It’s everywhere. Everybody is feeling the squeeze.

Employees are quitting at record rates. It’s ripping through the bottom line of most every business. It’s sinking the employee experience. And it’s making it nearly impossible to reach business goals.

And if you’re in HR, it’s making your life a whole lot harder.

Make no mistake – the situation is difficult for HR. However, with all change comes opportunity.

There’s never been a better time to hit pause, rethink our efforts and priorities, and brainstorm how we can do things differently.

Here are four ways HR can turn disaster into opportunity through the Great Resignation:

Shifting From Process to People

In the past, process has been a key focus for HR leaders. Administrative tasks like reports, benefits and payroll are still important, but HR can add so much more value by focusing on people.

Consider the typical HR response to a complaint. Ordinarily HR has a conversation with the employee filing a complaint, they talk to the person on the receiving end of the complaint, and lastly, they file a situation report.

But what if HR stepped in to mediate a direct conversation between these two individuals? You’d be surprised how beneficial it can be to talk it out face-to-face with HR mediating it to ensure things stay civil and productive.

This is just one example of how HR can step back a little from the red tape and refocus on people.

In a time where so many are deciding to leave their companies, now is the perfect opportunity to rethink how HR can better serve the PEOPLE on our teams.

Shifting From Compliance to a Strategic Focus

Compliance has always been a necessary and key priority for HR departments. COVID has certainly made things even more difficult, with tasks like COVID tracking and protocols eating up a lot of time and resources.

However, it’s never been more important for business leaders to have a true strategic partner in HR.

Whether it’s accelerating change or organizational engineering, all business challenges start and end with our people. More and more HR departments are brainstorming big ways to connect their efforts and initiatives to the overarching business strategy.

Leveraging data in key people decisions is very important here. The best HR departments are using data to figure out the best ways to organize teams.

As an example, data from the Predictive Index might tell us which groups of people will have true chemistry as a team. Alternatively, the data might indicate which people will be better suited to serving customers versus bringing in new business.

This type of information is incredibly valuable for building a people strategy to drive more revenue.

HR can add so much more value by working to deeply understand the business, its current strategy, and how it can work with people to get there.

Shifting From Treating Symptoms to Treating Root Causes

While we’re looking at the big picture, another opportunity here is to treat root causes rather than symptoms.

Look at the turnover that everyone is dealing with. The knee jerk reaction is to dump resources into hiring to keep up with the loss of talent.

But that’s only treating the symptoms…not the root cause.

If you hire like crazy while you still have turnover issues, you’re going to waste a TON of time and money hiring people that will only quit later.

We understand the need to hire people ASAP, but you have to also investigate why these issues are occurring in the first place!

On a similar note, HR must go from a “filling seats” mentality to true strategic hiring. Rather than just hiring the best candidate we can find, we must hire candidates that truly mesh with our teams and leaders. Again, data can be a huge help here!

For example, the platform from Perception Predict allows us to predict which sales candidates will excel in our unique selling environment.

It even goes so far as to allow us to hire candidates straight from high school or college who you can be confident will excel with proper skills training. Talk about value-added hires!

The point is to look at the big picture and remember WHY HR is assigned to do these tasks, and how we can deliver the most value to the business when we do so.

Crisis is the Great Exaggerator

If you were a great leader before COVID hit, your effectiveness as a leader was only highlighted. But if your leadership left something to be desired, COVID made that loud and clear.

The same goes for HR. The best HR teams have added TREMENDOUS value to their companies through close attention to compliance, process, people AND strategy over the last few years.

Whatever your situation at present, it’s an opportunity to brainstorm how you can do even better in the future. Change always brings opportunity!