One of the most prevalent and pressing issues of the business world across all sectors today is the difficulty in retaining and hiring qualified employees, and current unemployment stats only scratch the surface for the day-to-day impact on what this looks like within any given company or industry. According to current research, this issue does not seem to be improving anytime soon, with 83% of study participants revealing that they expect to have difficulty attracting employees this year.
As business leaders focused on fostering efficiency and productivity, leveraging and building the talents of those within our companies, and actively pushing back at the steep costs (not just financial) that come with a lack of qualified personnel, we must pay close attention to ensuring that we are doing all that can be done to retain and hire excellence. That includes seeking simplified seamless ways for potential and current employees to interact in a work-from-home setting or within the office, in particular by investing in UCaaS.
The current climate of unemployment has been so profound that it has colloquially been nicknamed “The Great Resignation”. The fallout from restrictions encouraged to promote safety and wellbeing has resulted in a temporary reduction or layoff of employees as some industries experienced drastic reductions in profit. While some individuals caring for children (who were suddenly full-time at home) found it almost impossible to balance active parenting with job output and cut back on active hours or left jobs entirely. In industries where it was not possible to stay home and continue working (healthcare, hospitality, manufacturing, and security), some employees felt unsafe and exposed and decided to take a leave of absence. Others left because increasing mandates made them feel vulnerable or unable to continue to work for personal or health-related reasons.
In April 2020 alone, more than 4 million workers quit their jobs, according to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary. These sudden and drastic changes were abrupt wake-up calls for companies that did not have the appropriate technology to efficiently continue the requirements for day-to-day processes.
With significant volatility in the stock market, the housing market, and the job market, it is vital to consider how we may set the stage to reduce and eliminate any hurdles that would prevent bringing on new and retaining existing talent. The cost of hiring a base-level employee in 2017 was $4425 and close to $15,000 for executive-level positions, not to mention the cost of productivity and lost days. Before any of the complications of a global pandemic, the time it took to replace an employee could take up to 94 days for highly skilled workers. Efforts that would otherwise be directed to fostering forward motion are spent backfilling on the hiring process, which within the technology sector includes an average of 14 calls and interviews, and that does not count the cancellations and no-shows, nor the time put into advertisements, background checks, and skill assessments.
With all of this in mind, successful companies have considered all areas to create a way to not only retain excellent employees but to stand head and shoulders above the rest to attract peak talent for their organizations. One such strategy is to effectively employ UCaaS.
Onboarding a new hire comes with days and hundreds of hours of lost productivity, not only because it simply takes time to learn the particulars of standard operating procedures, but because they require help from long-standing employees who must set aside their workload and productivity to take someone under their wing to ensure their success. Consolidating the number of user interfaces (UIs) allows a company to simplify this transition by requiring only one program for a new hire to learn that manages multiple levels of communication and resources in one place, reducing the time for a new employee to become adequately familiar with processes and company software.
The strategy around UI consolidation is a delicate one. Most, if not all, UCaaS providers include internal chat, SMS, meetings, email, and calendar integrations alongside their core voice competencies. To rival that, the leading meeting and collaboration providers have enabled phone system functionality within their software. This evolution of technology has severely blurred the lines between collaboration and voice, and we are now stuck in a dilemma of feature redundancy and app clutter. Some UCaaS providers have attempted to win the interface challenge by promoting themselves as an all-inclusive replacement for existing tools. The problem with that approach is, they are starting from scratch regarding user adoption. Additionally, those existing tools don’t tend to go away completely, creating confusion and departmental silos. On the flip side, meeting and collaboration tools have been riding alongside telephony solutions for years but bringing that voice expertise in-house is a completely different animal and requires a change in both infrastructure and support modeling.
One answer to this dilemma is to lean into existing user adoption, by enabling the meeting and/or collaboration tools employees already use with external voice capabilities. Of course, this strategy differs based on which applications are currently in use. The playing field is broken into two categories: those that have a focus on voice in-house, and those that rely on external Public Switch Telephone Network (PSTN) and UCaaS providers to plug in behind their interface. As you may assume, the latter provides more competitive diversity as well as an additional layer of redundancy.
Besides the simplification for new hires resulting in a more efficient and faster onboarding process, UCaaS allows for remote work. By opening your hiring potential to remote work, a company can exponentially broaden its hiring pool, allowing for more qualified potential employees because you are not strictly limited to a geographical area.
With this added flexibility, come new security risks. As employees continue to connect to their corporate offices from anywhere, endpoint security and management are critical. Zero Trust is becoming mandatory for many industries; Single Sign-On (SSO) and Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) are essential to companies. By consolidating voice into existing applications, the access points to the network are also consolidated, providing a more streamlined security management structure.
In this current climate, some highly skilled and highly sought-after potential employees have prioritized and are actively seeking the ability to work remotely and will not settle for less. By being an organization that can advertise and attract potential employees with this advantage, such strategic actions not only more quickly backfill positions, but also attract more highly qualified individuals, reducing overall company cost of the often-long process of hiring while increasing overall productivity and efficiency.
Renodis specializes in helping you to find exactly what you need while leveraging as many benefits as possible. Our expertise is connecting you with the communications technology that makes the most sense for your unique needs. If you’re ready to connect with professional services that will find the best solution for you, reach out to us, we are ready to serve you.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Matt Spivey, CTO, Renodis
With over 20+ years in business/IT consulting, Matt brings strong enterprise technology leadership experience to the table along with his passion for solving complex problems with a strategic business mindset. Prior to joining Renodis, Matt held several Executive IT leadership positions with firms in the upper Midwest including health care, animal healthcare, and IT Managed Services. Most recently, Matt led the IT organization, at a large network of animal hospitals, to where his department boasted a 97% approval rating from the 300+ animal hospitals they supported during a period of rapid growth and change. In 2020, Matt was honored to be a finalist for the Michigan Orbie Awards - CIO of the Year, a premiere technology executive recognition program commending excellence in IT.
Thea Rasmussen, Cloud Communications Architect, TBI
Thea brings over 16 years of experience in the UCaaS and CCaaS spaces with expertise on both big-name providers like Cisco and Microsoft as well as proprietary cloud native solutions. In her most recent tenure with Vonage, she held a combination of engineering, leadership, and strategic director roles with a focus on bespoke solutions for enterprise clients, requiring innovation, integration, and custom development. Her experience has allowed her to become proficient not only in the UC and Contact Centers spaces, but also CPaaS, Conversational AI and SD-WAN technologies.