Report: Talent Drives Tech Decisions

Despite a tight labor market and sweeping demographic shifts, mid-market companies are leveraging talent to capitalize on technology.
By: | August 14, 2018 • 3 min read

The quest for talent is likely the key motivator for many HR decision makers when it comes to adopting new technology, according to new research.

The new report, Technology in the Mid-Market: Embracing Technology, is based on a survey from Deloitte Private and notes that the tightest labor market in years has forced mid-market private companies to focus on talent as a strategic differentiator in “increasing workforce productivity, enhancing customer engagement and developing entirely new business lines.”

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For its sixth such annual report, Deloitte Private, which serves private employers of all sizes, surveyed 500 executives in the private mid-market segment and found that 46 percent plan to hire more people than they did before emerging technologies arrived. Just 26 percent, meanwhile, see the digital disruption as something that’s shrinking the workforce.

“Mid-market and private companies understand they don’t have to compromise between investments in technology and talent,” said Chris Jackson, a senior manager at Deloitte Consulting LLP and a Deloitte Private technology leader. “As an engine of economic growth, the segment is augmenting the workforce with technology and driving businesses in new ways.”

Reskilling, recruitment strategies unlocking tech potential

Regarding so-called digital disruption, the survey found that departments including operations (54 percent), customer service (46 percent) and marketing (41 percent) expect to experience the most workforce-related changes. As a way to prepare workers for this change, 61 percent of employers surveyed are reskilling employees, while 57 percent are redesigning jobs to seamlessly integrate people and machines. The result? The survey found 58 percent of business leaders expect a productivity boost, and 55 percent are hoping to see reduced operational costs.

Given today’s high demand for talent, mid-market and private companies also report developing ways to attract the next generation of workers. To meet the “digital native” demands of Generation Z, for instance, these employers are putting an inclusive workforce (64 percent), enhanced experiential learning and development (58 percent), and a focus on wellbeing (55 percent) front and center in their recruitment strategies.

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Finally, in step with this segment’s talent focus, 57 percent are using HR analytics for performance and productivity, and 56 percent leverage it for talent sourcing and acquisition. Just under half of mid-sized private employers (46 percent) are using mixed reality for employee training, education and learning, and two-thirds use robotic process automation to handle high-volume, labor intensive tasks.

Jackson said these modes of artificial intelligence and cognitive technologies that are readily available demonstrate the sector’s commitment to maximizing workers’ use of technology.

“More specifically, they are leveraging technology enhancement to increase productivity while also expanding workers’ capabilities, opportunity and reach,” he said.

Tom Starner is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia, Pa., who has been covering the human resource space and all of its component processes for over two decades. He can be reached at [email protected]