The rise and rise of digital means businesses need to adapt or die. It’s no longer enough to include social as part of your marketing mix. Organisations need to be making the move towards adopting a truly digital culture and a massive part of this is bringing in the right skills.
But it’s a bit like the chicken and the egg. How do you attract the digital experts if you aren’t known for your digital ethos? The answer, bearing in mind the up-and-coming millennial workforce, is to become an employer of choice.
Indeed, gone are the days of organisations choosing their people. Millennials are far more likely to recruit you than the other way around. So, there’s some ground that needs paying before an organisation can even think about bringing in the right people.
At the risk of sounding like Kevin Costner, the concept of “build it and they will come” definitely carries some weight here. But those six words disguise some huge transformational achievements. Let’s not assume this change is going to be simple. Here are some steps to follow:
1. Set Out Your Stall
Start by stating your digital vision. Being open about where you see the business going is a good first step as this will start to attract attention from those looking for their future home and also alert your existing workforce that change is in the air.
As part of this stage, you can put your new ways of working down on paper, introduce policies and procedures which will help to embed a digital culture and start rewarding and investing in your existing digital champions.
2. Create The Cultural Revolution At C-Suite Level
Such a root-and-branch culture change needs more than just support from the leadership team: they need to light the way as well. Their behaviours and interpretation of the future ways of working will help people to understand what ‘going digital’ really means. And the culture change process will benefit from starting right from the top.
3. Give Thought To Your 'Employee Experience'
You’ve heard of UX, but what about EX? The importance of creating the right environment for your employees cannot be understated, especially since prospective clients even consider this as part of their buying decision nowadays.
Your employee experience should include high engagement levels, empowerment, flexibility, fair treatment and 360 degree feedback to name just a few.
4. Focus On Education
One of the key drivers for today’s employees is to be within a culture of continuous learning. This is most likely down to the fact that things never stay the same for long in a digital world. Knowledge is still power but in a very different way: it’s a currency that organisations can use to tempt in the talent.
By providing continuous training and development opportunities, you’re getting closer to be the employer of choice.
5. Flexibility is Essential
Digital opens up a world of new opportunities. It breaks down distances and logistics. It connects anyone, anywhere. Flexibility is therefore easier but there’s still often a mindset shift for leaderships teams when it comes to the physical locations of their employees. Changing this mindset is a must.
Flexibility in terms of location, hours and the freedom to innovate are becoming a prerequisite for future workforces. But it goes both ways. Organisations need their people to be flexible too: they should be open to change because change will almost certainly become a constant in our digital lives.
6. Let Your Network Do The Work
It’s well documented that referrals bring in the best talent. Where existing employees bring talent to the pool, hires are more successful and completed more quickly. These recruits then stay longer and are more engaged with their organisation. To be precise, 88% of major employers say that employee referrals are their number one source of top candidates [Macleod/Clark).