The sales profession has long had a reputation for having high turnover among staff, with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting an annual rate of 25% – more than double that of other industries. The impact that has on revenue, hiring costs, reputation and customer relationships is enormous.
In my decade-long journey within HR, specializing in talent attraction, engagement and development, I’ve closely observed the evolving trends in employee acquisition. In this article, I delve into the trends shaping how organizations can create a positive candidate experience, foster innovation through technology, and address the challenges of attracting, nurturing and retaining top talent.
Creating a Positive Employee Experience
The landscape of employee lifecycle management has undergone a transformative shift in recent years, particularly in the integration of technology to enhance the candidate experience.
From the beginning of the employee journey, traditional onboarding methods, laden with lengthy training sessions, overwhelming paperwork and scattered information clusters, proved to be an exhaustive experience for new employees, HR teams and other departments within the company.
Recognizing the need for change, forward-thinking companies are embracing AI-based solutions that allow them to centralize their knowledge, making it more manageable for new hires to navigate through crucial resources. From company procedures and FAQs to role-specific guidelines, payroll packets and training videos, AI-driven systems streamline the onboarding process, providing a more efficient and user-friendly experience for all stakeholders involved. A good example is digital onboarding. New AI technologies are able to provide live online biometrics and instant ID capture – even via convenient mobile devices.
In this era of digital transformation, the integration of AI not only enhances efficiency but also fosters a positive first impression for new talent. As we reimagine the onboarding experience, the synergy of technology and human-centric design becomes the cornerstone for attracting and retaining employees.
Adapting to Future Skill Sets
Beyond onboarding, the use of innovative tech processes can positively impact most phases of the employee life cycle. Equipping teams with the right tools is pivotal for ensuring efficiency and productivity. According to a recent study, workers said they waste eight hours a week – that’s a whole day – looking for data in documents to complete tasks. Respondents to the survey reported that delays in finding data leads to errors (32%) and poor customer services (20%). Instead, sophisticated AI bots can quickly retrieve, read and understand information so it can be used in a meaningful way. The huge growth in low code/no code tools is also making it easier for employees to embrace AI technologies without the need for specialist IT help. Gartner estimates that by 2024, 75% of large enterprises will have four or more low-code development tools for IT application development and citizen development initiatives.
As business leaders, it’s crucial to uphold a commitment to responsibly leverage this growing technology, offering continuous training and upskilling opportunities to adapt to evolving expertise within your business. AI, as demonstrated in programs like Accenture’s Future Skills pilot program, can identify skills gaps, providing personalized learning experiences and unlocking hidden talents within your workforce.
According to a recent survey, AI budget increased over 80% within enterprises globally. Respondents from the U.S., UK, Germany, and France attributed to an increase in higher value work (60%), happiness (62%) and employee innovation (59%), noting that automation freed them from many mundane tasks to focus more on customer and revenue-driven initiatives. In addition, almost half of respondents (49%) reported an increase in staff retention levels since introducing AI and intelligent automation.
Top talent is drawn to organizations that are not only innovative but also provide clear roadmaps for professional development. Developing effective career pathways involves a combination of mentorship, bespoke training systems, and transparent communication about advancement opportunities. AI-driven insights can assist in identifying and customizing these pathways, aligning individual goals with organizational objectives.
Cultivating Effective Feedback Systems
Listening is a powerful tool in fostering a positive work environment especially given that 50% of workers believe their boss does not value their opinion.
Establishing a feedback culture that values both positive and constructive feedback is essential. AI can aid in the analysis of performance metrics, ensuring that goals are realistic and achievable. By incorporating technology, you create a space where voices are heard, and continuous improvement is the norm.
A great example is anonymous engagement surveys through the use of third-party providers which are highly welcomed by both staff and managers as a catalyst for major changes in policy, as common trends may be spotted. For example, at ABBYY we saw that employees were concerned about the level of internal communication and in response we introduced a company e-newsletter and departmental fireside chats.
Strategies such as blind recruitment, diversity training and mentorship programs ensure a workforce that reflects a broad spectrum of knowledge and opinions. AI-driven insights can identify skills gaps, automate mundane tasks, and support employees in achieving a better work-life balance. Flexibility and autonomy are key components of that. Recent research shows companies with remote or hybrid policies appear to be hiring people at about twice the rate of employers that are fully in office.
As the World Economic Forum predicts disruptions in core skills and the growing importance of analytical thinking, business leaders need an approach that involves continuous monitoring and assessment. AI, including large language models (LLMs) and generative AI, such as ChatGPT, can be a powerful aid when developing your strategy for adapting to emerging technologies and ensuring a seamless employee experience. LLMs can be added to CRM systems via low-code/no-code solutions to boost performance and business results. ChatGPT is now being used by almost half of companies globally while another 30% intend using it in the future, underpinning its success as a tool to augment employees’ roles. However, organizations must be aware of the compliance and security risks associated with its use.
The relationship between employer and employee has been tested repeatedly since the pandemic. Leveraging AI responsibly can put organizations in a position of advantage for successfully adapting to the evolving landscape of work.
As businesses strive to balance people and technology, AI emerges as a catalyst for positive organizational culture change, driving employee empowerment, engagement and, ultimately, retention. The future of work is here, and innovative leaders are increasingly prepared to lead the way.