Web advances force staff retention dilemma on HR

The Internet revolution will mean HR departments have to face up to massive organisational change as well as further problems recruiting and retaining staff.

Philip Evans, senior vice-president of Boston Consulting Group, claims the Internet has forced manufacturers such as Ford to consider abandoning making cars because of the way the Internet has revolutionised the relationship between client and company.

Evans told the CBI conference last week that the new generation of Internet search programmes, which allow customers to scan information using computerised checklists to filter

information, has meant traditional car sellers are facing customers with more specialist knowledge than they have.

And in the same way as people are able to use complex search engines and information processing tools to buy goods and services, talented IT employees are now able to use job-search programmes and their own knowledge networks to find work on a freelance basis.

"Many of these companies have personnel departments, which work out competency frameworks for their employees and plan how they could progress their careers – but most of them have already done this for themselves."

Consequently, HR departments have had to work harder and harder to recruit and retain the staff their companies need, he said.

By Richard Staines

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