get ahead of the technology paradigm shift.

October 26, 2017 Michel Stokvis

Talent Trends survey reveals how employers are embracing technology

Every day it seems we encounter countless numbers of apps, cloud-based solutions and enterprise software designed to better manage our day, get work done and help get just about anything we want for lunch. For human capital leaders, the growing abundance of workplace tools can be both a blessing and a source of frustration.

On one hand, software innovation has never been more accessible, providing a wealth of choices. As a result, there are a growing number of solutions for sourcing, screening, interviewing and many other talent functions. HR and procurement leaders today have unprecedented access to business intelligence and digital tools. The market is witnessing rapid growth in artificial intelligence (AI) and automation that actually helps employers create a more personalized candidate experience. The continuing march toward a digital workplace means a boom in digital innovation.

Maximizing the benefit of these technologies does, however, require greater resources to assess, implement and train users. And that’s creating challenges for some organizations. In our 2017 Talent Trends survey, more than 700 human capital and C-suite leaders overwhelmingly express excitement about HR digitalization, automation and AI. But many also worry about the speed of innovation and their company’s ability to keep up. In addition, business leaders believe that competitors are making greater investments in talent innovation than their organization. It’s enough of a dilemma to keep any talent leader up at night.

So can you stay ahead of the market and competitors? Our survey reveals the choices that leading organizations are making about their technology investments, which gives you insights into how best to embrace innovation. Here are four key areas of focus:

Comprehensive talent management platforms. Two of the top technologies companies report investing in include HR management systems (cited by 54% of respondents) and workforce management tools, such as time and attendance software (51%). This tells us there is still demand for the fundamental resources that employers need to optimize workforce performance. This data may also reflect the growing sophistication of these solutions as developers enhance functionality and improve the user experience.

Deep business intelligence. The top-cited investment (63%) in our 2017 survey is talent analytics. For HR, analytics are a powerful tool for identifying opportunities and issues with performance, capabilities, capacity, retention and other people-related functions. Organizations such as Black Hills Corp. use it to determine loss of workers from retirement and develop action plans accordingly. Defense specialist BAE Systems uses analytics to understand its performance around hiring, attrition, retention and demographics.

Greater training capabilities. More than half of all surveyed employers (52%) tell us they are investing in training and development platforms, and it’s likely more will also invest in the future. The reason: the skills gap continues to grow as digitalization accelerates. Companies realize they need to upskill existing workers, even as they look to acquire other talent needed to support topline growth. And with skills scarcity rising, the competition for high-quality workers will be more fierce.

Candidate management and engagement. Technologies such as automated assessments, online video interviewing and even content distribution platforms are attracting investments across many organizations in different sectors.Yet priorities vary across industries. For instance, 64% of employers in the Consumer Goods sector are investing in candidate engagement and feedback portals, but just 40% in Automotive & Manufacturing are doing the same. Nearly half of IT & Technology employers (49%) are buying into candidate experience and reward systems, but just 39% in Life Sciences & Healthcare are investing in this.

Beyond these, an increasing number of solutions have emerged to help employers achieve better recruitment outcomes. Technologies such as Vonq help employers with their recruitment campaigns through social channels for job postings. Engagement solutions, such as Brazen, enable employers to create more meaningful connections with candidates and workers through online events. Wade & Wendy leverages AI to advise candidates and assist employers with early screening. Content specialists Hootsuite and PostBeyond enhance job and content sharing to improve employer brand. And enterprises are leveraging the human cloud using technologies such as Twago, which connects employers and independent workers directly.

With so much HR innovation occurring, what does this mean for your organization? Ideally, you should constantly stay on top of new developments to ensure competitors don’t gain an advantage through technology investments. However, talent leaders may not have the time or expertise to assess every innovation they come across. That’s why RPO and MSP partners have emerged as talent and technology advisors: to help employers assess the technology landscape, identify solutions that deliver results and stay ahead of the paradigm shifts.

To learn more about these technology trends and how employers around the globe are investing in innovation, download our Talent Trends Quarterly Q3 Report — technology & the new frontier of talent.

about the author

Michel Stokvis

Michel Stokvis is the director of Randstad Sourceright’s Talent Innovation Center. With more than 20 years in the industry, he has deep experience in RPO and MSP solutions, having served on both the client and provider side. His previous roles have spanned across numerous global markets and provided an opportunity for him to work with a variety of companies in many sectors.

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