From streamlining recruitment processes to enhancing employee engagement and development, technology is playing an increasingly important role in winning the war on talent.
by Keith Keating
April 12, 2023
In today’s highly competitive job market, the battle for talent has never been more intense. As businesses across industries scramble to attract and retain the best employees, technology has emerged as a critical tool in the fight. In this article, we’ll explore why technology is so crucial and how companies can leverage it to gain a competitive edge in the talent market.
According to a 2021 survey of 1,000 U.S. workers, 53 percent said digital tools contribute to their success. Moreover, technology boosts employee morale and helps them feel more competent.
However, many companies lack the necessary equipment to simplify their workers’ jobs and boost their productivity. Freshworlds found that nine in 10 employees find their workplace technology frustrating.
The most common issues are:
- Slow speeds.
- Extended response time from IT teams.
- A lack of important tools and capabilities.
Yet, those are elementary requirements for smooth office work. If your workplace doesn’t meet these standards, your position in the talent war will suffer. So, why is up-to-date technology important for employees?
- Streamlines collaboration and communication
Fast and uninterrupted communication helps workers share ideas and data with their coworkers, managers and supervisors. That makes it easier to get work done and brainstorm solutions and projects in a team.
In remote and hybrid workplaces, that’s vital. Employees should encounter no obstacles in reaching their teammates and finding information, regardless of their location and form of work.
Thanks to that, no one will feel left out or out of the loop with the latest company news, standards and changes. Today’s tech tools allow employees to contact their coworkers and managers regardless of time and place.
But if a company has no tools that enable continuous collaboration, its processes will lag and impact task completion and delivery. And no one wants to work with an employer that can’t provide tech equipment that removes communication hurdles and data silos.
- Improves efficiency and productivity
Seven out of 10 employees favor using technology to replace manual assignments, and 69 percent say it enhances their jobs. And that should come as no surprise because today’s technology automates several tasks that people would have to otherwise perform.
AI and machine learning use instructions to create repetitive processes that eliminate the need for human input without affecting the quality. As a result, employees don’t have to worry about rudimentary tasks and neglect more worthwhile projects that require creativity and brainstorming.
That means they can focus on parts of their jobs that excite them and generate greater business value. On top of that, they get more done in a shorter time, resulting in increased productivity and effectiveness.
- Relieves workplace stress
According to ZDNet, 72 percent of employees have lower stress levels because they have access to technology that allows them to work more productively and access information anytime. Thus, 62 percent said they’re happier and less stressed because automation streamlines their jobs and makes their tasks easier to handle.
That explains why 69 percent don’t perceive technology as a threat that will replace them. Instead, they see it as a much-needed help that has become necessary in the workplace.
Younger generations find technology vital, especially when choosing their dream workplace. World Economic Forum found that 91 percent of Gen Zs (born between 1997-2012) say that an employer’s provided technology would be a factor in choosing between job offers.
This generation says work tasks should be automated, advanced and accessible, as the goal is to work smarter, not harder. That aligns with ZDNet’s findings that workplace tech tools increase employees’ happiness.
- Increases team unity and cohesion
According to a 2020 survey, loneliness is prevalent across all age groups in the U.S., with younger Millennials and Gen Z taking the lead. When the pandemic hit, these generations were either entering the workforce or building their first connections in the workplace. The COVID-19 crisis stole a significant proportion of their opportunities to meet new friends.
Naturally, many still hope they will find like-minded people among their coworkers and that their employers will reinforce team cohesion. For instance, 62 percent of employees wish they knew their colleagues better and 84 percent of Millennials and Gen Z are open to using technology to build stronger relationships with teammates.
Tech platforms and apps help companies keep their teams together, maintain ongoing communication and organize regular meetups and online team buildings. Although in-person collaboration is still irreplaceable, technology allows employers to foster cohesion and unity and encourage interactions between coworkers.
- Helps obtain new skills and knowledge
L&D makes time spent at work more meaningful and motivational. But it also helps employees acquire relevant capabilities to perform their jobs more effectively.
Technology is among the best ways to implement and roll out training tailored to workers’ job roles and interests. It is also accessible, allowing them to obtain new skills and knowledge anywhere, anytime.
It’s highly challenging to attract skilled talent without well-rounded L&D programs accessible to every employee. According to Harvard Business Review, the top reason otherwise engaged employees decide to look for a new job is a lack of learning and growth opportunities.
How can technology help you win the talent war?
Top-notch technology isn’t only important for candidates and employees. It also helps recruiters and hiring managers to attract and reach top talents, one of the most pressing issues HR departments face today.
- Improves recruiting strategies and efforts
Recruitment optimization shortens the hiring process by 60 percent while boosting quality. And how do you optimize it and enhance your strategies and efforts?
HR technology, such as an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) and Candidate Relationship Management (CRM), help you streamline manual tasks, increase speed and get more done. These platforms automate repetitive processes, allowing you to move candidates through the pipeline faster and provide swifter onboarding.
That is vital for their satisfaction. Thus, it will help you build a reputation as a tech-savvy employer who cares about the ease of job applications and the accuracy of candidate assessments.
- Enhances your decision-making
Besides accelerating the recruiting process, HR technology also uses AI to inform and guide your decision-making and reinforce data-driven decisions. For instance, inclusive writing tools can help you make your job descriptions more inclusive and tailored to your target audience instead of writing outdated job ads not based on relevant information.
Advanced recruiting analytics will eliminate guesswork and track and measure data to identify the best places to source talent, where your top performers come from, and assessment methods that have proved to be the most effective. That way, you can be more strategic and understand the best way to reach talent and speak to them in a manner that will resonate.
- Reduces employees’ workload
Since technology automates rudimentary and menial tasks, it decreases employees’ workload and makes them more productive. It also helps them track and measure their actions, use relevant apps to experiment with different ideas and complete their projects faster.
Highlight the tech your company uses to make workers’ jobs easier and clarify how it works, as that will make candidates more excited about the job role.
- Increases competitiveness
Technology gives you an edge that will make your company stand out and beat the competition. Identify apps, tools and platforms that best match your workforce’s needs, goals and job descriptions, and ensure you invest in tech your competitors don’t have. This will make your workplace more attractive to top talent and keep you one step ahead in innovation.
- Reinforces the company culture
Do you prefer your company to be known for investing in stellar technology that connects employees and makes jobs easier or for relying on outmoded tools and not caring whether workers have digital assistance to complete their tasks? No matter how present tech is in your workplace, that will shape your company culture.
Technology can help you foster connections between people and connect them with your company’s values and missions. It allows you to establish a supportive, intimate and interactive environment for on-site, hybrid and remote employees.
Moreover, technology enables greater collaboration and transparency, which lies at the core of successful workplaces. That way, tech supports your company culture and allows interconnectedness that keeps everything together.
- Enhances employee and candidate experience
To win the talent war, you must provide a smooth job application process and keep in touch with candidates throughout all recruiting phases. Technology allows you to maintain continuous communication and send automatic updates, reminders and documents. It makes online interviews and flexible scheduling possible, giving candidates more control over the process.
Conversely, it helps employees keep in touch with the team, manage their online employee information and participate in L&D programs. These possibilities enhance the employee and candidate experience, a crucial advantage in the war for talent.
- Makes L&D programs more accessible
Every employee, including those working remotely, should have equal access to L&D opportunities and training. Technology accommodates these programs and makes them available regardless of time and location.
- Improves DE&I initiatives
Tech tools and analytics can help you mitigate recruiting bias by automating the candidate screening process and selecting based on merit and skills instead of unconscious preferences and stereotypes. It can also evaluate the effectiveness of your DE&I initiatives, suggest better approaches and reveal gaps in your workforce makeup.
Technology has become a regular aspect of our personal and professional lives. Yet, many employers and recruiters still don’t see the magnitude of its possibilities and benefits in the talent war. That gives you an advantage and opportunity to use tech tools and platforms to attract top talent and appeal to their needs and expectations. Assess your current tech infrastructure, whether it’s up-to-date, and if you’re using its maximum potential to create a better employee and candidate experience. Be intentional and thorough about what you invest in. These technologies will become a part of your company culture and play a significant role in how potential job applicants perceive your employer brand and your competitive advantage.