Recruiting the best and brightest talent to your team has always been a challenge. To make matters worse, the recruiting game is constantly evolving. The dawn of the Internet fundamentally changed recruiting and workforce management, and social media and mobile technology are adding opportunities — and challenges — for companies competing for top talent.
The convergence of such technology calls for fresh policy and ways of thinking about recruiting and retaining employees. Many companies focus on one technology or another, but few take a holistic look and determine what skills and processes they need to manage all of these changes.
These game changers can’t be passed down the management chain; they require the attention of the highest leaders in your organization. Here are the three biggest game changers and what leaders can do to effectively manage them.
- Social media, human resources technology and beyond. Everyone’s talking about social media and how they’re revolutionizing customer and employee engagement and recruiting. What fewer people discuss is the effort needed to create and sustain an effective social media strategy or the risk of instantaneous communication to thousands of people. HR technology, too, creates opportunities and risks. There’s a vast amount of information that your company is responsible for securing and making available to employees and customers. But screening requirements, privacy concerns and legislation have fueled a need for strong policy.Protect your company by regularly reviewing policies for social media, bringing your own device and other technology initiatives. Customers and employees want to see that you’ve embraced technology, but be sure you define how it lines up with your company’s risk profile and business goals.
- Virtual, migratory and transient workers. Since the recession, the workforce has increasingly shifted to freelancers, telecommuters and other flexible work arrangements, thanks to technology such as VoIP and Skype that makes physical location irrelevant. Companies in tune with these arrangements are better able to attract high performers who thrive on the flexibility of this entrepreneurial environment. You’re also more likely to attract younger workers who are naturals at working in a virtual environment. But this change also demands a new thought process from business leaders. First, ensure that your information technology infrastructure can accommodate virtual workers. You also need to maintain connectivity and engagement among all employees. Leaders must understand the dynamic this varied workforce imposes and hire HR managers capable of handling it.
- Maintaining legacy skills while responding to emerging skills. Some skills will always be in demand, while others are needed to stay on the cutting edge of technology. One good example is mobility. You need employees who can connect your system to tablets and phones used by workers and customers, but you also need someone with legacy skills to maintain your network, infrastructure and security. As technology emerges, you need to constantly re-evaluate skills at your disposal and bridge gaps between traditional systems and new applications.
These trends are fueling a talent deficit at many companies. If you don’t react quickly to these game changers, you might find growth stunted by a limited pool of potential employees. On the other hand, companies that step up will attract and ultimately retain the best talent.
So take the plunge, make the investment and embrace these changes. Your workforce — and your organization — will be better off for it.
Matt Rivera is director of customer solutions at Yoh Services, a leading provider of high-impact talent and outsourcing services and a unit of Day & Zimmermann. For more information, visit Yoh’s website or blog.