The Talent Imperative in Digital Business

MIT Sloan Management Review’s 2015 Digital Business Report is clear: Go digital, or risk losing top talent.

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Digital Leadership

As organizations rely increasingly on digital technologies, how should they cultivate opportunities and address taking risks in a fast-moving digital market environment?
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MIT Sloan Management Review’s 2015 Report on Digital Business revealed two surprising insights that have profound implications for your organization’s digital initiatives.

First, employees report to a surprisingly high degree (80%) that they preferred for work for digital leaders. This result is not limited to Millennial employees, either; the percentage of employees who express preference for working for a digitally enabled company remains consistently above 70% for all age groups.

Second, fewer than half of all respondents indicated that they were satisfied with their organization’s digital efforts. As might be expected, this result is strongly correlated with the organization’s digital maturity — employees are least satisfied with those organizations that are digital laggards.

Digital Maturity and Talent Recruiting

Taken together, these results mean that your organization’s efforts at digitization have a surprising outcome: It may influence your ability to attract and retain talent. Does this mean that employees will just quit their jobs because their companies are not digitally advanced enough? Probably not. Yet even if employees consider your company’s digital maturity as only one factor among many when making employment decisions, the implications can be significant.

This finding shows that, all else being equal, employees who have multiple good opportunities will be more likely to choose digitally mature companies. Digital maturity will therefore be an important factor in your organization’s ability to attract top talent and compete. It also means that less digitally mature companies will likely have to pay a premium for that talent in order to overcome the disadvantage their lack of digital maturity imparts.

In short, being less digitally mature will cost you, one way or another: You either will have to pay more to get top talent, or you will find yourself losing out on the opportunity to hire key employees. An executive at a large pharmaceutical company, for example, indicated that his firm, which he did not consider to be a digital leader, was having difficulty recruiting because they consistently lost out to more digitally mature companies in the competition for top talent sought out by multiple companies.

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Topics

Digital Leadership

As organizations rely increasingly on digital technologies, how should they cultivate opportunities and address taking risks in a fast-moving digital market environment?
More in this series

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