Technology is Your Untapped Weapon in the Talent War
By Sarah Hansen
The demand for skilled labor and the rigors needed to keep employees engaged and committed in this highly competitive market are well-documented. CEOs and CHROs have been talking about the talent war since before our company was founded. And based on recent analysis, company leaders are showing some serious battle scars as the demand for talent is beginning to overtake COVID response as a top concern for leadership.
These concerns are compounded by signs of a potential hangover from the COVID pandemic, which is a “resignation boom” or “turnover tsunami”. A March 2021 survey by Prudential found that 1 in 4 workers are thinking about resigning, whether it’s to seek adventure, recharge, or because they are rethinking life choices.
The mixed messages about job reports, unemployment, and recruiting challenges can be a lot to take in. One truth amid these trends is that technology has a central role to play in the talent strategy for organizations.
There are several reasons that digital transformation needs to be part of your business strategy, and recruiting is quickly moving to the top of the list.
According to a study by Monster, 82% of employers are confident that they will be ready to ramp up hiring this year, and 40% of respondents are filling new roles on top of the vacancies created by the Pandemic economy. At Valence, we are certainly among them — as VP of People and Talent, I am experiencing the intense hiring environment first-hand.
Here are a few of my key takeaways as I go back into battle in this talent war:
The upside to remote recruiting is that we can more easily schedule interview panels so that candidates can meet more of the team in a shorter period. This allows greater scheduling flexibility, and more importantly, it gives people greater access to each other. If your recruiting strategy includes pursuing passive candidates, remote interviewing also makes it easier for candidates to schedule a conversation without disrupting their commitments to their current employer. Obviously, we are excited about the role that virtual reality could play in the recruiting process, but there are also some mainstream technologies to support remote recruiting, such as:
- Video conferencing
- Scheduling apps
- Recruitment marketing automation
- Mobile-first recruiting assets
- Applicant tracking systems
- Skills assessment platforms
Remote Work, Culture, and Retention
This issue is close to my heart — we work hard to find the best talent, and we’ve curated a company culture that is compelling, motivating, and engaging. How does that culture shift when we aren’t in the office together? The human-to-human connection starts by having the right people in the company to start with.
The number of remote workers increased by 140% between 2005 and 2020, and those numbers will only go up post-pandemic. Having the infrastructure in place to onboard, engage, and collaborate with remote workers increases the talent pool. And our internal employee satisfaction surveys support what many third-party studies are finding, which is that for certain workers, satisfaction is higher when remote work is an option. If you are filling technical positions, it’s also helpful to have remote accessible assessment tools to replace those live white boarding exercises from pre-pandemic recruiting. Anecdotal feedback has been that the candidates also find this less stressful, and they feel their performance is better reflected without the white-board time constraints. The essentials to support remote work and culture include:
- Mobile-friendly platforms
- Streamlined and consistent data infrastructure and document management
- Internal social media
- Video conferencing
- Virtual white boards and collaboration platforms
- Survey tools to check in on employee sentiment and satisfaction
Work is changing, business is evolving, and technology is at the center of everything. Even with the unknowns facing the business community in the next many months, there is no doubt that technology is going to be a significant piece of the puzzle.
And since I’ve got you here, we’re hiring! If you are interested in working with a responsible company with an amazing team at the intersection of innovation and inspiration, check out our careers page!