The mid-market has historically been a tough place to be in, competing with industry leaders without the financial or marketing clout of enterprise rivals and more nimble start-ups attracting media attention.An often overlooked problem is how Human Resources function in growing mid-size companies as they struggle to get past low end solutions while complex software solutions are only affordable for the elite few – but could save time and stimulate growth significantly. The rapid adoption of business technology and the proliferation of consumer devices means we now have a generations of employees used to giving up information to a variety of sources on a daily basis. Every app downloaded and every online form filled, every Facebook interaction and Tweet sent holds data on everything from salaries and hobbies to our love-life and friendships. Now an emergence of HR software solutions designed to pull all the valuable data employees freely give up can help talent managers use data to the business’ advantage. New technology is able to harness and convert it into valuable business information. The good news for the mid-market is that this technology is becoming scalable and affordable in a way the old HR software packages were never able to be. By sitting out the first wave of technology and failing to adopt first generation solutions, the mid-market now actually has the advantage over its larger competitors: It escaped getting stuck in a hole of expensive and highly entrenched HR software and can rapidly roll out the latest platforms in the market. In 2012 80 per cent of companies expect to use social media to recruit, yet many struggle to do so efficiently. With this new breed of HR technologies businesses now have a whole new pool of talent in which to search. By using a solution based on social media engagement, employers can communicate steadily and consistently in the ways today’s graduates, engineers and entrepreneurs wish to be addressed, over mediums such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. These new systems can provide managers with a deeper understanding of the skillset, aspirations and career progression of employees. This helps to remove any inconsistencies in promotion or phrase, something which is often incredibly damaging and can lead to the loss of valuable top talent. It also enables business to search through the skillset of staff and identify the ‘social butterflies” in a team, a useful asset when looking for new hires and building reputation. Now is the time for the mid-market to embrace the need for a HR solution which can recruit, retain and reskill the workforce of tomorrow and in the process finally gain the inside edge show enterprise that good things really do come to those who wait. Nic Scott is the CEO of Fairsail.
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