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If you want to gain an edge over the competition, the battle is no longer being waged exclusively on the playing field of price, product or customer service. Instead, companies are focusing on winning the talent war by adopting innovating, cutting-edge approaches to hiring and managing employees in order to gain the competitive advantage.
Research from staffing company Spherion found that these highly adaptive or "emergent" employers are redefining their human resources practices to differentiate themselves in today's dynamic job market, and they're doing so by providing more opportunities for advancement, creating a more positive work-life balance and using social media more effectively.
"Emergent companies are the next-generation employers, and they are poised to steadily gain influence and dominate in our volatile employment situation," said Sandy Mazur, division president of franchise and license for Spherion Corp. "Not only do these organizations spend significant time and resources investing in the well-being and development of their employees, but they do so in a very deliberate way."
The study discovered emergent companies provide many more career development programs than run-of-the-mill companies offer. When compared to traditional employers, these emergent companies are significantly more likely to offer tuition assistance, and twice as likely to offer online development tools, mentoring and individual career paths.
These evolving companies are also more likely to offer a formal work-life-balance policy.More than half of the emergent companies surveyed offer flex time, compared with just 7 percent of traditional employers, while 35 percent offer paid time off for community service, opposed to only 12 percent of traditional employers.
In addition, emergent employers are nearly six times more likely than traditional employers to offer telecommuting options.
Up-and-coming companies are also ahead of the curve when it comes to social media use. The study found these employers are nearly twice as likely as conventional employers to use social media. Specifically, 80 percent of emergent companies use LinkedIn, compared to less than half of traditional companies, while 68 percent are using Facebook, opposed to just half of other employers.
"There are many long-term business benefits for employers who evolve their employee outlook and engagement to meet the changing needs of their workforce," Mazur said. "The talent war is not going away, and retaining top talent will continue to be a winning strategy."
The study was based on surveys of 225 human resources managers and more than 2,000 employed adults.