This post has been brought to you in partnership with Microsoft Teams.

At the core of every great organization is one important asset—people. More than any other resource a company holds, it is the talent, passion, and diversity of a company that dictates whether the organization achieves greatness or finds itself stuck in mediocrity.

To find the best talent, companies need to be savvier, faster, and more connected than ever before. Even though there may still be a pool of people seeking work, the best candidates rarely job hunt anymore. When you are great at what you do, the best opportunities usually find you.

To compete in a global economy, it’s more important than ever for HR departments to find—and win—he best talent. Meanwhile, there are a great many forces putting pressure on HR departments to be more tech savvy in order to recruit and retain that talent. Two of the biggest forces at play are remote work and social networks. Note, I say “social networks” and not “social media”—I’ll explain that more in a minute. Both of these factors can help—or hinder—HR directors, depending on how well they understand them.

Remember, great talent is often sought after and recruited away from the competition, so HR directors should focus heavily on retention. It costs less to keep a good employee than to find and onboard a new one. Various studies put the cost of replacing an employee at anywhere from 20 percent up to two times that employee’s annual salary.

For companies looking to keep the awesome talent they spent their valuable resources recruiting, they must create a strong collaborative culture and a role that is worth staying for. For instance, 42 percent of millennialsnow the largest demographic in the workforce—say they want weekly feedback. Providing such one-on-one insight, along with mentoring opportunities and focusing on a team mentality are ideal ways to create a collaborative culture in which they will thrive.

It’s also significant to note that 45 percent of millennials surveyed who are willing to leave a job said they would think about other opportunities if their current position didn’t provide a desirable career path. Couple this thought process with the generation’s ability to blend work and life in a functional way, and you have a workforce on the go that seeks stimulation and positive reinforcement. It’s one comprised of highly creative individuals who want to work with their peers, but not necessarily in the same room. The best way to provide that kind of environment? Good collaboration tools.

Collaboration Versus Good Collaboration

While collaboration technologies allow companies to communicate inside their four walls, by and large, most organizations haven’t really tapped into true collaboration. Sending messages to people across your building isn’t really collaboration. It’s just one channel of communication. When I think of collaboration, I think about a set of tools that allows people to connect seamlessly with anyone on the planet, from anywhere they are—with an internet connection, of course. It’s about the ability to share data and files, to be live on video, and to join a call via mobile device and then switch to desktop when you get back to the office. Furthermore, it is about persistent connection and asynchronous communication—meaning we connect with who we want, when we want, where we want, on any device we want. This is evident in leading UC platforms like Microsoft Teams where companies are connected ubiquitously by a vast landscape of communication tools, all connected to and compatible with the Microsoft Office 365 productivity suite. This means no switching between apps, and no compatibility issues with the software you likely use most often in a business environment. Microsoft Teams offers an enterprise-wide, functional, and practical way for employees to work all on one platform, no matter where they are or what device they’re using to access the tools.

Good collaboration sounds selfish, because it enables people the mobility and freedom to meet their own needs and connect in ways most comfortable for them. But really, it’s the most selfless method of engagement, as it offers flexibility, productivity, and innovation at rates old communication methods could never possibly achieve. And this is precisely why the HR department needs collaboration tools more than ever before. HR needs to move fast, deal with diverse work environments, and utilize the tools at their disposal not just for recruitment, but retention as well. Let’s talk a bit more about why HR Tech needs seamless collaboration and how today’s technology tools like Microsoft Teams can help.

Three Reasons HR Tech Needs Collaboration

  1. Remote and Flex Work: Companies are now hiring the best talent from all over the world. Just because someone can’t come into the office doesn’t mean they can’t work as productively as those who do. It is critical that the HR department offers a collaborative environment for all employees and candidates. From day one it should be easy to speak to recruiters, hiring managers, and those influencing the hiring decision.Millennials who have been using smartphones throughout their adult lives expect technology and collaboration in the workplace. In fact, in one survey, 41 percent of millennial workers said they would rather communicate electronically than face to face or via voice calls. Microsoft Teams makes it easy to share resumes and other documents on the popular Office 365 Word platform, make notations on those documents, and share them with a group. By providing this early proof of a collaborative workplace, HR can give candidates confidence in the company’s use of technology. And it will enable those in charge of hiring to engage the candidate strategically. It’s a win-win.
  2. Social Networking: I spoke earlier about the need for companies to move fast. Today we often find the talent we are looking for right within our social networks. However, the shift from interest to conversation can be slow. “Let’s set up a call,” sounds like the typical process. But what about instantaneous action? Or even back channeling contact info to other decision makers in the chain? By collaborating through Microsoft Teams, you can invite someone into Microsoft Teams, begin chatting individually or within a group that includes the candidate and decision makers in your organization, and even jump on a voice or video call using Skype for Business through in seconds.

This process is not about social media—the channel by which information is often spread—but really about expedience within the social network. It’s the ability to grab an interested candidate, and to quickly chat with other decision makers, in order to move things forward faster than the competition can.

  1. Employee Retention: I can’t stress enough the importance of retention. The best talent will always have options, and they will be pursued by companies who seek to work with the best. Keeping your best talent must be a priority. Collaboration tools aid retention, because they help create happy workers by offering flexibility and fostering innovation in the workplace. In fact, 93 percent of millennials said that up-to-date technology is one of the most important aspects of a workplace; 77 percent said “sub-optimal application performance” affected their productivity. Having an enterprise-wide tool that operates on any device with internet access and encourages communication, teamwork, and innovation can help create a collaborative culture within your organization. And that can make the difference between retaining a great employee or watching them get poached by the competition.HR should lead the discussion when it comes to deciding on the tools used within a company to keep employees, management, and customers closely connected no matter what their geographical limitations may be. Tools like Microsoft Teams, which makes it easy to chat, have face-to-face calls, and share documents and ideas, enable and encourage better, faster, more seamless collaboration.

As we head into the future, no matter how advanced technology becomes, a company’s ability to survive and thrive will come down to the talent that they recruit, hire, and retain. With trends like remote work, flex work, and social networking impacting the future of work and the HR Tech space, the companies embracing end-to-end collaboration solutions will be in the strongest position to find and keep the talent that sets them apart from the competition.

Ready to Get Started?
If you are an Office 365 User and you are interested in learning more about how to get started with Microsoft Teams, Microsoft offered this nice simple tutorial.

This article has been brought to you in part by Microsoft Teams. The opinions belong to the author. For more info check out the launch insights from Microsoft

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