is critical for maintaining employees’ skill sets.
“Technology skills change very quickly, so there is a limited amount of time for employees’ skill sets to stay current during employment. As a result, clients are starting to expect technology from their service providers that supports employee development,” said Torrence. “Even clients with smaller businesses are looking for tools that can help facilitate employee training.”
Retaining Through Daily Experiences
While learning opportunities and positive experiences at the start of an employee’s tenure are important, it is the day-to-day experience that will impact employees’ decisions to stay with a company long term. A robust HCM platform enables service bureaus to provide clients with the technology needed to transform employee experience. Plus, HCM tools that engage employees come with a huge benefit – reducing turnover.
“Tools available in the HCM market that enable service bureaus to improve their clients’ employee experience are becoming more important every day,” said Torrence. “Employers may not be worried about payroll, but they are worried about engagement. Engagement reduces turnover and turnover costs money. Those are the things that clients are looking for, and those are the things that service bureaus need to offer.”
Technology that encourages employees to collaborate and take an active role in their job performance can make an impact on overall experience. For example, offering an internal platform that uses social media-style interactions – such as posts, comments, likes and shares – improves engagement as well as productivity. Conversely, technology that empowers employees to take an active role in goal setting and performance review processes improves motivation. Torrence notes that some millennial employees may have increasing expectations around receiving feedback, which means service bureaus should be providing support to help clients meet those expectations and streamline feedback processes.
Coming Full Circle at Offboarding
Whether an employee is retiring or switching careers, it is essential that employers maintain consistency during offboarding. After all, ensuring a positive experience throughout the employee’s tenure means nothing if offboarding leaves them with a negative perception of the company.
Service bureaus should make sure their clients have access to offboarding technology that simplifies processes with workflows that support getting electronic signatures for necessary documents as well as collecting feedback via exit surveys and interviews.
A Positive Employee Experience from Hire to Retire
While there are many ways to improve the employee experience, it is important to consider every stage of the employment life cycle when thinking through strategies. Service bureaus that offer technology that supports the entire employee journey will have a competitive advantage and be more likely to meet (and exceed) their clients’ expectations.
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