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Friday, 29 April 2016 12:51

It’s a Match! How Digitalization Can Address Old HR Challenges in the Digital Age Featured

Written by Joven Elepaño
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“Digitalization is the use of digital technologies to change a business model and provide new revenue and value-producing opportunities; it is the process of moving to a digital business.” - Gartner IT Glossary

Digitalization is sweeping across all industries…and fast. Factor in your workforce and you have a more complex situation on your desktop. HR practitioners that we have spoken to zero in on two major challenges that they currently face at the workplace. First is hiring and the existing skills mismatch, and second, employee engagement and retention, especially with millennials. In a time and age where smartphones are ubiquitous and almost everyone is connected to the Internet, it is not hard to imagine that the solution to these challenges may be in our fingertips.

Jobstreet revolutionized the jobs market in the late 1990s when it created an online platform where job seekers and employers can meet. Similarly, apps like Tinder, Viber, Snapchat, and others have revolutionized our way of communication.  In an article published by Excelacom in February 2016, it was found that there are almost a million swipes on Tinder every 60 seconds.

With a tech-savvy workforce, employers must cope and adopt current technology to continue to attract and retain top talent. Now imagine this, how would an app, with the engagement level of Tinder, and the functionalities of professional networking sites and platforms give solutions to old HR problems in the digital age? 

Swipe Right.

In 2014, a study published by Capgemini says that mobile devices now account for over a billion job searches every month. In the same study, it states that job seekers lose interest in non-mobile friendly job applications.

“Mobile devices now account for over a billion job searches every month.” - Capgemini

With big data dominating technology trends, it is now possible for HR practitioners to search through multiple profiles in a matter of seconds. The effective use of workforce analytics to find suitable candidates with the required skills and experience for a certain position will also help solve jobs mismatch. Introduction of filters for every query would give profiles that match a certain employer’s criteria, essentially giving HR practitioners the power to “swipe right” to these candidates. However, this process still needs refinement and face to face interviews will not be gone too soon and the use of technologies like Skype and other apps that provide video and conference call options will likely be the new norm.

Using BeLinked, an app launched in 2013 and dubbed as the Tinder for Professionals, as a proof of concept, it is highly possible to create a solution to hiring problems and skills mismatch that companies are currently facing. BeLinked uses a person’s LinkedIn profile instead of Facebook to find a potential match. The app allows users to filter searches by gender, age, distance, and guess what, industry working for and school graduated from. With some major tweaks to the idea and functionalities behind BeLinked, it is possible for companies and candidates to have a new venue to get connected but this time, in a more relaxed and personal manner.

Care to Chat?

Once you’ve found a perfect match in a pool of candidates for your organization, it is essential that communication lines remain open. Impact to the company and regular progress feedback are important to new hires, especially for millennials. A study conducted by Millennial Branding and Beyond.com published in 2013 showed that 60% of millennial employees leave companies in less than three years. The study further says that the cost to replace one millennial employee who leaves is approximately $15,000 to $25,000.

Every like, share, or impression on social media will likely impact a company’s HR branding and digitalization can greatly help shape employee engagement strategies of corporations.

“Every like, share, or impression on social media will likely impact a company’s HR branding and digitalization can greatly help shape employee engagement strategies of corporations.”

Glassdoor and Twitter, the latter being the top social media site used by millennials, are the main platforms being used by employees to express opinion regarding their employers. In 2012, TechCrunch published that there are 3 million pieces of content on Glassdoor alone about 200,000 companies spread in 190 countries. Corporations would be able to use this much information to create, maintain, or improve their employee engagement strategies should they be able to build a platform to receive feedback directly from employees rather than finding out that they have gone viral from a certain post.=

Current practices of companies include providing intra-company Facebook-like environments and Snapchat groups, to name a few, to keep in touch with employees. However, companies have not tapped the power of crowdsourcing and analytics to find information that employee satisfaction surveys may not be able to capture.

One good practice that is currently used by Rappler, a Philippine multimedia news organization, is the mood meter. Rappler asks its readers to rate news articles using eight emotions. On a daily basis, Rappler is able to provide the crowdsourced “mood of the day” and is able to understand its readers better. Although Rappler’s mood meter is still an on-going experiment, it has already provided some good insights regarding Rappler’s reader base. Similarly, companies may use this method to understand how their employees feel regarding certain developments in the organization and be able to take the necessary steps to keep employees engaged, productive, and satisfied.

HR and Digitalization: It’s A Match!

Current hiring and engagement models used in companies are already moving towards the right direction. However, it must be noted that the current systems in place are legacy systems with high levels of stickiness (measure of ease to change), which makes upgrades or new deployments difficult or costly. Moreover, legacy systems are mostly on a closed-source environment and proprietary depending on its provider. Given that HR serves a dynamic role, technologies used for hiring and employee engagement must also be able to adapt fast, if not real-time, in order to provide the best possible outcomes for both employers and employees.

With the complex nature of the HR function, digitalization is an effective ally for professionals in the industry to make sense of the huge amounts of data that they currently have so that organizations can improve their current hiring and employee engagement strategies. Digitalization offers new solutions to old HR problems; it is now up to companies whether to adapt to technological changes and become the workplace of the future.

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Read 46300 times Last modified on Thursday, 05 May 2016 16:38
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