HR Challenges in a Digital World: Hybrid work is here to stay - Part 3 of 3

November 06, 2023

Éric Lechelard, HR Director, shares his experience on the importance of offering hybrid work to recruit and retain talent.

a man wearing headphones and sitting at a desk with a laptop

I hope you’ve had a chance to read my previous blogs in this three-part series. If not, you can click-through to check out blog 1, Today’s new normal demands new ways of working, and blog 2, Rethinking recruiting and workplace welfare.

In this blog, we’ll continue to look at how hybrid working is evolving and transforming organisations at the Human Resources level in terms of recruitment, talent retention and employee engagement.

Meeting the new expectations of applicants

Today the topic of hybrid working comes up in HR interviews all the time. As part of the HR team, we understand it is essential to offer candidates a real digital workspace to ensure success in a hybrid environment. It's not just a question of HR competitiveness or employer brand competitiveness, it's about survival in the world of recruitment. That's what we see at job datings — which by the way, if you are not familiar with, are express interviews — similar to speed dating. You’ve got 15 minutes to present your organisation, and you must do it well, otherwise people won't stay. Working hours, holidays, teleworking, collaboration tools, access to social media — these are topics common to almost all candidates during interviews.

If I had to rate the importance of hybrid working on a scale from one to 10, from an HR perspective, I think you could put the cursor on eight. Young candidates and employees expect a holistic approach to the workplace rather than a traditional Taylorist view that breaks work down into separated work elements. At ALE, we measure success by results, while monitoring the workload, and providing autonomy.

Digital experience, quality of life at work and engagement

Offering an attractive and efficient digital workspace is an important component for recruiting and retaining employees, and here's a concrete example of how it is unfolded at ALE in France: An agreement on social dialogue was signed with the social partners. The agreement stated that the means of social dialogue would be switched to "all digital". Abandoning emails, we switched to Rainbow™ by Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, and digital display areas are being made available instead of posters in offices.

If we want candidates who join the company to participate in social dialogue, we must consider their expectations in order to remain attractive. This involves several objectives. The first is to become as ‘paperless’ as possible and replace manual processes with digital efficiency. This means as much information as possible must be accessible remotely, wherever employees are, in one of our three French offices, or elsewhere. The second addresses hybrid working, the subject of the first blog in this series. This includes PC-to-PC and PC-to-phone communications. While PC-to-PC works very well, the same cannot be said for PC-to-telephone, and it’s not easy for all companies to manage the coexistence of these two environments. For HR, it is important to bear in mind that there should be no additional stress for employees linked to the tools made available to them, whether they are in the office or at home. While ALE is considered a pioneer in the use of 'as a Service' communication tools and services accessible from the cloud, that is still far from being the case for many companies. Our role as a provider of enterprise communications and collaboration solutions is to offer a single digital point that enables employees to collaborate from anywhere. For us, that single digital point is Rainbow, which works perfectly with the computer, the office phone or the mobile, of course.

Check out all the blogs in our series, “HR Challenges in a Digital World”:

Today’s new normal demands new ways of working

Rethinking recruiting and workplace welfare

3 Recommendations from Éric Lechelard, HR Director, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, France


Eric Lechelard

Director, Human Resources, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise International - France

With more than 20 years of experience in telecommunications and IT, and five years as Human Resources Director of the ALE International French entity, Eric Lechelard is responsible for supporting all teams in the ALE International group strategic transformation.

Eric’s expertise in professional services and customer services (customer care) has provided him with a variety of opportunities in the services industry, including management of the professional services teams for Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise. He has led pre-sales, design, architecture, and 24-7 operations activities of all communications and network solutions for a strategic customer; a large US-based hospital group. He was also responsible for ALE global customer support activities, prior to being named Director of ALE International’s Human Resources team.

In addition to an engineering degree in telecommunications and networks, Eric trained in services and sales, and obtained a Master 2 in Human Resources Management at the IAE of Caen in 2017.

About the author

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