The professional services sector relies on the skills and knowledge of its people – making the employee experience critical.
According to Harvard Business Review, “professional services firms know the importance of attracting and keeping top talent. In an industry where your people are your product, delivering an excellent employee experience isn’t an option—it’s an imperative.”
Shift to remote Work
The events of the last few years and the transition to hybrid work have disrupted how professional services firms function. Traditionally, on-site teams delivered projects and developed relationships through face-to-face interaction. Now, professional services firms must adapt to new digital delivery methods.
Most employees in the sector also want to keep working from home. Delivering a consistent and equitable experience to all employees is a challenge.
“The professional services market must accept a new normal, in which over 75% of employees may never want to return to full-time on-site work,” says the 2022 SPI Professional Services Maturity™ Benchmark Report.
The use of technology has also increased significantly due to remote work. Fifty percent of professional services CFOs plan to accelerate digitization, automation, and other new ways of working in 2022.
What does this mean for employee experience? What steps should professional services firms take to acquire and retain the best talent?
Key employee experience priorities for professional services firms
Professional services firms need to focus on key areas:
Providing a positive, end-to-end experience for employees
Many professional services firms have siloed HR solutions that prevent them from making decisions based on a 360-degree view of the employee. Additionally, some firms can’t capture feedback about an employee’s experience and use this data to initiate changes.
HR software should offer a central view of every employee with support for qualifications and certifications, personal data, time off, and payroll data with full employee lifecycle process support.
Supporting remote/hybrid working
With more employees working remotely or in a hybrid fashion, professional services firms need digitally-enabled ways to manage and motivate their workforce. Employees now expect remote onboarding, training, mentoring, and performance reviews.
Employees also expect self-service HR abilities like submitting a leave request via an app, viewing pay slips, or digitally signing a contract, etc. These tools shouldn’t require training to use. When professional services firms don’t provide self-service tools, it’s easy for employees to get frustrated and leave for a more modern company.
Quality recruitment and application processes
Modern HR software also needs to help the organization attract the right talent and process applicants quickly.
Streamlined payroll and compliance
Larger firms often waste thousands of dollars every month addressing administrative or compliance issues with HR management or payroll. When companies don’t use robust payroll solutions, error rates are typically between 1 to 8% of total payroll.
Non-compliance costs can be high, yet companies underestimate the risks of using outdated payroll software. A modern HR solution will deliver accurate, automated, centralized, and compliant data.
Support for continual learning
Ensuring your professional services workers develop and grow their skills is essential for compliance and staff retention – especially given the growing digitalization of the sector.
You must deliver quality services and ensure employees are aware of and committed to meeting relevant legislation and requirements. A modern HR solution enables employees to develop new skills, share ideas, and gain insights, making them more motivated and productive.
The system should support compliance-related training, self-directed training, mobile learning, and extended enterprise training.
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For more on how improving the employee experience can help in the professional services sector, download our white paper: