Don't get tripped up while implementing new software

Whether talking about inevitability or being the only constant, cliched quotes about change are in no short supply. That, however, does not make them any less true. Change is crucial for any business looking to adapt and innovate, but it can also be trouble for a company that is not prepared for it. Implementing new technology such as recruitment software is a key to keeping ahead of change, but it can present challenges along with opportunities.

The importance of keeping up in Australia

The exponential expansion of digital connectedness in Australia is fundamentally changing how we live and work. According to Tomorrow's Digitally Enabled Workforce, a report by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia has the fourth-highest rate of mobile broadband connectedness worldwide. 

One-third of Australian companies are looking to boost their staff numbers in the first half of 2016.

Widespread access to the internet has effects that ripple across all segments of life, including employment. In a trend that would have been unthinkable even just a few years ago, data gathered for the CSIRO report found that 93 per cent of recruiters anticipate social media playing a role in hiring, or are already using it in their hiring process.

Social media and companies' willingness to leverage it as a tool has created an almost limitless candidate pool, one that has arrived in time to meet hiring expectations and needs. According to Hudson's report Forward Focus 2016, one-third of Australian companies are looking to boost their staff numbers in the first half of 2016. Of those companies, half say it is out of a need to bolster a growing business. This staffing need has resulted in the highest net intention to hire rate in four years, 23.5 per cent. 

Why change causes issues

With companies looking to grow through hiring, it is all the more important to move to an optimised and efficient human capital management (HCM) system. A lack of efficiency that arises from outdated HCM methods could have a number of harmful repercussions that could hobble a company's ability to smoothly and successfully expand.

Recruitment software can help companies manage growth.Recruitment software can help companies manage growth.

Implementing any new initiative, particularly recruitment software, can be rather tumultuous and will require a solid plan to avoid pitfalls. In a Robert Half Management Resources survey, 46 per cent of senior managers said that the execution stage is where attempts at managing change fail.

There are a number of reasons for the lack of success in implementation stages at all levels of the corporate ladder. A lack of leadership, conflicting expectations from stakeholders, and staff inability to cope can all derail the most most well-intentioned campaign. A report by Deloitte, for example, found that 72 per cent of companies that had recently implemented new HR software said contrasting requirements placed burdens on the transition. 

Communication can help managers navigate change

Making sure employees feel in the loop is a key component of keeping them on board with any new initiative

There are a number of methods companies can turn to in order to head off stumbling blocks and ensure a smooth transition to a new recruitment software platform. In the Robert Half survey, senior managers were asked about the most crucial step to take when navigating a period of transition. An overwhelming majority, 65 per cent, answered with frequent and clear communication.

Making sure employees feel in the loop is a key component of keeping them on board with any new initiative, particularly if they are concerned about what effects such a shift could have on their future.

"Whether major or incremental, many companies are initiating changes, from transforming their business models to updating business systems and looking for ways to enhance productivity. While change is never easy for a company, it's even harder for employees," explained Robert Half Management Resources Executive Director Tim Hird.

"People naturally worry what a transition will mean for them. To prevent rumours, resentment and stress, managers must quickly and continuously update staff, not just on the nuts and bolts of the change but also on how team members will be expected to contribute and, ultimately, benefit from it."

Plan for success with new initiatives

Planning can help a company sail smoothly through new recruitment software implementation.Planning can help a company sail smoothly through new recruitment software implementation.

Communication can help a schooner weather the storm of change, but the ship must be prepared before it sets sail. Before implementation of new software, companies must make sure that everyone involved knows these key points:

  • Who is leading the initiative?
  • Who do I go to if an issue arises?
  • What are our goals and expected outcomes?

If everyone on the team is clearly informed about these points, it will pay dividends towards the project's chances of success.

On-boarding of new staff presents another opportunity to proactively plan for change management. The Hudson report found that the ability to advance and handle change was one of the most lacking skill sets at 44 per cent. Companies can take advantage of this lack by incorporating this skill into training processes. This not only ensures that all employees have this crucial skill, but also results in everyone being on the same page in a transition period.

By taking the right precautions, any company can achieve a successful implementation of new recruitment software.

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