Why Human Capital Management is crucial in an unpredictable world

Vincent Belliveau

Chief International Officer, Cornerstone

Businesses worldwide face challenging times, with inflation and the energy crisis creating significant pressures. It's not the first time we are encountering global business challenges, and it certainly won't be the last. Think of all the other upheavals businesses have had to weather in recent years, from Brexit to COVID-19, the Great Resignation, and more. Even before this, there was the 2008 financial meltdown. We can glean that there will always be times of instability that we need to prepare for.

Large businesses can typically weather most storms, relying on their size and infrastructure to absorb temporary rises in costs or revenue. But it's more complex for small and medium-sized-businesses (SMBs). And yet they are the backbone of many economies. SMBs make up a staggering 99.8% of all companies in the EU. A stable yet agile workforce management structure for these businesses will be key to riding out turbulent times. Technology plays a crucial role here, allowing SMBs to build a landscape where everyone can thrive. Through our Cornerstone People Research Lab’s 2023 Trends Report, we found that even though 90% of CEOs globally expect digital transformation to disrupt their company, only 30% believe their workforce is ready with the right skills.

A complete view of your workforce with HCM

HCM is the process of building the right teams and managing them as effectively as possible. This type of talent management involves a combination of systems and processes that are applied to a range of administrative and strategic considerations, there are numerous benefits.

A standardised, centralised and easy-to-use interface gives HR and leaders a complete, holistic view of their workforce, allowing them to assess performance and skills gaps. In 2022, our learning and trends report found that just 55% of employees globally said that they had confidence in their organisation’s skills development as a priority. There’s a concerning and growing gap between how organisations view their ability to deliver on skills development and how employees experience it. The solution? Organisations should be looking to implement targeted, effective training and hiring practices to place talent in the right place according to their needs and skillset, meaning quicker decision making and reaction times, and allowing SMBs to keep up with evolving external factors.

Onboarding new staff can also become far more efficient with an integrated HCM approach. Why? Because it takes away the mundane, repetitive tasks to onboard an individual. Research has shown that companies prioritising onboarding increase retention by 82%, so getting this right is vital. 96% cite employee experience as the top lever for HR’s future successes, further highlighting the strong connection between a streamlined onboarding process, employee experience, talent management and retention.

HCM offers cost savings

Efficient HCM also offers significant cost savings. Research suggests that 90% of employees are frequently burdened with repetitive administrative duties, which hinders activities that could boost business success. A robust HCM system can automate many of these tasks, making processes more efficient and freeing up a significant amount of time.

In times of economic downturn, HR procedures need to be more efficient than ever, as should how employees work. The problem for SMBs is that their size often means they can’t allocate entire departments to the task of HR management. This can lead to ‘ad hoc’ HR managers, who take on the task as well as other responsibilities. Meaning that those responsible being spread too thin to work effectively. This can often be compounded by having too many systems or platforms, making it difficult to streamline information and provide actionable solutions. The impact this can have on people management is significant, and poor management can lead to a higher turnover of staff.

Conclusion: Embrace the benefits of HCM

Businesses and SMBs should fully embrace the potential benefits that can come from having agile, scalable, efficient and well-structured talent management HR systems. Taking advantage of the many technological solutions that complement any human effort is becoming important to streamline processes. By having a single system for core data as well as talent and skills development processes, firms are able to leverage all the data that is available to them and companies can become robust and adaptable to weather the tough times ahead.

For more information on how Cornerstone can help you transform your HCM processes, read our 2023 Trends Report

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