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How technology can help win the war for talent

Keeping your workforce supported, engaged and connected in a post-pandemic world

One of the few positives to have come out of the Covid-19 pandemic is the way it has brought people together — throughout society in general but also within businesses and other organisations. Workforces have had to continually adapt.

Today, as many employers begin to plan for the post-pandemic recovery, the value of having the right people has never been clearer. Research published by KPMG has found that global CEOs now regard ‘talent risk’ — the urgent need to attract and retain employees with the right skills — as the most significant threat to their growth prospects1.

However, managing that risk is tougher than ever. Organisations not only need to manage pay, benefits and compliance against a fast-changing backdrop but also to build engaged relationships with staff in workforces that have changed shape and character. Ultimately, they need a vision of what their future workforce will look like.

“Businesses are in a war for talent and must find ways to ensure they become employers of choice,” says Chris Armstrong, Chief Customer Officer at Ceridian, a global leader in human capital management (HCM) technology. “Covid has heightened that imperative, creating real challenges from a leadership perspective.”

Complexity everywhere

The task is particularly daunting for organisations operating across multiple jurisdictions, whether at a state or country level, or through multiple business divisions. Such businesses must manage the changing tax and compliance requirements in every jurisdiction in which they operate, and create pay and benefits solutions tailored for employees’ individual needs.

With 15,000 employees in seven facilities worldwide, Kansas-based Spirit AeroSystems – the world’s largest designer and manufacturer of aerostructures for commercial and defence aircraft – faces such a challenge. “Payroll is about more than just paying your people,” says Jeana Scott, Spirit’s Global Payroll Lead. “You're creating a relationship with your employees and helping them with their day-to-day lives. Paying our employees accurately and on time is very important and lets them know they are valued.”

The company’s response to this challenge has been to modernise its previously disparate payroll processes by investing in Dayforce, Ceridian’s platform for HCM. The idea was to streamline its workloads and to manage the complexities of payroll management and regulatory compliance more efficiently, freeing up resources for work that added more value.

“If we're not in compliance, which includes payroll, it can actually inhibit our ability to win new work, and customers can pull existing work from our factories,” points out James Brenneis, Spirit’s HR Shared Services Senior Manager. 

Engaged and connected

HCM technology provides the key to building even stronger relationships with staff. It not only ensures that employers can get the basics of payroll and HR right – even when the rules are constantly shifting – but that they can also engage positively with their people.

This is vital in a world where more of us are working virtually, employees are seeking greater flexibility and autonomy, and the gig economy trend is on the rise. Research from Gartner shows 48 per cent of employees are likely to work remotely at least part of the time following the pandemic, and that a third of employers are making more use of contingent workers2.

Staying engaged in this new world will be more difficult. But mobile-first HCM technology can help employers communicate consistently with their staff. It can also power more ambitious initiatives. For example, leading businesses are using HCM software to build long-term engagement and performance throughout the employee experience, from onboarding to compensation to continuous learning.

Crucially, technology also enables employers to plan more effectively. “Technology is the future of Spirit – it's why we are in business today,” says Sam Sackett, Senior Manager of Government Relations and Corporate Communications. “We can focus on designing and building aircraft, and we can let [other professionals] take care of everything else.”

It is an idea that resonates strongly with Ceridian’s Armstrong. “We talk about being proactive,” he says. “It’s now table stakes to be able to report on the past, but the real value comes from providing data and insight at the point where leaders have to make key decisions about the future.” 

It is an advantage that might just help employers beat their rivals to the best talent.

Ceridian helps organisations manage compliance, outsmart change and cut through complexity

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2 https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/9-future-of-work-trends-post-covid-19/