This article is part of our new State of Employee Feedback Series which will interview a diverse mix of HR experts and thought leaders with a goal of better understanding their perspectives on the current state of and future of HR.
The following is an interview we recently had with Jonathan Cohen Lozie, Employee Success Business Partner (ESBP), Director for Latin America, Salesforce, Argentina.
Human Resources is one of the most important areas for companies in the software industry. According to a 2020 report from IDC, in 2024 there will be a growth in demand for more than 10 million IT industry professionals, especially in areas such as cybersecurity, data and IT management, applications, and infrastructure. Moreover, IDC also states that Salesforce and its ecosystem are expected to enable the creation of 4.2 million jobs worldwide by 2024, which is the equivalent of Thailand’s and Belgium’s GDP combined or the population of New Zealand all getting new jobs.
All these factors generate an urgent need for HR to hire and take action in order to keep the best talents ahead of the growing competition. Moreover, the department needs to act towards training and engaging employees especially in areas such as upskilling and reskilling.
At Salesforce, we believe that it is key for all organizations to have a clear perception of the changing needs and expectations of their workforce, especially during uncertain contexts as that of the pandemic. One of the most common challenges we face is getting the necessary information at the right time to provide more personalized and improved experiences faster.
In response, we introduced Feedback Management, a new suite of enterprise-level tools and surveys built natively into the Salesforce platform that provides businesses with the capabilities to collect real-time, actionable feedback from both customers and employees. With this easy-to-activate solution, businesses can drive more informed and relevant business decisions.
I believe that as software organizations we have a great advantage in this regard because we tend to keep up with the latest systems and innovations to receive feedback from our employees. In a context of so much competition and uncertainty, it is crucial to know how people feel in real-time, so we can make the right decisions to improve the company's work climate. My main recommendation for enterprises would be that we don't have to see these mechanisms as a threat, but as an ally to retain employees and be a better organization to work for. Beyond that, it is crucial to act based on the reports and let employees know that they are heard.
In the software industry as in all industries, the main task of Human Resources will be to take care of the employee's safety, make sure they are comfortable in their workplace, remember to take short breaks and give them the flexibility they need to perform their tasks, trusting that the employee will fulfill their responsibilities, but allowing them to be a little more in control of their time. Technology will serve as a bridge to make these things happen, being able to provide them with collaborative tools or apps that make their work easier and more productive and promote teamwork. This includes tools that employees use outside of work such as their cell phones, social media and smart tools that also help to improve their relationship with clients and enhance productivity.
If you give those tools and experiences to them, which should be the same they use outside the work, it’s a huge accelerator. If we do not provide them, it’s a huge productivity and engagement killer. And it also hits the bottom line because on the front lines of every customer engagement is guess who … an employee.
Finally, we will have the role of bringing tools to employees that allow them to generate new knowledge. The software industry -like many others- is constantly changing, and reskilling opportunities for an employee should be at hand, or at a click.
The Human Resources specialist must be increasingly involved with the benefits provided by technology, which will serve to accelerate the selection processes and, through increased data collection, to know more in-depth the profile of the applicants and that these are the most suitable to work in the company both for their professional skills and their way of adjusting to the company's culture.
Artificial Intelligence will play an increasingly important role in this objective, making it possible to easily classify a large number of resumes after the opening of a position. But, also within the company it will serve to facilitate internal communication, better understand the mood of employees, and understand how to help them.
At the same time, it will be increasingly important for the HR professional to be able to deal with the more strategic issues of the company that need a closer review from us and to put in the hands of technology what can be done in a more automated way. Although the data it provides will help us to make more conscious decisions on the first points mentioned above.