collaborationWhat if you were to take all you know about talent management – recruit, train, manage, retain and evaluate – and turn it on its head? You may need to, thanks to changing dynamics of the workplace due to factors like social media and the presence of Millennials. A collaborative way of communicating has come to the modern organization, and smart companies know they must adapt to survive. Author Don Tapscott – CEO of the Tapscott Group and general business guru — recommends rethinking the traditional approach and taking an alternative route instead:

Initiate and Engage: In the past, companies recruited employees by placing an ad in the classifieds and searching for the best match. Today they use social media to educate and influence potential hires about their company before the interview. Employers desiring to hire the best talent should see the process as a dialogue, and less like an interrogational interview. Special projects, part-time/summer jobs, and internships are ideal for “testing” and getting to know the best candidates. When it’s hiring time, there’s no “recruiting” necessary; potential hires are already engaged.

Create a Work-Learning Environment: Instead of sending employees to separate training and educational seminars, use new media to increase the learning component of their work. “Engage” (don’t “train”) them in rich environments for lifelong learning. Be creative when organizing an employee’s first few months of work. Expose them to various leaders and work situations. Interaction with the broader organization during the initiation phase will lead to less turnover, higher levels of engagement, and greater returns on investments.

Collaborate: Traditional management approaches aren’t as effective as they used to be. Good managers build teams and engage employees through distributing authority, power, and accountability. Today’s workforce treasures collaboration. Many companies communicate in a peer-to-peer fashion, and embrace new technologies that let employees interact easily with people inside and outside the firm.

Evolve Relationships: Companies should view all of their employees – both present and past – as a web of contacts. These networks provide a wealth of knowledge about the company, and can add great value for all, even those who have left. Social networking and other Web platforms allow employees and ex-employees alike to exchange resources and information.

Improve Performance in Real-Time: It’s well known that Millennials like lots of feedback. They’re immersed in high technology, and used to quick responses from friends about everything; now they want the same from their jobs. But they’re accustomed to two-way conversations, not being lectured to. And the annual performance appraisal may take place long after a project ended, so it doesn’t make sense. Luckily, software packages such as offer tools to enable real-time feedback; employees can send out a quick (50 words or less) question to a manager, for example, and use the feedback to quickly improve performance.

Nick RoyleMSI