An excerpt from a report by McKinsey Global Surveys
[Editor’s Note: While the following excerpt addresses digital transformations in general, its insights are also applicable to the specific digital initiatives underway in recruiting teams.]
Success with digital transformations, and transformations in general, has always been hard to come by. The challenge has only become more acute over the past two years, when companies’ adoption—and the strategic importance—of digital technologies accelerated dramatically. Now, organizations are under even more stress to make consequential business decisions not only at a faster pace but also in business areas that may have no previous experience with or knowledge of digital tech or transformations.
While some of the obstacles to digital-transformation success are well known, our newest McKinsey Global Survey on digital strategy and investments asked business leaders about the evolution of these challenges, digital tech’s role in their businesses, and companies’ strategic responses. Nine in ten C-level and senior leaders say their organizations have pursued at least one large-scale digital transformation in the past two years. And while many respondents say their companies haven’t seen the impact on revenue or costs that they expected, those working at “top economic performers” are much more likely than their peers to report value from these efforts.
[Editor’s Note: To make sure your organization achieves the improvements in key performance indicators it expects from its talent technology investments, download the TAtech Talent Technology Implementation Handbook & Job Aid.]
We looked closely at what the top-performing companies are doing differently from the rest. While many of the traditional challenges to digital transformation remain, three new factors have emerged as critical to capturing value from them today—and going forward:
• the use of digital tech to achieve strategic differentiation on customer engagement and innovation rather than cost efficiencies—and bolder digital strategies that are more likely to be successful than more incremental ones
• the development of proprietary assets, such as AI, data, and software, rather than a reliance on off-the-shelf tools
• a focus on attracting and developing tech-savvy executives and on better overall integration of tech talent into the organization rather than just getting new tech talent in the door
My Take on the Findings
For over ten years now, innovative employers have been executing the digital transformation of their recruiting teams. What was once accomplished almost exclusively with the land line and fax machine is now performed more effectively and efficiently with a range of advanced technologies. As positive as that development is, however, the process has been far from smooth, so it’s important to capture the lessons that have been learned along the way.
That’s the value of the McKinsey report; it ferrets out the lessons learned. Here's my take on its findings:
I believe the first and last of the three factors identified by the report are spot on for employers that are recruiting top talent. The right talent technology used in the right way can set an employer apart both by optimizing the experience it provides to candidates and by demonstrating its commitment to leveraging technology effectively in the workplace (which has a huge impact on Millennials and GenZs’ propensity to apply). Similarly, the focus on recruiting tech-savvy talent – not just executives, however, but every person in the workforce – and then employing them in roles that challenge them (thereby reinforcing their job satisfaction) and leverage their skills (thereby expanding their contribution to the company) is a smart HR strategy.
The second factor, on the other hand, is unrealistic except for all but largest enterprises that also have the sustained commitment and the financial resources to build, maintain and continuously upgrade their own technology assets. While admitting to some bias, I think a far better approach is to contract with solution providers that have high quality products and a credible commitment to the highest business standards as well as the ability both (a) to tailor their product to each of their customer’s specific needs and (b) to integrate their product into a company’s tech stack so that it performs as represented and interoperates effectively with the other products already embedded in the stack.
Food for Thought,