Posted July 12, 2021 by Mark Perna
Workers are looking to change how and where they work. Here’s how to use technology to make your workplace a destination of choice. Mark’s article, “3 Strategies To Make Technology Your Ally In The Coming Talent Wars,” published at Forbes.com on June 23, 2021.
When the pandemic shut down the world in 2020, not everything ground to a halt thanks to the Internet. What would we have done without it? As scary as things were, people could still connect with one another and even get work done. As a result, many companies who previously resisted the idea of a remote workforce have now opened their eyes to its vast possibilities.
Those same companies might now need to double down on their embrace of technology in the workplace if they want to recruit and retain a diverse range of top talent. That’s because experts are predicting a “turnover tsunami” where in-demand workers will seek out employment at organizations capable of giving them what they want.
Higher wages and expanded benefits can play a big role in getting a candidate’s attention. But it’s not the only factor they’ll be considering in their job hunt.
“Workers’ goals and expectations have changed,” says Kevin Parker, the CEO of HireVue. “They’re hungry for new experiences. Free from the constraints of geography and armed with in-demand skills, they’re leaving inflexible workplaces to pursue careers they’re passionate about.”
It’s clear that times have changed—and companies need to change with them. Parker outlines three strategies to help organizations make technology their ally as they adapt to the needs of workers.
After more than a year working from home, workers have become accustomed to ditching the commute and the traditional 9-to-5 schedule. What’s more, remote work also gives people the chance to work from where they want to live. For companies that embrace remote work, this can open up previously untapped talent pools from which to hire.
On the flip side, those employers who insist on returning to the same kind of in-person-only workplace that existed prior to the pandemic could turn off talented workers. A recent LinkedIn study found that workers now value flexibility over salary, benefits and culture.
“The definition of workplace desirability changed drastically and now includes an awful lot of flexibility,” says Parker. “If current employers try to force an old mode of work, workers will go elsewhere for the schedule they want, since they’re being actively recruited by companies that meet their needs.”
“To stay competitive, companies will need to permanently adjust their recruitment, screening and hiring processes. It’s just a fact.”
Email remains the default choice of communication, both internally and externally, for so many organizations. But today’s workers, especially younger ones, communicate much more frequently through text. In fact, according to Parker, text messages to employees and job candidates typically get a 90% open rate and four times more responses than email.
Real-time communication like this, especially when combined with workflow automation, can become a critical edge in today’s buyer’s market where there are more job openings than qualified candidates to fill them. “Workflows can automatically trigger when to invite a candidate to self-schedule a live interview,” says Parker, “and candidates can get FAQs answered automatically. And if too much time passes between steps, candidates receive encouraging reminders to nudge them along the journey.”
No one wants to relive the fear and uncertainty of the pandemic—but not all the changes it brought are proving negative. Armed with new insights about the changing workforce, companies now have a golden opportunity to revamp their recruitment and retention strategies for success. “There’s an exciting transformation of the way we think about work and finding great team members,” says Parker. “The organizations that can adapt will be rewarded with access to great talent.”
The talent wars are coming—and in many industries, they’re already here. Organizations that leverage technology as a long-term solution will create a strategic advantage as they pursue top talent. Instead of seeing technology as a threat, it’s time to embrace it as the ally you need.