Companies can significantly slash their commercial travel expense, traditionally borne as a ‘cost-of-doing-business'
The internet is changing our lives at a pace unprecedented in modern history. The way we communicate, absorb news, search for information, share our lives with family and friends has changed dramatically over the last 10 years. And ever so surely, the internet’s enormous power of disruptive innovation is changing the face of our workplace and our workdays in ways we could hardly have imagined a decade earlier. A relentless blaze of virtual collaboration and networking technologies have redefined our interaction with peers, colleagues and customers. Conferencing tools and collaborative virtual environments have blurred the traditional boundaries of workplace and work time.
The cover story of the June issue explored emerging virtual trends that businesses can harness for cost efficiency, employee productivity and employer branding
Honey, I shrunk the planet
A new generation of conferencing software and equipments that cater to diverse needs and affordability have improved the level of communication between employees and clients and have substantially reduced the need for commercial travel.
Businesses have embraced collaboration technology in an endeavor to engage with their employees, channel partners and customers operating in different parts of the world. Mass deployment of ‘Collaboration Technology’ – from conventional teleconferencing to video conferencing, information exchange and problem solving in virtual environment – will have a significant impact on the workplaces of the future. For starters, companies can significantly slash their commercial travel expense, traditionally borne as a ‘cost-of-doing-business’. It also facilitates higher engagement during training, better collaboration between distributed networks and enhanced opportunities for peer-to-peer learning. While such virtual tools are immensely popular in the US and in Europe, the trend is fast spreading to Asia, Middle East and Africa as well.
Talent hunting in virtual space
Professional networking sites today provide for dynamic profiles and enable businesses to interact with passive candidates in the backdrop of a connected global network.
While job portals have revolutionized the recruitment and talent management space, the growing popularity of professional networking sites have the potential to take this transformation to the next level. Professional networking sites such as LinkedIn, ApnaCircle.com, et al, enable professionals to make connections with their colleagues, ex-colleagues, business associates, channel partners, vendors, et al, on a virtual platform. Given the wide array of connections of each user, these sites have the potential for recruiters and headhunters to establish contact with suitable candidates. Not only do such sites enable people to recommend their connections on seeing a job opening, thereby acting as a point of reference for the recruiter about the credentials of the prospective candidate, they are the only place where recruiters have access to an up to date profile of the professional. Employers too stand to benefit immensely from professional networking sites as the costs of hiring falls dramatically and the accuracy of finding the correct ‘fit’ for each role improves with each generation of online search tools.
Is your organization virtual-ready?
Social and professional networking sites where users increasingly share their personal judgments, aspirations and feelings are emerging as a medium for corporate and employer branding.
Just as the internet can prove to be a slaughterhouse for carefully nurtured corporate reputations, so can it be used as an effective medium for participation, feedback and for communicating. Organizations that can harness the power of this virtual world – of social networks to amplify positive opinion, of professional networks to seek out and communicate clearly with prospective employees, of virtual environments to create knowledge networks and customer service groups – stand to build positive association in the minds of their customers, current and prospective employees and build an employer brand for themselves. And importantly, like most things arising out of the internet, such branding can be achieved at a fraction of the cost it would take using traditional media.