There have been many times this year when business leaders and HR have been called on to make incredibly fast workforce decisions. At the start of the pandemic, many businesses had to quickly implement full-time homeworking policies for the first time. Then, as lockdown eased, businesses had to swiftly find COVID-19-safe operating solutions.

The HR industry has long promoted agility – but the scale of agility that’s been essential over the last 5 months is something few were ready for.

hr staff employee cogs act

The pace that businesses will need to maintain in their decision making and HR processes isn’t going to slow down. If someone in an organisation (who has worked on site) comes down with COVID-19, an HR process to deal with the situation quickly and thoroughly will be essential. If redundancies have to be made at short notice, businesses will need workforce data ready to make the best decisions possible. And if the opposite occurs, whereby a business needs to scale up at pace, well-organised recruitment and onboarding will be a boon.

Cezanne HR helps businesses to quickly manage all these scenarios, making information and processes clear and readily available.

Scenario One: An employee who has been on site falls ill with COVID-19

All businesses with on-site employees need an action plan to cover what they would do in the instance an on-site employee was to fall ill with COVID-19.

  • How would you alert fellow staff that the ill employee has come into contact with?
  • If your office needs to shut, how do you get the message to everyone?
  • How will you organise any cleaning that’s needed?
  • How will you record the employee’s absence, and track when they’re safe to return to work?

Cezanne HR can help with all the above and more. Whereas businesses without HR systems would be slowed down by spreadsheets, Outlook communications, etc. businesses with Cezanne HR can:

  • Refer to readily available checklists (pre-prepared by the HR team) to understand what steps need to be taken in the event of a COVID-19 diagnosis of an on-site employee. Cezanne HR’s checklists can be used to manage processes and notify people when they need to complete set tasks. For instance, if cleaning needs to be organised, this can be included in the checklist.
  • Quickly find out who has been on site with the unwell employee. This can be done using the clock in/clock out feature, calendar events, or form requests (whichever Cezanne HR solution works best for the organisation).
  • Advise staff members as needed about the situation. Through Cezanne HR, an email template can be used to notify multiple people at once with all the relevant details.
  • Use the Absence Management module to keep a record of COVID-19-related absences.

Scenario Two: The business needs to make quick redundancy decisions to stay afloat

COVID-19’s economic fallout unfortunately makes redundancies inevitable – the latest statistics from the ONS show that redundancies in the UK are rising. There have been various news headlines about redundancies recently, and for businesses facing similar hard decisions about headcount, key questions will need to be asked:

  • Is there a set savings figure we need to achieve as a result of redundancies?
  • How do we know that the redundancy choices we’re making will achieve that financial goal?
  • Are our redundancy decisions taking future talent pipelines into account?
  • Are there any other options, such as offering reduced hours?

Answering these questions requires specific workforce insights, and businesses will need accurate information that is readily available. Cezanne HR can help resolve these queries quickly so businesses can make informed decisions about redundancies.

  • Using the Compensation History search (one of Cezanne HR’s many available searches) to look up compensation, a report can then be created that includes employees’ current and former salaries. This report can then be downloaded as an Excel file so various calculations can be made to ensure any redundancy decisions add up to the necessary cost savings.
  • Cezanne HR’s Career and Succession module includes a talent pool function. By running a search on particular talent pools, HR and business leaders can understand how talent is spread across the organisation, ensuring redundancy decisions don’t leave critical areas short.
  • The search function can also be used to understand a business’ FTE distribution. HR and business leaders might uncover areas of the organisation where shorter working hours could be offered in order to retain more staff. This may be a controversial option for a business to explore, but having the data to hand means that informed decisions can be made.

Scenario Three: Business demand has increased rapidly, and new staff need to be onboarded quickly

For some businesses, COVID-19 has created an unexpected increase in sales. But businesses can just as easily fail from over demand as under demand, so it’s critical for a business to be able to scale up swiftly when needed.

  • If you had to hire new staff within a short timeframe, keeping costs minimal, how would you do that?
  • How will you extend employment offers and receive required paperwork from new employees quickly?
  • Are your onboarding processes easy to follow and manage?
  • What can you do to quickly welcome new employees and make them feel like part of the team?

Cezanne HR can help businesses manage unexpected recruitment and onboarding. ‘Unexpected’ doesn’t need to mean ‘unprepared’. Having HR software in place to facilitate the process allows businesses to get the most from their new hires as quickly as possible.

  • Cezanne HR’s Recruitment module is a cost-effective and quick way for businesses to manage recruitment drives. It allows HR to create vacancies and job application forms, and to push vacant posts out to job boards. Cezanne HR’s Recruitment module can be integrated with a company’s website so application forms and vacancies can be posted there, too. And, the module makes it a lot easier to qualify and communicate with candidates, so HR don’t have to waste as much time sifting through inappropriate applications or following up by email – even more helpful now vacancies are attracting high volumes of responses. As candidates start to apply, the module will then help keep track of interviews, and after an offer is made, it will allow HR to transfer the successful candidate’s details across to the Cezanne HR core People module.
  • Once an applicant has been offered a position, the business will no doubt want them to start as soon as possible. Making an offer and sending out contracts is a fast process with Cezanne HR. Using the Document Tracking process, a new-starter can receive all their paperwork electronically via shared links, and then e-sign documents as needed. Any documentation that the new hire needs to provide can be added by them to their Cezanne HR record, with a notification being sent to HR to advise that’s been done; or HR can add documents to the new employee’s file themselves.
  • One of the common pitfalls to quick onboarding is failing to define a process, including who is responsible for what. Cezanne HR’s checklist functionality in the Onboarding module allows HR to create a comprehensive task list, covering everything that needs to be done to onboard a new employee. It also allows HR to assign these tasks to the right people in the business, to send notifications that tasks need to be completed, and to see when things have been done. Using these checklists helps keep onboarding on track and on time.
  • If you need a new employee to get up to speed quickly, making them feel part of the team as early on as possible is essential. If staff are working from home, it will be even more important to have the right digital tools in place to facilitate team introductions. Cezanne HR’s Onboarding module allows businesses to send new hires a welcome email that links to an onboarding portal. This portal can be used to tell the new employee more about the company, their team, and what they need to do before their first day; and it can include video messages, too.

The scenarios above are just three of many situations that businesses might find themselves in over the coming months. Being able to view, communicate with, add to and reduce workforces will no doubt be on the agenda for many – and when a need arises at short notice, an HR management system like Cezanne HR is a crucial tool to act with speed and accuracy. Find out how Cezanne HR can help your business by booking a free no-obligation demonstration of the system.

Shandel McAuliffe author image

Shandel McAuliffe

Now based in sunny Australia, Shandel is prolific writer and editor - particularly in the world of HR. She's worked for some big names, including the CIPD and the Adecco Group. And more recently, she's been the Editor for new HR publication HR Leader.