the digital shift

July 5, 2017

Employees are one of the most important stakeholders in any company. The role of digital in recruiting, developing, managing, and engaging them has been increasing on a continuous basis and organizations cannot afford to overlook this channel. Digitization of businesses and society is giving rise to a new tech-savvy generation of employees who are changing the rules and driving organizations to reflect on how they might optimize their talent to gain and maintain a competitive edge.

A recent business research confirms that while 87% companies feel digital transformation is a competitive opportunity, over 90% of them admit they lack sufficient digital skills to drive their business in an optimal manner. However, only 46% are investing in developing digital skills while only 4% align their employee training efforts with their digital strategy. Traditional recruitment methods are being used by almost 63% to source digital skills and only 30% recognize HR as an active stakeholder in their digital strategy. In mobile, over 80% companies face a talent shortage while only 13% describe their social media efforts as advanced. Around 50% of candidates are more likely to consider a job advertised in an innovative way. These numbers pretty much sum up the as-is situation—everyone accepts digital is inevitable however leveraging digital effectively remains a challenge.2

role of marketing in managing efficacy of talent

Over the last five years, new technologies and mindsets have emerged to effectively meet the most pressing challenges of doing business. Employees feel free to go out and find easy-to-use, collaborative digital tools to execute their jobs in a more efficient and highly virtualized environment. With the proliferation of employee-centric policies such as ‘bring your own device’, HR and IT do not always have the control they once exercised over the computing environment.

Many elements of the digital employee profile intersect with the employee’s digital work and home experiences. The lines have become blurred. For instance, posting on social media, buying clothes on ecommerce platforms, or planning a birthday party by getting ideas on the web might all be considered exclusively a part of the digital home experience. However, taking work home to create a presentation on a home computer or using an online tool to beautify the work could be viewed as a crossover. We look at how digital and consumer marketing help manage talent functions and address the gray areas:

01 talent acquisition and recruitment: Digital marketing, especially social media marketing, is playing an increasingly important role in the recruitment and deployment of modern workforce. Recruiters and talent acquisition specialists have realized that for jobs, the present generation endorses platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, as well as dedicated job portals such as iimjobs.com and naukri.com that are  all hosted fully on the web and comprise social media elements either partially or completely. Social-media based recruitment also saves a lot of time and effort for recruiters, while giving them access to relevant and high-quality talent and incurring low recruitment and hiring costs. Interviews and other hiring assessment rounds are also being conducted online. Skype-based conference interviews, video résumés, online assessments, e-tests, and structured and time-driven online hiring competitions for both freelancers and full-timers are a few of the innovative techniques that both recruiters and candidates are resorting to, in order to hire smartly and getting hired swiftly, respectively.

02 training and development: Once an employee has been onboarded, his/her learning and performance curve starts. E-learning modules, online assessments hosted on intranet or cloud, online surveys to understand the learning needs and career aspirations, and online quizzes to gather feedback on training programs are some of the techniques being actively used by HR leaders and endorsed by employees. Digital marketing concepts are also being brought into the workplace through a strategic combination of technology-driven system automation. Gamification of employee learning modules, to make them more effective and fun at the same time, is an idea that very few would disagree with. Even physical training programs such as outbound learning, boot camps, and leadership coaching are being actively supported by digital.

03 performance management: Digital is also helping in identifying high-potential employees or future leaders, grooming them, designing succession planning, and managing performance of employees and teams. For instance, salesforce.com as an enterprise-level CRM is one of the fastest growing cloud-based digital softwares globally. Organizations have begun to endorse such reliable cloud platforms for HR, operations, analytics, and finance functions in addition to their traditional usage for driving sales and marketing campaigns. Appraisals, compensation and benefits, bonuses and incentives are being increasingly driven through such digital means. The reliability of digital has been observed to be high across business functions.

04 employee engagement: Engagement of employees by motivating them with innovative rewards, such as experiences and vouchers in addition to traditional cash and product-based rewards, is another rising trend across industries. HR leaders now recognize the importance of socio-psychological recognition in addition to cash prizes and performance bonuses. Automation and streamlining of rewards, recognition, and engagement portals is also important. It is imperative that such a portal yields a return on investment and is adaptable to the changes in business. Gamification and agility of such point-based reward portals is also crucial, so that employees find them useful for multiple activities such as building communities based on common interests, extending peer-to-peer recognition, easy reward redemption, job referrals, taking initiatives, etc. At the same time, HR leaders should also extract benefits such as instant rewarding, special perks, and process efficiencies among others. It is advisable that a professional vendor holding expertise in gamification and cloud-based RnR or employee engagement platform implementation is consulted to derive effectiveness.

01 https://www.accenture.com/t20160826T013813__w__/us-en/_acnmedia/ Accenture/Conversion-Assets/MainPages/Documents/Global/Accenture- Digital-Disrupts-HR.pdf

02 https://www.capgemini.com/resource-file-access/resource/pdf/the_digi­tal_talent_gap27-09_0.pdf