Article: Adoption of leading-edge technology is key to effective workforce planning and management

Employee Engagement

Adoption of leading-edge technology is key to effective workforce planning and management

Business leaders need to have an “employee experience-first” mindset to adapt to leading edge-technology in order to implement policies which is the most optimal for their business.
Adoption of leading-edge technology is key to effective workforce planning and management

With the unexpected consequences of the pandemic, the world of business was compelled to make amendments in the way they function. Vast disruptions have led to employers facing significant hurdles in managing a hybrid workforce. Organizations have modified by adopting new ways of working. Adoption of technology, rapid digitalization, enabling dispersed operations and collaborative functioning are key to remain efficient and meet company objectives. 

India is witnessing a competitive environment for talent acquisition with more and more employers willing to avail services of contingent labour. In the ever-growing competition for talent, the onus lies on an organization’s ability to provide a positive employee experience and ensuring their wellbeing is priority. India is still recovering from the initial onset of the pandemic and the effects of the second wave. With the possibility of a third wave in a few months, organizations will need to continue restructuring their policies to meet the shifting demands of the situation. 

In order to keep moving forward in such testing times as the pandemic, it became imperative for every organization to improvise, adapt and overcome the various hurdles it had to undergo. Keeping the company objectives in mind, a prompt switch to digitalizing almost every aspect of the operations was the first step to maintaining the employer-employee relationship. 

Business leaders need to have an “employee experience-first” mindset to adapt to leading edge-technology in order to implement policies which is the most optimal for their business. The biggest technology gap around managing a hybrid or a remote workforce is in measuring progress towards deliverables. Organizations will have to focus more on output rather than keeping a check on worktime provided by the employees.

With the disruption of normalcy and in-person office gatherings, technology came to the rescue of organizations and helped maintain workforce balance. Under the inevitable circumstances and effects of the pandemic, technology has helped organizations to keep running their businesses without a major setback. In the initial days of lockdown, employees had to strictly adhere to remote working. With the gradual opening of places across the globe, a “hybrid” work-culture is taking shape. In the scenario of ever-increasing demand for technology, there has been a rapid shift with constant advancement and thus businesses need to adapt and learn quickly to sustain. 

How is Tech Playing a Big Role? 

The importance of technology can be felt now in 2021, more than ever. In this post pandemic world, the “new normal” which is no longer new has almost forced organisations to go digital. Adoption of technology is no longer limited to the big corporations or IT companies only, modern technology is also allowing smaller businesses and even traditional organisations like banks to embrace the digital space. Businesses are more self-dependant now with the software and hardware options at their disposal. With the introduction of cloud-based tools, the workplace is no longer static. Meaning, we are not restricted to a space and employees can work from anywhere they want via the internet. Companies had adopted at least one form of ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) Solution and the remote working structure compelled companies to upgrade their contactless attendance system because of remote working which gave rise to digital hiring and onboarding. Video calling infrastructure gained a rise whereas social messaging network also witnessed greater demand. Most of the companies actively started using digital hiring mode. Today, technologies like digitization, AI, robotics, automation have redefined existing processes by making them more efficient and data-driven. The new-age systems don’t just ease up the workload for HR teams but also streamlines and automates other related tasks effectively for employees and management. 

Using Technology to Manage a Workforce in Flux

The HR scenario has undergone a drastic change in terms of the AI based hiring portals, the online application processes and even payroll solutions that enable organizations to execute administrative tasks. Activities such as scheduling, monitoring time and attendance become a trickier task during the work from home set up. In such situations the effectiveness of tech-based solutions come to light and help in managing the work force better. 

Adopting sophisticated HR technology tools enable organizations to have a competitive advantage. The need of the hour is for HR to evolve into a more technology-based profession. 

How a switch to such technologies lead to a better HR experience-

  • Reduce compliance costs
  • Reduce administrative burdens
  • Compete more effectively for global talent
  • Ease of accessing data for employees and managers 
  • Applicant tracking systems are customized to recruit and define hiring workflow. These tracking systems can bridge the gap recruit qualified talent faster 
  • Data Driven Recruitment is a hiring strategy in which recruitment planning and decision making is based on data acquired through HR software such as Applicant Tracking Systems

Scenarios and Challenges Leaders are Facing

Working from home has upended productivity, but there’s rising disengagement, attrition, and fatigue across numerous sectors. Companies are grappling with the bigger question of measuring productivity when they can’t see employees working.

The onset of the pandemic has brought forth challenges for organizations in hiring and screening processes. The visibility and identification of talent has become a difficult task. Technological solutions in such times prove to be most helpful in improving overall employee experience and ease of hiring for managers.

Challenges faced:

  1. Remote hiring: A complete shift to remote working as well as hiring system has made it difficult for employers to find candidates with the right skills. 
  2. Identifying quality candidates quickly: Employers have been facing hurdles in identification of relevant talent for the organization without any technological assistance. 
  3. Candidate screening challenges: Even amidst a deluge of resumes, sorting out and extracting the best talent remains a task considered difficult by many managers and employers. 
  4. Hiring process optimization challenges: To remain relevant in the industry and be able to hire fresh talent, the recruitment process needs to be optimized time and again by analysing existing data. 
  5. Identification of the right sourcing channels: It is essential for the employer to identify and prioritize the sourcing channels that have led to acquisition of talented work force in the past. 
  6. Maintaining employee morale: With the absence of offline team bonding sessions, the maintenance of employee morale and ensuring the productivity matches to the previous levels has become imperative.  
  7. Shifting communications for remote working system: the struggle of involving each employee and ensuring smooth work from home set ups is an added burden on the employers.

The Way Forward in Times of the Pandemic

Although the organizations face numerous hurdles in combating the lingering effects of the pandemic and the hybrid system, undertaking policies focusing on a positive employee experience could help in maintaining business performance.

Emphasis on innovation and gaining experience in using new technologies should be laid in order to increase employee productivity, resilience and agility. A constant development in talent acquisition strategies will continue to drive in the workforce in flux. 

Managing the workforce in a fluid work environment becomes a necessity. The ability to use technology to support permanent and contingent workers is critical to enhancing the employee experience and driving business success.

The role played by technology and digitalization cannot be replaced in a remote working or hybrid working situation. The employee experience has been sustained with the help of these technological tools. Surviving in the competitive business scenario without embracing this digital shift would be an impossible task. 

Digital adoption has taken the upper hand in the industry hiring scenario today and these changes are here to stay. The pandemic has only expedited a system that was bound to evolve in the coming years. 

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Topics: Employee Engagement, HR Technology, #GuestArticle

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