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Keys to a Positive Employee Experience in the New World of Work

Sponsored by Cleary

Leaders, I have two critical questions for you: 1) Does your organization truly provide a positive employee experience? 2) Would your employees agree?

If you’re not sure, I get it. These days, most organizations are struggling to close a serious gap between leaders’ perceptions and workforce realities. For instance:

  • 74% of executives told Gartner they want staff to express themselves, yet only 56% of employees said they feel comfortable speaking up. Also, while 75% of executives said they consider employees’ perspectives when making decisions, only 47% of team members believe they do.
  • Sadly, this gap is even more pronounced among the 80% of workers with frontline jobs. In fact, according to O.C. Tanner, half of these people feel expendable. What’s more, only 30% feel seen and valued, while only 36% describe their work as a positive employee experience.

Factors That Turn the Tide

Of course, closing this gap isn’t easy — especially now. With so many moving pieces and parts transforming modern work culture, the definition of a positive employee experience is itself, constantly changing. All the more reason why employers should pay closer attention now. No one can afford to take their eyes off the ball.

So, in today’s fluid environment, what exactly does it take to improve employee experience? Certainly, communication, recognition, and reinforcement play important roles. But lasting impact requires a deeper cultural commitment. In fact, 94% of executives and 88% of employees agree that a distinct culture focused on engagement and motivation is the key — not only to a thriving workforce, but ultimately to business success. (It’s encouraging to see agreement on this point!)

So, what exactly can leaders do to create and sustain this kind of culture? Join me as I explore this topic with an employee experience innovator on today’s #WorkTrends podcast…

Meet Our Guest: Thomas Kunjappu

Thomas Kunjappu is the CEO and Co-Founder of Cleary, the employee experience platform for high-performing teams. Under Thomas’ leadership, Cleary elevates engagement in remote and hybrid work environments, with a solution designed specifically for the modern workplace.

With his background as a product innovator at companies like Twitter, Medallia, and HP, Thomas is a technology industry mover and shaker who understands the special connection between human behavior and business results. He’s also a very cool person who is easy to find online and at industry forums. So I’m thrilled he’s joining us here to discuss the latest issues and trends in employee engagement and how to sustain a positive employee experience.

Here are several key takeaways from our conversation…

Why a Positive Employee Experience Matters

Thomas, let’s start by clarifying the concept of employee experience. Why is it so important?

Well, it originally started with the idea of customer experience, where businesses focus on understanding what customers are going through at every step of their journey, and responding with feedback loops and processes that ensure customers have a good experience at every stage in the relationship.

But who actually takes care of customers? Employees do.

So employee experience grew out of that realization, and thinking about the employee journey in a similar way.

How Work Realities Are Changing

What does it take to create a positive employee experience in the post-pandemic world?

I think we’ve all felt the shift. Being an employee now is very different in a remote or hybrid environment. Work is much more distributed, flexible, and dynamic for many of us.

But with 50-100% of people working in this dramatically different way, any employer that wants to create a positive employee experience must also think about how to support employees in a dramatically different way.

Who Owns the Employee Experience Now

So in this new environment, who is responsible for ensuring employees are engaged, recognized, and supported?

That’s arguably the sole job of leaders and managers — getting the right people in the right places, and helping the whole company grow in the same direction — with leverage from the people team, right?

HR has shifted from focusing only on ensuring the company doesn’t get sued to actively ensuring a strong talent brand that attracts great people and fosters a positive employee experience so people want to stay.

Others have a role, too. For example, internal communications and even IT. A lot of different functions contribute because a positive employee experience is really everybody’s responsibility, now.

Tech’s Role in Employee Experience

HR tech can make a difference here. How does Cleary help organizations accomplish this?

Well, our tools fit into three categories that support our vision of a great workplace with a positive employee experience. That includes communications, culture and team efficiency. And it all comes together with journeys and moments that matter for employees, starting with onboarding.

With so many organizations trying to do more with less, we’re focusing on helping people redeem time by offering templates to streamline all kinds of processes.

For example, if you’re managing a strategic product update or managing change-related communications, we’ve got dozens of templates to help you get started much faster than if you’re starting with a blank canvas…

 


Start Creating a More Positive Employee Experience Today

>> Check Cleary’s collection of free templates and other helpful resources

 


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Mentoring: Are You Building a Culture of Connection and Growth?

Sponsored by Together

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Mentoring is a key to the future of work. That’s not hyperbole. It’s a fact. I’ve been beating the mentorship drum for over a decade. Yet, I’ve never been as confident about it as I am today. And I hope employers are listening. Why?

The Business Case for Mentoring

All the signs point to mentorship as one of the most powerful ways to navigate increasingly turbulent workplace waters. Here are just a few proof points:

  • Pandemic-era job disruption has created knowledge and skill gaps across many organizations.
  • Even before the pandemic, average job tenure was shrinking among all age groups.
  • Managers and senior-level leaders are moving on and opting out at a record pace.
  • Younger people are looking for more guidance and support as they enter the workforce.
  • Demand for future-ready employees is intensifying as organizations continue to invest in new technologies.
  • The average half-life of skills continues to decline.
  • Many employers are still struggling to find qualified talent for critical open roles.

With 84% of U.S. Fortune 500 companies already offering mentoring programs, this seems like the right time to double down on that strategy. Why? Consider these research findings:

  • 90% of employees with a mentor say they’re happy at work.
  • 75% of executives give mentors credit for their success.
  • People with mentors are significantly less likely to consider quitting. This includes managers, senior managers, vice presidents, and individual contributors.
  • Among millennials, 68% who stay onboard for 5 or more years have a mentor, compared with 32% who don’t.
  • In fact, one Wharton-led study found much higher retention among mentees (72%) and mentors (69%) than among those who did not participate in these programs (49%).

But here’s the kicker: While 76% of people say mentors are important, only 37% actually have one. Is your organization facing this issue? You may be able to bridge the gap more easily than you think. For helpful ideas, read on…

Advice for Mentoring Program Success

Let’s start by clarifying a key point. Mentoring, alone, is not the answer. Organizations really need to aim higher by developing a culture of learning. However, one of the most effective ways to foster this kind of environment is through mentoring in all its forms.

So where should employers start to establish or enhance mentorships? One of the smartest sources I know is Matt Reeves. Matt is CEO of Together Software, a platform that helps companies run best-in-class mentoring programs. Early in 2022, Matt joined me to discuss mentoring strategies on our #WorkTrends podcast. To hear his advice, listen to this encore version of our conversation and read the show notes below…

How Mentoring Works

1. Defining Mentorship

So tell us, Matt, what does mentoring look like to you?

In its traditional sense, mentoring is based on pairing two colleagues for career development and professional guidance. Usually, this involves a more junior employee who’s the mentee with a more senior employee who’s the mentor. And typically, they meet on a particular cadence, like once a month for a year or even more.

2. Evolving Trends

How are mentorship programs changing?

We’ve seen companies break the mold and experiment with various types of  programs. But the common thread is that they help employees learn from their colleagues through relationship-building and ongoing conversations.

3. Mentorship Variations

What are some of the different flavors you’re seeing in mentorship programs?

The classic approach is one-on-one, where a more senior person mentors a more junior person for a specific period.

However, peer-to-peer programs are increasingly popular. Also, we’re seeing more reverse programs, where a more junior-level person who is experienced in a particular topic mentors a more senior employee.

In addition, many organizations are successfully breaking the mold with the duration of these relationships and in offering participants more flexibility.

4. Benefits of Mentoring

It may seem obvious why mentees are attracted to these relationships. But it helps mentors, too. In fact, more than 90% of professionals who’ve mentored young people say it has helped them become better leaders or managers…

Yes. It’s probably easy to understand why a mentee would want to participate — to learn, develop, and progress in their career. But mentors benefit, as well.

Senior-level people are expected to develop others and carry their organization’s culture forward, and mentoring is an opportunity to visibly demonstrate this. Also, as people move up in an organization, they’ve probably experienced some mentoring (or wish they had a mentor). So this is a way to give back.

5. How Technology Enhances the Mentoring Experience 

What role can technology play in bringing people together and keeping them connected?

Technology significantly reduces the workload for program administrators, while significantly improving the mentoring experience for participants.

For example, when a program is managed manually, making a strong mentee/mentor match can take a long time. When you’re eager to move forward, it can be frustrating to wait for weeks or even months for a suitable match. You may even be matched with a mentor who has left the organization. This is easily avoidable when you use technology.

In addition, technology can help you scale a program much more efficiently, and keep people connected with reminders and feedback that helps them stay on-track and helps you tweak your program.

Tips for Modern Mentorship Programs

What else should you keep in mind if you want to achieve strong mentoring results, especially in today’s hybrid work environments? When building a game plan, keep these considerations in mind:

1. Assess Your Current State as a Baseline

With or without a formal program in place, mentoring is probably already happening all over your company. It often occurs organically, the same way culture exists, with or without intentional leadership involvement.

So start with a broad-reaching reality check. Research and evaluate the various ways people share knowledge, skills, and experience, and assist others professionally. What seems to be most effective? Can you leverage these methods? Alternatively, what isn’t working well? Does it make sense to provide additional resources that can reinforce, enhance, and expand what’s already in place?

2. Clarify and Communicate the Purpose

When people understand why mentoring is important to your company, they’re more likely to sign up and take responsibility for their role in its success. But there are many ways to frame mentoring initiatives. What goals do you want to accomplish? How closely do your objectives align with your organization’s values? What would success look like for your company and for participants? For example:

  • To improve retention among new hires, incorporating mentoring into the onboarding process can provide a stronger start.
  • If employees from underrepresented groups lack a sense of inclusion and belonging, “bridge mentorships” could help you move the DEI meter.
  • Or if you need to build bench depth, peer-to-peer cross-functional skills mentoring could be a solution.

The possibilities are endless. But no matter what your agenda is, you’ll need top-down support. How committed are your senior-level executives to mentoring? How willing are they to make mentoring participation a leadership priority? What can you do to demonstrate the power of mentoring from cases within your organization or among competitors? What kind of budget and other resources will be required to achieve these goals? Engage senior leadership early in discussions that address these questions.

3. Focus on Learning and Holistic Growth

Although cohort-based social learning is a popular trend — especially in remote and hybrid work environments — one-on-one relationships can drive deeper personal growth and enrichment. Encouraging people to form stronger direct bonds opens the door to a more holistic approach, where participants can connect as individuals and grow, even outside of their professional roles.

Also, keep in mind that the most enriching approach to mentoring isn’t about “teaching” per se. Classic mentoring models emphasize a one-way flow of information, guidance, and access. However, modern mentoring relationships are often a two-way street, where both sides actively aim to learn and grow together, even if their roles and experience levels are not comparable.

4. Provide Structure Along With Flexibility

When matching a pair of participants, you’ll want to formalize expectations in a way that respects the time and effort required to establish and sustain a productive relationship.

It helps to specify basic parameters, such as the minimum mentorship duration (for example, 1 year), and minimum activity frequency (for example 1 meeting a month). However, beyond these parameters, individuals often find it helpful to negotiate their unique goals. Both sides can use this agreement as a discovery tool and as a reference point throughout the relationship.

In addition, you’ll want to encourage consistency with a reasonable ongoing communication cadence. Flexibility is key, here. Mentoring isn’t a full-time job, relationships take time to develop, and informal interactions don’t need to be regimented. However, if participants agree upfront to a minimum pace (such as 1 digital check-in a week), this can help keep the relationship top-of-mind.

5. Measure and Adjust

This may seem obvious, but unless you quantify your mentorship program’s performance, you won’t know if your organization is moving in the right direction. Ideally, you’ll establish success metrics that tie to program objectives even before you start to match participants.

However, once you launch the program, you’ll want to monitor progress regularly by measuring key performance indicators. For example, if you want to build workforce competencies in a particular set of skills, you’ll want to track active mentors and mentees for each of the skills you’re targeting. If you don’t have enough experienced mentors to fulfill mentee demand, you’ll want to recruit more mentors who are qualified in these areas. (Or you may decide to address the demand with another type of skill development intervention.)

Also, plan to seek feedback from participants periodically. Pulse surveys can help you gauge sentiment about the program and identify weaknesses that need attention. At the same time, keep in mind that mentoring is a long-term commitment. Over time, business priorities will shift. To stay ahead of the curve, you’ll want to build periodic program review cycles into the management process, so you can adjust accordingly as goals and needs change.

 


EDITOR’S NOTE: For more in-depth information about how to structure and manage a successful mentoring program, visit the Together Platform website, where you’ll find all sorts of helpful resources for employers. And for more #WorkTrends insights, check our growing collection of episodes at Apple or Spotify and subscribe!

 

Is Your Employee Recognition Strategy On Point?

Sponsored by Kudos

The idea of employee recognition seems as natural as breathing. Who wouldn’t want to recognize a job well done? But the truth is, effective workforce recognition doesn’t just naturally happen. That’s why it pays to invest in a thoughtful recognition strategy.

Why a Strong Recognition Strategy Matters

If you follow leading workplace management trends, you know the case for recognition is compelling. For example, according to recent Gallup research:

  • Employees who say recognition is important to their organization are nearly 4x more likely to feel strongly connected with their culture.
  • When employees receive great recognition, they’re 20x more likely to be engaged than those who aren’t effectively recognized.
  • Among employees with successful recognition programs, 72% say their performance is acknowledged, even on “little things.”

Clearly, employers can’t afford to leave employee recognition and engagement to chance — especially in today’s complex hybrid work environment. But what exactly does an effective recognition strategy look like? Join me as I dig deeper with an industry expert on this episode of #WorkTrends…

Meet Our Guest: Karim Punja

Karim Punja is the COO at Kudos. As a CFA charterholder with over 15 years of experience at multiple global tech companies, Karim has found his sweet spot at Kudos. That’s because it’s a dynamic HR tech venture where data-based decisions are made at the speed of change, and everyone at Kudos is focused on improving the world of work.

With his business acumen and first-hand understanding of tools that enhance the modern employee experience, Karim is an ideal source for advice on how to develop a successful employee recognition strategy.

To learn more, check these highlights from our discussion…

Building a Recognition Budget

Welcome, Karim. Let’s begin with funding. Recognition programs should be planned, funded, and measured, just like any other business initiative. But how do we build a budget for this?

Well, a typical benchmark for a platform-supported program is 1-3% of payroll or of an employee’s salary.

But this is not necessarily a one-size-fits-all approach. You also need to consider your organization’s culture and recognition strategy.

What’s the split between hourly and salaried workers? Are your teams mostly remote workers or deskless workers? Plus, you’ll want to consider whether you’ll want to use a recognition platform to supplement income through rewards.

In addition, you may already be doing things you can consolidate into a recognition and engagement platform. For example, do you offer spot bonuses? And how do you manage birthdays and milestones?

Why Management Involvement is Key

What other elements should a recognition strategy include?

One of the most critical keys to success is getting managers on board early as stakeholders who take ownership of system adoption and usage.

We know this from analyzing our own clients. When managers are highly engaged with our system, monthly participation among non-managers is 3x higher than groups where manager engagement is low.

How a Recognition Strategy Creates Value

How should HR professionals communicate the value of employee recognition to senior leaders and others?

Measurement is an important attribute, because it speaks to the core philosophy that “you can’t manage what you can’t measure.”

With an employee recognition system, you can get measurable insights into employee wellbeing. And when you overlay that with engagement surveys, you can compare the data and see the impact of your culture over time.

I like to talk about the value of employee engagement metrics as a leading indicator of organizational health. Whereas surveys are more of a lagging indicator, because they provide a snapshot of sentiments that have led up to a particular point in time.

So, because a recognition and engagement platform provides real-time metrics and trends, it gives you a leading indicator of sentiment. This means you can use those actionable insights proactively, rather than reactively…

 


Learn More About How to Develop a Successful Recognition Strategy

Listen to this full #WorkTrends episode on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or wherever you tune in to podcasts. And while you’re there, be sure to subscribe so you won’t miss future episodes.

Want to continue this conversation on social media? Follow TalentCulture or use our #WorkTrends hashtag anytime on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Let’s talk!

Employee Experience: 5 Paths to a More Human Work Culture

Anyone who says being a leader is easy is simply not being honest. Leadership is hard. Yes, I said it. And that shouldn’t shock anyone. After all, modern managers are expected to be nearly super-human. They’re responsible for inspiring people, bringing out the best in their teams, and getting positive results. And naturally, they play a crucial role in shaping the employee experience.

Effective leaders create a positive work culture that fosters engagement, enhances job satisfaction, and increases productivity. Innovative work processes and technology can help. But the most influential leaders rely on more than KPIs, annual performance reviews, and cool digital tools to shape individual and organizational success.

Instead, these enlightened leaders put wellbeing and productivity at the center of their employee experience strategy. All of this sounds good, doesn’t it? But it is much easier said than done.

This article challenges leaders to focus on five factors that drive employee experience in today’s complex work environment: 

  • Empowerment
  • Purpose
  • Recognition
  • Positivity
  • Growth

To uncover areas for improvement, consider these questions…

1. Do Employees Feel Empowered as Individuals and Part of a Team?

For any organization, balancing individuality and teamwork is a delicate art. Do you provide an environment where employees feel free to express themselves openly and authentically, as members of a cohesive, supportive team?

Aim for a Sense of Belonging

The desire to feel connected with others is part of the human condition. In childhood, we begin to fulfill this need by forging relationships with family members and groups of friends who accept us for who we are.

Similarly, at work, a sense of belonging develops when we feel free to show up and contribute as ourselves. In fact, extensive research reveals a strong relationship between authenticity, psychological safety, trust, and a sense of belonging. By behaving openly and authentically, you give peers and team members unspoken permission to do the same. What’s more, by letting go of unnatural roles, everyone has more energy to focus on what really matters.

Breed Trust Through Authenticity

As a leader, you can set a powerful example for others by sharing your own personal and professional setbacks and successes. This lays the foundation for a more genuine, relatable team atmosphere. Employees who see their leaders as real people with strengths, weaknesses, and a desire to learn, they’re more likely to open up, collaborate, and take calculated risks. Ultimately, this can drive creativity, innovation, and growth.

2. Do People See Purpose in Their Work?

How well do employees understand the significance of their efforts? When people understand how their jobs support an organization’s broader mission, they become more motivated, engaged, and committed to their work.

Connect Tasks With Meaning

We’ve all had moments of reckoning at work when we suddenly wonder, “Why am I doing this? Why does this matter?” Don’t wait for this to happen to your employees.

When assigning projects or responsibilities, you have a unique opportunity to share meaningful context. Don’t hesitate to underscore the impact you believe your team members will have on your department, your organization, your customers, or the community at large.

Frame Work as a Fulfilling Endeavor

We all want our efforts to mean something. In fact, research confirms that when employees understand how their daily efforts fit into the bigger picture, they’re more motivated and fulfilled.

Speaking to the value employees bring to the table can deepen their commitment to their job, their team, and the organization as a whole. So, remember to regularly remind people about their significance and acknowledge their contributions.

3. Do You Make Recognition Integral to Work Life?

Celebrating employee contributions strengthens their connection to the organization. Ultimately, this leads to better performance, higher profits, and stronger retention rates. How well do you respond to this need?

Acknowledge Excellence and Effort

Recognition is a core pillar of employee experience. That’s why you’ll want to acknowledge team members on a regular basis.

We all crave validation, but every situation is unique. So take time to think about the most effective approach. Some public acknowledgments resonate for some people, while others prefer a personal note or private 1-on-1 conversation.

Acknowledging excellence boosts morale, builds engagement, and reinforces a sense of value. So don’t hesitate to share a simple “thank you” or reward people formally through a recognition program, 

Encourage Everyone to Participate

At WorkRamp, we’ve created a #Props Slack dedicated to employee recognition. We encourage all employees to use this space to express gratitude, brag about team members, share accomplishments, and celebrate work wins. It’s one of our most popular Slack channels, and team members of all levels regularly contribute. 

4. Is Your Environment Positive and Inclusive?

Company culture directly affects employee employee wellbeing and productivity. A supportive, collaborative workplace attracts and retains top talent, motivates people to excel, drives job satisfaction, and leads to organizational success. How can you build a better culture?

Cultivate Positivity

A positive culture helps employees feel comfortable and supported, which boosts job satisfaction and wellbeing. As a leader, you can set the tone for this kind of environment. To move the meter, you’ll want to embrace change, champion open communication, and ensure fairness whenever possible.

Promote Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance can be elusive, especially these days, when more employees are working remotely or in a hybrid mode. However, by helping team members balance personal and professional priorities, you can help employees gain a stronger sense of wellbeing. 

There are multiple ways to encourage self-care. For example, you can remind people to take breaks, use their vacation time, and unplug during off hours. By supporting healthier habits, you can help team members become more focused, motivated, engaged, and productive teams.

Prioritize Diversity and Inclusion

Promoting workplace diversity and inclusion is not just a moral imperative — it’s a strategic advantage. Embracing diverse perspectives and backgrounds enhances employee engagement. It also fosters creativity, problem-solving, and innovation, all of which can lead to better business outcomes.

By building a diverse environment where all voices are heard, you can avoid bias and foster a more inclusive workplace where employees feel valued and respected. Organizations that excel at this tend to attract and retain talent much more effectively than their counterparts.

5. Are You Committed to Employee Career Goals?

Do you emphasize employee growth? Research consistently shows that employees prefer to work with employers that invest in their future by offering professional development opportunities. This boosts employee morale and job satisfaction. At the same time, it means employers have a more skilled, motivated workforce, with people who are prepared to contribute to the organization’s future success.

Commit to Ongoing Growth

When you actively help team members work towards their professional goals by providing continuous learning and growth opportunities, you can expect to see improved morale, satisfaction, loyalty, and retention.

These opportunities can take various forms. Initiate regular conversations to understand each team member’s aspirations. Then work with them on an ongoing basis to identify relevant educational paths, stretch assignments, cross-skilling and upskilling opportunities, and mentoring relationships that will enrich their daily work lives and expand their capabilities portfolio.

Employee Experience: A Top-Down Imperative

No doubt about it. Leaders have a direct impact on employee experience — for better or worse.

If you have a leadership role, you can help improve your organization’s culture. It won’t happen overnight. But by focusing on building an environment of authenticity, purpose, recognition, inclusion, and career growth, you can help team members feel more valued, fulfilled, and engaged. And over time, with a consistent commitment to these elements, your organization can improve productivity, retention, and overall organizational success.

It’s not easy. But I assure you, it is worth the effort.

How Does HR Analytics Transform Workforce Planning?

With so many interesting new HR tools available lately, are you wondering if more modern HR analytics could improve your workforce planning capabilities? In a world where companies need data-driven approaches to define, deliver, and improve workforce strategies, exactly how can modern tools help?

Today’s HR tools offer exciting new capabilities. For example, these solutions can accelerate data gathering, provide predictive intelligence, assist with hiring decisions, streamline performance management, and much more. But to avoid becoming overwhelmed with choices, it’s important to define the people challenges your company needs to address.

This article is intended to employers consider multiple facets of HR analytics:

  • Historical context
  • Popular functionality
  • Key benefits
  • Real-world use cases

How HR Analytics Has Evolved

Initially, HR analytics focused primarily on helping organizations eliminate intensive manual labor. These tools were useful for complex data collection and spreadsheet management to help employers gain useful intelligence from HR metrics and KPIs.

However, technology is constantly evolving, and this has led to multiple breakthroughs in HR analytics. For example, innovative solutions now integrate advanced workforce planning tools for faster, easier employee data analysis.

Now HR professionals can much more quickly and easily identify meaningful workforce patterns and forecast relevant trends. Using these insights, HR teams can develop, implement, and measure strategies and programs with greater precision and confidence. This improves HR’s ability to work side-by-side with business leaders to align with organizational objectives and improve overall performance.

To see what exactly HR analytics tools can do to improve workforce management, let’s move on…

Key HR Analytics Functions

1. Data Collection and Aggregation

Collecting and aggregating huge data sets is a core HR analytics strength. These tools can integrate data from numerous sources for access through centralized storage.

For instance, imagine you need to verify that a staff member has signed an NDA. Or when preparing an annual review, you want to see how an employee’s performance metrics have changed over time.

When detailed data is structurally organized and highly accessible, HR and business managers can make better-informed decisions much more quickly.

2. Data Analysis and Visualization

Leading-edge HR analytics also provide powerful ways to analyze and visualize workforce data. By extracting actionable insights and applying high-end algorithms and statistical analysis, these tools can help HR teams uncover meaningful patterns, trends, and relationships.

In addition, these tools can make complex data more coherent and useful by translating information into visually rich charts and graphs that add context and improve understanding.

3. Talent Management

It’s crucial for HR analytics platforms to include talent management capabilities. These features are designed to help organizations improve employee engagement and retention throughout the employee lifecycle.

For example, some tools make it possible to assess individual and team skills and translate them into recommended learning paths and development opportunities. This helps HR build employee competencies and align career growth with company needs and goals.

4. Workforce Planning

HR analytics plays a central role in workforce planning because it directly supports strategic decision-making. With more timely, accurate, complete decision support insights, HR and business leaders can develop workforce strategies that are more fair, less biased, and better tuned to organizational realities and priorities.

These capabilities typically focus on resource allocation, employee recruitment, and workforce restructuring, among others.

5. Performance Improvement

Many newer platforms make it possible to analyze workforce performance data in a variety of ways. This helps HR pinpoint and resolve specific performance gaps, curate and deliver customized development plans, and acknowledge excellent performers.

Benefits of HR Analytics

1. More Effective Strategic Planning

Data-driven tools enhance strategic HR planning in several critical ways. For example, it becomes faster and easier to forecast future workforce requirements, facilitate succession planning, and avoid potential talent gaps.

These tools also help HR teams more quickly develop appropriate recruitment procedures to meet existing business needs.

2. Valuable Predictive Capacity

HR analytics tools provide powerful forward-looking capabilities that help HR teams operate more efficiently and effectively. By applying data from past patterns and trends, it’s possible to generate forecasts that more accurately anticipate and prepare for future needs.

This kind of advanced capability helps HR and business leaders take proactive measures and adjust on-the-fly. It also leads to more effective talent management practices and higher employee retention.

3. Better Understanding of Workforce Performance

The ability to more deeply analyze employee performance is beneficial at several levels. First, it helps organizations evaluate, motivate, and reward talent in the most effective ways. Also, it reveals the differences between high-performers and their under-performing colleagues. This can lead to more effective performance improvement roadmaps and results.

Ultimately, this not only helps individual employees grow but also elevates skills and competencies across the company.

4. Improved Hiring and Engagement Outcomes

When hiring, data-driven analytics is an exceptional sourcing tool. It can dramatically decrease time-to-hire by helping talent acquisition teams quickly assess any candidate’s suitability for a job.

Once an employee is onboard, retention becomes crucial. Workforce analytics can help HR continuously calibrate metrics like employee engagement, productivity, and burnout. By benchmarking these indicators, HR can take action when needed to reduce negative factors and boost positive results.

5. Stronger Diversity and Inclusion

Data-driven tools can also help employers build a culture of diversity and inclusion.

For example, HR teams can identify key factors that contribute to job satisfaction and engagement (and conversely turnover) among minorities. Then, by monitoring these indicators, they can identify potential issues and work proactively with recruiters and managers to support inclusion and belonging.

6. Optimized Costs

Analytics also helps HR leaders effectively allocate and manage workforce budgets and resources.

For instance, by benchmarking factors like headcount, compensation, benefits, or location strategy, employers can determine which costs are higher than comparable organizations. This can also be a foundation for calculating return on investment across various workforce-related variables.

Real-World HR Analytics Examples

The following examples demonstrate how world-class employers are using data-driven workforce tools to improve decision-making and HR operations.

1. Google

Google is an excellent example of how employers can apply HR analytics to enhance workforce planning and organizational culture.

Even though the company had been growing successfully for more than two decades, it became obvious in 2020 that workforce diversity and inclusion weren’t keeping pace. Historically, the company had struggled with gender and ethnic diversity in hiring. And by 2018, employee confidence in the company’s leaders was declining.

This issue began to cast a shadow over Google’s employer brand, which made it increasingly difficult to attract and retain top talent, especially among underrepresented groups.

Google’s People Analytics team recognized the need to improve workforce planning, so they turned to HR analytics for a solution. Relying on their workforce planning tools, the team gathered and interpreted relevant data and generated useful insights. As a result, they defined talent gaps, identified areas where diversity was lacking, and exposed below-average recruitment patterns.

How Google Tackled These Problems

To address these issues, Google turned to its annual feedback process known as Googlegeist. Launched in 2007, this survey captures employee opinions about multiple facets of work life and organizational culture.

By rigorously analyzing employee feedback data, the HR team easily recognized underlying factors that allowed DEI issues to persist. In response, they developed targeted recruitment strategies to provide more opportunities for employees, job candidates, and potential applicants from underrepresented groups.

One of the outcomes of this effort is Google’s partnership with historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). The main purpose is to draw hidden potential from sources that have historically been overlooked.

In addition, Google now trains recruitment staff to avoid hiring biases and exclusionary hiring practices. The company also trains its leaders in methods for managing diverse teams more effectively. Over time, Google is building a more diverse and inclusive workforce, while simultaneously improving its work culture and employee experience.

2. IBM

Another company that relies heavily on data-driven employment tools is IBM. This particular case focuses on applying HR analytics to reduce employee attrition.

The HR team was concerned with the rate of job hopping across its employee base. By using Watson Analytics, they analyzed a variety of factors, including employee demographics, engagement data, and performance metrics.

How IBM Resolved This Problem

These findings helped the HR team develop a predictive prototype to identify employees who were most likely to quit their jobs. Next, the team created a multifaceted retention strategy to address the specific needs of high-risk employees.

This strategy included curated development programs, employee safety and wellbeing, workforce recognition, and mentoring.

After implementing this strategy, IBM’s employee retention rate improved. As a result, the company saved money on recruitment and training, while improving the work environment for everyone in the company.

Final Note on the Power of HR Analytics

Data-driven workforce planning tools are a game changer for modern organizations. They bring a new level of convenience and efficiency to HR professionals. No wonder employers everywhere are embracing these platforms. But is data-driven HR, alone, enough to change an organization’s culture?

These tools can’t replace the unique people and innovative spirit that set great employers apart. However, they can become a decision-making backbone and help keep any organization ahead of the competition.

What about you? What do you see ahead for your workforce? How will you put HR analytics to prepare for your organization’s future?

AI in HR: Creating Value With New Technology

As artificial intelligence becomes more deeply embedded in everyday workflows, it is rapidly transforming the way businesses operate. For example, the recent rise of generative AI and data-driven insights provide an exciting glimpse into future possibilities. In fact, McKinsey estimates that AI could contribute an additional $13 trillion to the global economy by 2030. But what does this mean for AI in HR?

Many employers are eagerly embracing new AI-driven capabilities. And as the co-founder of an innovative HR tech platform, I’ve had a front-row seat in witnessing AI’s early impact.

But despite the enthusiasm, a central question remains: While navigating these uncharted waters, how can employers make sure AI has a meaningful, positive impact on their workforce as well as their business results? Here’s my perspective…

Moving From Hype to Measurable Value

In the HR tech sphere, many tools and service providers are racing to integrate AI into their platforms and processes — often to demonstrate tech prowess. But this, alone, doesn’t create business value.

That’s why problem-solving must be a top priority. Especially now, in this early adoption phase, it’s paramount for solutions to address the real needs of HR leaders, practitioners, managers, and employees.

If this is the goal, what truly matters? AI isn’t just about automation — it’s also about helping organizations save time, improve performance, enhance the employee experience, and provide actionable insights when and where they’re useful. In our world, this translates into feedback processes that are more responsive, managers who are more effective at coaching their teams, and employees who are more engaged and empowered to grow and perform their best.

Mapping AI to Employment Cycle Stages

To understand the tangible benefits of AI in HR, it’s helpful to look through the lens of the employee lifecycle. From talent acquisition to performance management, and from training to retention, AI is shaping each step in the employee journey. Let’s examine what that means for each stage:

1. Rethinking Talent Acquisition: Beyond the Resume

As the initial touchpoint in the employment cycle, hiring is pivotal in defining the employee experience. Traditional recruiting methods may be effective, but they often fall short in capturing the intricate nuances that determine a candidate’s fit for a particular role. This is where the transformative power of AI can propel employers beyond the limits of a conventional resume.

An excellent case is HireVue. This platform uses AI-driven predictive analytics to evaluate a candidate’s suitability based on numerous factors, including facial expressions and tone of voice during interviews. These innovative capabilities work hand-in-hand with recruiters to complement and enhance their human observations. This leads to a more comprehensive assessment that looks beyond surface-level qualifications and reduces unconscious bias.

How AI Adds Value

In a world where first impressions and gut feelings tend to drive decisions, AI adds a more objective layer of analysis. Plus, it helps “read between the lines” of a candidate’s responses for a more holistic, data-driven approach to talent acquisition.

As a result, employers can feel more confident they’re hiring people with personal attributes that fit their company culture and long-term objectives, as well as the right skills and experience.

But the true magic of AI lies in its potential to help decision-makers rethink their perceptions of candidates. Suitability indicators shift from qualifications, alone, to a nuanced combination of skills, culture fit, and long-term potential.

Ultimately, this promises to improve employee satisfaction, engagement, and retention by making it easier to find the strongest talent for each role, right from the start. However, AI can’t run on autopilot. For the best outcomes, employers and platform vendors will need to work together so they can avoid bias in AI algorithms while preserving the human touch that elevates the candidate experience.

2. Redefining Performance Metrics: Objective Evaluation

Performance assessment has long been a foundational HR function. But now, AI adds a new dimension to this process, reshaping how we track and evaluate employee contributions.

With AI algorithms, employers can extract insights that were once beyond reach. This means organizations can more quickly and accurately pinpoint high-potential talent, predict employee burnout, create a comprehensive analysis of any individual’s performance, and identify where they’re making the biggest impact.

How AI Adds Value

To illustrate how this works, consider the case of Fractl, a fast-paced digital marketing firm that relies on the WorkStory platform to drive employee pulse surveys, streamline performance reviews, and support continuous development for its fully distributed workforce.

What’s next? According to MIT Sloan, some organizations are taking this a step further by using AI to generate employee key performance indicators. These KPIs are carefully calibrated and dynamically adjusted to consider each employee’s past performance, while also considering their team’s objectives and their organization’s broader mission.

Although momentum is growing for AI-supported employee evaluation, several fundamental challenges remain. Employers need to foster workforce trust by ensuring their process is transparent and free from bias. As success stories become more widespread and best practices emerge, these barriers to adoption should diminish.

The shift to AI-enabled performance evaluation marks a pivotal moment in the evolution of HR practices. By providing more objective, dynamic, data-driven assessments, it’s possible to unlock new levels of employee potential and improve productivity, while significantly enhancing employee engagement and retention.

3. Empowering Growth: Tailored Learning Experiences

Continuous learning is vital in today’s fluid business environment. And AI is already transforming employee development from a formal one-size-fits-all experience to a personalized and highly adaptive journey.

For instance, imagine tailoring training modules and performance support resources to an individual’s organizational role, career aspirations, and learning patterns. With AI-enabled tools like Degreed, Coursera, EdCast, Docebo, and Cornerstone OnDemand, you can easily identify relevant skill gaps and deliver targeted learning, assessments, and coaching.

How AI Adds Value

These AI-powered platforms curate personalized learning paths, recommend relevant courses, and analyze individual learning behaviors, so employees can develop the knowledge and skills they need to thrive in their current roles. At the same time, they can prepare for future opportunities.

Organizations are rapidly embracing AI-based learning strategies because they see tremendous value in helping employees take charge of their professional growth while remaining aligned with existing business goals.

4. Fostering Retention: Finding the Pulse of Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is the lifeblood of every organization. With AI-based analytics tools, employers can gain deeper insight into subtle engagement indicators. By analyzing informal and formal feedback and communication patterns, organizations can better understand the strength and direction of workforce sentiment and proactively work to improve engagement.

How AI Adds Value

Organizations like KPMG are using an internal AI chatbot and predictive analytics to identify employees who are at risk of quitting, so they can intervene. And in 10-20% of cases, these interventions succeeded.

In this context, predictive analytics depends on historical data and AI algorithms to forecast future outcomes. For employee engagement, it can mean predicting which employees are more likely to leave based on their interactions, sentiments, and previous work patterns.

When the system identifies “at risk” employees, HR can take timely action to address underlying issues. For example, to resolve conflicts with a manager, a disaffected employee may respond to job restructuring, reassignment, coaching, or new development opportunities.

This proactive, personalized approach contrasts with traditional talent management methods that rely on periodic pulse surveys and subjective assessments, both of which may miss real-time fluctuations in employee sentiment.

Fusing AI and HR: Beyond Today’s Challenges

Integrating AI with HR is a journey filled with endless possibilities. But despite the benefits and buzz, HR professionals need to recognize the risks and ensure AI tools are used ethically and effectively.

This isn’t just about efficiency. It’s also about building a workplace that is more empathetic, empowered, and engaged.

In a few short years, AI-enabled HR tools will be ubiquitous. The burden of routine, repetitive tasks will fall more heavily on machines. At the same time, information will flow much more freely, giving business and HR professionals the ability to better understand their work environment, anticipate the need to adjust, and prepare for the road ahead.

As Harvard Business Review says, “These new capabilities remove barriers of expertise and time from the process of data preparation, insight discovery, and analysis and make it possible for ‘citizen data analysts’ to create insights and take actions that improve their businesses.”

We will learn and adapt. New jobs and industries will emerge that we haven’t even anticipated yet. In fact, The Institute for the Future predicts that most of the jobs that will exist in 2030 haven’t been invented yet — and many of those jobs will be created as a result of AI.

As employers move toward a world where AI is seamlessly integrated into HR processes, I think one guiding principle will determine the difference between failure and lasting success. When you’re trying to balance tech innovation with the human touch, ask yourself, “Will this truly help members of our workforce feel more connected, valued, and supported in their professional journey?” If so, you’re on the right track.

What Does the Voice of the Employee Say About Your Culture?

Sponsored by WorkForce Software

Employers, you know the story. For years, organizations have been struggling to engage and retain employees, yet few have really moved the meter. So, how do the best employers succeed? Some say the answer lies in listening more closely to the voice of the employee. Why?

Here’s what statistics say:

  • 90% of workers told Achievers they’re more likely to stay at a company that seeks feedback and acts on it. Yet 67% rate their organization as only “okay” or even “horrible” at doing this.
  • According to a Gallup survey, 52% of people who resigned say those in charge could have done something to prevent them from quitting. But only a third actually discussed their disenchantment with their manager before they left.

It is time to lean in and listen to the voice of the employee more closely and more continuously. But what should that look like in a modern work environment? This question is super important. And that’s why we’re talking about it today with an expert in the psychology of work…

Meet Our Guest: Angelina Sun

Today, we welcome back Angelina Sun, PhD, WorkForce Management Solutions Director at WorkForce Software. With extensive experience in multiple industries, she is deeply interested in innovative ways to build and sustain healthy organizational cultures.

In her current role, Angelina focuses on helping leaders more effectively manage and communicate with employees – especially deskless workers. Angelina’s finger is clearly on the pulse of modern workforce challenges and opportunities. That’s why I asked her to join us earlier this year to discuss the state of today’s deskless worker experience.

But this topic is much bigger than just one podcast episode. So I invited Angelina to return so we could dig deeper. Here are some highlights from our latest conversation…

Defining the Voice of the Employee

Welcome back, Angelina! What is the voice of the employee, and why is it so valuable in organizations?

People often think of the voice of the employee in terms of responses to staff surveys. But it’s more than that.  It encompasses all their feelings, perceptions, and experiences. And it includes all communication channels.

There are so many ways you can tap into the voice of the employee. For example, you can learn by paying attention to team meetings, one-on-ones with managers, service sentiment, and information sharing at company gatherings, interviews, focus groups — anywhere you gather feedback.

The Need to Feel Heard is Universal
You’re so right, Angelina. This extends far beyond employee surveys…

Everyone wants to be heard and valued. Whether we are office-based, remote, hybrid, frontline hourly workers or shift workers, we all want to feel like we’re doing meaningful, purposeful work.

But for deskless workers, the voice of the employee has a unique operational focus. Because these workers are closest to production or customers, their feedback is crucial. It helps identify what’s really happening in the workplace or with the customer experience, so we can take action and improve.

Technology’s Role

How can technology, especially mobile, help create a more seamless communication flow between employees and employers?

You know, smartphones are an essential tool for managing our day-to-day lives. This is why organizations really should employ these powerful, pocket-sized supercomputers to connect with frontline workers.

In fact, our research reveals that 45% of employees would prefer to receive training and information on their mobile phone. Yet only 20% of them actually have this option.

Improving the Communication Process

What are some of the best ways employers can select a communication vehicle and make it work for everyone?

The biggest obstacle is adoption. Why? Because deskless workers don’t sit or stand in front of a computer all day to check email and respond.

So if you want a successful solution, it must integrate into the technology deskless workers are already using in the field or on the shop floor.

We are not just talking about a simple chat system. It should be workflow-driven. It should help people get their job done and make it easier to manage schedules and work-life balance, while also helping managers have the right conversations with the right people at the right time…

 


Learn More About the Voice of the Employee

For more insights about how your organization can benefit from listening to the voice of the employee, listen to this full #WorkTrends episode on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or wherever you tune in to podcasts. And while you’re there, be sure to subscribe, so you won’t miss future episodes.

Also, visit WorkForce Software anytime for details about the company and its modern workforce management suite.

And whenever you want to continue this conversation on social media, follow our #WorkTrends hashtag on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Let’s talk!

HR Enters the Metaverse. What Are the Pros and Cons?

As technology continues to evolve, so does the way we connect and work with others. One of the newest advances in technology is the metaverse, a virtual world where users can interact with each other and with digital objects in a three-dimensional space. Because this immersive world has tremendous potential to transform the way we work, future-minded HR professionals are actively exploring its potential, and technology companies are helping them understand the possibilities.

Meta, Microsoft, Google, and Apple are just a few well-known innovators that are investing heavily in metaverse technology. Fortunately, these players and others are prioritizing workplace collaboration solutions. For example, Meta Horizon Workrooms and Microsoft Mesh VR technology are both designed to help teams collaborate in the same virtual room, regardless of an individual’s physical location.

The upside is significant for vendors developing business-related metaverse tools and technologies. In fact, the enterprise virtual reality market is expected to grow from $829 million in 2018 to $4.26 billion this year. So, it’s easy to see why Bill Gates says he is confident that work teams will soon shift from Zoom calls to Microsoft’s more advanced 3-D experience.

5 Ways HR Can Leverage the Metaverse

Because the metaverse makes it possible for employees to interact with each other and with digital objects in a virtual environment, the experience is more engaging and immersive than traditional video conferencing or messaging platforms. This offers HR a range of possibilities, from virtual recruitment and onboarding to team-building activities and training sessions. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most promising HR applications…

1. Workforce Inclusion

One of the strongest benefits of the metaverse is its ability to enable a more inclusive work environment. In the virtual world, employees can interact with each other regardless of their physical location. This makes it easier for remote workers to feel included and engaged. This, in turn, opens the door to a much more diverse and inclusive work culture, with better opportunities for collaboration and innovation.

2. Recruitment

Another potential HR application for the metaverse is virtual recruitment. With the ability to create a three-dimensional space, companies can create a virtual office or work environment that helps candidates experience what it’s like to work within their organization. For example, employers can offer virtual tours, interactive experiences, and the ability to interact directly with current employees. This means candidates will discover a more authentic, immersive recruitment process. As a result, employers are likely to attract higher-quality candidates and accelerate the talent acquisition process.

3. Onboarding

HR can also leverage the metaverse for virtual onboarding. Instead of a traditional one-dimensional orientation process, new hires can enter a virtual environment that simulates their new workspace and introduces them to their team and their role. For example, this could include virtual tours and interactive experiences, as well as the ability to ask questions and interact directly with colleagues. Because this onboarding approach is highly engaging and effective, it can help new hires more quickly understand and embrace the work culture, while accelerating time-to-competency and ultimately increasing employee retention.

4. Team-Building

The metaverse can also help transform the way organizations conduct team-building activities. With the ability to create an immersive virtual environment, HR professionals can create a range of interactive experiences that promote trust and teamwork. This can include virtual games, simulations, and challenges that require communication, collaboration, and group problem-solving. By offering far more engaging digital team-building exercises, organizations can continuously develop stronger, more effective teams.

5. Training

Training is another area where the metaverse can make a significant impact. By creating a virtual learning environment, HR professionals can deliver training simulations that develop employee skills and competencies in a more engaging, immersive way. This can include simulations of real-world scenarios that make it possible for employees to practice, test, and build knowledge and skills in a safe, controlled environment. It’s also a more convenient way for distributed employees to access training from a distance, rather than requiring them to travel to a central in-person facility. As a result, this approach can improve training efficiency and cost-effectiveness without compromising learning outcomes.

Concerns About HR in the Metaverse

Although the metaverse presents numerous opportunities, HR professionals must also consider potential challenges. For example:

1. Safety, Privacy, and Data Security

Employers must ensure the privacy and safety of employees who participate in the virtual world. This includes protecting sensitive information and preventing inappropriate behavior and harassment. HR professionals will need to anticipate potential behavioral and data management issues that can arise in a virtual world. They’ll also need to develop relevant procedures, policies, and guidelines to prevent these issues. In addition, they’ll need to provide ongoing communication and training to ensure that employees understand these expectations, as well as the consequences of any harmful actions.

2. Accessibility

Another concern focuses on the need for employers to ensure that virtual environments are accessible to all employees, regardless of their physical abilities. HR professionals will need to consider how virtual environments can be designed, deployed, and maintained to accommodate diverse needs over time. This can ensure that employers remain in compliance with standards that promote equal access and participation in the virtual world.

A Final Note on HR in the Metaverse

Clearly, the metaverse has tremendous potential to transform the way we work, connect, and collaborate with others. HR professionals are beginning to explore possible use cases, from virtual recruitment and onboarding to team-building activities and training sessions.

However, there are also potential issues and concerns employers cannot afford to ignore, including privacy and accessibility. These are complex issues that require careful consideration and technical expertise. But with a thoughtful approach, HR professionals can leverage the metaverse to create a more engaging and rewarding work environment that supports employee growth and development for all.

 

The Business Value of Recruitment Process Automation

Automation is a red-hot topic in business circles, and HR is no exception. For instance, to compete in today’s challenging labor market, many employers are looking for new ways to streamline and improve talent acquisition. As a result, recruitment process automation is rapidly changing how recruiters connect with candidates. But what does this mean for the human side of hiring?

Successful employers know that a personal touch is integral to a positive candidate experience. This is why they don’t want automation to replace recruitment staff. Instead, they prefer technology that works side-by-side with recruiters.

What makes this approach so effective? Let’s look closer by exploring these topics:

  • Why Candidate Experience Matters
  • How Recruitment Process Automation Enhances Candidate Experience
  • Implementation Best Practices
  • Features to Look for in Recruitment Automation Software

Why Candidate Experience Matters

With qualified talent still in short supply, employers can’t afford to overlook how they treat potential employees during the hiring process. Why? Nearly 4 in 5 job applicants believe overall candidate experience indicates how deeply an organization values its people. A stellar experience can help your company can benefit in multiple ways by:

1. Elevating Your Employer Brand

Employer brand plays a vital role in the hiring process. In fact, 82% of job seekers consider an employer’s brand and reputation before submitting an application. A positive candidate experience can significantly enhance your brand. Conversely, a negative experience is likely to tarnish your image and send fewer candidates in your direction.

2. Attracting and Retaining High-Quality Talent

A solid applicant experience can be instrumental in attracting and retaining top-tier talent. When prospective employees experience a positive recruitment process, they’re more likely to accept a job offer and stay on board longer. This decreases staff turnover and reduces overall hiring costs.

3. Creating a Competitive Advantage

Think of candidate experience as a differentiator that sets you apart from competitors. When applicants are considering multiple job offers, a positive experience can be the factor that helps them choose you. On the other hand, if their experience with you is negative, they’re more likely to choose another employer, no matter how attractive your offer may be.

4. Boosting Brand Advocacy

Most importantly, a positive hiring experience lays the groundwork for stronger long-term relationships. Even if a candidate doesn’t land an open position, they’re more likely to apply for future positions with your company and refer others to you down the road. What’s more, satisfied candidates are more likely to become brand ambassadors, spreading positive word-of-mouth that can lead to new business opportunities.

5 Ways Recruitment Process Automation Enhances Candidate Experience

At its core, recruitment automation streamlines and automates manual processes that are repetitive, time-consuming, and prone to human error. This includes steps involved with candidate sourcing, job description optimization, resume parsing, interview scheduling, applicant tracking, hiring logistics, employee onboarding, and more. For example, automation can help you:

1. Drive Ongoing Communication

Automation facilitates continuous communication with applicants, which is crucial for engagement and transparency. Features such as automated email notifications and updates can provide candidates with timely information about their application status and progress. Also, with interactive AI-powered chatbots, recruiters can offer real-time assistance and immediately answer applicant questions for a more responsive and supportive candidate experience.

2. Customize Interactions

Automation might sound like a robotic “one-size-fits-all” concept. But you may be surprised at how simple it can be to personalize communication through every stage of an applicant’s journey. Recruitment platforms make it easy to customize email templates and personalize each message, so you can keep in touch, even when applicant volumes surge. You can also generate dynamic assessments and evaluations based on each applicant’s unique profile.

3. Streamline Interview Scheduling

An automated applicant tracking system can simplify interview scheduling, reducing logistical headaches for both recruiters and candidates. For instance, you can implement self-service scheduling tools and AI-driven systems to sync dynamically with recruiters’ calendars. This enables candidates to choose interview slots that fit their availability.

4. Manage Candidate Feedback

Automation also makes it easier to collect useful feedback. By distributing automated surveys — along with reminders and follow-up notices — you can gather, organize, and analyze relevant data about any aspect of your recruitment process. This provides valuable insights you can use to continuously improve the applicant experience.

Best Practices For Implementing Recruitment Process Automation

1. Understand Your Organization’s Needs

Before automating various stages of recruitment, it is crucial to assess your organization’s unique goals and requirements. Start by investigating issues with your recruiting process to pinpoint top priorities. Then document the objectives you want to achieve through automation.

This can help guide your decisions on which tools to adopt, how to use them, and where to focus your efforts for the biggest impact. It can also jumpstart discovery discussions with software vendors.

2. Select the Right Automation Technology

A plethora of talent acquisition software is available, with each platform offering its own unique capabilities. Your choice should align with your organization’s needs, budget, and long-term goals. In addition to core recruitment automation software, you may find it useful to leverage complementary tools, such as:

  • AI-powered chatbots
  • Automated text messaging technology
  • Candidate pre-screening tools
  • One-way video interviewing platforms

When choosing software, focus on factors such as cost-effectiveness, user-friendliness, support and maintenance, alignment with your existing process, and flexibility to adapt and scale with your organization’s needs over time. In-depth demos, hands-on trials, and pilot programs are all viable ways to gauge how well a tool fits your needs.

3. Integrate Automation With Your Workflow

When you invest in new recruitment tools, you’ll want to make the most of their capabilities. This means you’ll want to integrate the software into your existing recruitment process and HR ecosystem. The goal is to streamline and simplify your workflow, not complicate it.

Remember that automation should enhance your current process, not replace vital human interaction, analysis, and decision-making. Also, to avoid disruptions and maintain a cohesive workflow, look for tools that easily integrate with your existing software and systems.

4. Emphasize Training and Upskilling

User adoption is the key to software success. Even the most user-friendly platform relies on training to maximize its potential. This means every team member should understand how the platform can enhance their daily work activities and how to use relevant features effectively.

Investing in training and upskilling accelerates adoption, which in turn leads to more frequent and efficient use of the platform. Ultimately, this increases ROI.

5. Evaluate and Optimize Continuously

Automation is not a set-it-and-forget-it solution. For best results, you’ll want to evaluate your automated processes on an ongoing basis. Use the data and feedback from your automation tools to understand what’s working and what needs refining. This includes identifying areas for improvement, adapting to changing technology, and ensuring an optimal candidate experience as your organization changes over time.

Features to Look for in Recruitment Automation Software

How does innovative software like Recruit CRM use the power of automation to manage the complex dynamics of recruitment? Look for features like these:

1. Automated Candidate Communication

Does the platform make it easy for recruiters to schedule periodic email messages and updates to ensure that candidates are informed at each step in their journey? This kind of proactive communication fosters candidate engagement and trust, setting the stage for a positive recruitment experience. In addition, look for capabilities that streamline client communication. You’ll want to keep everyone in sync throughout the hiring process.

2. AI-Powered Candidate Matching

The best solutions available today are integrated with resume parsers. This significantly improves the candidate matching and screening process. For example, Recruit CRM integrates AI technology with Sovren resume parsing software to automatically analyze each applicant’s profile, skills, and experiences. This makes it much faster to identify the ideal fit for each role. What’s more, with OpenAI integration, key insights from interviews and interactions are captured accurately. This further streamlines the hiring process and enriches the candidate experience.

3. Privacy Assurance

Personal privacy is a top priority for applicants as well as employers. To ensure strong data integrity, insist on automation software that is GDPR compliant. This can help you build trust with candidates by ensuring their data is secure and transparent. It also safeguards your firm from potential legal challenges.

A Final Note

Recruitment process automation is not just about streamlining operations. It’s also about making the candidate experience a more productive, rewarding journey for both recruiters and applicants.

As organizations continue to invest in digital solutions, this is an ideal time to embrace recruitment automation. Smart choices can elevate your brand by helping recruiters do a better job of attracting, engaging, and supporting potential talent.

Are We Missing a Rare Chance to Build Better Workplaces?

For nearly four years, the pandemic and economic upheaval have dealt employers a one-two punch. But the worst is behind us now. This is an ideal time for bold moves that improve the future of work. A few employers are leading the way with new hybrid work variations. Others seem intent on returning to pre-pandemic office norms. And many more aren’t sure what to do. I think we should start with a more strategic question: What will it take to create better workplaces? Let’s talk about it.

What Do “Better Workplaces” Look Like?

The answer depends on where you look for insight. Terms and metrics differ by source. And the context of work keeps changing all the time. When we’re drinking from a firehose of confusing information, how can anyone define the goal, much less develop a useful roadmap?

First, let me clarify my own terms. When I say “better workplaces,” I’m not necessarily talking about a physical office or a classic 5-day workweek. It is wherever and whenever employees show up to fulfill their shared mission, vision, and goals.

What matters most isn’t the location or time of day. It’s about knowing what’s expected of you and being empowered to work productively with other team members. At least that’s what employees say.

What Leaders Want

On the other hand, if you read the headlines, you might think the only thing that matters to executives is bringing people back onsite at any cost.

  • Even in 2021, over 75% of top executives told McKinsey they expected employees to return to the office for most of the work week — despite the fact that most people said they wanted to work from home most of the time.
  • Then in a 2022 Microsoft survey, 82% of decision-makers said getting employees back to the office was a major concern. But why was this so important? Apparently, trust was a key issue. In fact, only 12% of leaders told Microsoft they were fully confident in their team’s productivity, even though 87% of employees said they were productive.

But here’s a news flash: Despite employers’ return-to-office push, recent research reveals that executives don’t expect remote or hybrid work to decline. In fact, senior leaders predict in-person work to drop from 76% this year to 73% by 2028, while total virtual and hybrid employees are expected to grow from 24% to 27% during the same timeframe.

Better Workplaces Are Flexible

I’ve said it before, but apparently, some people need a reminder. Flexibility is the future of work. And a majority of employees agree.

In other words, when given a choice between in-person and remote work, many people say they want the best of both worlds. For example, Microsoft found that 73% of employees want remote work to remain an option, while 67% want more in-person time with their teams. Other studies show similar interest in hybrid solutions. And increasingly employers are responding with creative flexible options.

How Can Modern Technology Help Build Better Workplaces?

So, knowing flexibility is essential, what does it take to ensure a seamless, productive employee experience, no matter where people are located on any given day? I’m reminded of a #WorkTrends podcast conversation I had several years ago with two work tech visionaries — technology strategist, Christian Reilly, and industry analyst, Maribel Lopez.

Both emphasized the need to support a sense of connection and community, wherever people may be working. Modern technology helps employers accomplish this while reducing the uncertainty managers often feel when team members are working remotely…

We explored a variety of questions about digital transformation and the future of work. And as I look back, the answers still resonate today:

Modern Organizations Rethink Their Toolkit

How can employers embrace innovative technology to keep up with disruptive changes in work practices and organizational culture? Christian says the ideal strategy should realistically consider existing business and technology limitations and realities:

For hybrid or full-time remote work support, it’s extremely cumbersome to pretend that the platform you’ve historically used in an office environment is sufficient for work that reaches beyond office boundaries.”

Maribel adds:

When workplace tools are more intuitive and easy to use, employees see value in them. If technology makes their job easier, they’re much more willing to embrace it. The biggest mistake an employer can make is to hang on to legacy tools that aren’t modern.”

The Right Tech Sparks Inclusive Innovation

Strategies that modernize IT include migration to the cloud, adoption of software as a service (SaaS) solutions, and digital workplaces. Citing a Citrix research research report, “The Era of Hyper- Innovation,” Christian noted the impact that modern technology can have on employees. For instance:

93% of survey respondents said increased digital collaboration has led to more diverse voices from across the organization being heard. Also, a greater range of ideas for innovation have surfaced.”

Powerful Tech Empowers Organization to Adapt

During the pandemic era, many organizations have quickly pivoted to embrace change. Others have been a bit slower to act. Maribel says that if your organization isn’t agile, your competitors will eat your lunch. But technology provides a powerful way to level the playing field for organizations of all sizes:

Now, every organization on the planet has access to amazing technology at a fairly affordable price. If you’re willing to adopt technology, then it becomes more about your product, your services, and your ability to understand customer needs.”

Modern Technology Makes Work Accessible to More People

Technology is also removing barriers to work. Now, a much more diverse workforce can participate in the workplace with fewer constraints. And more employees are able to develop skills and engage directly in workflows of all kinds.

In the past, employees relied on skilled colleagues to help them do their job. (For example, think of typing pools, for those old enough to remember them). Now, technology empowers many more employees to accomplish more, themselves.

Every individual can take control of how they work because they have the tools to do so. This is a tremendous opportunity to use technology for good in the future of work.”



Related Notes From Other Work Tech Leaders

Over the past few years, many more leaders have shared their perspectives in #WorkTrends conversations, as well. For instance:

 

Jeetu Patel, EVP and GM of Security and Collaboration, Cisco:

The future of work will be hybrid. This “mixed mode” reality will be harder to manage than when everyone worked in the office because there’s more opportunity for people to feel left out. But hybrid work also lets people of all types feel like they have a level playing field.”

Reid Hiatt, CEO, Tactic:

The key to hybrid work productivity is providing transparency into what’s going on at the office. That way, before people make that commute…they understand what type of experience they’ll have when they get there.”

Melissa Puls, SVP and CMO at Ivanti:

Employers have to change their talent mindset and methodology. That includes not only the flexibility of a work environment, but also the technologies we use to enable employee experience. Tech that supports and secures all environments an employee wants to work in will no longer be a differentiating factor, but the norm.”


Also, for more timeless work tech insights from Maribel and Christian, check out this related #WorkTrends podcast episode from several years ago.

Diverse Communication Transforms Work Cultures. How About Yours?

No question about it. Strong internal communication is critical to a strong business. But it’s not easy — especially when workplace dynamics are constantly fluctuating. For example, not long ago, Covid forced organizations to embrace remote work. Now, return-to-office policies and hybrid schedules are adding new layers of complexity. Change is a universal challenge. Yet, the most successful leaders keep everyone in the loop so their organizations can continue running smoothly. What’s the secret? Diverse communication.

Why Diverse Communication Matters

Every organization strives to build a work culture that attracts and retains top talent. Communication plays a key role in this process by helping employees feel recognized, valued, and supported.

When people feel more deeply connected with their employer, their work, and each other, morale and engagement naturally improve. But some ways of making this happen are more successful than others. This is where diverse communication shines.

At first glance, this strategy seems focused on tools. Certainly, access to useful tools is important. For instance, you’ll want to be sure employees can easily conduct video calls and informal digital conversations through collaboration platforms like Slack or Teams.

But the most powerful solutions reach far beyond tools like these. Diverse communication strategies look more expansively at how information flows within an organization — and what may be inhibiting that flow. For example, you’ll want to understand:

  • Job Roles: How do different functions and roles communicate? What’s the typical frequency and nature of these interactions? Where are the bottlenecks? What are the implications when communication isn’t effective?
  • Individual Styles: You’ll also want to consider various communication modes. Although people may behave similarly when performing similar tasks, each of us brings our own preferences to work.
  • Other Variables: Many other elements come into play. For instance, generational differences, cultural differences, and work environment differences. All these and more can influence the ways coworkers connect, interact, and share information.

Because so many variables are involved, trying to standardize communication is counterproductive. Instead, start by researching various communication needs, preferences, and styles. The more you understand your employees’ unique strengths, behaviors, and traits, the better you can serve them as individuals and teams.

Let’s look closer at several key factors…

What Shapes Diverse Communication?

1. Generational Differences

With four generations actively participating in today’s workforce, managing multigenerational teams is a growing challenge. Each generation comes to work with unique expectations and approaches to communication:

  • Baby Boomers grew up in an analog age, so they’re likely to appreciate direct, face-to-face communication more than virtual interaction.
  • Gen Xers weren’t exposed to digital devices until early adulthood, so their preferences tend toward a Boomer/Millennial blend of informal, flexible communication via phone, email, or text.
  • Millennials have relied on instant messaging and text communication since their teen years, so they tend to appreciate fast digital chat-style communication.
  • Gen Zers are comfortable with digital technology because they’ve been surrounded by it their whole lives. But interestingly, they also crave one-on-one feedback and authentic communication experiences, like those provided in team huddles and video calls.

Does this mean you should standardize communication based on what “most” Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, Millennials, or Gen Zs prefer? No. Age is only one part of the equation.

2. Team Dynamics

Each department in your organization has no doubt established distinct communication patterns and preferences. So, to communicate effectively across the organization, leaders must understand multiple group norms and provide various experiences that accommodate everyone, regardless of their department or location.

But departments can’t work efficiently in isolation. That’s why it’s also important to foster a sense of community and connection that spans groups, functions, and geographic boundaries. You’ll want to understand how individuals from across your organization consume and share information. By leveraging this insight, you can offer customized communications that also reach across differences to build a sense of shared identity and purpose.

3. Individual Work Styles

Which comes first — technology or work preferences? In the digital age, it depends. Sometimes technology leads the way. For example, mobile apps entered the workplace, not because employers drove adoption but because employees everywhere started bringing their smartphones to work.

At the same time, employees introduced another groundbreaking technology shift the widespread use of social media at work. Now, according to the Pew Research Center, 56% of employees use social media during business hours for work-related purposes, such as connecting with subject matter experts.

Knowing where employees currently spend time communicating is helpful, because you can leverage those channels to improve other types of organizational communication. The more you rely on tools and channels employees already use, the more engaged and satisfied they’re likely to be with your strategy.

4. Technology

Weak communication only increases misunderstandings and unnecessary conflict. This erodes team cohesion and productivity. Ultimately, it jeopardizes company culture and business performance as well. Technology can help avoid these issues by letting people share information faster and more easily. But tools, alone, don’t guarantee successful communication.

For example, it’s possible to misinterpret a face-to-face conversation. But the likelihood of miscommunication increases dramatically when you rely on digital tools to conduct that same conversation. And the problem only multiplies when your entire team works remotely or on a hybrid schedule.

Another potential pitfall involves messaging itself. Although employees need and want timely access to information, it won’t have much impact without meaningful context. Do you explain how a news update is tied to your company’s vision and values? Why is it relevant for employees? What should they expect as a result of this news? Think strategically about how to frame content so it receives the attention and support it deserves.

To ensure company-wide news and information are highly available to all, many organizations provide collaboration tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams. These solutions make communicating with in-office and remote employees quick, easy, and reliable. Without these channels, people are not just less productive. They’re also likely to feel disconnected from colleagues and leaders, as well as company culture and goals.

And for in-office employees, one way to amplify communication is with digital signage displays. Their visual appeal engages people and helps them quickly digest news as they move through company spaces. Plus, you can quickly and easily update screens anytime to personalize the messaging for individuals, groups, or special events. Some companies even use digital signage to streamline their meeting room booking process or provide visual wayfinding cues to enhance the in-office experience.

These are just a few examples of endless tools that can enhance workforce communication. The tools you choose should reflect your organization’s unique needs.

Why Diverse Communication Beats Generic Methods

When budgets are tight and businesses are juggling multiple priorities, applying a one-size-fits-all approach to internal communication may seem tempting. But that won’t work. Here are several reasons why:

  • Digital Expectations Have Changed: Outside of work, modern employees are accustomed to receiving personalized content that fits their preferences. This shouldn’t stop when they clock in. Interacting with individuals in ways they prefer will improve engagement. Ultimately, it will improve operational efficiency and effectiveness, as well.
  • Leaders Can’t Afford Blind Spots: Organizations thrive when they include people from various backgrounds, cultures, and points of view. Yet many leaders struggle to accommodate others’ experiences. When communication ignores these unique perspectives, trust, team-building, and collaboration suffer. But a more customized approach can bridge these gaps and bring people closer together (without requiring them to be located in the same place).
  • Too Much is at Stake: Studies show that when employers tailor internal communications, their workforce is more responsive, productive, loyal, and engaged. In a tight talent market, why risk your relationship with employees by choosing not to address their unique perspectives?

Getting Started

A successful communication strategy begins with insights about the people in your organization. Rather than relying on hunches or third-party data about just one dimension of each employee’s identity, take time to gather and analyze intelligence about everyone’s communication preferences. The answers are only a few questions away. All you have to do is ask.

An internal communications survey can help you:

  • Identify and prioritize issues that need improvement
  • Reveal the most effective communication methods for various perspectives
  • Establish benchmarks, so you can measure progress over time

With this first-hand data, you can apply sophisticated targeting techniques to communicate with whole departments, or with individuals who are likely to be more responsive when they receive information packaged in a particular way.

By adopting a strategic approach to diverse communication, you can keep your organization running smoothly while eliminating roadblocks that hinder information access and knowledge sharing. It may take time, but if you commit to continuous improvement, you can create a more successful, inclusive culture that employees will love and others will admire.

 

 

How to Bridge Hiring and Wage Gaps with DEI Analytics

In recent years, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) has become a red-hot topic among employers and human resources professionals who plan and manage these initiatives. The tumultuous past few years have reshaped perceptions about when, where and how we work. Meanwhile, ongoing social unrest is challenging organizations everywhere to more deeply consider how their policies, practices, values and norms affect people from all walks of life. As a result, interest in DEI analytics is skyrocketing.

With diversity initiatives on the rise, employers recognize they must have the ability to measure progress. Currently, DEI programs are underway at an estimated 80% of U.S. companies. And although the business world is seeing some improvement, there’s still a long way to go.

For instance, organizations that don’t prioritize a culture of inclusion continue to put their brand at risk. Some have already faced serious public backlash — not to mention costly legal ramifications from discriminatory hiring, compensation, and management practices. In short, no matter where your organization is on the DEI investment spectrum, access to relevant analytics is essential.

Defining DEI Analytics

Every organization can benefit from knowing if employees are experiencing unfair or inequitable treatment. DEI analytics tools and processes add value by converting HR data into actionable insights about related issues. For example, these tools can help you:

  • Develop metrics to detect decision-making bias, unequal access, unfair treatment, and discrimination based on gender, race, disability, religion and/or sexual orientation.
  • Analyze data patterns to discover where employees face opportunity barriers. In other words, you can compare staff development and mobility statistics across groups with different traits and compensation levels, independent of individual performance or other factors.
  • Track and compare key DEI indicators to determine if your workforce is representative of the labor market in your industry.

Together, these capabilities make it possible to identify and resolve specific DEI issues and also evaluate your organization’s performance over time.

The Value of DEI Analytics

As Jeff Higgins, CEO of HCMI says, “Leveraging diversity data to empower decisions or action is perennially easy to say but hard to do.” True. Developing a coherent, reliable dashboard can be a complex process. But organizations can no longer afford to get by with hunches or incomplete data. Too much is at stake.

There are many other reasons to embrace DEI analytics. Here are three examples:

  • Data-based analytics reports make it possible to enforce discrimination laws in Title VII of the U.S. Civil Rights Act. By protecting fundamental civil rights, employers play a vital role in preserving our society.
  • For organizations that want a talent acquisition edge, DEI intelligence is highly beneficial. Younger generations expect workplace equality. And inclusive cultures attract top talent. If candidates think your employee base lacks diversity or your track record in advancing underrepresented groups is weak, they might conclude that you’re out of touch. But data that highlights DEI strength can prove that you stand by your values.
  • Improving diversity policies and practices can directly boost your bottom line. In today’s business world, investors see greater value in companies with strong environmental, social, and corporate governance propositions. And the most effective, efficient way to benchmark these policies and track improvement over time is with DEI analytics.

How DEI Misconceptions Hinder Analytics

Several fallacies in the HR community sometimes keep businesses from implementing DEI analytics initiatives. The primary misunderstanding is that DEI policies enforce “hiring quotas” and place a premium on race or gender, rather than candidate quality.

On the contrary — proper diversity plans ensure that hiring and advancement opportunities for underrepresented groups are proportionate to the pool of available candidates. Combined with appropriate employee selection and promotion assessments, organizations can have confidence that they’re making these decisions with a high degree of fairness and equity.

Bottom-Line DEI Statistics

For employers who want to measure DEI performance, countless metrics are available. For example, “pulse” surveys are a popular way to calibrate employee sentiment about belonging and inclusion. What matters most when choosing baseline metrics is that they accurately reflect the state of equity and inclusion across your workforce.

Below are three measures that can help ensure that you are prioritizing DEI in an effective and legally compliant way. Once these metrics confirm that you’ve reached parity with comparable organizations, you can move on to more advanced and nuanced options such as pulse surveys.

1. Recruitment

When setting DEI goals, it’s important to consider representation in your talent pipeline, relative to the labor market at-large. A great way to apply DEI analytics in recruitment is to measure whether your efforts actually reflect the qualified labor market in your area.

For example, if 20% of your local population includes qualified African-American candidates, then you would expect about 20% of your company’s candidates to be African American. However, if you’re hiring for remote roles, your labor market could be nationwide or even global.

2. Hiring and Promotion

Simply hiring diverse candidates is not enough. To truly address diversity representation, you’ll want to ensure that women and people of color are distributed throughout all levels of your workforce.

A common mistake employers make when trying to boost diversity representation is to ignore where women and people of color are located in their organizational structure. It might be easier to achieve broad representation goals when women and people of color dominate your lowest ranks. But for DEI success, all tiers of your organizational structure should reflect the available labor market.

3. Compensation and Pay Equity

It’s also important to know if employees in similar roles are being compensated equally, after considering relevant factors such as time on the job and overall performance. For example, in the U.S., women earn about 20% less than men, on average. But employers are increasingly addressing disparities like this with pay equity initiatives. In other words, all employees performing the same type of work at the same level in an organization receive the same compensation, after relevant pay practice factors are considered.

The right metrics can help you ensure that all employees are paid fairly. While discrimination in the workplace continues to remain a significant issue, today’s biases are largely unintentional. If you don’t track DEI metrics properly, you may not even be aware that implicit discrimination like unequal pay is an ongoing issue.

A Final Note on DEI Analytics

Advancing DEI initiatives is simply the right thing to do. But organizations can no longer leave inclusion to chance. The best way to ensure that you’re on track is to make decisions based on hard data and accurate analysis. As the old adage goes, you can’t improve what you don’t measure.

By including DEI metrics in recruiting and compensation discussions, your company can maintain modern business standards while gradually becoming more diverse and inclusive. Along the way, you can make better-informed decisions that will keep existing employees happy, engaged, and committed to fairness and inclusion.

Cybersecurity Counts: 7 Ways to Motivate Employees to Care

Cyberattacks have become an all-too-prevalent reality in today’s business landscape. In fact, cyberattacks increased by 38% in 2022 alone. This means every company should have a cybersecurity plan in place to prepare for the worst, in case it happens.

With the cost of an average business data breach now reaching a staggering $4.35 million, no organization can afford to let its guard down. And because hacks can affect every area of operations, from the top down, it’s vital to build awareness among employees to ensure that they understand the consequences and take an active role in protecting your organization’s assets.

Here’s how to get your team on board with new policies to ensure your company remains safe against threats. The right kind of motivation can work wonders.

7 Ways to Get Employees to Care About Cybersecurity

1. Start With New Hires

Get people to pay attention to cybersecurity policies right from the beginning of their tenure with your company. The onboarding process is a great time to explain your procedures to new hires. This helps employees feel more confident about their workplace, and they’ll be better prepared for any threats that occur while they’re still getting used to organizational practices.

People tend to pay more attention to policies and procedures during onboarding than if they’ve been on the job for a while. Once you develop a cybersecurity plan, inform new hires of everything they need to know about the procedures, as well as the regulations they need to follow to keep the company’s information safe and secure. And whenever you update existing methods or policies, don’t forget to inform current employees about these changes, so everyone is on the same page.

2. Conduct a Simulated Run-Through

There’s no better way to practice cybersecurity policies than by simulating an attack. Your team can discuss what to do if a hack actually occurs, so everyone is prepared for real threats before they occur.

Before the “drill,” be sure to inform everyone on the team that you’ll be running a test case, so they won’t become overly stressed about the exercise. Be sure to emphasize that this is an opportunity for everyone to learn. If you give them a break from their usual work patterns to focus on the simulation, they’re likely to be more invested in learning how to prevent an actual cyberattack from occurring.

3. Evaluate Remote Work

Many people love remote work. However, it isn’t necessarily the safest or most reliable way to ensure everyone is following your cybersecurity rules. In fact, more than half of employees under 30 make more cybersecurity mistakes when working from home. That means it’s especially vital to communicate the importance of maintaining consistent security practices when working outside the office. In particular, teams that work with sensitive information should be provided with all the tools and training needed to ensure data is handled properly.

Alternatively, instead of having your entire team work on a fully remote basis, you may prefer to build a hybrid schedule, where team members work onsite at least a few days each week, so everyone is comfortable following cybersecurity procedures.

You can increase remote work flexibility once it’s clear that everyone understands cybersecurity policies and practices. However, the key is to ensure that everyone on your team understands the plan and proactively adheres to the rules, regardless of whether they’re working onsite or in a remote environment.

4. Incentivize Continuous Training

Perhaps you don’t want to schedule discussions with workers about various cybersecurity measures. Instead, offer a continuous training program with resources employees can review at their convenience.

To ensure everyone engages with training, completes the materials, and understands the content, offer incentives that entice people to work through all of the information. Financial incentives make great motivators. A small monetary bonus may be enough to encourage everyone to read through the resources and implement the security tactics they learn. And to reinforce the learning process, be sure a manager or cybersecurity team member is available to answer any questions that arise as people complete their training materials.

5. Conduct Evaluations With Rewards

Nothing motivates people like rewards. Offering bonus incentives can get employees motivated and engaged with your policies, and keep them interested in future program adjustments. Next time you evaluate or audit your business’s cybersecurity habits, issues and practices, consider rewarding people who have gone above and beyond to follow your policies.

Ideas for rewards include extra vacation time, restaurant gift cards or opportunities to leave work early on Fridays. These are simple gestures, but they can go a long way to gain attention and compliance.

6. Implement Mandatory Password Changes

It’s harder for cybercriminals to hack into your accounts when you have good, strong passwords you change regularly. Nearly every company deals with sensitive information these days, so it is essential to lock down every account.

To keep everyone in check, mandate a password change every few months, and ensure employees use unique letter and number combinations that aren’t attached to other accounts. Over time, your team members should anticipate these procedures and treat them as an accepted business routine.

7. Communicate the Risks

Think about what is at risk if your company is hacked. Small businesses must be especially careful, because they’re targeted by about 43% of all cyberattacks.

But no matter what your company size, how you deal with cybersecurity threats or information breaches can significantly affect your brand’s perception. That’s why it’s so important to be mindful of the message you convey in your policies and actions.

When a breach occurs, businesses that don’t handle the fallout well are likely to lose customers and clients. You can prevent this by having a streamlined system of recovery procedures in place. For example, you’ll need a plan for breaking the news to key parties, getting your brand back on track, and taking steps to improve your current systems.

It’s important to get ahead of this kind of problem by ensuring that your whole team is on the same page about risks, and wants to work together to keep your company and its assets as safe as possible.

Bottom Line: Prioritize Your Company’s Safety

Cyberattacks are on the rise. That means you can’t afford to ignore the real risks to your business data and systems. Start by emphasizing the risks of lackluster security. Ensure that every employee is aware of the risks, including how a security breach could affect their job. Making it personal may be what you need to ensure compliance.

Once you offer incentives, explain the importance of maintaining good practices, and illustrate how to practice cybersecurity on an ongoing basis, employees are more likely to change how they work. If you consistently emphasize the value of cybersecurity to your business and your customers, your entire team should soon follow suit.

Generative AI in Recruiting: Peril, Promise, or Both?

Sponsored by Radancy

Generative AI has risen to the forefront of work technology at a staggeringly rapid rate — bringing opportunities for employers to achieve powerful productivity gains. But, as with other disruptive technologies, it is also raising some serious concerns. For example, what are the implications of generative AI in recruiting?

AI-based content creation tools may be relatively new, but they’re clearly here to stay. That’s why it’s important for employers to understand how this technology is changing HR ecosystems, and prepare for its impact on recruitment and hiring processes.

Meet Our Guest: Todd Maycunich

Please join me in welcoming Todd Maycunich, a driving force behind Radancy, a leading talent acquisition platform. During his 17 years at Radancy, Todd has held multiple strategic roles, including VP of Product Innovation and Director of Platform Development.

Currently, Todd serves as SVP of Radancy Labs, where he leads a global insights team that leverages primary and secondary data to understand and address key trends that are shaping the future of talent acquisition. Join us as Todd and I dig deeper into the promise and pitfalls of generative AI in recruiting…

Behind the Rise of Generative AI

Todd, welcome to #WorkTrends! Why such a massive interest in generative AI now?

ChatGPT was released to the public on November 30, 2022. It wasn’t the first conversational user experience that demonstrated the ability to reason — but it was the most popular by far. In fact, it reached 100 million users faster than any other application.

These tools are capturing the imagination. People are suddenly having experiences they haven’t had with conversational bots. And they’re wondering if we are at the precipice of the next paradigm shift in computing. So I understand the hype.

The Downside of Generative AI in Recruiting
What are some of the risks of using these tools in HR – particularly in the recruitment process?

When new technology emerges, so do new problems. That’s particularly true when the pace of technology moves as quickly as AI is today.

But after six months of studying and using this technology in the context of hiring, here’s one of my concerns:

We’re using AI now in many ways to generate content. And that content is training the AI that will ultimately generate content in the future.

I think this poses more risks than opportunities. It creates a homogenization effect, so it’s harder to stand out. This can have a negative impact on brands, among other things.

Avoiding AI-Induced “Sameness”

That’s so scary. I think this tech is wonderful, but the risk isn’t just to recruiting and hiring. It will touch everything, yes?

There’s a lot of energy focused now on making sure some guardrails are put in place. Most companies are already thinking about how to protect their brand and their voice when AI helps generate content.

So the good news is that this is top-of-mind now. And companies like ours are integrating it safely into the talent acquisition process, as opposed to being a little bit fast and loose.

Implications for the Hiring Process

Can this technology make candidates seem indistinguishable by obscuring certain characteristics or attributes?

Yes, this is fascinating. Will it make a hiring manager’s job easier, or harder? I’m torn.

For example, what happens when a candidate uses AI-based writing suggestion tools to communicate with an employer, instead of directly researching the company, the job, or even the hiring manager? Will it make suboptimal candidates seem optimal?

This is a good example of how these tools can make it difficult to see people as individuals…


For more insights from Todd about how your HR team can make the most of generative AI in recruiting, listen to this full podcast episode. And be sure to subscribe to the #WorkTrends Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.

Also, to continue this conversation on social media anytime, follow our #WorkTrends hashtag on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

How to Design a More People-Centered Organization

Sponsored by Performica

In today’s world of work, it’s easy to find two very different types of people — self-promoting “squeaky wheels” whose voices are often the loudest, as well as those who quietly deliver without much recognition. Both bring something to the table. Still, leaders often judge an employee’s value based primarily on their visibility. This kind of bias is a critical reason why it’s important to build a people-centered organization.

But what can leaders do to better understand everyone’s true contributions? And how can they use these insights to develop more engaged, productive teams?

This issue matters, not only now, but for the future of work. That’s why I want to dig deeper with an HR tech innovator and entrepreneur who understands what it takes to design a more productive, people-first work culture.

Meet Our Guest: Alex Furman

Please join me in welcoming Alex Furman, CEO and Co-Founder at Performica, a people analytics platform provider. Previously, Alex co-founded Invitae, where he was responsible for growing the company’s collaborative culture of innovation at scale.

His first-hand experience as a senior business leader with technology expertise makes Alex an ideal guest for this discussion. Join us as we explore how you can leverage technology to build a more equitable and effective work environment…

Designing a More People-Centered Organization

Welcome, Alex! How do you define a people-centered approach to organizational design?

For a truly human-centric organization, we need to understand how people actually operate in the context of getting work done. Historically, we haven’t done that. We’ve thought in terms of org charts, business units, profit centers, and vertical silos.

But people are our greatest asset. And they’re social. The dynamic, cross-functional way people actually work doesn’t show up on org charts.

So to optimize people as an asset, we need to make sure everyone is seen, heard, valued, supported. That means moving away from analyzing org chart boxes and looking through the lens of humans working together.

Finding Hidden Influencers
You say teams rely heavily on “stealth influencers.” Could you tell us more?

As the head of people at a rapidly growing tech company in 2014, I wanted to see who was actually working together in real time. So I asked our engineers to connect our internal systems and create an org graph.

Soon it was clear that we had been over-celebrating those who were good at promoting themselves. Meanwhile, we were under-recognizing quieter “non-leaders” who were actually stronger influencers.

It was humbling. But that was the beginning of a solution to an important problem in the corporate world.

Tech’s Role in a People-Centered Organization

How can technology help leaders build a more people-centered organization?

We all know people are a company’s biggest asset. At most companies, 75-85% of expenses involve things like payroll, office space, travel and entertainment.

But people are also our biggest liability. We see this when cultures go sour and top performers start leaving. It becomes hard to attract talent and this can cripple a company.

But truly knowing your people and how they work is like a superpower. For example, one of our customers is going through significant change management. In this company of 1000 people, we identified only 24 people who are driving about 50% of employee sentiment and engagement.

So we’ve worked with senior management to target their interventions through that group of influential people. Now we’re seeing a massive and very measurable positive effect.


For more insights from Alex about how you can build a more people-centered organization, listen to this full podcast episode. And be sure to subscribe to the #WorkTrends Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.

Also, to continue this conversation on social media anytime, follow our #WorkTrends hashtag on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

4 Smart Ways You Can Use Data to Cultivate Employee Growth

Data has percolated into every area of business — from the hiring process, to marketing programs, to charting a company’s strategy for the future. In fact, 80% of business leaders now say data is critical for decision making in their organizations. One area where the right data can make a huge impact is when managers are helping individual team members expand their professional skills. Here are some of the most powerful ways you can use data to develop people more effectively:

4 Ways to Use Data for Employee Growth

1. Set the Stage With Feedback Insights

Before applying data to help employees grow, it’s worth starting at the top — literally. Leaders can demonstrate the power of data by ensuring that essential information flows upstream and downstream across your organization.

Start by setting up continuous feedback loops. In other words, create communication conduits that facilitate the ongoing flow of feedback from employees to team leaders and back again. This can help you better identify areas where employees are struggling and respond more quickly to those needs.

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management says effective and timely feedback is “critical to improving performance.” Often, feedback reveals trouble spots that leaders must first address on a management level. This process establishes a foundation that helps employees feel empowered to improve and grow.

For example, imagine that critical project status information is consistently slow to reach some corners of your organization. You conduct a brief employee survey and find that specific communication roadblocks are keeping people from interacting more openly and proactively. As a result, you implement a targeted communication improvement initiative, including tools, protocols, and training sessions that help employees understand when, why and how to communicate project updates.

If you want employees to grow and succeed in their roles, leverage key data from ongoing feedback, so you can encourage growth that also improves business results.

2. Use Data to Establish Performance Objectives

Working hand-in-hand with feedback efforts, data can also play an integral role in establishing employee goals and evaluating performance. The concept is simple. For employees to grow, they must understand where they need to focus and the goals they need to reach.

Smart goal-setting strategies often rely on collaborative OKR methods. This acronym stands for “objectives and key results.” Rather than simply setting a goal and trying to reach it, OKRs let you connect objectives with measurable key performance indicators (KPIs). Data can play a key role as you move through this OKR process.

For instance, say your business wants to boost sales revenue by 10% next quarter (your objective). To get there, you need to define a clear set of actions that will lead to that result. These actions could include a market analysis in the first month to identify additional target audiences, and roll-out of a market expansion sales initiative in the second month. Throughout the quarter, you can use KPIs to measure results and adjust the plan, accordingly.

OKRs are powerful because they tie individual and team goals to organizational objectives. These shared goals are managed and discussed on an ongoing basis. Ultimately, the measurable nature of OKRs lets you use data objectively to measure employee performance and growth over time.

3. Use Relevant Data

Data analysis is an excellent way for leaders to identify opportunities for employee growth. However, it’s important to use data carefully, so you don’t misapply it.

When measuring something like employee growth (which varies from one person to another), avoid using stale or unrelated data. This can cause you to set an unrealistic bar for goals or point you in the wrong direction entirely. Instead, use industry and company benchmarks to create relevant, achievable OKRs that fit into your feedback framework.

For example, leadership consultants at McChrystal Group have helped numerous organizations turn existing data into leading behavioral indicators of team success. The firm’s research underscores a need for workplace accountability and communication.

Specifically, McChrystal analysts have found that, compared with other industries, healthcare employees are 20% less likely to agree that accountability is upheld in their organizations. And separately, financial services middle managers are 15% less likely to say their organizations communicate clearly and regularly about objectives and best practices.

Although these statistics are interesting, they don’t apply to every workplace. So, what’s the key takeaway here?

Don’t use data just because it vaguely supports your situation. If you want to develop a stronger team, make sure your data is up-to-date and relevant to your industry, business, and team.

4. Use Data to Assess Soft Skills Objectively

It’s easy to use data when assessing hard skills and measurable results. For example, if a sales representative isn’t meeting quota, data can help you set objectives to resolve that particular shortcoming. If the employee lacks particular selling skills, data can help you pinpoint the issue and resolve it with appropriate training to improve their performance.

In contrast, soft skills are more difficult to assess. Fortunately, advances in data analysis are making it easier to assess an individual’s soft skills and determine how to improve when needed. This is especially important during the hiring process. But you can also use this kind of intelligence to encourage professional growth among existing employees.

For instance, People First Productivity Solutions recommends soft skill assessment rubrics. By entering data into these tools and analyzing the results, you can objectively determine if an employee’s soft skills are up-to-par at any point in time.

One word of warning about these assessments. You’ll want to be sure you don’t let bias and favoritism influence your analysis. The best way to do this is to measure soft skills against specific job requirements and performance. This will help you more reliably identify areas where an employee can focus to improve over time.

Final Notes

There are many viable ways you can use data to determine where and how to help your team members grow professionally and perform more successfully. From using feedback to set the stage, to creating OKRs and assessing soft skills, you’ll get better results by applying the most relevant, timely data and tools you can find.

Also, remember that a data-driven culture of growth starts at the top. If you’re a business or HR leader, you must set an example that demonstrates a desire to establish appropriate performance goals and a commitment to ongoing improvement. With this strategy, you can encourage (and even gently require) team members to dig deeper and pursue growth that will advance their career while simultaneously benefitting your organization.

Rethinking The Manager’s Role: Here’s How to Get Better Results

Sponsored by The Culture Platform

At some point in the last 20 years, companies started to believe employee engagement should define a manager’s role. And looking back, this conclusion made some sense. After all, managers are the organizational layer between leaders and people on teams. So why not embrace this as a framework for managerial effectiveness?

How The Engagement Expectation Began

The shift to engagement as the center of a manager’s role coincided with the arrival of tech-savvy millennials and the promise of HR software to power the so-called engagement revolution. It sounded good in theory. But it has largely been a failure.

Frankly, there is no evidence that investing in “managing” employee engagement actually works. Instead, research consistently points in the opposite direction. So let’s dig deeper for answers.

Throughout most of the industrial economy, managers weren’t very good at managing people. In fact, job turnover surveys typically found the #1 reason employees quit was “my manager.”

No wonder organizations decided to invest in technology to help. But what has that accomplished?

If you add up the revenue of engagement software and HR tech firms over the past 20 years, you’ll see customers spent perhaps $25 billion on these tools. Even so, the level of U.S. employee engagement remained mostly unchanged throughout this timeframe. It has consistently hovered around 32%, according to Gallup. Abysmal.

Why do we need to change what's wrong with a manager's role? 20-year U.S. employee engagement trends from Gallup

Rethinking the Manager’s Role

I believe this idea of managing engagement was flawed from the beginning. Flawed because managers actually manage people and their expectations about success. If every employee could perform at a top 10% level, get promoted, and work from home, engaging them in their work would be a breeze. But that’s not reality.

Today, when people leave a job, they usually don’t say their boss is the primary driver. Instead, they point to a desire for professional growth or career advancement. With this in mind, I would say managers have the most important role in any organization. So this is why I believe it’s time to rethink the manager’s role.

What if organizations actually embraced what employees want? And what if they empowered managers to help their people plan for professional growth and advancement?

Currently, most organizations don’t think this way. They culturally believe career planning is an individual employee’s responsibility.

I vehemently disagree with this conventional thinking. It’s really just an artifact from an era when employees could comfortably expect to spend their entire career at one or two companies.

For most managers, empowering employee career-building will require new attitudes and actions. Changing cultural norms and setting clear expectations isn’t an easy or intuitive process. This means managers will need a new framework or model for managing people that is different from today’s engagement-centric approach.

A New View of the Manager’s Role

I propose a new concept built for the modern manager-employee relationship. 

I call it goals with purpose.

Goals with purpose align an employee’s current job role with future career aspirations. This alignment is the key to creating an emotional connection between an individual and the work they’re performing as part of the team.

For managers, this is no doubt much more challenging than seeking engagement through a simple pulse survey or weekly poll. Those engagement tools are easy to use and they appeal to the mass market by design. However, they don’t address what matters most to employees.

The Power of Goals With Purpose

What does it mean to set goals with purpose? Through the research I’ve conducted at The Culture Platform and the listening I did at Cisco with hundreds of companies, I’ve processed this input and determined what constitutes a goal with purpose.

At its highest level, this kind of goal is the way an individual contributor on a team clearly sees how today’s job role aligns with future-minded growth opportunities.

Specifically, a goal with purpose has five attributes:

1. It is tangible
It aligns a job role in a measurable way with goals that matter to the organization’s success. An individual contributor should be able to “hold” this goal in their “hands.”

2. It shapes personal growth
It reflects the strengths of the person in that role. Experienced leaders know a job role should never play to someone’s weaknesses.

3. It demonstrates a pathway
It aligns a current role with a future role. The future role may even be outside the organization or team.

4. It helps people navigate the organization
It clarifies the position an individual plays on the team. This helps dispel politics and endless positioning.

5. It empowers a reputation
It enables people to communicate with facts about their accomplishments. Ideally, it provides a “signature” project to build an individual contributor’s credibility.

Managerial Success: A Call to Action for Leaders

A manager’s role has never been more important to organizational success. It has also never been harder to be a manager, given the pandemic, work-from-home disruption, the current era of business “efficiency,” and the unrelenting pace of change.

If managers have an organization’s most important job, leaders need to realize an employee’s emotional connection to the company is earned. They also need to recognize it is worth the effort.

Tapping into an individual’s intrinsic motivations is the key to inspiring discretionary effort — that magical relationship between an employee, their manager, and their company. It’s the sweet spot where going above-and-beyond is the way things work.

During Cisco’s heyday, we called these magical moments the “Cisco Save.” In other words, when we needed to accomplish something important, a group of people would step up and do whatever it took to get the job done.

As leaders and managers, we can make work more magical for our people. But engagement doesn’t make someone want to do “whatever it takes.” We finally know that now, after 20 years of trying. It’s time to try a better way. We need to make goals with purpose every manager’s priority and make career empowerment the new managerial normal.

What do goals with purpose mean to you? How could this approach help your organization move in the right direction? I look forward to seeing your comments and ideas.

How to Use ChatGPT as the Ultimate Recruitment Tool

What is ChatGPT?

It’s no secret — recruiting professionals are still struggling to find strong candidates for job openings. Competition for top talent remains fierce, and skilled workers are in short supply. No wonder many recruiters are turning to innovative tools to identify the right candidates more quickly and efficiently.

One of these tools is ChatGPT. This AI-powered chatbot uses advanced natural language processing techniques to communicate with users in a conversational way. It is trained on a massive dataset of internet text, which makes it proficient at discussing a vast spectrum of topics.

Why Recruiters Like ChatGPT

Why is this tool becoming so popular so quickly? Recruiters recognize it is a groundbreaking solution that can transform the speed and quality of talent acquisition. For example, if you ask ChatGPT about a candidate’s qualifications, experience, and skills, you’ll receive rapid responses that can help you make better-informed decisions.

ChatGPT is particularly useful at addressing the challenges posed by remote and hybrid work. During the pandemic, virtual hiring naturally accelerated. Now, as this trend continues, recruiters are finding that ChatGPT is a convenient solution for communicating with candidates from a distance.

Below, we’ll look closer at several ways employers are leveraging ChatGPT to improve recruitment. Specifically, we’ll cover how to use this powerful tool for:

  • Sourcing
  • Screening
  • Interviewing
  • Candidate Experience

4 Ways to Elevate Recruitment Results with ChatGPT

1) Increasing Sourcing Efficiency

Today’s hiring landscape is particularly complex and competitive. This makes it difficult to find the right candidates at the right time. However, tools like ChatGPT are revolutionizing this process.

One of ChatGPT’s most notable advantages is its ability to create personalized messages. In other words, automation in ChatGPT can help develop communications tailored to each candidate’s unique interests and characteristics. This means recruiters can differentiate themselves in sourcing outreach and increase their response rate.

How it works:

Enter specific information about the position and candidate qualifications. For instance, if you’re looking for a software engineer with experience in Java and Python, enter the job description and a descriptive profile of your ideal candidate. ChatGPT can generate messages that highlight the skills and experience you find most valuable.

Similarly, you can rely on ChatGPT to generate messages for marketing managers, data scientists, front-end developers, or others with specific qualifications. Your messaging can showcase your company’s strengths in these areas and appeal to candidates with relevant experience. Naturally, for best results, you’ll want to provide ChatGPT with the most complete information you’re able to share about your organization, open positions, and candidate qualifications.

ChatGPT isn’t the only AI-powered tool available for recruiters. In fact, you may want to use a tool designed specifically for talent sourcing. For example, Noon AI combines powerful language generation capabilities with data aggregation across LinkedIn, GitHub, and Crunchbase to help employers land the best candidates at a fraction of the typical cost per hire.

2) Improving Candidate Screening

Recruiting talent can be a daunting task, particularly when recruiters must process countless resumes. However, ChatGPT’s natural language processing and machine learning capabilities can dramatically streamline screening tasks. This makes it faster and easier to identify top talent.

One way ChatGPT improves this process is by extracting critical information from resumes. Instead of spending time analyzing each resume for relevant experience and skills, recruiters can input the resume data into ChatGPT. Then they can ask the bot to extract information that is pertinent to specific job requirements.

How it works:

For instance, say you’re looking for people with social media management skills. After you input these requirements into ChatGPT, the AI will highlight relevant experience and skills in a candidate’s resume.

Here are some prompts to help you get started:

  • “Please extract all relevant social media management experience and skills from this resume.”
  • “Can you help me identify any experience or skills related to project management in this candidate’s resume?”
  • “Please extract all relevant experience and skills related to customer service from this resume.”

In addition, ChatGPT can help prioritize candidates by providing AI-generated insights. By analyzing data such as past job performance and social media activity, it can help you quickly determine a candidate’s suitability for a particular role. If a candidate has a successful track record in similar positions, ChatGPT can prioritize them over other candidates with less relevant experience.

Here are some prompts to help you get started:

  • “Based on the candidate’s past job performance, can you provide insight into their potential fit for this role?”
  • “Please prioritize candidates with the most relevant experience for this role, based on your analysis of their resumes and job history.”

3) Enhancing the Interview Process

ChatGPT also significantly improves recruitment by assisting in the initial interview stage. Recruiters can leverage ChatGPT to create customized interview questions that align with each candidate’s experience and skills. This approach guarantees that each interview is more specific and targeted, leading to better-informed hiring decisions.

Here are a few sample prompts to help you get started:

  • “Hi ChatGPT. Can you help me generate interview questions tailored to this candidate’s experience and skills?”
  • “What are some interview questions I can ask to assess this candidate’s proficiency in Python programming?”
  • “Please provide me with interview questions that can help me evaluate a candidate’s communication skills.”

One of the most significant benefits of using ChatGPT for initial interviews is that it automates the evaluation of a candidate’s responses. In other words, it can analyze answer data and provides insights into each person’s strengths and weaknesses. This help you quickly identify which candidates are the best fit for a role.

Here are some example prompts to help you get started:

  • “Can you analyze this candidate’s responses to the interview questions and provide insights into their strengths and weaknesses?”
  • “Please give me an assessment of this candidate’s problem-solving skills, based on their interview responses.”

4) Elevating the Candidate Experience

ChatGPT is a robust tool that not only improves recruitment workflows but also enhances the overall candidate experience. For example, recruiters can automate the process of addressing candidate questions and concerns. This makes responding to inquiries quicker, easier and more reliable. It also helps candidates feel recognized and valued throughout the hiring process.

Here are a few sample prompts to help you get started:

  • “I want to improve candidate satisfaction by offering more transparency throughout the hiring process. ChatGPT, can you generate a message explaining next steps in the hiring process and what candidates can expect?”
  • “ChatGPT, can you help me craft a message to a candidate who wasn’t hired, but might be a good fit for future openings? I want to thank them for their interest and let them know that we’ll keep their resume on file.”
  • “ChatGPT, can you help me create a personalized welcome message for new hires? I want to provide them with information about our company culture, benefits, and onboarding process.”

ChatGPT also makes it possible to provide candidates with a seamless recruitment experience by guiding them through the application process — answering their questions and providing feedback. This reduces the amount of time and effort candidates must put into the application process, which leads to a stronger overall candidate experience.

Here are some sample prompts to help you get started:

  • “Can you help me create an application process that is user-friendly and easy to navigate?”
  • “Please provide candidates with feedback on their application status and next steps in the recruitment process.”
  • “Can you generate a message that expresses gratitude to candidates for their interest and the time they invested in our application process?”

Final Thoughts

In summary, ChatGPT helps bring a new level of efficiency and personalization to recruitment workflows. This kind of AI-driven tool makes it possible to receive and process resumes more rapidly, identify the best candidates with greater confidence, and improve transparency and responsiveness throughout the hiring process.

By making it easier for people to apply for jobs and interact with recruiters, ChatGPT ultimately contributes to stronger hiring decisions, even as it leads to a more engaging and satisfying candidate experience.

Should You Create an AI-Powered Talent Marketplace?

After years of upheaval that have redefined society, business and work, we’ve entered a period some call the “Great Reflection.” During this era of mindfulness, employees everywhere are reevaluating what they truly want from their career and their employer. In response, companies are investing more heavily in workforce retention strategies. For instance, the internal talent marketplace concept is rapidly gaining momentum.

Why marketplaces? CIPD research says 30% of employers intend to increase wages in 2023. This is certainly one way to show people you value them. Who wouldn’t appreciate competitive compensation? But many people are looking for deeper reasons to stay onboard. As a result, more companies are focusing on employees’ career development concerns.

According to Gallup, 76% of people are seeking opportunities for professional growth. At the same time, modern businesses know they can’t advance their agenda without a future-ready workforce.

That’s why now is a good time to invest in an internal talent marketplace. This kind of solution offers multiple pathways to develop more skilled, innovative individuals and teams. But how can you accomplish this in a way that is cost-efficient, personalized, and accessible? This is our story…

Inside a Talent Marketplace: One Example

To accelerate internal mobility, Schneider Electric, a global leader in integrated energy solutions, has developed and deployed an Open Talent Market (OTM). This marketplace leverages leading-edge technology to help retain talent and stimulate employee growth.

OTM is an AI-driven career development and internal mobility platform that matches workforce skills and ambitions to opportunities across the organization. First, employees describe their current skills and past experiences, as well as their future aspirations. Then OTM provides information about relevant open positions, part-time projects, and possible mentors.

The platform also offers career planning capabilities. For example, people can explore potential career paths and establish short-term development tracks to address immediate upskilling needs or develop new skills for the future.

How the OTM Process Works

This talent marketplace is open to all connected employees at Schneider Electric, and through pilot programs for shop floor employees who don’t have daily access to a work computer. With artificial intelligence as its backbone, OTM manages the entire experience at speed and at scale.

To get started, employees create a profile in the platform, which can be based on a LinkedIn profile or resume upload. Next, they can edit and expand their profile information, adding appropriate skills, experiences, interests and development areas. The more data an employee includes, the better the AI results will be.

Schneider Electric embraces the “3E” development framework – Experience (70%), Exposure (20%), and Education (10%). And because OTM is so easy to use, employees can independently explore upskilling and development opportunities that align with each of these learning methods.

Talent Marketplace Benefits

In addition to improving talent development and mobility, this solution has formalized the way our organization manages its internal gig economy. Now, by offering part-time projects through OTM, the company can unlock hours from employees who are eager to work on stretch assignments.

But the real beauty of this talent marketplace comes from its underlying AI, which makes it possible for anyone to discover opportunities that might not otherwise have been considered.

Too often in the past, finding a new position or mentor was all about who you knew. Now, it’s about transparency. That means everyone has access to a broader spectrum of opportunities that might not have been visible previously.

At the same time, the AI personalizes the matching process. In other words, it helps employees focus on opportunities that fit their unique skills and interests, instead of requiring them to filter through a sea of options. This levels the playing field and accelerates the talent matching process by identifying the strongest possibilities, regardless of current role or business unit.

Preparing to Support Internal Mobility

An effective talent marketplace depends on a culture that is open to internal mobility. For many organizations, this requires a significant mindset shift before and during the rollout.

At Schneider, the end goal is to retain our employees by placing them in opportunities that are best suited to their skills and help them continue to grow. This is why we strive to foster open dialogue among employees, current managers, and hiring managers about internal mobility and talent development.

To set the stage for OTM, we adjusted several key policies and procedures, and built OTM logic to support our business objectives:

Policy Changes

  • To help employees pursue new opportunities more on their terms, we’ve removed minimum “time in current role” requirements, as well as the need for a manager’s approval when applying for a new position.
  • To encourage actionable communication about opportunities, we ask internal candidates to receive feedback about any application, regardless of its outcome. In the past, this was not occurring consistently.
  • To support continuous learning and development, we request that employees dedicate 10-15% of their time to projects outside of their current role.

System Functionality

  • When using OTM for career planning, employees can see possible career paths based on several criteria, including their desired roles, typical paths that others in their current role have pursued, or whether they’re interested in moving into management. Within those paths, they can see existing open positions, as well as skill development opportunities to help prepare for future roles.
  • In addition, employees can use OTM to build shorter-term career tracks based on skills or experiences they want to gain or a specific position they want to pursue:
    • A track based on skills and experiences lets employees browse available opportunities, as well as courses offered in our learning management system.
    • A track based on positions lets employees select a specific position they’d like to pursue. Then the AI compares market data to find the skills most often applied in that role and identifies which of those skills the employee already has and indicates any gaps. The platform then suggests available projects, mentors and courses in our LMS that could help an employee fill those gaps.
  • Lastly, OTM is not a one-way street. The AI helps employees uncover matched opportunities. But it also lets recruiters and project owners discover candidates with a skill or experience needed for a position or project role. This feature required change management to ensure that our managers perceive it as a tool that enhances internal mobility, rather than “poaching.”

Talent Marketplace Results

To-date, 80,000 Schneider Electric employees are registered OTM users. And since its launch in May 2020, this solution has helped more than 26,000 employees connect with projects, positions or mentorship assignments.

OTM has been a highly effective way to actively involve employees in managing their careers. It supports people as they develop, grow, and shape their future. And it helps the organization more fully utilize talent, while strengthening engagement and retention. At Schneider, our commitment to a world-class talent marketplace is leading to a brighter future, all around.

 


EDITOR’S NOTE:  In developing this article, Jessica Staggs collaborated with Michele Egan, Open Talent Market Digital Transformation Lead at Schneider Electric

How Can Your LMS Help Bridge the Skills Gap?

Sponsored by Learnsoft

The Skills Gap is Growing. So is Pressure on L&D

Demand for skilled employees seems limitless. Modern technology and automation are  displacing workers in all industries, even while creating new jobs that need to be filled. Baby Boomers are rapidly retiring, but entry-level people from younger generations haven’t yet developed enough expertise to take on these positions. And competition for skilled professionals in technology, healthcare and other specialties remains fierce.

Throughout the pandemic, HR departments felt pressure to deliver a high-performing workforce. Unfortunately, that pressure isn’t likely to ease any time soon. In fact, by 2030, talent shortages in the U.S. alone are expected to result in $162 billion in unrealized revenue. 

If these trends give you heart palpitations, I apologize. But the good news is that these pressures are causing employers to look within their organizations to bridge this skills gap. As a result, we’re seeing increased investment in upskilling and reskilling of current employees. Even so, L&D programs are not as efficient as HR and business leaders want them to be.

In part, this is because organizations are not leveraging available learning tools and resources to their full capacity. If you see this happening in your organization, how can you improve?

Let’s take a closer look at the primary types of skills gaps and how organizations are responding. Then, I’ll explain how a learning management system (LMS) can go beyond simply delivering training content to help your business address critical skills challenges.

3 Kinds of Skills Gaps: What Are They?

Skills gap” is generally used as a catch-all phrase for whatever is amiss in the employee/employer productivity relationship. But actually, there are three gaps to consider:

1. Skill Gap

Unlike the broader term, this specifically refers to intellectual or functional gaps in a person’s ability to perform a particular job effectively. For example, in healthcare this can be demonstrated by a lack of certification required to provide patient care. Or in construction, skilled laborers may need to develop proficiency with new equipment before they can use it at a job site. This differs from a knowledge gap.

2. Knowledge Gap

When employees do not know relevant information about their job or how their role fits into their department or organization, this is a knowledge gap. It can surface during onboarding – but can persist throughout an employee’s tenure. This is why hiring managers need to understand a new employee’s industry and job-specific knowledge, and then provide resources to bring that individual up-to-par as soon as possible.

3. Performance Gap

To perform well in a role, skills and knowledge are essential. However, motivation and commitment are just as important. This brings us to the performance gap – which is the disparity between an organization’s goals and an individual’s performance. This can be measured by a lack of engagement, low productivity levels, poor quality output, and other relevant metrics. These gaps can be especially detrimental, because they tend to expand over time when organizations lack tools to accurately measure key performance factors.

How Employers Are Addressing Skill Gaps

The most efficient way to accurately measure skills in an organization is with an appropriate skills management tool. For example, almost all large companies (98%, according to Training Magazine), use an LMS to manage and deliver e-learning courses and training programs.

The most-used function of an LMS is the ability to track training completions and course certifications within the learning platform. This solves some of the basic skills problems organizations face. However, the missing piece in many LMS platforms is a comprehensive and intuitive reporting capability.

For years, organizations in many industries tracked individual skills and knowledge through manual processes. In some industries, this is still managed manually.

That’s right. In 2023, organizations continue to struggle with automating and streamlining data management and reporting. Even when training is conducted online through an e-learning platform, the data is not easily transferred between applications.

I’ve worked with organizations where employees complete training online or in-person, and then a data entry specialist spends time manually extracting the completion data and copying it into an excel file. Next, they manually import the information into another HR application. This process is time consuming, inefficient and leaves room for error. But fortunately, there are better ways to manage this data-intensive business process.

An LMS Can Do More Than Deliver Content

1. Leverage Integrations

To truly maximize the benefits of an LMS, you need to integrate it with other enterprise applications and tools. By integrating your LMS with your HR ecosystem, you can streamline and automate your training processes, reduce administrative burdens, and enhance the user experience.

Your organization can track and manage L&D goals across the entire company using a single login system that connects an end user to any application within the LMS system. Users don’t need multiple logins to access the intranet, the compliance training portal, benefits and payroll, professional development courses, and so on. Instead, they’re all housed in one system – and those systems talk to each other so they can verify transferred data.

Here’s the benefit from a skills gap perspective: Because these applications work together within the HR ecosystem, you can easily identify employee reskilling and upskilling needs.

2. Support Employee Career Advancement

Understanding employee competency is essential to optimize the talent available in your workforce. This is why an LMS platform’s reporting function is just as important as its content delivery function. Job turnover is bound to happen, but how can an LMS help you more rapidly fill unexpected job openings?

L&D can quickly turn to a comprehensive reporting dashboard that identifies team members who are compliant and certified to fill a role. Intuitive reporting can make it easy to identify these qualified employees, regardless of their team or location. You can also leverage reporting to pinpoint existing skill deficits and make data-driven employee development decisions.

3. Establish Clear Paths to Success

The most important step in closing any skills gap is offering individuals opportunities to upskill through learning experiences and resources that expand their professional knowledge. Research indicates that employees agree. In fact, according to SHRM, 76% of employees are more inclined to stay at a company where continuous learning is available.

This is the strong suit of a modern LMS. It can help L&D teams work with managers to define skills benchmarks, build assessments that identify skills gaps, and determine how development can close those gaps.

You can outline specific courses employees must complete to move up in rank. Then you can communicate about these career growth opportunities and the path forward.

4. Meet Employees on Their Learning Terms

The keyword here is learning. There are many ways to distribute information. But you need to ensure that employees don’t just “acknowledge” that information. The goal is to absorb it, understand it and retain it.

A lack of learning engagement doesn’t benefit employees, and it can even put your organization at risk. For example, Corporate Compliance Insights found that 49% of survey respondents skipped or did not thoroughly listen to mandated compliance training. Imagine almost half of your workforce admitting they don’t pay attention to required learning! Sadly, this is a reality.

How can you avoid passive learning and drive engagement? Whatever content you create, it’s important to bring training directly to individuals and make sure the experience is as accessible, useful and relevant as possible. 

Be sure people have access to personalized training that best suits their needs. In some scenarios, this means face-to-face virtual training. In others, it means microlearning modules people can knock-out in 5 or 10 minutes.

Engaged learners make empowered workers. It is important to remember that people are lifelong learners. Employees need to train, retain, and show competency in their roles. This doesn’t stop when they clock-in for work. A flexible LMS can help employees train at workstation or remotely on a laptop or phone. And it should support personalized learning paths that help tailor learning to individual interests and goals. 

Your Organization Has Changed. Has Your LMS?

Addressing the skills gap means prioritizing your employees by making learning accessible, personalized and engaging. Most LMS providers require organizations to enter a multi-year contract – some up to 10 years. That’s a long time to use a platform if it doesn’t meet all your needs.

Is your LMS keeping pace with the needs of your workforce or your business? Consider these criteria of an effective LMS platform:

  • SaaS-based solution with flexibility to address diverse, changing needs
  • Integrates seamlessly with your HR ecosystem
  • A user experience that is easy for learners, instructors and administrators
  • Functionality that accommodates individual learning schedules and needs
  • Supports various content types to drive learning engagement
  • Streamlines upskilling/reskilling/cross-training efforts
  • Enables self-directed learning paths with recommendations based on job position, requirements, skills, competencies, and performance.

4 Work Tech Predictions That May Surprise You

Predicting the unexpected is a tricky process — especially in the world of digital innovation, where change and disruption are a way of life. But that won’t prevent me from sharing my point of view about what’s ahead for work tech and the digital employee experience.

Challenging conventional wisdom is always an uphill climb. Nevertheless, organizations depend on big-picture thinking and agility to survive and thrive. So as the year begins, I’d like to outline four trends that will shape business in 2023 and beyond.

This forecast may surprise you. But don’t be blindsided. Prepare now to seize the day as these four work tech predictions play out over the coming months…

Are These Work Tech Trends on Your Radar?

1. Beyond Malware: We’ll Move From Detection to Prediction 

Digital threat actors are becoming bolder and more sophisticated than ever. Hacker “toolkits” are rapidly maturing to include modular malware that lowers the level of skills required to pull off an attack.

Many of these advanced tools and tricks focus on individual workers, rather than organizational systems. These tactics are designed to manipulate employees and contractors into unknowingly letting hackers sidestep effective security defenses like two-factor authentication. With so many people operating in remote and hybrid work tech environments, the potential downside risk is massive.

This is why I believe we will move beyond the age of malware in 2023. Simply detecting malicious code will no longer be enough to protect an organization’s data and technology ecosystem.

The next level of IT security will focus on sensing anomalies and behavior patterns. Systematic analysis of these indicators will predict breaches before they can happen. Advances in AI and machine learning will make it possible to develop and manage these predictive capabilities. Smart organizations will get ahead of this trend, so they can prevent attacks, rather than waiting to react and recover after the fact.

2. The Next Key Tech Purchasing Influencer: Human Resources

Hybrid work has significantly changed the dynamics of our lives – both personally and professionally. This includes organizational software buying patterns.

Traditionally, human resources teams focused solely on purchasing core HR software platforms like Workday, Paycor, or BambooHR. Decisions for other software were typically driven by Chief Information Officers, IT departments, and other functional executives.

But in recent years, flexible work models have become integral to workforce satisfaction and productivity. As a result, HR leaders are more deeply involved in selecting a broader spectrum of digital tools and technology. In many cases, this means HR is more heavily influencing the purchase of hybrid work tech.

This year, look for technology to accelerate its profound impact on culture and employee experience. And look for HR teams to expand their knowledge and influence regarding the selection of all kinds of work-related tools and software.

3. How We Work: Choice Will Matter More Than Mandates

We’ve seen the headlines in recent years. Countless remote and hybrid work employees have resisted a return to rigid, in-office work schedules. Some organizations may choose to double down on return-to-office mandates in 2023, but they will lose in the end.

Smart companies will create a flexible, secure hybrid-work experience and a great physical workspace — one that people will want to visit, but only when they choose to be onsite or their work calls for it.

These organizations will ultimately win on talent quality, agility, sustainability, and worker satisfaction. And eventually, other employers will follow, because they’ll recognize that this strategy leads to long-term organizational strength and business success.

4. Transformative AI: Look for an Uptick in Tech and Ethical Dilemmas

Despite years of promises straight out of sci-fi movies, artificial intelligence and machine learning have mostly stuck to somewhat rote (but helpful!) tasks. Lately, however, some mind-blowing capabilities are emerging. One example is DALL-E, with its ability to create sophisticated art from a verbal description.

The question isn’t, “What will AI disrupt?” The more relevant question is, “What won’t AI disrupt?” (Hint: Not much won’t be disrupted.) 

Here’s my perspective. No doubt, even more truly transformative AI use cases will emerge this year. AI engines will be used to develop creative content, write code, drive advanced robotics, detect behavioral anomalies to prevent critical IT infrastructure failures, and so much more.  

This next level of AI, and the use cases it inspires, will make a massive impact in 2023 and beyond. And its implications will be both good and bad.

On the downside, as AI takes on more tasks, it can be skewed by harmful programming bias. Potentially, this can affect decisions that impact our lives in fundamental ways, like who is admitted to a leading university, who receives a coveted job offer, or whose mortgage application is approved.

In addition, broader AI use will open the door to even more advanced scams, increased identity theft, and so on. Despite the positive potential impact AI can have on organizations and the world at large, it’s imperative for industry professionals to establish responsible, ethical usage guidelines. And when appropriate, restrictions must be the rule.

With AI, one thing is for sure: Companies that don’t embrace it will become irrelevant much faster than we currently think. Regardless, all of us who embrace AI must ensure its ethical and responsible use to mitigate potential harm. Otherwise, we’ll all suffer the consequences.

Final Thoughts on What’s Ahead for Work Tech

As we see the next wave of work tech unfold this year, I expect that innovators and their innovations will take momentous steps forward when it comes to security, hybrid work, and AI. The winners will be companies that put their people first and understand the technology they need to make the world of work a better place.

This is a time for purposeful innovation and thoughtful investment. And more of the responsibility will rest with HR leaders and practitioners, who will take on more decision-making power than ever.

But the future depends on more than HR, alone. It means diverse business functions, technology vendors and competitors will need to work together across IT ecosystems. With purpose and persistence, I believe that by this time next year, we’ll see real progress in these areas.

Of course, I’m not the only Cisco executive who is thinking about technology and the future of work. To read insights from others, I invite you to visit the Cisco blog.

8 Ideas for Talent Acquisition Success in 2023

Every employer’s definition of talent acquisition success is different. But many employers have learned valuable lessons over the years. Recently, we decided to capture some of those lessons so other hiring organizations could benefit. That’s why we asked business and recruiting leaders to share tips for talent acquisition success in the year ahead.

Tips for Talent Acquisition Success

From using predictive analytics to cultivating a sense of community among team members, we received a collection of answers that reads like a practical “how to” playbook. Below, we share the top answers to our question, “What’s your best strategy to gain a competitive advantage in talent acquisition this year?”

  •   Re-Engineer Your Brand as a Recruiting Tool
  •   Share Engaging Video Content
  •   Be Flexible
  •   Use Predictive Analytics
  •   Deepen Your Diversity Initiatives
  •   Assess the Market and Develop Appropriate Goals
  •   Audit Your EVP and Culture from a Prospect’s Perspective
  •   Create a Sense of Community

To learn more about how you can make these ideas work for your organization, read the full responses below…

8 Ways to Achieve Talent Acquisition Success in 2023

1. Re-Engineer Your Brand as a Recruiting Tool

We all know how important employer branding has become in the age of social media. But we sometimes overlook it as a true recruiting channel in the overall talent acquisition strategy.

Often it’s used as a marketing tool for selling a company brand. But my best tip is to re-engineer your employer brand so it acts as a recruiting tool. For example:

  • Develop lead magnets that link to employee stories.
  • Conduct career-building webinars for industry newbies and collect emails or resumes from interested registrants.
  • Create quizzes or surveys targeting people who are open to job opportunities, and use these teasers outside your career page to gather more leads.

If you’re an HR or recruiting professional, employer branding challenges you to put on your marketing hat. This year, add a sales hat to that mix so you can attract more qualified candidate leads and close more job offers.

Kelly Loudermilk, Talent Innovator, BuildHR, Inc.

2. Share Engaging Video Content

How many of us would decide to buy a house or a car without knowing vital details? Yet most employers still expect candidates to settle for this kind of hiring experience.

The problem is that smart people don’t have the time or desire to jump through all the traditional job application hoops to find out what’s on the other side. That’s why savvy employers are including more detailed information about jobs on the front end of the recruiting process, so they can attract better talent.

But what about nuanced questions where the answers won’t fit into a tidy bullet point on a job description? Questions like, “What types of challenges does your team solve regularly?” or “What is it like to work with the manager?” This is where video can help.

By recording video answers to these critical questions, recruiters have an indispensable new set of assets that can make candidate outreach more effective. Video also helps employers seem more transparent, which helps them stand out in competitive hiring situations.

Justin Vajko, Principal & Chief Strategy Guy, Dialog

3. Be Flexible

If your company expects to attract and retain talent, you must offer employee experiences that support real flexibility and build your culture around this way of working.

Our new “Work Now” research report found that leaders view the workplace as flexible because of the freedom associated with their role and stature. However, employees don’t experience the same level of flexibility.

Leaders who expect to attract and retain great employees need to listen carefully, move past assumptions based on their personal experience with the organization, and design more connected, flexible experiences for other members of the workforce.

Also, if you’re tempted to rely on pulse surveys for feedback, here’s another tip. While these tools may be helpful, remember you may be viewing results through a biased lens that doesn’t tell a true story.

Instead, move beyond pulse surveys. Engage with employees, listen to their stories, invite them to the table, and co-create the future together. That’s how you can fundamentally improve the way you work.

Douglas Ferguson, President, Voltage Control

4. Use Predictive Analytics

I believe predictive analytics is key to talent acquisition success this year. Predictive analytics is the practice of using data to make predictions about future events. With these tools, you can identify potential candidates for open positions, before jobs are even posted. That means you can get a jump on the competition and hire the most qualified candidates before other organizations can snap them up.

In addition, you can use predictive analytics to assess an individual’s probability of success in a particular role. This means your recruiters can focus on candidates who are most likely to succeed. Ultimately, advanced analytics can help you hire the right people for the right roles, and that can lead to a significant advantage in the war for talent.

Antreas Koutis, Administrative Manager, Financer

5. Deepen Your Diversity Initiatives

The emphasis on workplace diversity has continued to gain momentum. It’s now essential to consider candidates you might otherwise overlook because of their race, gender, or other factors. This isn’t about fulfilling quotas. It’s about expanding recruiting reach by tapping into a more diverse talent pool. Ultimately, this adds depth and dimension to your culture.

Try reaching out proactively to attract candidates from diverse communities. Get out of the office and connect with groups that are underrepresented in the workforce. For example, you can host recruitment events in locations that are convenient for people in these groups.

Partnering with schools in these areas is another way to introduce students to your industry and educate them about related career paths. Internships can also help you connect with young people from diverse backgrounds and help them prepare for future roles in your organization.

Matthew Ramirez, CEO, Rephrasely

6. Assess the Market and Develop Appropriate Goals

Establishing a competitive advantage for talent acquisition success requires a laser focus on both short-term and long-term hiring needs.

Be prepared to investigate the current labor market and integrate leading-edge technologies into your recruitment processes. By investing in data-driven insights, you can develop innovative strategies that differentiate your company from the competition. For example, you can:

  • Evaluate the job market in real-time,
  • Leverage AI and machine learning to source talent more efficiently and proactively,
  • Create proactive employer branding campaigns to showcase your company culture
  • Engage with passive candidates through targeted outreach strategies.

In addition, focus on developing a comprehensive remote hiring strategy, because more companies are moving or expanding their operations away from traditional office locations.

Linda Shaffer, Chief People Operations Officer, Checkr

7. Audit Your EVP and Culture from a Prospects Perspective

In a highly competitive job market, standing out and showcasing your culture is the biggest competitive advantage you have in attracting new talent.

Now is a great time to be sure your EVP shows prospective employees why they should work for you, what you offer, and how they can contribute. An EVP is simply your shop window for people you want to attract, retain, and help you grow your business.

I recommend auditing your EVP to put fresh eyes on all your candidate touch points. Review your culture, identify your strengths, and analyze your exit survey data. What can you improve? Does your “careers” website accurately reflect your desired EVP?

Get your whole team involved in this assessment process – HR, Talent Acquisition, and Marketing should work together to showcase your organization in the right light across multiple channels.

Charlie Southwell, Marketing Director, Let’s Talk Talent

8. Create a Sense of Community for Talent Acquisition Success

If your company offers remote work, you have a substantial competitive advantage.

Research indicates that remote work opportunities influence candidates’ salary requirements. But remote work structure isn’t the whole package. Candidates are also interested in knowing how employers create an environment that fosters connection among team members who may not work onsite. For instance, it’s critical to create a sense of community in a remote-based organization with practices like these:

  • Quarterly strategic team meetings
  • In-person team training
  • Regular video lunch and learns
  • Video town halls
  • Hackathons
  • Employee resource groups (ERGs)

Research indicates that people with at least 7 work friends are 35% more likely to stay with their employer. In recent interviews with employees who’ve been at our company for more than 2 years, most told us that interacting with their team is a key reason they enjoy coming to work.

Remote is a terrific way to attract new employees, but creating a sense of community is what keeps employees engaged.

Pat Mulvey, Director of Talent Acquisition, Saatva

 


EDITOR’S NOTE:  These talent acquisition success ideas were submitted via Terkel, a knowledge platform that shares community-driven content based on expert insights. To see questions and get published, sign up at terkel.io.

How Can You Build an International Workforce? Tips for Success

In the past, many employers dismissed the idea of building an international workforce. Those who could attract local talent considered it unnecessary. Others didn’t have the resources to support remote teams. No more. Why? The market for talent is vastly different today than when the pandemic began three years ago.

Welcome to a New World of Work

Even if you’ve only glanced at business news recently, you’ve seen the signs. Several rapidly changing trends are rewriting work-related behaviors, norms, and expectations in significant ways.

Employees are working from home in unprecedented numbers. And they’re quitting their jobs at higher rates, despite inflation and other economic warning signs. In fact, people are more mobile than ever.

What’s more, these trends aren’t limited to a few isolated professional groups or locations. Now, you can see evidence of these changes in every corner of the world. So, what’s the key takeaway from all of this upheaval? In my opinion, it all points in one direction — to the rise of a truly international workforce.

Why Choose an International Workforce?

According to government statistics, roughly 75% of global purchasing power lies outside the United States. And across that global landscape, an international workforce has sprung up, filled with talented, driven people who are eager for employment.

Fortunately, many crucial technologies are now available to help employers find and hire an international workforce. For example, these tools are designed to assist with everything from identifying the right candidates and onboarding new hires to ensuring that payroll complies with regulations in an employee’s home country.

Employers with a modern, cloud-based HR technology ecosystem can integrate these tools into their existing tech stack with relatively little disruption. But whatever applications you choose should be based on a holistic talent strategy. In other words, you’ll want to develop a plan that considers all the issues and benefits associated with international expansion.

But for many organizations, the reasons for going global are compelling. Competition for qualified talent remains intense. And now that flexible work models are becoming a standard, the reasons for U.S. companies to go global are clear. It has never been easier to attract and retain the talent you need by expanding your geographical footprint. But employers who want to succeed should focus on these key steps…

How to Hire a Truly International Workforce

1. Uplevel Your Talent Acquisition Efforts

Many employers continue to act as if their sourcing efforts are still limited to a specific geography. But that’s no longer the case. Today’s qualified talent pool is global. So, if you make the most of this competitive opportunity, in no time you can expand your applicant pool.

The U.S. doesn’t have a monopoly on exceptional workers with specialized knowledge and experience. Not even close. By limiting yourself to domestic workers, you also limit your company’s potential.

Obviously, a major advantage of global hiring is the ability to quickly fill high-priority roles. But there are other valuable benefits, as well.

For instance, if diversity is important to your organization, an international workforce opens the door to fresh perspectives. Embracing people with various points of view brings the kinds of insights that help businesses grow and thrive. In fact, diverse teams are 1.8 times more likely to be prepared for change and 1.7 times more likely to lead market innovation, according to Deloitte.

This also sends a powerful message to potential hires and customers about your commitment to diversity and inclusion. For example, having an internationally diverse workforce is a strong selling point for 67% of candidates looking for a new job.

2. Find Local Partners You Trust

Thus far, we’ve discussed one type of remote hiring — accepting applications for remote roles from people around the world. But there’s another type of remote hiring with massive implications. It’s when companies want to rapidly enter a new geographic market.

In the past, businesses breaking into a new country like Thailand might have acquired a Thai company to absorb its workforce. This can be slow, time-consuming, and costly. And it may even be a cultural mismatch.

Now, this process is no longer necessary. Today, through remote recruiting, businesses can simply hire the remote workers they need in Thailand, and work with them to implement a rollout in that country.

This raises a related question: How can you trust a remotely-hired partner to build your business in another part of the world? Ultimately, the answer is the same as it would be for a domestic candidate.

This means you’ll want to complete the same type of due diligence. Ask for references. Conduct multiple rounds of interviews. If possible, begin with a probationary trial period, so you can clarify each candidate’s skills and culture fit. Although hiring an international partner might seem like a bigger decision than hiring a domestic candidate, the same basic rules apply.

3. Leverage New Technology to Drive Global Growth

Certainly, global hiring isn’t simple. Setting up operations in a new work environment — with its own distinct customs and employment laws — requires specialized knowledge that isn’t readily available in most organizations.

What are the local laws around hiring and firing? What kinds of expectations do employees bring to their day-to-day work lives? What are the labor laws? How are things like cross-border compliance monitored? These are essential questions when hiring globally, and it’s imperative that businesses build their knowledge base so answers are available when they inevitably arise.

Fortunately, in recent years, many technology solutions have emerged to help businesses deal with issues like these. AI-powered platforms can readily streamline the process, integrating team members from across the globe while staying on top of compliance. In fact, platforms like these can transform the entire process, allowing companies to quickly expand into new markets and establish a local presence anywhere in the world.

Final Thoughts

At this point, the barriers to forming a truly international workforce are almost purely psychological. There is no shortage of skilled workers across the globe who are eager to make an impact at U.S.-based companies. And there is no shortage of technology-based solutions that can make it as easy to hire those workers as it is to hire someone down the street.

What corporate America does need is a psychological shift. Employers need to be willing to think beyond borders, get creative with hiring, and tap into the power that an international workforce can offer. The rewards are clear and abundant. All we need is the will.

Why Build Your Own Freelance Talent Network?

Sponsored by: Worksuite

The case for building a flexible talent network has never been more compelling. During the “Great Resignationof 2021, 47 million U.S. employees voluntarily left their jobs. And in 2022, a wave of disengagement took hold among remaining workers, giving birth to the term “quiet quitting.” Now as 2023 begins, the global talent shortage continues to play havoc with hiring strategies.

Access to skilled people who can keep your business moving forward is no longer a sure thing. That’s why smart employers are investing in freelance talent options. But what’s the best way to find and manage a qualified pool of on-demand talent?

When building a contingent talent network, you may be tempted to source contractors from public marketplaces. This seems easy enough, but it can be a frustrating and time-consuming option. On the other hand, if you run an established business, you could grow your own talent pool by leveraging your brand presence, network connections and internal resources.

This do-it-yourself approach means you don’t need to rely on potentially low-quality, unknown talent from a third-party network. However, it does require some careful planning. So to help you achieve better results, here are our best tips for sourcing, hiring and retaining top freelance talent.

Why Avoid Public Talent Marketplaces?

Marketplaces like Fiverr and Upwork are often an easy and popular first stop for employers seeking on-demand talent. And they can be useful if you need support in a pinch. Whether you’re looking for developers, designers, writers, or photographers, these platforms let you choose from hundreds of eager freelancers — often at bargain prices. 

But with so many potential candidates for every opportunity, finding a freelancer who meets your specific requirements can take longer than you’d like. And these marketplaces tend to produce hit-or-miss results. Here’s why:

1. Barriers to Entry are Low

It’s possible to find some fantastic people on these platforms. But sourcing them can be time consuming for your managers and teams. That’s because it’s so easy for anyone to join these public marketplaces. No experience or qualifications are necessary. All it takes is an account and a profile that attracts clients.

Literally anyone can promote their freelance services on these sites, whether they’re capable and qualified, or not. You never know exactly what you’re getting until you actually work with a contractor.

2. Faking Performance Rankings is Easy

You might think it’s a safe bet to hire a freelancer with hundreds of glowing five-star customer reviews. But don’t be fooled. Social proof can be easily bought.

Positive reviews are essential to get found and hired from among the hundreds of other marketplace hopefuls. So naturally, freelancers want to look as good as possible, as fast as possible. But accumulating strong legitimate reviews for freelance services takes a lot of time and effort.

Artificially enhancing your marketplace ranking is illegal. Nevertheless, this has spawned an underground network of people who buy, sell, and exchange reviews so they can get ahead.

These false ranking services aren’t visible on public freelancer marketplaces. But a Google search quickly reveals plenty of opportunities to buy or swap reviews in places like these:

Some websites even blatantly offer to help freelancers falsify their marketplace rankings. Well-known options include ReviewXchange and Fiverr 5 Stars

Bottom line: When hiring from public freelance marketplaces, “buyer beware” is a smart strategy. But if you can achieve better results in other ways, why take unnecessary chances and spend limited time and resources on public marketplaces?

Are Any Public Talent Marketplaces Credible? 

If your only option is hiring from a third-party marketplace, we recommend considering a handful of “focused talent service platforms” (FTSPs). Freelancers accepted by these platforms have been rigorously screened to ensure they are qualified for positions they’re pursuing. This reduces your risk as a hiring organization and makes it easier for you to conduct a talent search with confidence.

Below are four viable FTSPs that offer fully vetted, high-quality talent:

  • MarketerHire — Provides access to qualified marketing specialists
  • IndieList — Offers carefully-screened freelancers, contractors, and consultants from Ireland 
  • BetterUp — Connects businesses with expert coaches
  • Springboard — Provides access to fully trained, vetted professionals in cybersecurity, software engineering, design, data science and tech sales

Harnessing the Power of a DIY Talent Network 

Generally, businesses recognize it’s cheaper and easier to retain existing customers rather than continuously hunting for new prospects. The same principle applies to talent acquisition. An internal talent pool offers multiple benefits:

1. Speed to Hire 

Sourcing new talent often requires substantial time from your team. But by tapping into an existing talent pool, the process can be as fast as running an advanced search in your freelancer management system database to find the best fit among available people.

A good platform can provide granular details about anyone in your talent pool. For example, you should quickly be able to find someone in your extended organization who has demonstrated the skills you need on another project. You may also see a note or ranking about this person’s contributions, so with only a few clicks you can determine the strength of the individual’s qualifications.

2. No Training Downtime 

Your existing talent is already familiar with your organization, its operations, and its work practices. This means you don’t need to spend extra time continually onboarding and training new people.

3. Leverage Talent Across Your Business 

By extending access to existing talent across your organization, you can improve cross-functional business performance and reduce overall hiring spend.

4. Grow Your Internal Talent Pool 

Freelancers don’t exist in a vacuum. They all are connected with other skilled people. You can expand your internal talent pool by tapping into these networks. It’s as easy as sending emails requesting referrals.

Experienced freelancers won’t refer you to people they don’t trust because they know it could damage their own reputation. But many will happily refer viable colleagues.

You may decide to incentivize referrals – or not. Either way, existing contractors can be a highly effective and efficient source of network growth.

For example, with an internal talent network platform like Worksuite, you can use the Marketplace module to post and share opportunities for upcoming work. You can also vet new candidates, assign work opportunities to individuals, and invite them to submit RFI-style proposals for upcoming projects. In addition, you can maximize your reach by sharing new opportunities with both internal and external sources.

Where to Look for Contingent Talent

Freelance marketplaces and job boards aren’t the only way to find great contingent talent. Consider these alternatives: 

  • Social Media — Outreach on platforms like Twitter and Facebook can attract candidates from members of your global brand community.
  • LinkedIn You can search and contact freelancers directly or spread the word more broadly with posts on your LinkedIn company page or in specialized groups.
  • Referral Campaigns — Offering “finders fees” for referrals from employees and contractors can generate significant interest.
  • Alumni Talent Pools — Adding former employees and contractors to your database of on-demand resources is an easy way to maintain ties with qualified people.
  • Networking at Industry Events — Gathering profile data from participants at key professional conferences and other events can help you easily develop an extensive pipeline over time.

Developing Talent Network Trust and Loyalty

Sourcing is vital when building a high-quality freelance talent network. But that’s only the beginning. It’s also vital to keep people onboard and engaged with your organization.

Freelancers (especially in the Gen Z age bracket) know many opportunities are always available online. All it might take to land the next assignment is a single email or application. To keep potential candidates connected with your company, you’ll want to develop trusted relationships with valued contractors.

For example, these tactics are often effective:

  • Assign a steady, interesting flow of work opportunities
  • Communicate regularly and directly with active members
  • Gather ongoing feedback with periodic surveys 
  • Offer new assignments that expand on relevant skill sets
  • Provide loyalty incentives
  • Host annual awards to recognize excellent performers 
  • Increase pay rates to ensure top members are appropriately compensated

 


Worksuite: A Talent Network Solution

If you want to develop and manage your own talent pool, a specialized solution like Worksuite can make the process much easier. This platform includes essential features and metrics employers need to build and maintain a compliance administration and quickly identify top candidates whenever contractors are needed. Here’s how customers use Worksuite to support freelance talent strategies

1. Customize Onboarding Workflows

Worksuite partners with you to create an onboarding process that meets your exact needs. This includes capturing all the contracts, documents, tax information, and banking details needed before new freelancers are assigned to any project.

2. Add and Invite Freelancers to the Platform

Use sourcing and onboarding tools to reach out to prospective talent, and add qualified individuals to your detailed, searchable internal talent pool hub.

3. Ensure Contractor Compliance

Before assigning work to a freelancer, you must ensure they’ve received proper background checks and are compliant. This prevents costly legal problems down the road, especially when hiring global talent.

With Worksuite, background checks are managed through our partner, Checkr. This saves time for you as a hiring company while giving you peace of mind that every contractor you hire is legitimate. Worksuite also coordinates compliance administration. So, whether you’re working with 10 freelancers or 10,000, you know all NDAs, contracts and tax documents are in place to meet local and international regulatory requirements.

4. Publish a Searchable Talent Directory

Posting profiles of everyone in your talent pool gives your team a highly accessible overview of every contractor in your database. You can dive in deeper to see more details for any individual. Also, freelancers can access and edit their own profiles to be sure their information is always up to date.

5. Assign Groups, Tags and Rankings 

In addition to using the platform’s overview capabilities, you can easily organize freelancers in your dashboard. This gives HR and hiring managers full transparency into a member’s work history, background information, experience, skills, and abilities. 

You can also segment members into custom groups that make sense for your business, so you can easily search and select ideal candidates for any assignment at a granular level.

6. Rank, Rate, and Review Freelancers 

Talent rankings, ratings, reviews, and internal notes help your hiring team easily find any freelancer’s performance record at a glance. This helps you quickly decide who should be assigned to an opportunity (and who would not be an ideal candidate).

7. Track Key Metrics 

With Worksuite, you can set up metrics that reflect the quality and quality of deliverables your contractors produce. Here are some examples of metrics that help customers identify attractive candidates: 

  • Highest-rated members
  • Most engaged members
  • Talent active on multiple assignments (vs. only one assignment)
  • Percentage of assignments canceled prior to the start date 
  • Percentage of assignments rejected by members
  • Average number of assignments per member
  • Individuals who have not been assigned to any projects within the last 12 months 

8. Communicate Regularly With Network Members

You can manage all communication with network members directly from the Worksuite platform. Also, you can send personalized bulk messages using your organization’s filters. This helps freelancers stay engaged with your business, and keeps them up-to-date with your news and job opportunities.

9. Archive Talent Records

With Worksuite’s archive feature, you can remove access to the platform for freelancers who haven’t worked with you in more than 12 months. This helps keep your talent database current, so you know who’s still interested and available to work with your organization.

 


EDITOR’S NOTE:
To learn more about how Worksuite tools and services can help you start or grow a high-quality freelance talent network, contact Worksuite directly.

Transforming Talent Decisions With Ethical AI

Sponsored by Reejig

Countless HR tools, applications, and platforms now rely on artificial intelligence in some form. Users may not even notice that AI is operating in the background — but it can fundamentally change the way we work, think, and make talent decisions.

This raises several big questions. What should we really expect from AI? And is this kind of innovation moving us in the right direction?

For example, what role should AI play in skills-related talent acquisition and workforce mobility practices? With stellar talent in short supply these days, this topic has never been more important for employers to consider. So join me as I look closer at key issues surrounding ethical AI in HR tech on this #WorkTrends podcast episode.

Meet Our Guest:  Jonathan Reyes

Today, I’m excited to talk with Jonathan Reyes, a talent advisor and futurist who has been helping technology and banking industry companies navigate hypergrowth for nearly two decades. Now, as VP of North America for Reejig, he’s on a mission to build a world with zero wasted human potential.

Defining “Zero Waste” in Humans

Jonathan, I love the phrase “zero wasted potential.” What exactly does Reejig mean by this?

We envision a world where every person has access to meaningful work — no matter their background or circumstance. In this world, employers can tap into the right skills for the right roles, whenever needed. And at the same time, society can reap the benefits of access to diverse ideas through fair and equitable work opportunity.

The concept of sustainability is emerging in every industry. Now, sustainable human capital is becoming part of that conversation, and this is our way of expressing it.

So, with zero wasted potential, decisions aren’t based on a zero-sum game. When employers make human capital choices, individuals or society shouldn’t suffer. Instead, by focusing on talent mobility through upskilling and reskilling, we can create a new currency of work.

Workforce Intelligence Makes a Difference

Why do you feel workforce intelligence is essential for employers as they make talent decisions?

Organizations have so much human capital data. With all the workforce intelligence available, there’s no reason to hire and fire talent en masse — and then rehire many of the same individuals just months later.

Obviously, that’s an emotional and human experience for employees. But also, organizations are spending unnecessary money to find people and let them go, only to invest again in rehiring them.

Focusing instead on internal mobility is far more cost-effective.

Where Ethical AI Fits In

Many companies are unsure about AI in talent acquisition and management. What’s your take on this?

There are no universally accepted standards for ethical AI. This means vendors across industries can say technology is “ethical” based on self-assessment, without input from legal, ethical, or global experts.

But we’ve developed the world’s first independently audited, ethical talent AI. In fact, the World Economic Forum has recognized us for setting a benchmark in ethical AI.

The Impact on Internal Mobility

How do businesses benefit from shifting to a zero-wasted potential talent strategy? 

When companies manage internal mobility well, they extend employee tenure by 2x. And we know that people who stay and continue growing and developing are much more engaged.

This can create a significant downstream benefit. It’s one of the biggest reasons to invest in this kind of talent management capability.

 


For more great advice from Jonathan about why and how organizations are leveraging AI to make better talent decisions, listen to this full episode. Also, be sure to subscribe to the #WorkTrends Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher. And to continue this conversation on social media, follow our #WorkTrends hashtag on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.