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4 Reasons To Invite HR To Your Strategic Planning Meetings

Your human resources department isn’t just around to settle squabbles and find new talent–it should be a year-round inclusion.

4 Reasons To Invite HR To Your Strategic Planning Meetings
[Photo: Flickr user Andrew Magill]

As companies reflect on the successes and failures of the previous year and plan for the year ahead, upper management is busy reviewing strategies and carefully aligning each to the goals and values of their organizations. But while it makes sense for human resources to be included in these discussions, many businesses are still treating HR as an afterthought rather than an opportunity to attract the right talent to achieve success.

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These businesses are mistakenly prioritizing talent acquisition only when there is an urgent need for hires.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, hiring increases come in large waves throughout the year, particularly in the first quarter, summer months, and near the end of the year when holiday hiring picks up. When these hiring waves hit, company leadership turns to the HR department for help. Other factors like bouts of employee turnover, sudden business growth, or a need to quickly hire candidates with particular skillsets also bring HR to the forefront.

But what these businesses don’t recognize is how important it is to align the direction of the company with any foreseeable talent needs for the year. Bringing HR in earlier during the strategic planning stages can help ensure that the overall goals of your organization are being supported. Below are four benefits you’ll receive by giving HR a seat at the executive table:

1. Happier Employees

Beyond finding the right candidates, HR is responsible for a series of functions like succession planning, performance assessments, and career pathing, as well as identifying talent acquisition software that will lead the company to success. HR also plays a major role in employee engagement and satisfaction, which is crucial to developing a productive workforce with low turnover.

According to recent research from the Hire Expectations Institute, the majority of today’s job seekers prefer to work in a “clan culture:” a collaborative, mentoring, team-oriented environment. Creating a desirable work environment increases an employer’s ability to attract and retain top talent.

Additionally, developing a formal, nurturing HR onboarding process leads to higher employee retention and performance, which is mutually beneficial for hiring manager and the overall company. HR’s ability to effectively drive employee development in this manner will ultimately shape the company’s corporate culture and employee perception.

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2. Position Your Company For Successful Scaling

If you’re looking to grow your business within the next year or two, or even in the distant future, it’s best to involve your HR team now. If HR professionals have a purview into the direction the company is heading, they can proactively plan for organizational shifts. This is also important if a company is planning on scaling down its offerings or workforce, allowing HR to appropriately plan for the change communication ahead of time.

3. Shorten The Time To Fill Open Positions

American economics researchers recently found that the average length of time for job vacancies is at an all-time high in the U.S., with job openings staying unfilled for around 25 days on average. Avoid the lost time and revenue of unfilled positions by looping HR in early.

As an added bonus, when HR departments have insight into your goals, they can also confirm the correct tools and technologies are in place to prep for hiring and efficient onboarding. A talent CRM, for example, enables recruiting professionals to develop and maintain pools of interested passive candidates for easier job fills. It also builds a strong employment brand through automated recruitment marketing efforts, such as targeted email campaigns and branded career portals.

4. Keep Your Culture In Check

Expanding into a different industry or planning to evolve your company? Having HR at the table from a business planning perspective allows your organization to effectively recruit and develop future employees. At the same time, HR can work on aligning the existing culture by providing forward-thinking professional development to current employees.

Research shows more than half of employees believe a career mentor would help them develop professionally. Introducing hiring managers as mentors during onboarding contributes to that professional development, which has a major impact on employee experience throughout their tenure at the company.

Including HR in annual business planning will help create work environments and companies focused on cultures, values, and goals. HR manages the most important assets at your company–the people–and aligning their plans with your business strategies helps to strengthen the overall success and profitability of your business.

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Colin Day is founder and CEO of iCIMS.

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