Join us online for Radancy’s Talent Acquisition Leaders Day 2024 on April 16th!

Sign up now! →

The results of the world’s biggest employee referral benchmark report are finally in!

Download it now →

cheerful warehouse workers reading something funny on cell phone while having coffee break at work.
Picture of Verfasst von Evan Clarke

Verfasst von Evan Clarke

The Technology Gap: Addressing Deskless Workers’ Needs

Firstbird has now become Radancy.

We have merged with Radancy, the global leader in talent technology. Learn more

The fact that communication with non-desk workers is made more difficult by technological gaps has a negative impact on the sense of belonging of commercial employees and thus also on employee retention. The result: high employee turnover and the associated recruiting resources and costs required. So, to increase employee retention among blue-collar employees and reduce turnover at the same time, a mix of effective communication channels and a focus on the cultural fit of employees is needed.

Engage non-desk workers and avoid the skills shortage

Employees at and away from computer workstations cannot be treated the same in HR because their work circumstances and needs make them very different from one another. While “white collar” employees work at a desk and have continuous access to a computer and the Internet, commercial or “non-desk” employees are off the desk and usually do not have continuous access to a computer. As a result, employee engagement strategies that rely on email or intranet communications are misaligned with non-desk employees. Working away from the desk makes it difficult for companies to reach their employees on a professional but also on an emotional level.[1]

Without this approach, employee retention also decreases, which leads to higher recruiting expenses. It’s a scenario you want to avoid, because there are already issues in the labor market, especially when it comes to non-desk workers. In a 2022 Boston Consulting Group study, 33% of non-desk employees said they planned to leave the company in the next six months.[2] Reasons for planned resignations primarily include an unsuitable work atmosphere and corporate culture.[3] Feedback culture also plays an important role in retention among commercial employees. According to a Quinyx study from 2022, which included professionals in the US and the UK, as many as 48% of the industrial employees surveyed said they wanted to quit.[4] The reason given by 33% was the lack of appreciation by the employer company and 37% felt that the company did not take their feedback seriously.[4] However, the feedback culture itself does not have to be the problem. Often, this is only weakly developed due to the lack of communication and infrastructure[1], which can lead to these negative assessments by employees.

Is Better Tech Equipment the Solution?

So what should HR managers do to strengthen the sense of belonging of non-desk employees in the company? In some cases, it is worth investing in better technological equipment for employees to improve communication and thus employee retention. For example, shared laptops, computers or tablets that a business’s commercial employees can use may already make a significant difference. After all, a lack of technology is a challenge for a quarter of commercial employees, according to a Skedulo study.[5] Providing teams with the right technological equipment also increases employee retention, as employees who have appropriate technology are 2 times more likely to be very satisfied with their jobs, and more than half of these commercial employees want to stay with their current employer for at least the next five years.[5]

Yet for most companies, it is neither financially affordable nor sensible to equip all non-desk employees with a cell phone or a computer. Instead, cultural fit must be given high priority so that employees move in the same direction and feel emotionally connected to the company. This starts with recruiting. With a digital employee referral program like Radancy’s, you receive applicants who really fit your company, and at the same time increase the loyalty of your non-desk employees, who can use the My Referrals app to refer talent for open positions from anywhere and at any time, thus making an important contribution to the company’s success.

Cultural Fit Needs to Become A Priority

If the employees match each other professionally and personally, if they get along well or even become friends, then this has positive effects for everyone. Employees work more productively because communication between them is good. This benefits the company. In addition, employees feel more comfortable in the company and enjoy coming to work. And because they feel connected to the company, the risk of quitting decreases, which means employee retention increases and employee turnover and recruiting costs decrease.

Attention must be paid to the cultural fit of employees as early as the application process. Just as the professional competencies are checked, the personal fit of the applicants with the company must also be considered. Employees should fit in well with their teams and ideally share the same values that the company represents. It is essential to communicate these corporate values to talent via employer branding and in the application process. Only in this way do applicants have the chance to think about them and assess their own cultural fit in the company.

Increase the cultural fit in recruiting through mobility

One effective way of giving more focus to cultural fit in recruiting is through employee referrals. Commercial employees in particular primarily use their own networks to find new jobs. A digital employee referral program makes these referrals in your employees’ private networks visible and usable for you. Radancy’s My Referrals app allows your employees to refer candidates to you for your open positions, regardless of location or time. Because the app can be used on any smartphone, employee referrals bridge the technological gap for your non-desk employees.

This low-threshold participation in the program allows you to achieve two objectives with a single action. If your own employees refer new talent, you can be sure that they have a cultural fit, because your employees know who fits the company and who does not. This increases the cultural fit of the applicants and has been proven to strengthen employee loyalty. And not just with new employees, but with existing ones as well. A study in a supermarket chain found that employee turnover dropped by 15 to 20% after introducing an employee referral program. Because employees were involved in the recruiting process through a digital employee referral program, their sense of belonging in the company increased. Even at locations where no new employees were recruited through referrals.[6] As a result, the increased employee loyalty and decreased turnover relieve the burden on recruiters and their budgets.

Would you like to approach recruiting as a team and use your employees’ networks to bring the right talent into the company? We would be happy to look at your recruiting needs and employee referral opportunities with you over a short coffee break. To do so, send us an email at


[1] Gertz, Winfried. 14. März 2023. Feedback im Blue-Collar-Bereich: Im Dialog mit dem Shopfloor. Personalwirtschaft. Retrieved on 25 September 2023 via


[2] Boston Consulting Group. 07. Juli 2022. Why Deskless Workers Are Leaving—and How to Win Them Back. Retrieved on 25 September 2023 via

[3] Function HR. k.D. HR Studie: Benchmarks rund um erfolgreiches Personalmanagement. Retrieved on 25 September 2023 via

[4] Quinyx. 2022. State of the Deskless Workforce 2022. Retrieved on 25 September 2023 via

[5] Skedulo. 2022. State of Deskless Work Report 2022. Retrieved on 25 September 2023 via

[6] Friebel, Heinz, M., Hoffman, M., & Zubanov, N. (2023). What Do Employee Referral Programs Do? Measuring the Direct and Overall Effects of a Management Practice. The Journal of Political Economy, 131(3), 633–686. https:\/\/

Like what you read? Share it now:


Follow us

Book a demo
Create a great employee referal program

Consult our experts

Nachricht wurde gesendet
Wir melden uns in Kürze