Company culture: Lessons from Apple, Virgin and Airbnb

Learn valuable lessons on creating positive company culture from leading companies such as Apple, Virgin and Airbnb!

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Great company culture: The key to business success and growth

Great company culture is the secret behind the growth and success of the most successful companies in the world. Company culture is an incredibly important ingredient of the ‘successful business’ recipe.

Take companies such as Apple, Airbnb and Virgin for example. All of these companies are well aware of the importance of fostering a positive, encouraging company culture. They know that having a great company culture can help them attract and retain top talent and foster innovation which gives them a competitive advantage.

This is why they work hard to build and promote a winning company culture. What can we learn from these crazy successful companies and how they view and foster company culture?

Company culture lessons from Apple, Airbnb and Virgin

Here are some valuable lessons on fostering a positive, encouraging company culture from the successful companies such as Apple, Airbnb and Virgin:

Lesson #1: Why is a company culture so important?

“Corporate culture is the only sustainable competitive advantage that is completely within the control of the entrepreneur.”

–  David Cummings, Co-Founder of Pardot

Lesson #2: How to build a great company culture?

“There’s no magic formula for great company culture. The key is just to treat your staff how you would like to be treated.”

– Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group

Lesson #3: Company culture spreads from the top

“There is tremendous teamwork at the top of the company which filters down the teamwork through out of the company.”

– Steve Jobs, Chairman, CEO and co-founder of Apple

Lesson #4: Company culture is the key to innovation

“A company’s culture is the foundation for future innovation.”

– Brian Chesky, Co-founder and CEO of Airbnb

Lesson #5: Make sure you company culture is authentic

“In this ever-changing society, the most powerful and enduring brands are built from the heart. They are real and sustainable. Their foundations are stronger because they are built with the strength of the human spirit, not an ad campaign. The companies that are lasting are those that are authentic.”

Howard Schultz, CEO, Starbucks

Lesson #6: Hire for cultural fit

“Shaping your culture is more than half done when you hire your team.”

– Jessica Herrin, Founder, Stella & Dot

Lesson #7: Never underestimate the power of company culture

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.”

– Peter Drucker, Management Guru

Looking for more workplace quotes?

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7 Underused Brainstorming Techniques to Get Your Creative Juices Flowing

Brainstorming is the age-old technique for generating new ideas, solving problems, decision making and even inspiring creative thinking. Sometimes though, it is not that easy to get the expected outcome of a brainstorming session.

When this happens, you should go beyond the traditional brainstorming techniques and adopt some new methods like the ones below.

Concept Maps

A concept map is a visual tool and can be used to structure a brainstorming session.

It helps organize ideas and illustrate relationships between them.

Put down the topic you are brainstorming at the top, and get your team to come up with any and all ideas related to it while you put them down under the main topic.

Then connect each idea with links that have labels on them to describe how each idea is connected to the other. As you complete your concept map you’ll have an overview of the issue at hand that will help you come up with a solution pretty quickly.

Concept Map Example on Concept Mapping

Brainwriting

Sometimes, when everyone is speaking at once, trying to put their own idea out there, the introverts with great ideas will shy away from participating in the discussion.

And if their idea is actually good, you’d be missing a good opportunity to arrive at a solution.

Brainwriting allows you to overcome this issue, as in this method you give everyone in the group a chance to write down their idea on a sheet of paper.

This way you will not only be encouraging everyone to share their opinion, but this technique will also give more time to the participants to come up with ideas that would never have occurred to them within a larger setting.

Rapid Ideation

This technique uses a time limit as a catalyst for generating great ideas.

In this technique, the moderator of the brainstorming session provides the necessary information on the topic, budget, deadline etc. and set a time limit for the participants to write down as many ideas as possible around the topic.

While they shouldn’t try to filter their ideas, they can use any medium to mark them down, be it on a paper, whiteboard or on Google Sheets; basically, anything that they can use to get their creative juices flowing.

The session could go on for just a few minutes, or an hour depending on the topic that is being brainstormed.

Gap Filling

This is basically to get your team to consider what you need to do to get from your current position to your goal. In this method, it is important to set a relevant and attainable goal.

During the session, get the team to figure out what resources, how much time and what methods you should use to get to that particular goal.

As you fill the gap from point A to point B, you’ll get to paint a clear picture of what needs to be done.

SWOT Analysis

A SWOT analysis helps you look into the strengths and weaknesses of your company and figure out what opportunities and threats you might be facing within the industry.

Analyzing these four conditions in a SWOT analysis example like the one below will help you come up with better-informed ideas for the issues you have at hand.

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Starbursting

Instead of directly finding answers, in this brainstorming technique, you get your team to ask as many questions about the topic as possible. The questions should cover the who, what, where, why and how related to the topic at hand.

Questioning an idea thus does not only help understand it better, but it also helps you ensure that there’s no risk involved in taking an action by allowing you to consider all aspects of it.

Rolestorming

Here you take on the identity of someone else, say your CEO, a celebrity, an expert in your field or even your client, and assume what they would do if they were faced with the issue you have or what they would do if they were to take action.

This technique will help you think out of the box while helping you overcome any anxiety that you may have regarding expressing an idea that you think would be not accepted. This technique is an ideal solution for those introverts in your team.

Reverse Thinking

Try to think of what everyone else in your position would do, and then do the opposite. This method, like the rolestorming method, will help you come up with unique ideas.

 

Not having a great time coming up with new ideas from your brainstorming sessions? Try these techniques out and see how they change the game for you.

Any other different brainstorming techniques that you use? Do let us know in the comment section below.

 

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Three ways a Mobile App will Improve Staff Engagement and Your Business’ Bottom Line

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The Employee: Lost in the On-Demand Economy

Why is staff turnover so high?
What can I do to improve worker retention?
How can I keep track of staff that work off-site?
Can I even do anything to improve the worker experience for hourly, on demand and/or off-site staff?

After hearing these concerns from many business owners who schedule and manage remote and hourly workers, I put together a list of core concepts and even unpack a few specific features that will improve worker engagement for event driven businesses that rely on hourly workers.

The growth of on-demand workers dramatically altered the classic employer/employee relationship. In the past, workplace relationships were built nourished by employers and employees sharing time and space. Loyalty and accountability were natural extensions of the relationship. It was not uncommon for people to hold the same job for ten years or more. In the new worker paradigm, hourly workers are assigned event based shifts by catering, hospitality, security, promotions, fashion, and staffing agencies. Event duration can be a couple of hours and event frequency can be irregular. Loyalty, communication, and accountability often suffer as collateral damage of this new worker paradigm where the employer and the employee have minimal interaction, irregular schedules and few points of contact.

Tech to the Rescue

Technology solutions can benefit business owners and workers. Software will save your business (large or small) time and money, by automating processes and providing business insights to make more informed staffing decisions. Empowering workers by providing them with a mobile technology platform will lower absenteeism, reduce churn and improve productivity.

1. Mobile Automated Scheduling Solution

Manual scheduling can be a hassle. Workers have to sift through emails, text messages, calls, and/or excel sheet and then keep track of their personal schedules for their shifts for multiple non-recurring events at different sites.

To address this pain, employers should find a mobile solution that automates much of the scheduling process. Here’s why:

  • Mobile Today’s workforce is mobile first, you have to meet workers where they are: on-the-go and on their phones.
  • Retention If a comparable alternate employer offers an easier process for scheduling, onboarding, and keeping track of events – it will be more difficult to retain good talent.
  • Control Offering on-demand workers the option to accept and decline shifts to comply with their scheduling needs, offers hourly workers more control over their upcoming schedules.
  • Convenience Providing a platform and dashboard where the booking requests and confirmed gigs can be easily accessed removes much of the burden of scheduling from hourly workers.
  • Reminders Being able to easily schedule events to a mobile calendar and set reminders can reduce absenteeism.

2. Improved Communication

Workers that work hourly shifts can find it hard to keep track of their employer, manager and/or team. Working one-off events with different teams makes it difficult to feel connected.

Even in a scenario where it is hard to feel connected, if you choose the right platform, a mobile app will improve communication between workers and management and benefit all parties. Here’s how:

  • Familarity Managers that have access to staff profiles + photos can help develop familiarity enjoyed by people who have worked together for longer periods and improves managers’ ability to create a more pleasant team environment.
  • Teams Having an easy way to connect with fellow workers and managers helps teams build emotional connections, trust, and respect. Stronger teams do better work.
  • Complaints Creating a method to report issues or concern to management via a mobile app normalizes the reporting process, providing a comfortable and convenient way for workers express concerns which increase worker appreciation and loyalty.

3. Accountability

It’s easy for hourly workers that work off-site to feel removed from the business.
Giving contingent workers access to a system provides workers with a sense of accountability so they will be more likely to achieve their goals.

  • Brand Providing workers access to a dashboard, allows businesses to remind workers of their brand.
  • Accuracy Tracking time is a burden for workers and managers alike. Providing workers with a mobile solution with GPS check-in/check-out will track hours with greater accuracy.
  • Feedback Having a mobile app is a great way for businesses to ask workers for feedback allowing businesses to harness the collective ideas and feedback of staff that are on the front lines of the business. Feedback is also a great opportunity for businesses to demonstrate to workers that they value worker input and insights. When workers feel like their voice is heard, their investment in their work increases.
  • Rating Another option to increase accountability is to utilize a rating system, built into mobile a workforce management solution. Knowing managers will evaluate worker performance, gives workers incentive to improve and excel.

Adapting a mobile solution will improve team communication, satisfaction, and efficiency.

About the Author:

Omri Dekalo, Co-Founder and CEO of Ubeya

Omri Dekalo is the Co-Founder and CEO of Ubeya.

With web software for business owners and a mobile app for workers, Ubeya nails scheduling, communication and workforce management, empowering business owners and workers alike. Ubeya accommodates custom shifts for 1000s of workers in catering, staffing agencies, and other event driven businesses.

Website: https://www.ubeya.com

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How Technology Can Help to Prevent Workplace Stress

We spend over eight hours a day, five days a week at work.

Some of us may even spend more of our waking hours with our colleagues than our families.

It’s therefore important that our working lives leave us happy and fulfilled.

Sadly, studies show that one in four of us will suffer from a mental health condition in our lifetime.

Spending so much of our waking time at work, it’s inevitable that work will affect our mental health.

Too much pressure or long-term stress can cause employees to burn out, leaving them with less energy to function in and out of work.

Too little work – or a lack of stimulation – can also lead to stress. Employees feel under-fulfilled, like they’re wasting their time, and want to be anywhere but at work.

The more stressed employees are, the less work they get done, and the more businesses suffer.

Embracing technological innovations puts employees back in control of how they spend their time at work and greatly reduces the risks of stress and burnout.

Here are four ways technology can make employees feel more fulfilled, and help to prevent workplace stress.

Organize and coordinate schedules

Trying to find a time when a team can meet to discuss something important can often take as long – sometimes even longer – than the meeting itself.

If it’s an important or last-minute meeting, trying to get everyone together can cause employees huge amounts of stress.

There’s always a risk of someone being double-booked because they didn’t check their calendar before agreeing to a suggested time.

This then causes more stress because the meeting needs to be rescheduled.

Calendar connectivity means that this process can be automated, preventing double-bookings and avoiding any stress the process could cause.

Instead of long email chains or back-and-forth phone calls, the person organizing the meeting can tell the software whom they need in the meeting. It can then suggest a list of times when everyone is free to meet. If calendars are set up for bookable resources such as meeting rooms or parking spaces, it can incorporate this into its calculations too.

Connecting an employees’ calendar to HR software also means that they don’t need to switch between applications to keep track of their schedules.

Speed up and streamline complicated processes

On the surface, organizing interviews seems like an easy process, but with so many candidates and interview panellists to coordinate, it quickly becomes laborious.

Hiring managers can spend as many as 20 hours a month organizing interviews.

Automating this process gives hiring managers more time to spend on other tasks, saves interview panellists from having to constantly flit between their calendar and emails, and allows candidates to book their interviews discreetly.

Another process that can be automated is the organization of staff appraisals. In large organizations, this process can be particularly time-consuming.

However, when employees are calendar connected, software can work out the best times for an employee to meet their manager and automatically add the appointments to their calendar. No matter what size their team is, the process is instant.

Offering training programs for employees to expand their skills further breaks up the tedium of the daily routine.

Training programs don’t just have to take place at work, either.

There are thousands of online courses out there, and many of them are free.

Many industries also have their own courses or week-long events that employees can attend to network and get a change of scenery.

Giving employees new ways to learn and grow helps to spark new ideas that they can bring back to the workplace.

Learning new skills is also an effective way to prevent stagnation and keep employees interested in their work.

Monitor employee wellbeing

Looking after employees is a key part of HR.

New technology means HR teams can track how employees feel and gain an insight into how different teams work.

They can also encourage employees to get up and get moving by offering incentives such as fitness trackers.

Communication tools such as Slack give employees the opportunity to keep in touch whether they work in the same building or different parts of the country.

Tools like this can be key for managers and HR staff to keep informed of how employees are getting along, particularly if they work remotely full- or part-time.

Let employees take control of their schedules

The more things a person has floating around in their mind, the more difficult it is for them to organize their thoughts.

When employees have a lot to do and nowhere to organize their time, it’s inevitable that something will be forgotten.

Taking advantage of technology allows them to use it for everything from creating to-do lists in Trello to tracking customer queries in Zendesk.

Giving employees somewhere they can make a note of everything they have to do means that they spend less time trying to remember everything and more time getting things done.

The technology you provide for your employees matters

Richard Branson once said that if you “look after your staff. They’ll look after your customers. It’s that simple.”

When employees feel overwhelmed or overworked, they’re less productive and less able to help a business to grow.

Employees are what make a business a success.

Choosing the right people is crucial, but that’s only part of it.

If you don’t look after them, they won’t be as good to your business as they could be.

By nurturing employees, making them feel appreciated, and giving them opportunities to learn and grow, it not only benefits them, but the business, too.

The more knowledge employees acquire in their industry, the more they can use this to create a better customer experience and increase company revenue.

This then means the company can grow and increase its profits faster.

Everyone wins.


Source: How Technology Can Help to Prevent Workplace Stress | Cronofy Calendar API

About Cronofy

Cronofy connects HR software to users’ calendars via a unified calendar API.

To discover how calendar sync can save you and your users time and money, and help to hire the best candidates, watch our Real-Time Scheduling video.

An AI Intern For Your Recruiting Team

An AI Intern For Your Recruiting Team

Building a Chatbot, a GIF by Wanda Arca on Dribbble
Source: Wanda Arca via Dribbble

As a recruiter, have you ever had an intern?

It’s awesome. They take on many of the tedious administrative tasks that typically take up so much of your time. They assist with everything from processing applications to coordinating interviews and compiling applicant profiles for hiring managers.

Ah, the luxury.

Then they leave for the Summer. Suddenly all those tasks are put back on your plate. You now have to cut back on one-on-one time with candidates. You’re back to scheduling interviews and filtering through application after application. Gone are the days of complete, uninhibited focus on building relationships with candidates. Gone are the days of getting ahead of your hiring managers’ needs.

But with AI interns, you get the best of both worlds.

Artificially Intelligent (AI) interns share many of the qualities of their human counterparts, except they’re in it for the long haul. AI is impressionable, sponge-like and eager to learn. With AI interns, you get all the benefits of having human interns and none of the downsides. AI doesn’t take lunch breaks or Summer Fridays.

This is what inspired our beta testing program, aptly titled the Wendy Internship ProgramWendy is our conversational AI chatbot for recruiters. Wendy is young and eager, like an intern. She melds seamlessly into your existing workflow, easing burdens and lightening your workload along the way.

As a first round interviewer, Wendy helps recruiters engage and qualify candidates by chatting with them after they apply. This chat occurs via SMS/Facebook Messenger or our web app, and is similar to an initial phone screen. Here’s an example of Wendy initiating a conversation with Katie, a Software Developer who applied to a role at ACME:

An example of how Wendy starts a chat with an applicant
This an example of how Wendy starts a chat with an applicant.

Like previously mentioned, Wendy is young and impressionable, so this is your opportunity to shape her to your needs as a recruiter. Wendy…

  • Allows for more data-driven decision making — Wendy is able to gather information not found in applicants’ resumes. With these enriched applicant profiles, you can make more informed decisions about who to interview.
  • Increases your bandwidth — Rather than going through countless email exchanges and phone screens, you can allocate that time to other areas, like sourcing and building candidate relationships. Wendy also handles many administrative tasks, like scheduling and updating applicants.
  • Improves applicant engagement — Because Wendy can engage every single applicant, applicants no longer experience the “ATS black hole.” Unlike humans, Wendy never sleeps — meaning she can screen applicants at any time of the day and even on holidays.

We are currently filling out our Wendy Internship Program and looking for the next class of companies who are excited to help us train Wendy. If you’re interested in adding Wendy to your team, sign up here.

About the Author:

Bailey Newlan is the Content & Growth Marketer at Wade & Wendy, a New York City-based startup on a mission to make hiring more human. Wade & Wendy is a conversational engagement platform for recruitment automation. To connect, reach out to Bailey via LinkedInTwitter or Medium.


If you want to share this article the reference to Bailey NewlanWade & Wendy and The HR Tech Weekly® is obligatory.

Why Businesses Should Embrace Machine Learning

If you’re still unsure of machine learning and it’s benefits, consider these scenarios. 

In 2016, Google’s net worth was reported to be $336 billion, and this is largely due to the advanced learning algorithms the company employs.

Google was the first company to realize the importance of incorporating machine learning in business processes. And the technology powerhouse doesn’t stop at any given point; it keeps modifying its algorithms to better suit the needs of its users continuously.

And how does it accomplish the difficult task of observing the browsing pattern of thousands (or millions) of its users?

The answer is simple. By analysing the data, which it has accumulated by introducing machine learning to its business operating model.

This is just one example of how machine learning processes in the recording and processing of data can help businesses grow.

Here are three more ways in which machine learning can help various business sectors:

1. It removes physical restrictions

If we have accomplished one thing by automating and digitalizing business processes, it is that we have removed the physical limitations that restrict growth.

Before the technological age, what was the biggest problem faced by businesses? Operating within a limited space accessible only by a limited number of people. For a designer, it was necessary to completely clear out the previous inventory before utilising the shelf space for new designs. By embracing machine learning and diving into the world of e-commerce, you don’t ever have to worry about running out of shelves.

2. It provides a deeper understanding of your consumers

With the introduction of automated processes, businesses have become increasingly consumer-centric. To be able to survive the competition of catering to your customers’ needs, you as a business owner have to understand the needs of your consumers.

If you do not deliver what consumers are looking for, there is a high probability that you will lose potential customers to competition. Machine learning plays an important part in solving the mystery of consumer preferences. All required information is hidden behind the data accumulated by the business. You just have to crunch the code, and voila—you know what your customers are actively searching for.

3. It automated processes, boosting efficiency

Imagine standing in line in a supermarket; someone with a long haul is standing ahead of you and the cashier’s machine suddenly breaks. It’s a nightmare, right? You could be spending those precious minutes watching your favourite series on Netflix.

Now imagine that the machine is not broken but in fact was never invented. The cashier has to manually enter every purchase and tally it with the existing stock. Incorporating automated processes to record inventory stock and purchase order data is not a luxury, it’s a necessity in today’s world. Machine learning has increased the efficiency of businesses and minimized the room for error.

Want to learn more about how to incorporate Big Data analytics to propel your business towards growth? Visit Simplilearn for useful insights into the subject. For more interesting content about data analytics follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn.


Source: Why Businesses Should Embrace Machine Learning | Ronald van Loon | Pulse | LinkedIn

AI – The Present in the Making

AI – The Present in the Making

I attended the Huawei European Innovation Day recently, and was enthralled by how the new technology is giving rise to industrial revolutions. These revolutions are what will eventually unlock the development potential around the world. It is important to leverage the emerging technologies, since they are the resources which will lead us to innovation and progress. Huawei is innovative in its partnerships and collaboration to define the future, and the event was a huge success.

For many people, the concept of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a thing of the future. It is the technology that has yet to be introduced. But Professor Jon Oberlander disagrees. He was quick to point out that AI is not in the future, it is now in the making. He began by mentioning Alexa, Amazon’s star product. It’s an artificial intelligent personal assistant, which was made popular by Amazon Echo devices. With a plethora of functions, Alexa quickly gained much popularity and fame. It is used for home automation, music streaming, sports updates, messaging and email, and even to order food.

With all these skills, Alexa is still in the stages of being updated as more features and functions are added to the already long list. This innovation has certainly changed the perspective of AI being a technology of the future. Al is the past, the present, and the future.

Valkyrie is another example of how AI exists in the present. There are only a handful of these in the world, and one of them is owned by NASA. They are a platform for establishing human-robot interaction, and were built in 2013 by a Johnson Space Center (JSC) Engineering directorate. This humanoid robot is designed to be able to work in damaged and degraded environments.

The previous two were a bit too obvious. Let’s take it a notch higher.

The next thing on Professor Jon Oberlander’s list was labeling images on search engines. For example, if we searched for an image of a dog, the search engine is going to show all the images that contain a dog, even if it’s not a focal point. The connected component labeling is used in computer vision, and is another great example of how AI is developing in present times.

Over the years, machine translation has also gained popularity as numerous people around the world rely on these translators. Over the past year, there has been a massive leap forward in the quality of machine translations. There has definitely been a dramatic increase in the quality as algorithms are revised and new technology is incorporated to enhance the service.

To start with a guess, and end up close to the truth. That’s the basic ideology behind Bayes Rule, a law of conditional probability.

But how did we get here? All these great inventions and innovations have played a major role in making AI a possibility in the present. And these four steps led us to this technological triumph;

  • Starting
  • Coding
  • Learning
  • Networking

Now that we are here, where would this path take us? It has been a great journey so far, and it’s bound to get more exciting in the future. The only way we can eventually end up fulfilling our goals is through;

  • Application
  • Specialization
  • Hybridization
  • Explanation

With extensive learning systems, it has become imperative to devise fast changing technologies, which will in turn facilitate the spread of AI across the world. With technologies such as deep fine-grained classifier and the Internet of Things, AI is readily gaining coverage. And this is all due to Thomas Bayes, who laid the foundations of intellectual technology.

If you would like to read more from Ronald van Loon on the possibilities of AI, please click Follow and connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.


Source: AI – The Present in the Making | Ronald van Loon | Pulse | LinkedIn

Quality Over Quantity: It’s Time to Hire Better | Featured Image

Quality Over Quantity: It’s Time to Hire Better

Quality Over Quantity: It’s Time to Hire Better | Main Image

These days, there is rarely a technology that can’t be mimicked, a service that can’t be purchased, or a system that isn’t for rent. Big organizations mostly use essentially the same services from Microsoft Office to ATS databases. With so much homogeny, what separates successful companies from the rest? The people are the secret sauce. Even with proprietary software or patent-protected techniques, no company can truly thrive without one extremely important element: effective and creative teams.

Despite all our technological advancements, it’s humans who truly make the difference at an organization. In our 21s t century reality – where technology is ubiquitous – talent acquisition professionals become one of the most important departments at a company, because they are responsible for the most important competitive asset: new hires.

Unfortunately, we don’t always realize how important our talent acquisition processes are. In fact, many companies remain focused on the wrong metrics, concentrating on hiring quickly, rather than zeroing in on finding the right candidate.

Some organizations are already making the shift. Where most recruiters are encouraged to fill roles as quickly as possible, forward-thinking organizations are focused on quality, tasking their recruiters to fill the roles with the best possible candidate.

What caused this shift? That’s easy – organizations are realizing that emphasizing speed in hiring sacrifices quality. And filling a role quickly with the wrong person is extremely costly to an organization.

For the organizations not yet making the shift and slower to realize they are doing it wrong, it’s not all bad news. The fact is, best practices around making hiring decisions have been understood by academics for years. And they are not that difficult to implement. There are new and exciting talent-acquisition tools that are enabling companies to reform their practices and overhaul processes to create something much better.

With artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, technology can play an important role from the get go . For example, it can help someone write a better job description. This first step in the hiring process would then invite a diverse pool of candidates with capabilities that match companies’ needs. Cloud and mobile computing solutions facilitate better communication between recruiters and hiring managers. Nudge technology and access to data allows decision-makers to move away from hiring based purely on gut-decisions and shift to data-driven choices.

Research has identified five hiring best practices that span the talent acquisition process – from writing targeted job descriptions that invite the best candidates to blind resume reviews to conducting structured interviews. These best practices make hiring more effective and yield stronger teams, happier employees, and improve the candidate experience, which reflects on the company at every step. The talent acquisition industry has technology that can facilitate all of these strategies and transform hiring systems to be both more effective and more equitable. What we need now is a change of mindset.

As an industry, let’s forget the incomplete idea that talent acquisition is only about filling an open position. It’s about strategically finding creative and effective team members that fit the company culture and will drive the business forward. As new markets emerge, and old sectors are rapidly transformed, it’s the employees, the human element, who contribute to a company’s success and it’s competitive differentiation.

Instead of pressuring talent acquisition professionals to be faster, or to collect more resumes, true improvement will come from creating processes that prioritize hiring best practices and finding the right hire. This change in focus from the fast hire to the right hire will succeed only if it is organization-wide and reinforced at every level, from senior leadership team and executive suite to the hiring manager and recruiters.

The data is there: the hiring process is broken. We have the tools and the strategies to change. It’s time to start changing our priorities and focusing on the metrics that really matter. It’s time to hire better.

About the Author:

Laura Mather, Founder and CEO, Talent Sonar

Laura Mather, CEO and Founder of Talent Sonar, is an expert on hiring, AI, and the future of work. Her innovative technology, Talent Sonar, is the only comprehensive hiring platform to improve hiring at every step from incorporating values into the hiring process to conducting blind resume review and structured interviewing. She was honored as one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business and as one of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs. She is a featured speaker at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Next Generation Summit, HR West, and Ad Week, among others.


If you want to share this article the reference to Laura Mather and The HR Tech Weekly® is obligatory.

10 Things You Need to Know About Digital Transformation | Featured Image

10 Things You Need to Know About Digital Transformation

Digital Transfomration

Digital transformation isn’t just a phase or a buzzword. Business leaders are now fast waking up to the important role technology is set to play in their growth strategies, with the latest report from Gartner showing a rise in the number of CEOs ranking IT as a priority – “The IT-related area rose from 19% mentioning it as a priority for 2016/2017 to 31% in 2017/2018.”[i] The recent explosion of connected devices and platforms, for example, has made it imperative for companies to quickly adapt their products, services and processes, and move towards the digital world. This, naturally, requires transformation of some kind.

However, the reality is that digital transformation will require some tough choices to ensure your business isn’t dragged along or left behind. But we all know that change is not easy. You might be thinking how do you start transforming? Does it have to cost lots of money? Or perhaps you’re experiencing resistance to change. What’s the problem with doing things the ‘old’ way anyway? Here are ten considerations that that will help companies on their digital transformation journey.

Digital transformation will change your business, but focussing on the right level of change is key

New digital technologies should be seen as an enabler for better, more seamless and streamlined business operations that make your business competitive – driving growth. Focusing on where digital transformation can deliver the most benefits and add the most value in your quest for growth should be where you begin the change process.

Technology investment is crucial to growth but just because the technology is new, doesn’t mean it’s right for you

Sometimes less is more. The right use of technology can radically improve your business, but the deployment of technology for technology’s sake can be self-defeating. Being open to the transformative impact of new technologies is the most important consideration for companies around the world.

Consider where your company is on its digital transformation journey

Growing your technology platform doesn’t necessarily mean your business will grow too. Sometimes it’s better to have fewer solutions than more, but it can be challenging for business managers to keep on top of the latest tech trends and new solutions being launched in the market.

Many competing technologies profess to drive digital transformation, however, the utility of solutions depend on the stage your company is at in the transformation journey. From mobile sales and field services, to wireless sales counters and warehouses, to advanced inventory management – different solutions provide new ways to reduce costs, improve the customer experience, and improve the bottom line.

Not everyone in your company will feel comfortable with digital transformation

Society and technology are changing more quickly than most companies can adapt. From enterprise resource planning (ERP) to cloud computing, new tools, platforms, and channels are creating unprecedented opportunities to connect with customers and improve internal processes—but only for the businesses agile enough to transform and adapt to these new digital realities.

Even so, there’s no single roadmap for digital transformation and the path is different for every company and industry. However, there must be attempts to get employee buy-in from the start. This requires a commitment to digital technology from the boardroom to all levels of staff. You should have leaders with the right mind-set and motivation to lead the digital transformation process.

It’s no good having data if you don’t know what it means

Firms that undergo a true digital transformation programme put data and information at the heart of their technology focused business models. Many are shocked to see just how much information they had but were not utilising properly. The new data landscape provides you with unique opportunities to turn data into insights – the fuel for any digital transformation journey – with real-time updates providing opportunities for better business decision making.

In fact, Forrester Research has found that more than 70% of decision-makers report planned or current initiatives to encourage more data-driven decisions, making unlocking the value of integrated business data critical to success in today’s modern distribution marketplace.

Digital transformation won’t grow your profits overnight – embrace change as part of a wider growth strategy with measurable goals

Change is a constant in today’s dynamic marketplace, but it’s important to be realistic about what you can achieve in a short time. A recent survey we sponsored, highlighted how high-growth companies embrace change. Seventy-six per cent of high-growth companies prefer constant innovation to business stability, while only 49% of low-growth companies do so. In an age where innovation is driven by rising customer expectations, growing companies have distinct short-term goals that embrace innovation and business change as part of a wider transformation journey for growth.

Digital transformation should make your business more adaptable but it won’t make you immune to competition

It has never been more important for business leaders to carry the torch for digital transformation, but the most important factor is making sure digital potential is translated into competitive advantage. This requires top executives to champion the deployment of flexible, digital technologies that change the way they engage with their customers.

As Gartner rightly states, “technology shapes business strategy, but market, political and financial factors prevail.”[ii] Nevertheless, embracing the right technology brings people together, allows businesses to land and expand into new geographic locations with minimum resources, and makes the product development lifecycle more responsive to consumer demand than ever before. 

It takes more than just digital technology to encourage collaboration across departments and divisions

To begin digital transformation, you need to look at your business from the inside out – consider the tools and systems you use, what works well, what doesn’t and ways these can be improved. But when technology is heralded above all else, there becomes an even greater disconnect between employees and the challenges that their business is trying to solve.

There might be isolated investments that are doing very well, but they’re still isolated. New solutions must be an enabler aligned with a bigger mission – to evolve internal processes, structure and culture, or to match the evolution in customers’ behaviour. Consider how you communicate both internally and externally, the strengths and weaknesses of your staff and if their skills are fit for purpose. Do you need staff with more digital skills and will you need to recruit them throughout the process?

Your customers don’t think about your digital transformation, but they do expect it to happen

The digital trends that are impacting every part of business operations will not slow down, and it’s the same playing field for all of your competitors, and every start-up that’s gunning for a piece of your world. Your customers expect that you are embracing digital transformation because they are doing so, and they need you to join them on the journey. 

You can talk the talk, but make sure you walk the walk

To make digital transformation happen, high-growth companies don’t just pay lip service to ideas such as new technology and innovation – they back them up with investment. The growth survey we did, found that in the coming year, 88% of high-growth companies are planning significant investments in technology and innovation, while only 49% of slow-growth companies are doing so.

Digital transformation is different for every business. While some manufacturers will have more challenges than others, and while some will also embrace more technologies than others, being aware of the ten considerations above will be helpful to every business that is embarking – or has already embarked on – this journey.

[i] Gartner, 2017 CEO Survey: CIOs Must Scale Up Digital Business (March 2017)

[ii] Gartner, 2017 CEO Survey: CIOs Must Scale Up Digital Business (March 2017)

About the Author:

Sabby Gill, EVP, Epicor Software

Sabby Gill brings more than 20 years of international sales, operations and enterprise software industry experience to Epicor. In the role of executive vice president (EVP), International, Gill is responsible for operations including sales, professional services, and field marketing, with a focus on accelerating company growth throughout Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) and Asia Pacific (APAC).

Prior to Epicor, Gill was senior vice president of International Sales for IGT, a gaming technology company. He has also held executive management roles with leading technology companies including HP, CA Technologies, Oracle, PeopleSoft (acquired by Oracle), and DEC.


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Why Waste Time When It Comes to Hiring?

Why Waste Time When It Comes to Hiring?

Recruitment Tray

2016 was pretty big when it came to politics, technology and of course; celebrity deaths. So it’s quite easy to see how you may have gotten distracted with what was happening in recruitment – you’re only human.

Now that we’re half way into 2017, it’s clear to see what technology trends are shaping the way the recruitment landscape is advancing. Technology is becoming an important part of our everyday lives and it’s use in how we work should be no different.

Where do you start?

At a first glance, the amount of resource out there may seem intimidating (and at times, gratuitous). Continuous innovation is great, but can feel overwhelming when in a company that still relies on traditional methods.

Which is why i’ve put together five trends which are not just popular, but also actionable. Hopefully helping you to cut through the endless supposition out there, and provide you with ideas you can get started with today. And in a role where onboarding new staff is a time-consuming (and sometimes, dated) process, it’s important that you up-skill to avoid inefficiencies creeping into your daily routine.

5 technology trends for recruitment

  1. Embrace social profiles as applications
    Ease of application needs to be paramount as we continue to move into 2017. Your potential candidates live on social. Aberdeen Group have found that 73% of 18-34 year olds have found their most recent job through social media[1]. It’s where they will look for your roles and it’s the easiest way to interact with them. By making it so your applicants can auto-fill their information from their LinkedIn or Facebook profile to your applications, you’re streamlining a process that can usually be seen as repetitive and time consuming. The easier you make it for them, the more likely they are to complete the application. This also gives you insight into their personal profiles, keeping your system’s information up to date.
  2. Mobile recruiters
    Year on year mobile use has been growing[2], which means the majority of your applicants will be using a mobile device to search for your roles. and having a mobile optimised site won’t be enough to support your potential candidates preferred ways of applying. As applicants will need to upload files, like their CV’s, covering letters or forms of ID to register their interest, the mobile experience needs to ensure it’s catering to this. Linking properly with sites such as Google Drive or Dropbox will keep the process short and smooth and the amount of required questions to a minimum will mean applicant’s return to your site in the future.
  3. Video recruitment
    The rise in use of video in business has steadily grew over the course of 2016 and has continued to increase even more in 2017. Utilising video interviews will benefit recruiters hugely concerned with reducing the amount of time spent interviewing candidates in the early stages of high-volume recruitment campaigns. As video interviews can be conducted remotely, recruiters can much easier cater to applicants schedules, and therefore allocate time easier, whilst still being able to identify high calibre candidates. And by reducing time spent finding suitable candidates, recruiters can focus more on developing suitable candidates for clients.
  4. Inbound recruitment marketing
    Recruitment tactics will need to start reflecting marketing tactics in order to attract the top talent as we move into the second half of 2017. And as the marketing sector has started to adopt; inbound tactics are proving to be more effective than previous outbound tactics. This should be done through content strategies that draw candidates to your company with pieces that reflect their interests and that they can identify with. Keep them easily accessible by sharing on platforms like social media.
  5. Updated internal processes
    Spending time hunting through piles of CV’s or application forms slows down response time in an age when most answers are a click away, and more importantly; expected to be a click away. Eliminating paper not only updates your methods and reduces the amount of paper your company consumes. It also reduces the time and money spent managing admin whilst protecting document from going missing, ensures your information is easily searchable and kept backed up in a centralised location. This can be achieved by adopting solutions such as electronic signatures for signing off documents, CRM systems specific to recruiters needs or social media management tools.

Initiate, improve and innovate!

So, try them out! By modernising your approach to hiring staff, you’re not only ensuring that your company isn’t wasting time, but you’re directly improving employee productivity and engagement whilst creating a better talent strategy, which inevitably helps your current and future team members.

About the Author:

bio-pic

Jessie Davies is a Marketing Manager at Signable and also goes by the title “Content Queen”. Signable is an electronic signature platform that helps businesses get their documents finalised faster. As Content Queen she ensures that Signable’s customer’s resource for support, educational content and industry updates are always available and clear. Jessie also makes sure the Twitter feed is full of hilarious reaction gifs and sarcastic comments.

Website | Twitter | Facebook

References:

[1] Source - Millennial Job Search from Aberdeen Group: Getting Social Media Recruitment Right

[2] Source - Mobile Use Statistics, Smart Insights: Mobile Marketing Statistics Compilation

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