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HR THEN & NOW: My, how HR has changed (and improved) in 15 years!

Posted on: August 17th, 2017 | Category: Applicant Attraction, Events, Human Resources, Our Blog

HR history 2002 vs 2017Last week, we regaled you with a fun walk down memory lane for our 15th anniversary. We even took Hollywood along with us (sort of). This week, we wanted to take a look back at how much the world of human resources has changed since 2002. The profession has changed significantly, and its impact on business has grown dramatically.


2002: Human Resource was still sometimes called Personnel.

  • The antiquated term “personnel” reflected a collection of tasks that were often handed over to a general administrative staff that was handed the work of HR to handle as part of their overall duties. Holding a degree in HR while being tasked with HR functions was not as commonplace as it is today.
  • Although changes towards employee contributions were starting to happen, healthcare was usually almost completely covered by employers, with co-pays either very inexpensive or nonexistent.
  • Medical marijuana? What’s that?
  • An HR person (or persons) was assigned to sit in an office, where employees could pop in anytime to talk or seek assistance.

TODAY: HR is part of the management team.

  • In 2017, HR not only has a seat at the table, but it requires a full body of knowledge that can be obtained through an undergraduate or even graduate degree. (Our employees are all certified or degreed, plus experienced professionals.)
  • Healthcare is not only more expensive and complicated, but the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is one of the most carefully watched news items coming out of Washington. Compliance issues abound, and employers are on the hook no matter what comes next.
  • medical marijuana in the workplace

    Medical marijuana and the workplace: what you need to know

    Medical marijuana and the legalized recreational use of pot in some states are issues employers need to navigate with care, with a whole host of issues and ethics to deal with.

  • Today’s in-house HR professional is burdened with a multitude of policies and federal, state and even local compliance requirements, on top of hiring and employee management responsibilities. Many of the HR tasks are outsourced to vendors who work remotely or are available via call centers to help support the large demands of today’s organizations.


2002: Focus on the boss

  • Are you scaring off prime candidates with a lousy “careers” page on your website?

    Employees were often expected to work 60, 70, 80+ hours per week, regardless of what their job descriptions said. This was not just necessary but an unspoken way to prove your commitment to your organization in a common culture that made many people feel disposable.

  • Employees were expected to be appreciative without being appreciated. They were hired at was enough.

TODAY: Work-life balance is the key to a successful workforce

  • Today’s workforce expects more of a work-life balance, time for their own responsibilities and interests.
  • Employee appreciation is part of a smart employee retention program to reduce turnover and improve productivity.


2002: Keys and waiting

  • Technology for HR was a “key” or disc that was inserted into your PC to give you permission to work in specific software stored on your server. Patience was a virtue, as this often meant waiting for your disc, PC and server to cycle through the motions of letting you have access to files.
  • Information and details about how to do various jobs were stored in the minds of the long-term employees. If all went well, that information was passed along to the next person to fill the slot.

TODAY: Clouds (and bamboo)


    Robot hiring managers? Artificial intelligence and automation in the modern age of hiring.

    Today, most HR applications are on the cloud with secure sign-in access from anywhere, and in some cases from any device—smart phones included.

  • Services like BambooHR offer businesses a whole host of HR resources and metrics gathering solutions. (We offer access to BambooHR services to our clients, and they love it.)
  • Technology and better recording practices have lead to databases and digital folders of useful information that can be easily stored and accessed. As employees retire or leave positions, employers are able to tap job descriptions and knowledge management saved for future employees.


2002: Recruiting old-school style

  • Employers at the time mainly focused on writing advertisements to put in the newspapers, which they’d cut out track in order to manually track their progress with recruiters and interested candidates. As an outsourced HR firm, we lead the charge in helping companies manage the hiring process from A to Z.
  • With no means to easily share their experiences at a company with others or to easily compare employers online, employees were generally “grateful” to have secured a job at their company and stayed put there longer.

TODAY: Attracting the talent you need in the digital age

  • resume fraud myHR Blog - myHR Partner

    Is it time to examine your hiring program?

    Job boards like CareerBuilder and Monster were the first big game changers. They made it easier than ever to find out about positions and the companies advertising them. Now with website like Indeed and Glassdoor, and the ability to target applicants on social media sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook, the way we approach talent acquisition and hiring has fundamentally changed. There is so much more overall visibility for organizations on many levels that potential candidates can be more selective than in the past. The top-most talent are squarely in the driver’s seat.

  • Because it is so easy for candidates and potential applicants to access your company’s brand and comments about your organization, much more focus has been put on creating a great place to work in order to impress top talent and keep them onboard with a positive company culture and reputation.
  • Once again, we are on the frontlines of hiring with a strategic and modern service we call Applicant Attraction. It focuses on developing and maintaining an effective employer brand that convinces top talent to seek a position with your company. This is a powerful recruitment tool that organizations need. That’s because it’s not a matter of if applicants will check out your organization’s reputation and brand. It’s a matter of what they see when they do.

Interested in our upcoming Applicant Attraction webinar? We’ll notify you when details are announced.

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