Technology has affected the world of Human Resources (HR) possibly more than any other function in a company, and not just because of how we utilize it. Technology has become a vital tool for most HR professionals because of the importance of TALENT to the success of any organization. Technology will continue to transform how candidates will view a company’s culture, the speed and manner in which we reach potential talent and the ability to bring generations together for innovation and create the ultimate competitive advantage.
Let’s look at three key recruitment and talent points that are affected by technology: Defining our BRAND
Transforming “Numerous Generations” to “Collaborating Generations”
Importance of Defining the Brand
Wikipedia defines Brand as, “a name, term, design, or other feature that distinguishes one seller’s product from those of others.” Smart companies define their Brand by suggesting, “this is the place you want to work.” The manner by which prospective candidates learn about our companies distinguishes the Brand to them. Technology is a key to reaching the younger generations. The “Gens X’s & Y’s” judge us not only by the message we send but how we send it (i.e.,via our website, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and many more social media platforms). If we are not using these contemporary channels in our recruiting mix to define who we are, it’s a sure bet we will not connect with these generations.
"The newest technology affords us avenues to share the expertise of the experienced generations with ease by utilizing technology that is so much a part of the DNA of the “X’s & Y’s"
Sourcing Talent-Competitive Advantage
It’s no revelation that companies often compete for the same pools of talent. Whether the talent we seek is leadership, management, accountants, individuals with special technical expertise, customer service or call center representatives, equipment operators—you get the point—there is a limited number of every one of these individuals that we refer to as “TALENT.” The company that can get its message out faster, better, reaching the most people in the shortest amount of time, delivering just the right message in a manner that will actually get the attention of prospective talent and then make it easy for them to respond, will have a competitive advantage. In today’s market, technology provides that competitive advantage in the recruitment process in the following manner:
Search ability. Applicant tracking systems and job board sallow recruiters to use keyword searches when sourcing resumes to efficiently narrow down hundreds of resumes to the few that match job requirements.
Worldwide access to candidates. It’s called the worldwide web for a reason. It plays an integral role in helping us source, identify and hire top talent by giving us access to candidates across the globe.
Connectedness. Today, we have the ability to connect quickly with hiring managers and candidates, thus moving the selection process along faster.
Convenience. Interviewing can be done anywhere, at any time, using smartphones, computers and video conferencing. New products are hitting the market all of the time, several allowing interviews to be recorded and viewed by numerous managers in virtually any location at their convenience, eliminating many scheduling problems.
Vetting. A company can fully vet a candidate for actual qualifications and perhaps security clearance in record time. (That cuts both ways, of course. Technology assists our candidates in learning about our companies as they seek to understand our business and markets and match their career goals to company opportunities and cultures).
Utilizing Intergenerational Talent
Along with the advantages and new technology resources in the recruitment process there are challenges associated with having multiple generations in our workforce. So what can be done to make these intergenerational relationships win-win’s for the company and all involved?
Educate the workforce. Everyone should understand and leverage the benefits and opportunities related to the new communications channels, such as social media, and knowing how to use these newer tools.
Reinforce what each generation provides. There are advantages that can result when multiple generations work together. Provide a positive environment where “X’s & Y’s” can learn from their more experienced work associates and vice versa.
Change. It’s no secret that changes can be more difficult at any stage of one’s career. Adapting to an “online” society can be met with some resistance but can be overcome when generations listen to one another and work together.
Encouraging Collaboration in the Multi-Generational Workforce—The Secret Sauce
There was a time when finding and recruiting talent was believed to be the most difficult job of human resources. As technology provides greater resources in recruiting, it also provides many more avenues for employees to find other opportunities. How do we deal with this issue in the competitive recruiting landscape? And once onboard, how do we keep talent and leverage the mix of talent within the company?
We can’t change the fact that technology opens the door to outside opportunity. But within a company, technology presents a significant means for all generations to work together better than ever before.
The newest technology affords us avenues to share the expertise of the experienced generations with ease by utilizing technology that is so much a part of the DNA of the “X’s & Y’s”. Yes, this will require experienced employees to change how they will interact and communicate. And these newer generations just might find it rewarding and advantageous to offer some direction to their elders on using technology, creating an environment that inspires change and challenges all generations to listen differently; this can be extremely productive and even fun. As we manage talent in this manner throughout the organization, employing the best of all generations, we emphasize collaboration and encourage new heights of innovation. We are literally transforming the organization by nurturing and leveraging the best of all segments of our workforce.
In today’s and in tomorrow’s market, at the end of the day, technology plays a big part in defining our brand, and it gives us an edge to source, find and attract talent in a competitive marketplace. And if we all embrace it and use it to its fullest, technology will be a resource to bring together everyone in a company for innovation and new competitive advantages.