July 27, 2021

Smartphones: A Smart Strategy for Recruiting and Retention

Corporate Mobile Devices May Help Stave Off ‘The Great Resignation’

In 2020, businesses worked overtime trying to keep their employees and avoid layoffs by tech-enabling them to work from home, navigating the labyrinthine Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP) process and re-engineering service delivery models for the digital-first reality of the pandemic lockdown.

In 2021, businesses are still trying to keep their employees, but this time they’re trying to stop them from leaving. Wait, what? It’s true. One in four workers said they planned to look for a job once the COVID threat subsides, according to the Prudential’s Pulse of the American Worker Survey. The blogosphere is calling it “The Great Resignation of 2021.”

The American Worker Survey found that workers who plan to look for new jobs are seeking:

  1. Flexible work schedules (31%)

  2. Mobility opportunities (25%)

  3. Remote work options (22%)

Whether workers actually leave their jobs remains to be seen. Still, their intentions alone are cause for employers to be concerned, especially since U.S. job openings are already at a record high with rising demand for personnel. The takeaway is that employees are re-evaluating their quality of life and how they’re valued by their employers.

Gear Up for the Talent War

Savvy employers need to gear up for the talent war, building their arsenals to retain and recruit workers. That means getting creative with their benefits packages, enticing employees with a variety of perks, including free smartphones and tablets.

No, a smartphone or tablet will not entice someone to keep or take a job, but they can be surprisingly smart additions to a total compensation package.

Here’s why workers want corporate smartphones and tablets:

  • Upgraded devices – Gone are the days of phone subsidies. Most mobile subscribers are paying $500 to $1,500 for a new iPhone. Tablets are equally, if not more expensive; iPads run around $350 to $1,650. Avoiding that cost is a boon to workers, especially for digital natives or technophiles that want the latest versions every year.

  • Free service – Without a voice or data plan, mobile devices are paperweights. With the company footing the bill, that’s on average $60-$90 in mobile usage charges back in their bank accounts every month. And there’s no risk that their phone service will get shut off for unpaid bills.

  • Free support – Company-provided phones come set up and ready to go with all the key apps like email. And, if something goes wrong, there’s dedicated help desk support from IT or a designated mobile device management provider. No more waiting on hold for tech support.

  • Connection – Most people have cut the cord and rely solely on their mobile phones to keep them connected to life and work. With a company phone, information workers, for example, get the flexibility to leave the office or home office for personal reasons and still check emails or take calls for work. Retail and hospitality workers can stay connected to family in case of emergency while they’re on the clock.

Here’s what’s in it for you as an employer:

  • Economies of scale: Businesses receive increasing discounts from mobile carriers based on volume, so with each additional mobile device and voice/data plan, the average per-employee cost goes down. This situation contrasts with stipends paid for “Bring Your Own Device” usage reimbursement, which is a constant per-employee cost.

  • Improved access: By issuing smartphones to workers, you ensure you can reach them for essential communications like scheduling, shift changes, benefits notices, emergency alerts, etc., because they have a reliable device that they’re likely to carry at all times – even when they’re not at work.

  • Employee productivity: Mobility improves productivity because workers don’t have to be at their desks to get their work done. They have phone and collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams in the palms of their hands. That’s especially true for information workers who frequently work from client sites, conferences and coffee shops. But it’s also the case for other employees like service and repair personnel, who can file reports from the field.

  • Employee management: Internet-enabled devices can be loaded with apps that make managing employees easier. Workers can access HR information like pay stubs, vacation requests, insurance plans, and even clock in and out from their smartphone or tablet. Geolocation capabilities also can verify employees are at their expected place of work.

Bring Benefits Beyond BYOD

With the increasing integration of work and life, BYOD policies have been viewed as an employee benefit, but that’s changing as companies are looking more closely at the costs of allowing staff to use their own devices at work, such as:

  • Hefty stipends for mobile usage that don’t decrease as the number of employees grows

  • Security risks of sensitive company data being lost or stolen

  • Lack of end-user support

  • Difficulty supporting company applications on aging employee-owned devices

  • Increasing demands on corporate networks from multiple devices per employee

  • Labor law violations for hourly workers using company apps off the clock

Plus, BYOD environments are not completely hands-off; they require some level of enterprise mobility management – IT admin, software or outsourcing – with costs only marginally lower than for corporate-liable environments, according to Oxford Economics.

A corporate mobility program can deliver benefits to you and your employees far beyond BYOD. If your IT team doesn’t have the time or know-how to take on mobility management, consider outsourcing. Look for a provider that has the breadth of expertise and systems to handle time-consuming mobility management activities from end to end, including:

  • Provider negotiation

  • Cost optimization

  • Carrier provisioning

  • Service moves

  • Adds and changes

  • Inventory management

  • Device procurement

  • Help desk operation

  • Policy development/enforcement

  • Fraud detection

  • Reporting

Outsourcing mobility management also enables you to focus on more important activities, like enhancing your benefits package, retaining and growing your team, and building your business.

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