Collaboration. It’s the key to workplace success, and studies suggest that it’s the main reason why businesses fail and top performing employees leave. (Source: SalesForce Rypple Research, 2012)
In workplaces around the world, new trends are emerging that will soon make cubicles obsolete, stuffy board rooms disappear, and the need for entire in-house recruitment teams a remnant of the past in this decade. Recruiting and human resource tasks are combining with social networking and collaborative workplace tools at an ever-increasing rate.
In her book, What's Mine is Yours: How Collaborative Consumption Is Changing The Way We Live, Rachel Botsman, author and social innovation expert, talks about technology’s role in making collaboration possible and more cost effective for global organizations, therefore recruiting those who can adapt well to collaborative work environments is critical for business survival.
As a Recruitment or Human Resource practitioner, you keenly understand the need to stay ahead of trends in the hiring market. So too, you understand how critical it is to forecast hiring needs and skillsets for your workforce, so that your organization can withstand these trends and remain both competitive and innovative. One of the biggest workplace trends that many HR professionals are paying attention to is the need for more socially-driven and collaborative work environments that cater to the work styles of today’s top performers.
What’s in store for recruiting in the collaborative workplace?
Early in 2011, at the apex of the social media revolution, the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) released their special report called Future Insights which outlined what a panel of experts in HR and Recruitment were saying would be the workplace of the future. One of the hottest topics that kept coming up in the report was the need for collaborative workspaces that allow communication, ideas, and innovation to flow freely across teams in a global atmosphere. Therefore, it makes sense that a best practice in recruiting should be sourcing candidates who work well in these types of environments, where diversity and cross-culture communication are the norm.
There are several different types of collaborative employees, as illustrated in this infographic from Central Desktop, an online collaboration software and project management developer for the business world. These are whom you can focus on as a recruiter.
Another report from 2012, as released by Apollo Research Institute, supports this data. In this report, Dr. Wilen-Daugenti, author of Society 3.0: How Technology Is Reshaping Education, Work and Society, provided insight into what hiring managers should be focused on when recruiting for more collaborative work styles. He advised, “You may not intend to become a solely virtual company, but expect some traditions, such as face-to-face meetings, to fade due to cost savings and convenience. And don’t let your talent pool—or business opportunities—fall behind.”
IBM, the largest IT and consulting services company, offers some additional insight into the world of the top performing companies, indicating that 30 percent of these companies provide collaborative work spaces and 40 percent provide some form of collaborative technology.
What are some best practices for recruiting in the collaborative workplace?
- Recruit for skillsets and adaptability. Instead of merely focusing on each candidate’s past employment history and accolades, take a deeper look to discover their unique skillsets. Choose candidates who have worked with collaborative technology, are comfortable learning new things, actively engage with others on social networks, and are able to adapt well to new work environments.
- Honor diversity in recruiting efforts. Hiring for diversity is key when staffing for a collaborative workplace. Each generation of workers is technologically savvy in certain key areas that are important to business success. Make it a point to hire from different demographics to give your workplace a fighting chance.
- Look for lifelong learners and creatives. There are employees who do what they are assigned to, and then there are the movers and shakers. Look for these types of candidates who can inspire and motivate your current employees to greatness. Lifelong learners are well-versed in new technology and their higher sense of creativity can elevate your current projects.
- Conduct knowledge assessments for key technology. Periodically, and throughout the recruiting process, you will want to test candidates and new hires for their skills and knowledge. This can help you to develop a workable inventory of skills and abilities that you can use for succession planning, and to identify any skillsets that are lacking, for future recruitment needs.
- Update your work environment for collaboration. Your workplace can only be collaborative if you provide the right tools and atmosphere. Creating a workplace that encourages collaboration between teams and individuals will encourage your recruitment efforts to be geared towards candidates who fit well within your corporate culture.
Get ready for the outstanding work your new recruits will perform in this collaborative work environment. Experts say this is the dawn of a new technology renaissance that will support the expansive growth of many businesses around the world in the years to come.