December 09, 2016
Technology Vision through an Oracle lens: Liquid Workforce
By: Jeremy Lourens

This article is the second in a series on the Accenture Technology Vision for Oracle. The series explores five key trends discussed in the vision: Intelligent Automation, Liquid Workforce, Platform Economy, Predictable Disruption and Digital Trust. This article focuses on how to use Oracle technology to adapt to the Liquid Workforce trend.

It’s not enough to merely introduce new technology to remain relevant in an increasingly digital world. Rather, to be successful, we need to use that technology to find new ways to empower people and change corporate cultures—and ultimately, to create a Liquid Workforce that can constantly adjust to a changing world.

Often, the workforce seems like a river pursuing its own course—constantly shifting around barriers, creating pools and eddies, and moving on. There is a lot of energy there. The question is, how can you tap into that energy to create a Liquid Workforce?

The answer lies in four key steps that leverage Oracle technology to help transform the workforce:  Tweet. This opens a new window.

1. Get to know your current workforce through analytics

Companies have a great deal of data about their workforce, as they track everything from new hires to performance reviews, promotions, certifications and training. Typically, however, they need to make better use of that data—not just to manage day to day, but to get insight into future workforce needs, drive succession planning and develop strategies for retaining top performers. Oracle's Human Resources Analytics can help companies gather data from various sources and transform it into actionable insights. For example, its predictive analytics tools can help identify which employees are likely to want to leave the company in the near future, or predict the future performance of the workforce. And Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition supports the analysis of big data in the field of talent management. (For more on big data, check out our future Oracle Technology blog on “Predictable Disruption.”)

2. Use new channels to attract talent

Armed with a better understanding of talent needs, the next step is to find the right talent. How can technology help in recruiting? That’s a question that 38 percent of companies worldwide are trying to answer, according to a recent survey by the Manpower Group on Talent Shortage (10th Annual Manpower Group 2015 Talent Shortage Survey).

Technology enables new approaches to recruiting. Social media, in particular, makes it easy to find people. Even though it is widely used by individuals, social media is nevertheless often overlooked as a corporate tool for attracting new employees. Oracle Taleo Social Sourcing helps companies use social networks to automate the recruiting process across multiple social channels and make effective use of their employees’ social networks. That’s key, because employee contacts and referrals are widely recognized as an efficient and effective way to reach potential candidates.

To help in these efforts, HR can work with the marketing and communications departments to craft the right message for the right channel, and position the company as an attractive employer.

3. Create a flexible workforce that can embrace change

Building the Liquid Workforce typically means changing the existing corporate culture so that people are comfortable with change. This is not a short-term effort, rather a long-term investment in instilling the right culture into the workforce.

At the same time, companies need to create a stimulating atmosphere where learning and curiosity are recognized and rewarded. Here, it can be useful to establish diverse teams—with diversity being based not only on gender, cultural background, etc., but also on diversity of capabilities. In particular, include people who are prepared to embrace new technologies.

As new technologies and processes are implemented, make sure the entire core team is involved in the change management process. This not only helps them adapt, it also makes them ambassadors of change to the rest of the company. It gives team members the opportunity to share their enthusiasm via social media, video and internal collaboration sites.

4. Encourage your employees to grow and learn

Today, having a workforce that can learn fast and adapt quickly is crucial. As new technologies repeatedly reshape the landscape, knowledge and skills can become outdated very quickly. To help employees keep growing, Oracle offers Oracle Learning Cloud, an integrated part of Oracle Human Capital Management that can support that kind of ongoing learning.

This learning service puts responsibility for learning directly into the hands of employees and managers, as opposed to the traditional “push” approach of companies delivering training content. Employees can record and share content, discuss experiences and provide recommendations on their own. Milestones, such as a promotion or a change of role, automatically trigger new learning opportunities—helping to ensure that relevant content is available quickly.

Companies should also find ways to let employees move between roles within an organization to broaden their experience and knowledge. That wider range of learning increases the flexibility and adaptability of the workforce. It also helps companies retain high performers, who are often creative and/or highly motivated people who value opportunities to expand their horizons.

Evolving technology is driving change, and it can also help companies build the Liquid Workforce needed to thrive in that environment.             

However employees need to be comfortable with new approaches and digital technologies.
That is key to helping them—and the company—make the most of a rapidly evolving world.

Is your company building a Liquid Workforce, or planning to do so? What advice do you have for others who are exploring the workforce of the future? Share your thoughts by emailing Jeremy at

This blog post originally appeared in Dutch

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