As companies continue to refine their retention strategy, they must not underestimate the role technology plays in recruiting and retaining employees. According to a 2016 Dell & Intel Future Workforce Study Global Report, 82% of millennials (67% of the other generations) said workplace technology would have influence when deciding to take a job. Also 42% of millennials are likely to quit a job with substandard technology. With these statistics, companies would be wise to leverage technology as a competitive advantage. Highlighted below are two areas you should assess when using technology as part of a retention strategy.
The applicant’s experience (making a good first impression)
Besides your website, your applicant tracking system (ATS) will be one of the first contacts an applicant will have with your company’s technology. Before you can work on retaining employees, you must get them in the door. In reviewing whether your ATS is working for you, you should ask yourself the following questions:
- Is your ATS user-friendly? Do you make it easy for someone to apply for a job?
- How much time does it take for an applicant to apply for a job?
- Do applicants often run into glitches?
- Does your ATS keep applicants abreast of where they are in the process?
- Does your ATS leave the applicant with a positive experience about your company?
- Do you gather analytics to help paint the picture of the applicant’s experience?
Many applicants draw a correlation between the ease of interacting with a company’s recruiting process and working for the organization. If your ATS is cumbersome, applicants are less likely to complete the application, and may question whether they want to work for your organization.
The employee’s experience
If your employees must manipulate your systems to get their job done, technology is working against you. When it comes to retention and technology one should ponder the following:
- Does your system enhance the workflow, or do the employees have to resort to a lot of workarounds thereby causing frustration or stress?
- Are you investing enough to keep your systems up to date?
- Are your employees properly trained in using your systems the most effectively?
- Are you leveraging the use of technology in career development and learning?
- Are you losing employees because they fear technological advancement are eliminating their jobs? Are you actively retooling and retraining your best employees?
- Are you using technology to leverage flexible work arrangements like telecommuting and working remotely?
Often, the use of technology can help with work-life balance, such as allowing for flexibility in how and where work is done. However, some leaders are reluctant to use technology in this manner. But as Bill Gates stated, “The competition to hire the best will increase in the years ahead. Companies that give extra flexibility to their employees will have the edge in this area.”
As we move further into the digital workplace, companies should continue to look for ways to leverage technology to aid in retention. Systems requiring several workarounds to produce an output, that are too cumbersome, or don’t support life work balance should be evaluated. Having substandard technology has shown to have a negative impact on applicants and employees.