Old School Ways Can’t Win Today’s Talent War

HR and Technology

Think about the talent contests that are so popular on TV these days. In those shows, individuals vie for the privilege of winning over an elite panel of experts. This is not the real world that we live in.

In the real world, organizations are vying for talent that’s all too scarce and growing scarcer. Why? Demographics are shifting; automation is eliminating most rote tasks, allowing people to do more of what they’re best at; and organizations are looking to expand globally while maintaining the same high standards they established at home. Doing that requires technology that provides managers with modern and holistic tools.

“The two most important applications inside of a modern enterprise are HCM [human capital management] and customer service, because it’s all about taking care of people—taking care of your employees who in turn take care of your customers,” said Larry Ellison, executive chairman of Oracle, during a keynote address at Oracle CloudWorld 2014.

Let’s be frank, If you can’t compete for talent, you’re probably not going to be able to compete for much of anything at all.

From a corporate perspective, we expect HCM tools to enable employees to communicate more clearly and more quickly with their managers and with the company at large, and to make it easier for the company to communicate with its employees.

“From a strategic perspective,” says Tim Jennings, chief research officer at IT consultancy Ovum IT, “I feel companies are prioritizing the recruitment, management, and optimization of their workforce as their most critical business capability, and understanding that they can apply a data-driven scientific approach, enabled by powerful new software tools.”

As Ellison put it during his keynote at Oracle OpenWorld 2014: “There’s got to be a graceful, easy, efficient way for two-way communication between employee and company and company and employee. That’s social HCM. Employees have to be able to organize into groups and collaborate. That’s social HCM. And the twenty-first century HCM is something we think we excel at because we’re good at not only payroll, benefits, those kinds of things, but we have all of the social tools that allow us to enable this particular suite of applications, to be more than twentieth-century HCM on premise, [but] to be social HCM, in the cloud.”

Social also implies mobile and cloud. Winning organizations are increasingly putting information, decision-making tools, and HR apps in the hands of people who work outside headquarters—whether in the field or from home offices.

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