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4 Ways HR Can Help Accelerate Digital Transformations

Companies worldwide are launching rapid digital transformation strategies. Their goal: To keep pace with the increase in customer demand for seamless delivery of products, services, and experiences. So in many circles, the question becomes: How can HR help accelerate digital transformations?

To meet these lofty goals and expectations, departments within these organizations need the right technology and the right people. Otherwise, they might miss the opportunity to discover new ways of doing business and innovating through increased digitization. This means human resource departments have a significant role to play in digital transformation.

HR leaders must work alongside IT leaders to accelerate digital transformations and coalesce around priorities. For leaders to succeed in digital transformation, they must be on the same page while removing the barriers of a top-down, hierarchical approach. Leaders must work together to best reallocate resources and spread work and management of work across teams.

Plenty of well-intentioned companies nail the details of digital transformation. Details such as knowing what makes a good user story, understanding the difference between product and project, and finding opportunities to automate deployments whenever possible. The challenges arise with people, culture, and scale. That’s where HR can play an important role.

As many leaders have already learned, digital transformation affects everyone in an organization. Because they are so focused on the daunting task in front of them, this can be difficult for transformational leaders to think about. Proactively communicating with existing teams about how digital transformations will positively affect them and why it’s best for the organization, though, helps everyone.

Because in the end, digital transformation is as much a cultural transformation as it is a business and technology transformation.

Look No Further

The ongoing pandemic hasn’t slowed digital transformation. Despite layoffs and deep budget cuts at countless companies, a large majority (70 percent) of CIOs say their budgets and staffing numbers underwent reductions of less than 10 percent in the aftermath of COVID-19. The top priority of budgets in 2021? Digital transformation, of course. In fact, 77.3 percent of CIOs ranked this endeavor as the most pressing concern this year (ahead of cybersecurity).

So why should HR departments step in as a source for solutions to these problems? Well, the momentum from IT departments toward digital transformation is significant for HR. The reason is simple: Technology alone cannot make for a successful digital transformation. It’s a total team effort in which HR has a big role to play.

Yes, IT can take care of the technology side of the digital transformation equation. However, HR has a shared responsibility. Attracting, retaining, and reskilling the human actors who understand how to both derive value from technology and innovate new ways of doing business digitally is another piece of the puzzle. Without the right talent, even the biggest transformation budget won’t succeed. Teams need the right human resources in place.

Easier for Everyone

Here are a few tips for HR leaders who aspire to work in tandem with IT to accelerate digital transformation to achieve the ultimate goal of building products that customers want to buy and increase revenue.

1. Talk it out

Communicate with IT openly about the culture change and plan to distribute the emotional load. And start those conversations early. Hold discussions about how the culture might change and how some employees might not love the process of digital transformation. HR, technology, and product teams can also share the responsibilities to make sure digital talent and older business lines work well together.

2. Embrace change

Gain a solid understanding from IT on how roles will change as a result of accelerating digital transformation. As the stewards of human abilities within an organization, HR needs to know what qualities to look for in the next generation of talent. This talent pool will have new skills every year or so, making skills secondary to learning ability and work ethic. As an HR leader, you can help find the next generation of digital talent. Start by changing job descriptions to reflect digital values, such as adaptive learning and grit, rather than hard credentials.

3. Promote retention

In many organizations, HR controls (or has a lot of say in) promotion decisions. Digital transformations are a serious uphill battle for product and technology leaders everywhere. And one of the biggest momentum killers is top digital talent leaving an organization. This is especially disheartening when they leave because they feel transformational work is not rewarded or appreciated by the culture. Work with technology and product teams to rework incentives. Ensure the company rewards digital talent. And keep your focus on retaining the talent required to ensure enough forward progress.

4. Prioritize education

Develop new training programs with IT that promote collaboration, prototyping, and decision-making alongside technical skills. You can also help by preparing digital talent in cross-functional environments. As you do, know that maximizing teamwork will likely achieve better results than maximizing individual performance. Companies can expect to see more success in their digital transformations by training UI/UX designers, product owners, scrum masters, and engineers together. That way, students can practice the handoffs and negotiation skills required in a digital world.

It bears repeating: Accelerating digital transformation requires a cultural shift just as much as it does a technology or business shift. When IT and HR work together, they can create a more stable environment that makes digital transformation easier for everyone.

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Hiring Tech Talent? Tap this Overlooked Pipeline

Over the past decade, and even more so in our current economic state, more areas of life have become increasingly digitized. That evolution has certainly affected hiring practices. Applicant training systems, for instance, can collect, sort, and rank thousands of résumés, automatically surfacing top candidates for any given role. Chatbots can engage, source, and screen candidates based on a set of predetermined metrics like skills and education.

But with all of these advancements in recruiting and hiring, one thing has remained relatively stagnant: credential requirements. Most companies still require candidates to have a college degree. But in industries like technology, where the way people learn new skills is rapidly evolving, that requirement is creating a barrier.

Traditional hiring practices simply can’t keep up with the tech industry’s increasing talent needs. Sure, some aspiring tech workers are still taking the conventional education-to-job pathway by obtaining computer science degrees. But fewer than 60,000 computer science graduates enter the market each year, and that’s a tiny talent pool for companies to compete over.

Still, many qualified, talented technologists who took different routes to learn their skills are screened out of the hiring process due to companies’ outdated hiring criteria. Employers would do themselves a favor by opening up their minds and candidate criteria to other options.

Alternative Talent Pipelines

On top of producing a low supply of workers for a field with high demand for talent, many traditional colleges and universities are often hamstrung in evolving their curriculums. They just can’t do it fast enough to keep up with the evolving skills employers are looking for. It’s simply not feasible to change course curriculum as quickly as computer programming languages change.

Take JavaScript, for example. It’s become an extremely popular language for web development over the past couple of years. To secure a job in the field, you need to know not only JavaScript, but also frameworks like Angular or React. Yet these frameworks are changing almost every year, putting colleges and universities with inflexible curriculums at a huge disadvantage. It often takes more than a year to get the approvals necessary to change the curriculum.

Other tech training programs, however, like online courses or in-person boot camps, can more quickly pivot their curriculum to match changes in industry trends, equipping students with the right skills to meet employer needs. For this reason, alternative skilling programs can also produce talent much quicker than two- or four-year degree programs.

Alternative skilling programs have the flexibility to accelerate curriculum and churn out qualified programmers in mere months. They give students the basic skills they need to jump into a tech role. Then, employees are expected to learn on the job — a huge advantage to any company looking to shape unique skill sets, especially when 87% of IT executives are struggling to find skilled technology professionals today.

On top of developing relevant skills from a more agile learning environment more quickly, many alternative training graduates possess additional capabilities that can benefit employers. Here are a few:

Broader Life Experience

Graduates from nontraditional backgrounds often bring unmatched life experience into their new careers. Alternative coding students often enter programs with a breadth of different backgrounds — both vocational and educational. In fact, many already have college degrees in nontechnical fields and have enrolled in tech training programs to explore a career change.

Whereas two- or four-year college graduates likely just left home to go to college and then went straight into job searching, nontraditional students have had different life experiences that grant them additional perspectives and soft skills to bring to the table.

For example, a single mother who graduates from a coding boot camp is likely to be an excellent multitasker, as she’s raised her child while coordinating her education on her own. Or a former restaurant manager who joined an alternative training program to explore an interest in tech is likely to have strong leadership and managerial skills that a recent college grad may not possess.

Built-in Tenacity

Graduates from an alternative training program have already proven themselves by finishing the course. Many alternative training programs remove barriers such as high tuition costs. This means that the training becomes accessible to a wider pool of tech-interested people. It also means anyone who joins a program can drop out with fewer financial consequences than they could in a two- or four-year degree program — resulting in individuals who’ve demonstrated immense drive and hard work.

That presents a built-in vetting process. People who successfully complete free or low-cost training programs prove their grit and tenacity — especially considering that many are taking care of children or working full-time on the side. These kinds of traits are important in tech job candidates.

Many of these learners are also career-changers. They left one career to pursue a true interest in technology, which means they’ve demonstrated drive simply by taking the risk to enter a new career field.

Industry-Relevant Skills

Graduates from nontraditional learning pathways are often equipped with specific, industry-relevant skills. Because alternative training programs tend to be more nimble when it comes to curriculum, they can easily adapt to teach the specific skills employers are looking for. Many programs even ask companies what skills they’re in need of — both current and future — to ensure students learn the proper ones.

For example, our organization recently switched the core language taught in our flagship LC101 course, moving from Python to JavaScript after assessing the skills needed by our hiring partners. We’re also able to train a cohort of students specifically for a company experiencing difficulty hiring those hard-to-find skill sets. Given that 33% of companies report problems in finding qualified candidates to fill open tech positions, alternative training programs may be the answer for sourcing talent.

Of course, college graduates with relevant skills should always be a part of the eligible hiring pool. But with the demand for entry-level talent being so much greater than what traditional pathways are producing, it’s time for hiring managers to diversify their recruitment strategies to give other talented technologists a shot. They’re likely to be pleasantly surprised by the talent and promise candidates from a variety of education and experience backgrounds can bring to their businesses.

Exploring the Human Side of Tech Adoption

There’s little doubt we live in an increasingly tech-savvy society. But not everyone in the workplace is an early adopter of the latest apps and software. In fact, when Pew Research Center categorized individuals into a tech adoption spectrum, 52 percent considered themselves “relatively hesitant,” with 14 percent of those declaring themselves “unprepared.”

With this in mind, how do you encourage tech adoption in your organization? Is it best to try to change an employee’s habits? Or to set Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies that permit people to adopt tech in the workforce—or not—at their own pace? If you decide it’s best to standardize your organization on the same platforms, how can you convince your teams to embrace “the new way” rather than resent it?

This is the human side of tech adoption. Understanding how to manage it is imperative and can help today’s HR professionals be more successful in today’s heavily tech-dependent marketplace.

First, Build Trust

There is definitely some apprehension when it comes to tech adoption. People believe robots or Artificial Intelligence (AI) programs will take over our jobs, which makes many leery of technology. While chatbots and other machine learning technology may seem creepy on the surface, the technology is really “more a tool than a replacement for jobs,” says Rob Light, an AI expert and research lead for G2 Crowd.

Employees need to understand how technology can help improve their productivity without making their skills obsolete. To help your workers, talk about the ways apps can save time, streamline communications, and even give people the freedom to work from home—or anywhere.

Integrate Technology Slowly

Some of your staff may be hesitant to learn the new skills required for digital transformation within the organization. Start slowly, perhaps introducing one or two productivity apps employees can use on their own mobile devices, before moving on to AI-based chatbots and other more sophisticated technology. Don’t be afraid to hire new talent with the skills necessary to help the rest of the team adapt to new tech.

Using an intranet system like Igloo Software, a digital destination that connects entire organizations, can dispel much of the confusion that often comes from employees using multiple different apps and solutions. Igloo integrates with your employees’ own apps. It also offers its own suite of tools for communication, collaboration, and file storage. Employees can access the intranet from any Internet-connected device, from their work computer to their tablets and smartphones. Using a centralized portal may encourage your teams to learn and adopt technology at their own pace, especially when they see what’s available within the solution.

Give Employees Choices in the Technology They Use

Giving people options when it comes to tech adoption can shorten the learning curve. But the use of many different apps can also create digital silos within your organization as well as compatibility and security issues. That’s why it’s useful to explore software solutions like those provided by Igloo. An intranet solution that allows for the seamless integration of third-party apps, as well as proprietary apps and widgets, makes it possible for your employees to access multiple solutions through one user interface from any place they might be working, whether that’s at home, on the road, or in the office.

Designate Training and Practice Time

It’s normal to become frustrated with tech adoption if you have to take time away from your regular duties to learn a new app. So, be proactive. Plan to counter this frustration by scheduling time for training and allowing for this time in your workflow by adjusting other deadlines. Offer various means of learning, including self-guided instruction through video tutorials or written material, as well as webinars or live training.

Harness the Human Side of Tech Adoption Through Digital Transformation

Over time your employees will become comfortable using the new processes and software. They will realize the time-saving benefits of tech in the workplace. And that’s when they will start considering themselves in the growing minority of “digitally-ready” employees who can help teach others and guide your organization into digital transformation.

When HR and IT teams work together on the human side of tech adoption, the entire organization benefits through the use of robust and easy-to-use tools that increase productivity and employee engagement.

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Four Essential Best Practices for HR in 2016

Welcome to 2016! Although it’s already March, it’s not too late to cover a few best practices for human resources professionals, as well as how to analyze information about your current employees and help develop strong teams, once people are on board. So, without further ado, here are four best practices for HR professionals for the new year.

Diversity & Innovation

A recent Forbes article by Adam Hartung points out the importance of diversity and the need for HR to make a concerted effort to recruit outside the company—if only to gain a new and different perspective of the usual order of business. Innovation only comes as a result of change, and change is not possible without somebody being willing to rock the proverbial boat. In other words, you need to be willing to take a risk and hire someone from outside the inner sanctum, so to speak, to have the chance to gain knowledge and insight from someone with a different perspective.

Also, never underestimate the value of empathy and emotional intelligence, in relating to colleagues, job candidates, and new employees. You’ll need to base your hiring decisions on more than just skills, qualifications, and experience. As Gabrielle Garon emphasizes in a recent TalentCulture article, your expertise as an HR professional should include the ability to relate to employees as people, rather than merely team members or experts in their field. Relating to employees as people requires the capacity to look beyond what’s on paper and initial impressions, and to ask the right questions

HR, IT, & Data Analytics

The Talent Analytics blog provides a very helpful Beginners Guide to Predictive Workforce Analytics, which clearly lays out the essential components of data analytics for HR, arguing that “Predictive workforce projects need to address and predict business outcomes, not HR outcomes.” Hence a focus on the big picture and efficiency, as opposed to abstract factors.

Rather than trying to determine the best employee traits at your company based on your current workforce, for example, first determine what it is you need to accomplish with each upcoming project, as well as what traits are required in the people chosen to carry out that task. From there, you can more quickly determine the best ideal candidates for a given project. In this way, you’re focusing on the business at hand, rather than abstract predictors of success. Also, though, make sure to pay attention to the potential for turnover, retention, risk, and talent when looking for viable candidates.

Research & Development, Training

The best HR practices include keeping an eye on how to train existing employees internally and dedicate a substantial part of the company budget to research and development. This means hiring workers who can act as skill trainers and instructional leaders. Moreover, finding the best people to utilize as trainers means being able to identify desirable traits and talents desired in company trainers, and then to successfully recognize those qualities in both internal and external candidates for the position.

It’s crucial to focus on individual talents during the search for company training candidates, so as to match skilled leaders with an interest in and a talent for teaching to the position. Making sure that the trainers you pick are born teachers, rather than experienced project managers or product developers, can help avoid future frustration and lack of productivity. As a hiring manager, you can help ensure job satisfaction by using a talent assessment tool as part of the interview process, as well as making sure to focus on employee strengths and incorporate them into their duties.

Quality Recruitment

If you want to reach out to the best people, all while giving a nod to the first strategy discussed in this article (innovation), it pays to utilize the best sites out there. One effective method involves recruiting talent that isn’t necessarily applying with you for a position—for example, via LinkedIn. This is also known as finding ‘passivejob candidates, and it involves strategies such as networking, focusing on growth and satisfaction in job descriptions, and communicate with recruits as people, rather than potential job candidates.

In a recent article on the biggest trends of 2015, Meghan Biro estimates that nearly 80 percent of job seekers utilize social media in their job searches—and, furthermore, younger generations are estimated to use social media 90 percent of the time! Advertising job positions on a platform like Twitter, for example, will open up the field of applicants even further by making it accessible to a much wider, public audience. This can also help with the innovation component since it’s more likely that external applicants from outside the fold will apply for a position as opposed to merely internal candidates. Moreover, as Biro also points out, social media recruitment can be extremely profitable.

What’s the bottom line, then? Emotional intelligence and holistic, long-term thinking rule the day. Don’t be afraid of data, but at the same time, don’t allow facts and figures to be the sole determining factors in the decision-making process. In other words, think with your heart as well as your head. Here’s to a unique and successful 2016!

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4 Reasons Your Best IT Pros Are Leaving

It happened again. One of your best IT employees found another job and is taking it—leaving you with a big talent gap to fill. Information technology skills are in high demand, and your IT team is on the lookout for new and better opportunities.

You’re not alone. According to a survey conducted by my company,, 74.8 percent of health information technology professionals said they were planning to look for another job within the next year.

Are your IT superstars leaving because their skills are in demand, or because they’re unhappy? Here are four compelling reasons your best IT team members are heading for the door:

1. There’s no leadership

Your IT team needs a strong leader who will motivate them, solve problems, and keep them happy at work. Ask yourself: is your team getting what they need from their manager or supervisor?

Leadership is a major problem in the workforce. The Global Workforce Leadership survey conducted by Workplace Trends in February and March found that almost half of the companies surveyed said that leadership is the most difficult skill to find in employees. Among the 1,000 employees surveyed, just 36 percent felt leadership was a strong point in their workplace.

The leadership crisis extends to the tech industry, as well. In the survey, 51.3 percent of respondents rated their supervisor’s ability to lead and engage at a five or below on a scale of one to 10.

Evaluate your current leaders and train new ones early to keep your IT all-stars around. When looking at leadership, focus on communication.

In a survey published by 15Five in March of 2015, 81 percent of employees surveyed said they would rather join a company that values open communication than other popular perks like free food and gym memberships. Another survey, conducted by SHRM and Globoforce in 2013, found that 94 percent of organizations surveyed believe positive feedback improves employee performance.

2. They’re burned out

Workplace stress is a major problem, and IT professionals are feeling the pain. In the job satisfaction survey, 52.2 percent of health IT employees surveyed said that, on a scale from one to 10, they feel chronic stress levels at a six or above on an average workday.

Employees know the negative effects of stress and may want to leave when they feel too pressured. Information technology professionals who feel overworked will burn out and disengage from their work. When that happens, they’re bound to look for the next best, less stressful opportunity.

Instead of burning your IT team out, help them succeed in a less stressful environment. Regularly check in with the team to see if there are any resources they need or if there are ways you can help lighten their workload. Encourage your team to take breaks, mental health days, and time off — especially after busy and stressful periods.

3. They’re not growing

Technology evolves on a daily basis, and IT professionals who don’t keep up lose their relevance. IT professionals want to keep learning and growing their skills to advance their careers. However, the survey revealed that 64 percent of health IT professionals rated professional development opportunities provided by their organizations at a five or below.

If you’re not helping your IT team grow, they will look for new jobs to advance their skills. You can offer your team more development opportunities by allowing them to learn from senior employees, try out different roles, attend conferences and industry events, or offer other training options.

4. They hate their schedules

If your IT team comes into the office from 9 to 5 every day, they’re probably unhappy. In HealthITJobs job satisfaction survey, 40.9 percent of respondents said the option to work from home was the most important perk a health IT employer could offer, followed by flexible work hours.

The nature of IT and the resources available to employers and employees makes flexible working options feasible. Allowing your IT team to choose when and where they work will make them less inclined to leave. Give employees the option to work from home when possible or set their start and stop times, as long as their work gets done.

Although opportunities abound for IT professionals, understanding their wants and needs can help to keep talented professionals around.

What do you think? How do you keep tech employees happy?

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Prepping For Telecommuting

Telecommuting is an enviable luxury that many companies are beginning to offer their employees. Rather than drive in a sleep muddled haze to the office, stumble to the coffee machine, and then begin the day under the glory of too bright florescent lights, you can begin to sleep in, roll out of bed, and begin work on your personal laptop.

Before you rush into telecommuting, you should ensure that you are equipped with the proper knowledge, tech, and surroundings to succeed. Telecommuting can be a dangerous game for the unprepared. Here are four steps to ensure your work from home initiative is a success.

Electronic Device

Most jobs require some form of electronic supply. When you work at the office, most companies provide everything that you will need to perform your job. Very few companies will purchase their employees a laptop, a mouse, a keyboard, or a head set when they work from home.

Employees should only attempt to work from home once they have ensured that they have all of the devices necessary to perform their professional duties at home. Don’t just rush out to purchase every item you think that you need. Since new electronics can be expensive, limit the number of new items purchased by:

  • Identifying what devices you already have lying around.
  • Checking if you can purchase or borrow old electronics from family and friends.
  • Determining if any of your items can be finagled to a new purpose. (For example a tablet can be transformed into a laptop by purchasing a wireless keyboard and possibly a USB OTG)

Protect Your Main Device

Before you begin working from home, you might want to do a deep clean of your laptop. If your computer is still under warranty, take the time to bring it to a professional for cleaning and virus removal.

A deep clean of the hardware will catch any problems before they result in catastrophic problems that could result in a loss of a computer permanently or for a few weeks.

A deep clean of the software (for viruses) will eliminate any bugs that could potentially lead to a cybercriminal stealing confidential professional information that could lead to you being indirectly responsible for a major company hack.

If you don’t have a plan that currently offers a free computer cleaning, you should focus on:

  • Updating your virus protection and your computer software.
  • Run full computer and virus scans.
  • Clean the dust from the laptop. (Dust can lead to computer overheating).

Fill Knowledge Gaps

Now is the time to analyze your technical knowledge. It’s an unfortunately reality that 1 in 3 U.S. workers lack the knowledge to be able to use the technology required for their job. And only 1 in 10 have truly mastered the use of the tech tools that are required of them.

This gap in knowledge while a concern is manageable when you have someone within the building who can walk you through how to utilize the tool when needed. Without that immediate support, individuals who have not mastered a tool might fail to complete a job, might need to delay performing the task by hours or days, or might spend an excessive amount of time performing their duties wrong.

Before you begin telecommuting you can limit the possibility of skill gap problems by:

  • Compiling a list of devices, apps, or software that you have not mastered.
  • Asking co-workers to walk you through how to use unfamiliar tech or give you links to articles or videos highlighting how to use the tech.
  • Waiting a week or two to begin telecommuting (if possible) to proactively begin using the tech. This will allow you to get immediate aid when you stumble across a problem area.
  • Letting managers or co-workers know that you might need to ask questions about certain apps or programs. This way they will have an eye out for any questions you have.

The ability to telecommute is an enviable perk. Before you rush off to begin your new work-from-home adventure, you should ensure you are equipped with the right equipment and the right knowledge. Failure to prepare could pave the way to failing to perform your job efficiently. Failure could lead to a very abrupt end to your ability to telecommute.

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What Makes Tech Talent Tick?

The problem is crystal clear. But the solution is not as obvious.

In today’s digitally driven world, skilled IT professionals are in short supply. It’s tougher than ever for employers to build the tech teams they need for successful innovation. But just how tough is it?

Tech Hiring By The Numbers

According to research by Microsoft, the IT labor shortage is alarming. A 2012 survey on the state of U.S. technical talent estimates that the number of new jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree in computer science grows each year by 122,300 openings.

In a tough economic climate, that kind of healthy job growth seems like good news. But here’s the rest of the story: The average number of computer science graduates each year is only 59,731. That’s less than half of new job demand.


See infographic at

The survey also uncovered discrepancies between what employers think engineers find attractive in a job, and what engineers actually want. For example:

 89% of software engineers said they applied for 2 jobs or less in the 5 years prior to the survey. This relatively low turnover rate helps explain why it’s so difficult to find and engage experienced software engineers. (Although, in 2014, the picture is no longer as stable. According to a recent survey, more than 40% of companies say they’ve lost tech staff in the past 6 months, compared to 30% a year ago.)

  64% of recruiters believe that the opportunity to work with interesting technology is the primary reason software engineers are motivated to consider a new job. But engineers disagree. In fact, less than 10% of those surveyed say cutting-edge technology is a key reason to accept a new position.

  Top reasons engineers respond to recruiter outreach:
45% — Position is relevant to their background;
13% — Interest in the company;
10% — Competitive compensation.
(These priorities also seem to be shifting in 2014. According to research, 75% of tech workers who changed jobs recently were motivated primarily by higher compensation.)

To learn more about what motivates technology professionals, consider this snapshot from a Dice survey conducted in 2011:

What Tech Professionals Want in Current Job

Motives Matter For Acquisition and Retention

Knowing what matters to technical professionals is vital to the recruitment process. But it’s just as important for successful workforce retention.

Technical Talent Employer Retention strategeis



Building Tech Teams That Last

What’s the best approach to finding, hiring and retaining a technical team that will help your business scale? Chris Lea outlined a time-tested 3-step path at the 2011 Future of Web Apps Conference:

Step 1: Find Talent

  Determine the skills you need
  Spend time on social media to see who shares advice and insights. Build relationships
  Review email lists and attend tech meetups to locate and connect with attractive candidates
  Maintain a dedicated ‘tech blog,” separate from your company’s primary blog

Step 2: Hire Talent

  Can they do the job?
  Are they the right fit for the company?

Step 3: Keep Talent

  Commit to a trial period, so both parties have a chance to determine the fit
  Make sure people take vacation periodically — preferably away from a computer

Chris Lea’s retention “must haves” are echoed by other tech recruiting experts in 5 Smart Ways to Retain Top Tech Talent:

  The more closely your job requirements match the employee’s skills, goals and values, the more likely employees will want to stay. Hire for fit, and retention will follow.
  Start strong. Retention efforts should begin during onboarding.
  Avoid burnout. Evaluate project workflows and organizational structure. Set clear expectations about duties and develop equitable workloads. Actively encourage work-life balance.
  Regularly assess employee engagement and motivation. Gather insight to guide development paths and workforce strategies.
  Commit to sustainability at a corporate level. The connection between innovation, community and the environment is very important to many technology professionals.

What Works For You?

As the hiring landscape grows increasingly competitive, creative acquisition and retention strategies can give your organization an advantage.

Is your company struggling to hire new tech talent? Are you losing IT employees you want to retain? Have you tried new approaches? What works for you? Share your comments below.

(Editor’s Note: To discuss World of Work topics like this with the TalentCulture community, join our online #TChat Events each Wednesday, from 6:30-8pm ET. Everyone is welcome at events, or join our ongoing Twitter conversation anytime. Learn more…)

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Tech Disruption: Too Much Of A Good Thing? #TChat Preview

(Editor’s Note: Are you looking for a full review of week’s events, including resource links? See the #TChat Recap “Quantum Change: Embracing Innovation.”)

Innovation at the speed of business.

That sounds like a tagline for countless high-tech vendors, doesn’t it?

Once upon a time, it was a strategic call-to-action for organizations seeking competitive advantage in the digital age. But what does this catchphrase imply today, for a global workplace that’s more turbo-charged than ever?

Ready Or Not — Here Comes More Change

For better or worse, disruption has become part of our lives. Technology is advancing at a feverish pace, and a new wave of digitally-savvy workers is entering the workforce in droves. Yet at the same time, employee engagement seems to remain stuck almost in neutral. This apparent disconnect raises nagging questions about how effectively innovation really drives individual and business performance.

We Have Seen the Future, And It Is Us

Most of us agree that tools, alone, have little value. It’s what we do with them that matters. So, in a world where technology is continually disrupting our organizational workflows, what lies ahead, and how can we prepare more effectively? As the rate of innovation accelerates, can adoption actually keep pace? How can we stay ahead of the learning curve? Why does it matter? And what are the human consequences — good, bad, and indifferent?

These are big questions with serious business implications. That’s why we’ve asked a workplace innovation expert to be our guest at #TChat forums this week. Jim Lundy, founder and CEO of Aragon Research has been at the forefront of enterprise collaboration and learning technology for almost 30 years — both in product marketing and sales executive roles at vendors like Saba Software and Xerox — and as an industry analyst at Gartner and now Aragon.

#TChat Events: Fusing Technology Disruption And Adoption

This week’s conversation promises to offer a fascinating peek at what’s ahead — and why that matters for all of us in the world of work. So join us as our “Summer Restart” series looks at why and how technology disruption and adoption are essential companions in business transformation. Bring your questions, concerns and ideas, and let’s talk!

#TChat Radio — Wed, Aug 14 at 6:30pmET / 3:30pmPT


Tune-in to the #TChat Radio show

Jim Lundy joins our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman to talk about the most disruptive technologies on the horizon, and their potential impact on organizations. Listen live and dial-in with your questions and feedback!

#TChat Twitter — Wed, Aug 14 at 7pmET / 4pmPT

Immediately following the radio show, Jim follows us to the #TChat Twitter stream, as we open the discussion to the entire TalentCulture community. Anyone with a Twitter account is invited to participate, as we explore these questions:

Q1: What are the top disruptive HR technologies today and why?
Q2: How can the enterprise leverage innovation for positive workplace outcomes?
Q3: Why disruption? Can’t we just improve the process/tech status quo?
Q4: What can leaders do to encourage employee engagement via disruption?
Q5: Has innovation flattened today’s world of work for the better?

Throughout the week, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed and on our new LinkedIn Discussion Group. So please join us share your questions, ideas and opinions.

We’ll see you on the stream!

Image Credit: CBS Television