DESPITE concerns about the local and global economy, Australian CEOs are bullish about revenue and staff growth over the next few years.
About 70 percent expect revenue growth, while a quarter expect to increase headcount by up to 10 percent, according to a KPMG survey of almost 1,300 chief executives.
One of the big challenges of course, is hiring the right people to sustain this growth. Identifying, attracting and holding onto the best people is vital to the elusive formula of business success.
And it’s a challenge that is growing more complex. Coupled with skills shortages in a number of areas, CEOs and large businesses in Australia need to change the way they attract talent. Gone are the days where a job for life, with standard increments and a nice pension pot at the end of it all, are enough.
The millennial generations coming through the gate don’t have dreams of walking through the same door of the corner office or the ivory tower five days a week for 40 years like the generations of old.
Globalisation has created a worldwide marketplace, but this has conversely complicated the hiring process for businesses as they’re all now fishing in the same pond.
Businesses now need to sell themselves to top talent to recruit it. For many, this involves a powerful human resources (HR) team and human capital management (HRM) software systems. The workplace environment has been adapted to suit the needs of the ‘rock stars of the business’ these processes bring in.
Flexible working seems a big selling point, and it resonates with newer generations – you can work from anywhere, any time. If you do decide to come into the office, why not bring your dog with you, take some time out in our custom-built gym, coffee hub or breakout room?
Even with this, the challenges remain. Is it possible that businesses are missing a simpler trick?
Companies have been quick to jump on the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) culture and provide laptops, smartphones, tablets and wearables to suit today’s workforce. This is the front-end, the user experience.
Supporting the front-end is the far less interesting but equally important back-end, the datacentre infrastructure that supports these devices and the ever-increasing amount of data and workloads businesses create.
INFRASTRUCTURE FOR ENTERPRISE
While companies are happy to shell out for the latest and greatest devices, many rely on outdated infrastructure that simply cannot support their digital goals.
Young hires today are typically born in the 1990s, and this will soon shift to the 2000s. We’re talking about digital natives here, people who grew up with technology and the internet being part-and-parcel of daily life.
They’re unlikely to know the nostalgic sound of an Internet dialup modem, what a floppy disc looks like, and may never have listened to a cassette or had to rewind a videotape at the end of a movie.
Technology is second nature to these digital natives. They’re accustomed to it being always-on and have no time for lag, loading or downtime. They don’t need to know how it works, just that it works, and these expectations can create problems when old infrastructure disrupts their technology experience in the workplace.
Sluggish back-office systems, waiting for simple word docs and PDFs to load, not being able to connect to the server from home, jitter when streaming or video conferencing are issues modern workers simply won’t tolerate.
Research from Deloitte shows that investing in and using the latest technology is among a list of key reasons millennials would choose to work for an organisation. Others high on the list include a good work/life balance, flexibility and professional development training programs – all of which can be enabled through technology.
That means more than the latest gadgets – the back-end and front-end must both be taken into account. You wouldn’t put low-quality fuel into a brand-new Ferrari.
The availability of more modern enterprise infrastructure shouldn’t come as a huge surprise for Australian businesses. We’ve all been using public cloud services for years now, and newer but still well-established innovations such as enterprise cloud and modular data centres have been on the radar for a while.
But still, so many don’t avail of these technologies and this creates an imbalance between the digital strategy they want to roll out, and the infrastructure in place to support it.
The problems go deeper than irritating workers – inefficiency, a lack of resilience and failover leading to costly outages, and unnecessary, unautomated grunt work are common issues that stem from yesterday’s infrastructure supporting today’s environment.
Infrastructure is not the first thing CEOs think about when it comes to the hiring process, but getting it right could be the key to separating yourself from the noise and setting the right tone to bring the best talent into your business.
- Matt Young is head of Asia Pacific and Japan for Nutanix, an enterprise cloud platform company that helps business utilise ICT convergence for better organisational outcomes.