How To Win The Talent Competition In Today's Digital Era

Stephanie Reshel

The constantly changing digital landscape is forcing HR departments to rethink the way they operate. Previously tried and true recruitment or retention methods are suddenly becoming obsolete, and it’s more challenging to find talent with the technical skills necessary for your company to advance in the digital economy.

Add to that the increasing challenge of cross-industry competitors and completely new businesses encroaching on your industry territory, and you’ll understand why many HR executives are left shaking their heads, as they continually lose out to competitors for the top talent.

These issues are addressed in the recent IBM report, Redefining Talent: Insights from the Global C-suite Study – The CHRO perspective.” The study is based on input from 5,247 C-suite executives around the world, and it takes a deep dive into the views of 601 Chief Human Resource Officers (CHROs).

Current HR concerns

Some of the top concerns for HR executives include the changing nature of work and the soaring demand for digital expertise while other skills are quickly becoming obsolete. CHROs also recognize that the boundaries between historically separate industries are collapsing, as a growing number of companies cross over and apply their expertise in entirely new ways in multiple sectors.

This is suddenly pitting your company against new competitors, all vying for the same talent pool with unique or perhaps rare specialized skills required in today’s quickly expanding digital economy.

How can you differentiate yourself to acquire the right talent?

First, you should ask yourself some challenging questions, such as:

  • Why would someone want to work for us?
  • What attracts a potential candidate to us?
  • What do we offer that our competitors don’t?

Once you candidly answer these questions, you can take action to make the changes necessary to improve your company’s appeal to potential candidates as well as existing employees to maintain retention. According to the IBM report, you should look at HR from a marketing perspective, and consider taking the following actions:

Redesign your talent acquisition model

  • Establish processes to target the talent you will need to differentiate your company in the rapidly changing digital economy.
  • Develop creative marketing techniques to attract a new generation of employees with unique or rare skills.
  • Build flexibility into your plan via partnerships with third-party providers that offer distinctive skills.

Sometimes companies pay so much attention to recruiting new candidates with the right skills, that they overlook existing employees who are eager to be trained in those skills. That can be a costly mistake. The IBM report also recommends taking a marketing approach to the employee experience.

Reimagine the employee experience

  • Understand that the employee experience is changing in the digital era.
  • Focus on the employee experience the same way your company focuses on the shifting customer experience.
  • Use analytics to understand employee segments and their concerns.
  • Invest in training and other areas that have an impact on engagement and productivity.
  • Test and modify new ways of delivering employee experiences.
  • Assess how technology can enhance your HR strategy and improve your operational efficiency.

It’s time to take action to differentiate your company in the changing digital landscape in order to attract and retain the skilled talent needed to move forward and succeed in the digital economy. Don’t forget to see the value in your current workforce, and be willing to invest in them on your digital journey. If you don’t, you will be creating a digital knowledge gap within your own organization, or worse, you may end up competing for more new candidates than you anticipated. Are you up to the challenge?

Learn more about Reimagining HR.

Download the IBM report, “Redefining Talent: Insights from the Global C-suite Study – the CHRO perspective.

Read IBM and SAPs detailed report, “Human capital management in the era of digital transformation,” or watch the IBM Talent Advisor Video.

Discover some of the latest HR developments in this webinar from SAP and IBM.

For an in-depth look at how the digital era is affecting business, download the SAP eBook,The Digital Economy: Reinventing the Business World.”

To learn more about the driving forces behind digital transformation download the SAP eBook, “Digital Disruption: How Digital Technology is Transforming Our World.”

Take a closer look at one industry in the midst of digital transformation. Download the SAP eBook, Connected Care: The Digital Pulse of Global Healthcare.


Stephanie Reshel

About Stephanie Reshel

Stephanie Reshel is senior director for Strategic Ecosystem Marketing at SAP. She drives joint marketing strategies globally with the top strategic services partners. Follow her on @SReshel.