While companies of all sizes continue to struggle with talent and workforce issues, mid-market companies may have some advantages over their larger counterparts in the coming years. Their smaller size gives them mobility, some say, allowing them to be more flexible with their workforce, and to adopt technology at a faster pace.
In fact, Deloitte reports that mid-market companies are investing heavily in technology, with most deploying cloud infrastructure, analytics and big data. These technologies can offer insights into all areas of the organization, including human capital management. Leveraging these technologies can help companies better predict demand and the labor required to meet it.
Talent management technology, in particular, can help mid-marketers with workforce challenges, which can be even more challenging for midsized firms, because, according to the National Center for the Middle Market, their average workforce growth rate is nearly double that of larger and smaller businesses.
Dan Hawkins, founder of Summit Leadership Partners, told CED that the “war for talent” will be the primary growth constraining mid-market companies. While this challenge will intensify over the next decade, he said mid-market companies will have an opportunity to compete—and win against—large corporations, and technology will be a major factor in their providing their leading edge.
“Younger employees desire more access to technology, rapid learning opportunities and a closer relationship with managers. Feeling inspired is more important than pay,” Hawkins said.
Mid-market companies will be able to use technology on many fronts to improve operations, enhance employee satisfaction, increase efficiency, and optimize the use of their workforce. SaaS solutions offer many options to easily integrate such things as, for example, mobile apps for paycheck delivery and HR functions.
Jenna Puckett, associate technology analyst at TechnologyAdvice.com, suggested that mid-market employers use workforce analytics to make data-driven decisions. She said it can help guide organizations on where to spend time and money on recruitment, as well as solving challenges such as how to bridge skill gaps, understanding and spotlighting a company’s high potential leaders, and improving HR strategies. She suggested that mid-market companies start with robust dashboards, learn how to measure analytics and then take action to improve them.
“If your HR dashboard isn’t driving informed decisions and strategies, then modify it until it does. Continual advantage comes from continual improvement,” said Puckett.
While large companies have access to this data, they’re not always nimble enough to respond to changes. Robert Morison, co-author of “Workforce Crisis: How to Beat the Coming Shortage of Skills and Talent,” told NCMM that companies will be able to appeal to the growing millennial workforce by embracing their new ways of communication and collaboration. The new workforce not only works differently, but also communicates and collaborates differently, often through technology.
“The millennial ways of doing things are ultimately going to prevail, and so, a forward-looking organization should start to embrace them,” said Morison.