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Chapter 6: Managing Human Resources: The Recruiting and Retention of employees using digital HR

This week we take a look at plans for the organisation’s workforce: hiring workers, retaining them and use of technology in doing so….

One hot topic to be discussed in the next C-suite meeting is plans for an employee ownership scheme in order to have a stronger company, healthier bottom line and happier employees. This scheme of ownership would lead to higher levels of engagement and retention. A good example is Lindt Australia winning its award for 2017 Innovative HR Teams. Their HR team drove employee engagement and performance, as well as talent acquisition and retention. The following tools were used in the process: mobile phone requisition and approvals; bulk actions for processing high volume of applications and communications; time-saving online tools for reference checks and self-service interview bookings; and online forms for contracts and on-boarding that allowed seamless transfer of data to payroll.

An interesting relationship exists between companies with strong ownership culture and a higher share price premium of 17% over their listed peers. Last month Australia launched the new Employee Ownership Australian (EOA) Index, which tracks the share prices of listed companies with high levels of employee ownership (EO) and compares them to the ASX200. This initiative concluded with the following result: in the past five and a half years, the share price of the EOA Index companies increased by 40%, compared to just 23% for the ASX 200. A robust employee-ownership culture also illustrates a strong link with other aspects such as environment, social and governance standards, according to the research conducted by responsibility analysts CAER. These companies are twice as likely to show clear evidence of equal opportunities systems and to outperform or match the ASX200 in three out of five social sustainability factors.

From an investor perspective, the companies with strong employee-ownership culture are very attractive, considering that they offer more engaged employees, more focused on gender and diversity, training, job security and sustainability. Therefore, investors should look for companies with higher levels of employee ownership, which will lead to broader social sustainability performance.

On a different note for an effective employee recruiting and retaining process, the digital embrace plays a vital role in this day and age. David Brown, Leader of the Deloitte Human Capital Consulting Practice, said Australian Human Resources professionals are focused on the retention of employees. However, 9% of Australian companies understand how to build a future-ready organisation equipped for digital disruption and developments of artificial intelligence and robotics, compared to 11% of companies around the globe which are ready for the future. With the advent of the digital age, the business models are changing and HR must follow the change through incorporation of these digital technologies in delivering its solutions to the organisations. The following technologies lead the way for the new business models: artificial intelligence, mobile platforms, sensors and social collaboration systems that are revolutionising the way workplaces are managed. According to the Deloitte Human Capital Consulting Practice, research (including 10,000 businesses around the world, including 197 in Australia), jobs need to be redesigned, the companies should include in their planning freelancers, “gig economy” workers and crowds. Of all companies participating in the research, a third were using some form of AI technology to deliver HR solutions and 41% were building mobile apps to deliver HR services. Australian companies were slightly ahead of international companies in reporting they had useable data analytics.

Alongside this come the cloud-based platforms used by the HR in the recruiting process. According to CB Insights Research in 2015 there were more than $2 billion in investment capital into cloud-based HR solutions. Advantages exist on both sides for employers and employees in using cloud-based HR platforms. The cloud-based platforms facilitate the employee performance tracking and motivation, which give them real-time understanding of changes in demographics or identification of areas of concern. Cloud-based HR platforms are beneficial to employees by helping them to engage better. Video learning tools allow employees to share content and recommend videos to each other, leading to a more aware and skilled workforce. Other organisations provide gamification elements using cloud-based HR solutions, giving employees access to ‘points’ or rewards based on performance.

Based on these different resources, a few points are to be noted….

 

  • Retention of employees, as a key element for successful companies
  • Recruiting and retaining in this day and age constrain HR to embrace digital technology
  • Advantages for employers and employees in using cloud-based HR platforms

 

Consider the following questions for discussion…

  1. Do you think the tools used by Lindt Australia were helpful to the company in increasing the retention rate of its employees? Explain how these tools were used.
  2. Suppose you were an investor. Would you invest in a company that supports the employees ownership culture over one that doesn’t? Why?
  3. One strategy for having competitive advantage in the market and being prepared for the future digital disruption is embracing new technologies. How would you, as a business manager, address this?
  4. As a manager, would you adopt cloud-based platforms in your organisation? Would you use social media platforms for recruiting and retaining employees?
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