By Linda Hsieh, managing editor
Attracting workers in an increasingly complicated world means companies have to look beyond traditional recruitment strategies, Dr Karlene Roberts, a professor with the University of California at Berkeley, said in a presentation last week at the 2014 IADC HSE&T Asia Pacific Conference in Singapore. “Never in history have there been four generations – much less five – in the workplace that bring such different sets of values, beliefs and expectations. Never has a generation entered the workforce using technology so far ahead of those developed by its employer. Never has it been possible to apply or use and seamlessly integrate talent from around the world. And never before has society put as much pressure on organizations to be socially responsible,” Dr Roberts said.
At the same time, recruiting challenges in this redefined world are growing due to companies’ desires to expand globally. Traditional recruitment methods worked in the old world; they included recruiting fairs in high-growth countries; job boards and search firms; on-campus interviews; face-to-face interviews; and research on company websites. However, such traditional recruitment mechanisms are not really working in the new world, Dr Roberts said. “We have to think about different recruitment strategies,” she urged.
She recommended that companies look to social recruiting methods to engage talent in a high-tech world. “The social recruiting skills we need to have are sourcing candidates on social networks; using Facebook and crowdsourcing; using YouTube to employ video contests; using Twitter; and using YouTube, Facebook and Twitter to get our values across,” she said.
Initiatives that HR departments can drive for their organizations include adopting a global mindset, building a reputation for the company as being socially responsible and becoming “uber” connected – becoming interconnected on all social networks, she explained. It’s also important to personalize the employee experience “so the employee doesn’t feel that he or she is left out in the open and that the company only cares about the bottom line. It’s very important to have the employee buy in to the company’s values and beliefs.”
Further, the organization must champion openness and transparency and emphasize learning agility, she said. “Drive systems thinking – that is, thinking that says, ‘I’m part of a big operation here, and it’s not just what we do here in Company X.’ It’s how Company X is associated with the regulator, how Company X is associated with Company Y, what the ability of the employees are. You really want to think in the system perspective, then create an inclusive culture. You’re hiring now from all over the world, and it’s really important that the various cultures that you bring onboard feel that they are included in the overall company culture.”
Dr Roberts also provided five tips to attract, keep and motivate employees, which can be encapsulated in the acronym PRIDE:
• P = Pride in a positive work environment
• R = Recognize, reward and reinforce the right behavior
• I = Innovate and engage
• D = Develop skills and potential
• E = Evaluate and measure
On the last item of evaluating and measuring, Dr Roberts noted that conducting annual employee satisfaction surveys is a good way to pinpoint the real reasons employees choose to leave or stay. However, “never do an employee survey unless you plan to do something with that for the betterment of the employee,” she cautioned. “You need to decide mechanisms and strategies on the survey results that will improve your company at its next step.”