from the #Valley

The Consumerization of HR is unavoidable, do you have a cure?

date: 14 / 11 / 2018 | written by Hans Mangelschots | comments: 0
The society of today and definitely the people of tomorrow are used to be treated as consumers, being in control of their own consuming behaviour. We have evolved in the past 25 years to a civilisation who is online 24/7, checking our mobile 82 times a day, recieving or searching for customized information.. Except when we enter the workfloor, where often the World of Working Together has not evolved at the same pace - and neither has HR.

The evolution of Society

Who remembers the rotary phone, the first IBM or Mac or even the introduction the first mobile cell phones can agree; we have come a long way in digitization and we’ve probably are not yet at the full potential of that evolution.

Today our mobile devices are just a fraction of the size and shape, wireless combining computer-fax-phone at exceptional speed AND knows a global use. Mobile is the new norm, in such way that the people of today check their cellphones about 82 times a day.

The generations born in the 80’s and later grew up with this evolution, normalizing the 24/7 online presence in today’s society.
In this “24/7 online, all the time” – culture, everybody also is a consumer. When we are not shopping online, we are consuming online information about everything else trying to feed our Infobesitas; from doing our own market research on our next bargains to reading what our friends did today and more.

Also, everybody is treated like a consumer. In a free market (with a free choice) a lot of companies choose a personal approach to engage their (potential) clients;

  • Your online store knows you better than yourself and suggests the next articles you should buy based on your shopping behaviour,
  • Your Multimedia-provider knows your name and your preferences to suggest more suited offers,
  • Your internet search engine knows which pages you search and visit to suggest new personalized searches and products..

Everything is about you – and (most of) you don’t mind to take initiative to improve this customization.

Today we live in the age of self… When we went to the moon 60 years ago and took 5 pictures, today we go to the bathroom and take 500. People are more self aware and assertive towards what they want and don’t want. This also has an impact on the expectations towards their World of Work; where the workforce of today is transforming towards the Employees of Tomorrow.

The increased offer and demand of freelance workers and freelance jobs, project sourcing and talent packs, company- and job reviews are all signs confirming that the Employee of Tomorrow is evolving towards Career Ownership.

The characteristics described in the nice graphic by Jacob Morgan are suited for this new attitude on the labour market, creating a Future Employee or Career Owner. It started with Millennials and infects all generations; these Career Owners will form a vast majority of the workforce by 2020.  Also read the study about Expectations vs. Reality of Onboarding that our member Talmundo made in coöperation with Vlerick Business School. 


The needs for HR

When HR wants to sync the evolution of Society with the World of Work it has to overcome several challenges to achieve its goal. On the other hand, when HR does not adapt to this evolution business will probably dry out by the other challenges the labour market has to offer; War on Talent, Struggle for Skills, Battle for Retention, The Shift in Competences,…

  • Where recruiters used to ask why the applicant is willing to work for the employer of the vacancy, now the candidate asks the question: “Why should I work for you?”. Not only because there are more job offers than candidates, also because this Candidate is adapting to the Career Owner Mindset.
  • Where HR used to make the theoretical exercise if a candidate would fit the profile/function, today the candidate makes the theoretical exercise if the profile/function describes him/her best – again using a Career Owner Mindset.
  • Where HR used to have the leverage of a good wage and other candidates who possibly would do good to, today a good wage is not good enough anymore and other suited candidates are becoming rare.
  • Where HR used to tackle one problem at the time, now an integrational approach is possible to create an innovative, people-oriented organisation.
  • Where HR used to have a supportive role towards business, today business is looking at HR with big eyes (yelling out:”lead us through our workforce challenges and help us thrive business!”)

Disruptive HR Innovation

People centric approaches in mindset, processes and tools are disrupting the classic way HR used to function – growing to the demands of the employees in today’s society. These solutions might be an answer to the challenges yet to come, covering the whole Employee Lifecycle, enforcing your internal Employer Brand.

Today it is not about the job, it is about the employee (your employee). It is not about strict guidelines and obligated courses, it is about sharing knowledge and build change together. It is not about the outcome of a tool, it is about the input (UX). Research from the Fosway Group at Unleash Amsterdam tells us that 86% of the HR respondents finds the quality of End User Experiencee a top-driver for changing their HR System. 

How can this be used to grow your organisation towards a brand that listens to its employees, offering them work and an environment to thrive their talents? Three steps come to mind:

  1. Create time for this change and your people by using automation in HR processes
  2. Orientate strategy and people - from management to blue collar – towards an engaging employee lifecycle, providing purpose and clear goals.
  3. Search, select and implement the right solutions to support this change (at the right speed), from the latest software to micro-learnings or both, from a personal online assistant to a lean development plan for each individual on an LMS or by coaching and training, from an enterprise social network to a collaborative feedback platform,.. The possibilities are endless.  

Bringing it all together

The Consumerization of HR is a cure on its own. It does not have to be treated, it is a treatment fort he entire Employee Lifecycle and has the potential to enforce your internal Employer Brand and engage your  workforce.

By making time for your people in a way they feel supported as they are used to, you will be answering their consumer mindset with the Consumerization of your HR.

How do you tackle the challenge of The Consumerization of HR?


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