It’s not uncommon to learn that some businesses are reluctant to update the tried and tested methods. And this always makes me think of one of my favourite quotes:

“The most dangerous phrase for a business is; ‘we’ve always done it this way’”

It’s not difficult to get stuck in a digital rut. Particularly if companies have been trading for many years. Time has taught us to think if it’s not broken don’t fix it, right?  Well, sometimes, and definitely in this case, we’re wrong.

Taking on paperless processes

Technology is everywhere. Today businesses are expected to be online in some capacity. And whilst it’s understandable that in a hands on industry like retail it might feel unnecessary to take on new tech, from a business perspective; it makes no sense not to.

Spending time hunting through piles of paper slows down response time in an age when most answers are a click away. Eliminating paper not only updates your methods and reduces the amount of paper your company consumes. But it also reduces the time and money spent managing it.

It also ensures that none of your documents go missing, that all your information easily searchable and backed up in a centralised location keeping all your information is secure. By taking on digital solutions your company can embrace these benefits whilst upping your efficiency and professional image.

So, what’s the best way to do this in HR?

Aside from the hundreds of cloud solutions that are adaptable and available today, there are different operating systems with a HR focus. Charlie, Zoho, and People HR are just a select few to look at. 

A millennial workforce

The biggest trend for the retail sector will be concerned with millennials. There has been a surge in the amount of Millennials entering retail employment in recent years. And unlike their previous baby-boomer generation, millennials are a more demanding workforce.

They are more likely to to need constant validation, communicate through social media and require a lot more guidance. The challenge for HR is to attract and retain this talent in an innovative way. And there are a variety of techniques and apps that can help with this.

Updating processes around recruitment

One way HR managers are attempting to become proactive in their recruiting search is by looking to social media.

Research from Aberdeen Group has seen 73% of 18-34 year olds find their most recent job through social media. And as social platforms have a large millennial population; it not only makes sense to recruit from these online sources, but it also financially makes sense as it’s a very cost effective solution. A software options such as JobVite are available to simplify your social recruiting process. Along with others like HireRabbit and BranchOut.

Electronic signature solutions are also a very effective way of streamlining your recruitment process. As soon as you have selected your successful candidate you can email their contract through the e-signature platform. They can then review and sign according to their schedule, or even on-the-go, and contracts are returned as soon as they’re completed. Removing the need for in-store visits and cut out printing and postage costs. Try Signable’s free trial for an e-sig solution.

Maintaining company culture and hiring the right team

In 2015 2.8 million people were employed by the retail sector, and as retailers continue to hire more employees we can only expect the momentum to continue.

Customer facing sales roles usually receive thousands of applicants, and so the challenge of picking the right candidate is that much harder. This can mean sieving through a high volume of C.V’s often in a short period of time, especially around the seasonal period, making it easy for an applicant to go unrecognised.

Follow in other’s footsteps

Big names in the retail sector that are leading by example include companies like H&M Hennes, Heal & Sons and Jacques Vert; who use HR & Payroll software in their day to day work to ensure it’s done quickly.

However other businesses such as The Home Depot & Woolworths are already recognising employees performance with the Tap My Back tool and L’Oreal have been utilising social media to improve their recruitment, saving a recruiter for UK Body Shop £20,000!

Don’t waste your time with systems that are time consuming and feel counterproductive. Using software as a solution means your business is constantly innovating and streamlining it’s approach. And as a report by Business Review Europe highlights how “new technology adoption is crucial to business success … businesses can only progress as quickly as IT enables them to – it’s business at the speed of IT.”

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