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Using RPA to Attract & Retain the Workforce of the Future

It’s not easy to attract the best and brightest among today’s talented millennial workforce. This younger, more tech-savvy generation doesn’t easily tolerate mundane, manual work. Instead, they continually set their sites on jobs that make them feel a sense of purpose and that challenge them to evolve.

The higher standards of the younger workforce make it challenging for companies to attract the talent they need to succeed. They can’t just reel in good candidates by offering tempting benefits; companies have to demonstrate collaborative cultures rooted in innovation and opportunity. Every company—especially ‘automation first’ organizations—need these capable, driven employees to move forward. And they don’t just need to get them in the door; they also need to keep them in the building.

The need for younger, tech-savvy hires is pushing industry leaders to come up with new ways of attracting talent and keeping them engaged. We’re starting to see the tide turn as companies prioritize employee satisfaction alongside customer happiness.

One of the best ways companies can attract the workforce of the future is by embracing Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and other automation technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI).

The introduction of RPA has already helped employees focus on more meaningful, strategic work.


“Robots, and any kind of automation, are there to augment people. If you view it that way and look at them like you’re complementing them, [robots can be there] as a partner, and partner in crime to always get better.”


— Delphine Bernard, global head of finance ops, Uber

Industry leaders Amazon, Uber, and SiriusXM/Pandora are already attracting—and keeping—the workforce of the future by using three key tactics.


In this article, we’ll look at the changes innovative companies are making to their operations to get the attention of the millennial workforce.


They’re freeing up the workforce of the future to use their skills


Candidates from the top universities around the world come to employers like Amazon with innovative, creative skill sets. In fact, more and more of today’s jobs require four-year degrees, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that candidates don’t want to do jobs that software robots could do.

Yet despite their existing skill set, many employees spend their days doing work below their level of education and training.


It’s no surprise, then, that millennials and young workers are reporting a low rate of job satisfaction. According to the 2019 Deloitte Global Millennial Survey, only 40% of millennial workers are highly satisfied with their jobs.


“I’d also say that college graduates today are much more technically inclined.”


— Jonathan Finch, assistant treasurer, CIO for Amazon Treasury and Risk Management


If millennial employees don’t feel like they’re being challenged to use their skills—or learn new ones—for something important, they will leave. Companies that want to hire the best and brightest need to support the future of work by letting people do what they do best and automating the rest.


They’re fuelling the collaborative future of work through automation


Gone are the days when employees were willing to complete assigned work in isolation. The workforce of the future doesn’t want to go through the motions; they need their voices heard. And companies benefit from listening.

That’s why industry leaders have adopted a bottom-up approach to automation. Not only does this strategy support long-term automation first goals, but it empowers employees to bring their best ideas forward. In fact, in a Forrester Consulting survey, 66% of companies said RPA helped them reorganize workflows so employees could have more collaborative, in-person interactions.

Collaboration is also key to a successful automation strategy.


Bottom-up automation models can take the heavy development lifting off a company’s robotic Center of Excellence (CoE) and empower employees to design automation that serves themselves. The result is an increase of new, innovative ideas to cut down on error rates and costs.


“This is a paradigm shift in the ways that we work. That is a reality. The ways that we work are changing, the way we are tackling problems is changing. That’s a reality.”


— Abe Khaleeli, head of PMO and the intelligent automation practice, SiriusXM/Pandora

Collaboration isn’t just good for employee morale, either; it also directly increases scalability and profitability. According to a 2017 Stanford University study, companies that supported collaborative work saw that 64% of their employees stuck to a task or project longer to produce better results.

They’re supporting the workforce of the future’s growth through reskilling


Finally, global business leaders know that it’s not enough to attract good employees; businesses also need to give people a reason to stay.

One of the best ways to add value to an employee’s role is by investing in their career development through reskilling.


In the automation first era, this means supporting training to make sure your employees have the skills to work alongside your robots. By doing so, your employees will continue to evolve their skills, driving your digital transformation forward from the ground up.

To support the development of the workforce of the future, global companies have invested more and more in reskilling. Amazon, specifically, announced a $700 million initiative to upskill 100,000 of the company’s workers.


“And when RPA came in I thought: The speed of the automation is going to be the speed of how many people we can actually have out there automating.”


— Jonathan Finch, assistant treasurer, CIO for Amazon Treasury and Risk Management

These moves aren’t just hopeful bids to attract new employees. Gallup studies show that millennials value the opportunity to learn and grow more than any other age group at work. But only 39% of those workers strongly agreed that they learned something new in the last month that helped them do better, smarter work. As companies navigate digital transformation, this eagerness to learn and do more benefits everyone.

“We’re empowering you, we’re reskilling you, retooling you, upskilling you.”


— Abe Khaleeli, head of PMO and the intelligent automation practice at SiriusXM/Pandora

Reskilling doesn’t just help employees feel better suited for their jobs; it also creates fulfilling, engaging work for team members while making the company more competitive.


Related readHow Automation Quick Wins Help Amazon, Uber, and SiriusXM/Pandora Stay Ahead of the Competition


Leverage automation to support the retention of the workforce of the future, today


The standards of the workforce of tomorrow are higher than ever before and push innovative companies to adopt cutting-edge automation solutions. By doing so, industry leaders can attract the best and brightest talent to help push companies forward in the automation first era and fuel digital transformation.

By supporting the three operational shifts discussed in this article, you support the workforce of tomorrow and the work your company does today.

Did you miss your chance to hear about automation and the future of work from our partners and other industry leaders? There’s still time for you to get the free FORWARD III event pack containing the keynote recordings, slide decks of the presentations, and more.

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