In 2020, employers and workforces mobilised in ways that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago. The global pandemic prompted some of the fastest digital transformations the world has ever seen. Business change that typically takes years in large corporations happened almost overnight.
While some of the changes to the way we work are temporary, others will endure long after the pandemic has passed and the rate of change is likely to continue, too. A range of technology exists to enable employers and employees to keep pace with these new ways of working. Robert Walters Global Director of Innovation, Faye Walshe, has selected the following top tech picks.
- Employee sentiment feedback and trends
In the same way that we all have our own individual working preferences and career trajectories, organisational culture and preferences differ too – even within similar sectors or industries. “Amidst all this change, it’s important to stay in touch with how your people are feeling,” says Walshe. “Is your workforce thrilled to be working remotely and hoping never to return to the old ways of working before the pandemic? Or are your new arrangements curtailing their creativity and self-worth? In truth, it’s probably a bit of both, but the best way to be sure is to use pulse feedback to check the ‘temperature’ of your workforce and then act accordingly.”
Recommended tech: Culture Amp is just one of the new breed of employee survey technology vendors. Its slick and intuitive user interface, focus on anonymity, and built-in integrity make it Robert Walters preferred vendor in this space.
- Understanding your employee skills base
The pandemic has accelerated the trend of skills-based recruitment – but that is only possible when employers have a clear idea of their people’s skills and capabilities, and where the gaps may be. “Using increasingly sophisticated and verified assessment technologies, leaders can now gauge the skills in their workforce,” says Walshe. “How many of your staff are curious, innovative, entrepreneurial? Only by understanding your current employee skills base can you structure your workforce of the future.”
Recommended tech: Arctic Shores is a game-based assessment vendor that enables leaders to not only understand the skills and traits of their people but also create a ‘fingerprint of success’ (i.e. What ‘good’ looks like in an organisation). Robert Walters uses Arctic Shores at more junior levels whilst Psycruit impresses for more experienced employee skills and traits.
- Data insights to understand the Fourth Industrial Revolution
The pandemic may have altered working arrangements in the short term, but artificial intelligence and advanced robotics will be a longer term force for change. “The Fourth Industrial Revolution blends digital, virtual and biological technology to build upon the digital (third) revolution and also disrupt it,” says Walshe. “However, how will AI impact your business? Will AI be adopted or ignored by your workforce? Will AI augment or replace current workers? Data is the best way to answer these questions.”
Recommended tech: Faethm is an Australian start-up which specialises in answering exactly these questions via its AI analytics SaaS platform. Its rich data not only helps predict impact but enables empathetic internal deployment of talent, enabling leaders to upskill their current workforce.
- Recruit the right type of talent
Historic sales of a service/product are increasingly unreliable predictors of future demand, because markets can change so rapidly. To remain resilient and adaptable, organisations will need to adjust to future ‘peaks and troughs’ or short-term spikes in hiring demand. “Our clients are turning to us to be increasingly agile,” says Walshe. “We are supporting them to build and curate sensitively balanced workforces of permanent, contractor, gig-worker, statement-of-work vendors and freelancers. Organisations must have a recruitment partner that understands the impact of ‘brain drain’ but also the increasing need to turn taps on (and off) quickly.”
Recommended tech: While Robert Walters specialises in permanent and temporary placements, ‘micro hires’ or gig-workers can be identified via marketplaces such as Fiverr and Elancer. These marketplaces further the nomadic nature of work but caution is recommended to ensure quality and security is maintained.