The talent management process should help organizations assume the compliance burden that comes with each new hire.
In today's highly regulated business environment, with each new hire your business increases its compliance burden. Consequently, the talent management process must help your business achieve compliance with a myriad of complex employee-related rules and regulations. So whether your firm needs to garnish wages, apply for a Work Opportunity Tax Credit or make sure that it classifies and pays employees appropriately, the path to compliance depends on the existence of robust processes supported with technology and managed by well-trained employees.
Document the Existing Processes
Before you consider making changes to how your organization manages its talent, you must understand the strengths and weaknesses of the existing processes. For example, this step would include creating a process map detailing the new-hire process, including how an employee's information ends up in the payroll system. The process map would encapsulate the entire process, as well as any exceptions to the process, the owners of each part of the process and the departments involved or impacted.
Note that while it's tempting to skip this step and begin creating a new and improved approach, you run the risk of overlooking critical yet undocumented steps that often reside within the minds of the employees who administer the process and nowhere else.
Is the Process Working?
During the current-state assessment, examine each phase of the process to identify elements that result in bottlenecks as well as those that produce the most errors. Ask those who administer the process for ways to improve it as well. By doing so, you'll increase their sense of ownership of the new process — and therefore the likelihood of a successful implementation.
Are We in Compliance?
Having documented your entire talent management process, assess the efficiency and effectiveness of your compliance efforts. Keep in mind, however, that achieving compliance is not the only yardstick to use. If compliance with a particular rule or regulation consumes a considerable amount of your employees' time and the firm's resources, there may be an opportunity to streamline that process.
Develop a New and Improved Process
With a detailed understanding of the current process and its failings, document how you'd like the process to function in the future. As part of that effort, make sure to solicit feedback from the individuals and departments involved in the process. Ideally, that means meeting with each stakeholder and reviewing the redesigned process in detail. Incorporate their feedback and resubmit the process map for their final review and approval. To avoid confusion, capture each stakeholder's approval to implement the new process in writing (an email should suffice).
Create New Training Materials and Standard Operating Procedures
Before adopting changes to the talent management process, create training materials regarding the revisions and improvements. Also, update your firm's standard operating procedures to reflect the changes you plan to adopt. In the abundance of caution, some firms pilot a new process within a particular region or line of business before they launch it company-wide. Regardless of how you choose to introduce the new process, be prepared for minor hiccups that may result from the new approach.
Commit to Periodic Reviews
Over time, the compliance environment changes. Simultaneously, the processes you have in place to meet regulatory expectations degrade. That's why it makes sense to revisit your talent management process on a regular basis.
And since regulators often assess penalties and fines associated for noncompliance on a per-incident basis, as is the case the with the Fair Labor Standards Act, the sooner you uncover an ineffective process, the better.
For more information, watch Workplace Compliance Spotlight: New Year, New Look at the Compliance of Your Hiring Practices.
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