An often underappreciated factor behind the great resignation was a feeling that individual career development could not, and would not, be a priority for employers in the future.
Mid-COVID crisis management dictated extreme HR measures, as we well know. Those extreme measures (see: furlough) may have saved UK plc from going under, but those decisions birthed a whole new way of looking at work, work/life balance and the future.
Despite all the best intentions to hold companies to account and keep employers focused on keeping staff welfare, staff happiness and staff security front and centre, enterprises everywhere had to focus on keeping a roof over their heads.
The response – record vacancies, disengaged workers, record gaps in the market that aren’t being filled. And, 2 years post-pandemic, we’re facing a recession and a downturn of potentially unfathomable proportions that could only exacerbate the same feelings of workers being adrift, facing global events out of their control and facing insecurity at home.
Career support in a crisis.
In this frame of mind, workers across the UK are wondering whether their careers can ever truly develop in such a dysfunctional economy.
But we’re here to remind you, the humble UK employer, that some of the simplest career support solutions are contained within HR solutions many of you are already implementing. But, and here’s the rub, taking career support to the next level may require some tech tweaking.
So here are a few key, yet simple, reasons why having a well-sourced recruitment tech stack can not only help you recruit great staff but can elevate employee career development.
Performance management included.
We will keep banging this drum until the cows come home, but effective staff development means you have to be able to measure, assess and reward performance, in context, continually.
Modern HR tech platforms are built on universal features – they’re often cloud-based for easy, remote access; they’re central points of control (or easy to integrate) for everything from payroll to rota management to performance reviews, and they’re often designed with easy-to-navigate UX.
Within this fluid, data-heavy ecosystem are the two things employers need, more than anything else, to help advance staff careers – measurable data to help workers improve, and the ability to hyper-personalise analysis of that data.
So bosses, HR pros and L&D specialists everywhere take note – recruitment tech should be as much angled towards career development as any other product feature. If anything, your staff retention strategy depends on how well you collate and analyse data pursuant to your employee’s career direction and skills development.
Also, it’s worth pointing out that in the context of career development, personalised performance management also improves the perception of your company, which is great for reputation and hiring.
Although perceptions are subjective and often somewhat illusory, they are emotionally central to how an employee (or prospective employee) looks at your firm. So bear that in mind!
L&D and upskilling.
Upskilling, reskilling, L&D, development – it doesn’t matter how you term it, an important feature of any work tech stack has to be how you provide the platforms, assessment tools and learning centres for staff to get better at their job.
We’re not saying every CRM or CMS has to be a part-time classroom, but good work tech makes the barriers between learning and assessment seamless. It makes learning easier.
For example, we urge employers to consider integrating recruitment-adjacent features into ATS or recruitment CRM software – like skill assessments, psychometric testing, diversity integrations and, you got it, skills development platforms.
A good skills development system is only as good as how interconnected your data systems, L&D and employee outcomes are, and how easy it is to pull together disparate skills development data (for example, peer reviews and assessments displayed together) into one, easy-to-analyse place.
Do you know what does all that? TECH.
Putting your technical money where your emotional mouth is.
Career development is as much an emotional endeavour as it is hard skills effort.
Creating a workplace that values growth mindsets and that’s supportive and reassuring is as much a part of skills development as having a world-beating L&D super-platform.
In this regard, tech doesn’t have to be an all-singing, all-dancing skills cheat code – it needs to provide objective, qualified data that gives astute development direction and accurate feedback on performance. It has to provide realistic, real-time feedback for your people.
As we always say at Rectec, recruitment tech and recruitment adjacent tech aren’t designed to replace the human in workplace HR management, it’s there to augment it.
So never compromise on the emotional component of skills development and utilise tech to drive emotional connection and value where you can!
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