Technology Changing DNA of Employer Branding

Sakaar Anand,Senior VP-Product Operations & Human Resources, CA Technologies

Languages known: Digital

A resume in the very near future would read this way.

Had Charles Darwin treaded the earth in today’s digital era, he too would have been dazed by the absolute brutality of his theory of adaptability. Organizations that aspire to be Darwin 2.0, not only need to adapt to change, but also foresee and invent change.

While fantastic employees up the ante for an organization, technology is the ultimate game changer. And with digital era invading every level and process of an organization, HR teams who are responsible for connecting business and people across the organization should not only be early technology adopters, but also act as catalysts for other teams to do the same, to provide an engaging experience at every step of the employee lifecycle and beyond.

Owing to technology, today everything is on display in a glass showcase, which implies employer branding no longer has a single audience - prospective employees.The biggest and most important by-products are the customers, and a further by-product, competitors.

So how has technology today clawed its way to change the DNA of employer branding at every stage - pre-recruitment, recruitment, on boarding, learning, employee engagement, compensation and benefits, performance management, and even post exit.

Employers in the digital era begin at ground zero i.e. prospective employees use technology to research online about prospective employers, even before being approached.

When it comes to the first stage in employee lifecycle; recruitment, has come a long way from paper resumes to use of prediction engines to determine culture fit, productivity and emotional intelligence of the candidate as well as software to isolate bias from the recruitment process. Mature organizations are also using advanced talent analytics to help achieve superior talent outcomes which help build leadership pipeline thereby reducing talent acquisition cost in the long run.

The concept of employer branding does not end once a candidate is on board, instead turns intensive with digital era employees equaling customer and demanding a consumer like experience. Once the candidate steps-in, on-boarding software can help streamline paperwork, and processes to make the new hires hit the ground running from day one. During the initial days of a new hire, on-boarding apps can suggest video learning topics, people to meet, and activities to complete. Even Internet of Things (IoT) can be used to understand employee tone of voice, to gauge the stress levels which help make changes to improve engagement and coach the employee better for a long innings.

While the employee starts adjusting, continuous learning and engagement play a big role. Technology can help facilitate social and collaborative learning that goes beyond just skill development. It also helps strengthen peer-to-peer relationship building, collaboration and enables great team dynamics.

One of the most significant roles that technology plays in the employee lifecycle is with regards to employee health and wellness. Apps or wearables that take advantage of locations, sounds, heartbeat, eye movement, and body temperature can suggest life-style changes, set health check-up reminders and also plan vacations.

Employee lifecycle is incomplete without the inevitable goal setting and performance review and technology can aid in making it interesting and results-oriented by way of gamification. Giving points or badges and social recognition makes goal setting rewarding and fun. Based on the progress, cues can be provided to take up learning courses and connect with others of similar interests. Embedded feedback mechanism can help make course correction and provide insights for developing competency. Not just peer feedback but integrating customer feedback into performance reviews provides an unbeatable edge for the employee.

Thanks to technology, even if employees leave an organization, they can remain connected with the organization on social media or via alumni app. This connect ensures that former employees remain brand ambassadors and can also participate in online discussions and this alumni engagement can result in rehires.

Unlike pre-digital days, employer branding today is a two-way street where brand perceptions are shaped with the click of a button, and employees are a great force of influence not just within their organizations but also to the outside world in portraying positive experiences for potential candidates as well as customers.

Not to forget, even if candidates aren’t hired after the interview process, their perspectives about the overall process on various social platforms will have an impact on the organization’s brand, customers, and competitors.

While technology keeps changing the rules of the game, the beauty of human and technology interaction is such that, technology seamlessly adapts itself to human interaction i.e. the more one uses technology, the more intuitive it gets in providing accurate data for actionable insights and actions.