Sep 19

Using Technology to Recruit, Train and Retain Associates

Posted by: Entrata | Category: Summit

Today’s labor market has made recruiting, training and retaining associates even more of a challenge than in recent years. There are simply more jobs than people to do them, which has made training and retaining associates a critical component to an organization’s success. 

And our workforce looks different today than it did even five years ago. Never before have we seen Boomers, Gen Xers, Millennials and now Gen Zers in the same workplace. The good news is that technology can help widen the employee funnel and allow organizations to attract, train and retain high-quality associates. 

“The challenges organizations face when it comes to recruiting and retaining associates can be one of the most difficult to overcome,” said Brandon Fish, vice president of human resources at Entrata. “But technology gives us the ability to overcome recruiting obstacles and create high-tech and high-touch teams within an organization.” 

There are a couple of concepts that are important to identify when it comes to recruiting new talent to your organization. 

“We have to have self-awareness of what our culture is and then determine how we filter for that,” said Dru Armstrong, CEO of Grace Hill. “If your culture is entrepreneurial and you value self-starters and distributed talent, then your recruiting team need to actively look for those qualities. Potential and relevant experience is more important than industry experience.”

The other concept is to firmly identify the problems you have to solve. 

“Know what problems you are solving before jumping to a solution,” Armstrong said. “Dig into your turnover data to learn when and why employees choose to leave. You can have good velocity in your employee funnel, but when push comes to shove, you have to look at your turnover data and it needs to drive how you advertise for open positions and how you communicate your culture and brand. That should help you optimize time to hire, cost to hire and effectiveness of hiring.”

One of the biggest mistakes team leaders can make is to hire individuals who have a similar skill set as them. Organizations should be looking to hire a diverse skill set in order to build a team with complementary skills. 

“Having diversity of thought and skill set is a catalyst to a successful team,” said Jennifer Staciokas, senior vice president of marketing and training for Pinnacle. “Don’t hire someone who is just like you. It is so important to fill the void that you have. Communication is a close second. The balance between managing the tech side and the human touch is extremely important and we have to leverage each other to be successful.”

This is particularly important when providing the right environment for a remote workforce. 

“It’s a distributive workforce and very few people are working together or with people in the same dept,” Staciokas said. “We have Gen X and baby boomers who can teach our younger associates how to create relationships in the workplace, and our Gen Z and millennials are teaching us how to use technology. We find that within a month of someone starting, they are extremely close to other people who aren’t in the same department because they leverage technology resources.  The diversity of skillset and thought means we aren’t hiring the same people. My team is able to identify subject matter experts and leverage different team members to give them the info they need.”

Successful organizations will have an in-depth understanding of who they are as an organization, what their strengths and weaknesses are, how their culture impacts their employees and the necessary skills needed to elevate their operations. Once they have those items solidified, they will be able to effectively communicate with new and existing employees. 

“Don’t be afraid to think outside the box, when it comes to using technology,” said Alex Jackiew, chief operating officer at Hayes Gibson Property Services. “Job sharing has been an efficient solution for us. Understand that each generation will have different needs from your teams and organization and that we can use technology to meet those various needs and create really successful career paths when leveraged effectively.”