As the economy continues to grow and unemployment remains low in some developed countries, recruitment has become harder than ever. Beyond high rates of employee-initiated turnover and lower rates of unemployment, other challenges in relate to today’s world also exist. The accelerating adoption of automation is creating intense demand for technical skills that don’t widely exist in today’s workforce. And many employers believe that large numbers of post graduates are missing skills in complex thinking, collaboration, teamwork, and communication. All of these challenges make finding qualified talent particularly difficult.
Many companies shift their focus towards managing their employment brand in order to attract the talent pool. Strong career opportunities have to be introduced as well as high level of engagements between companies and candidates. For example, many companies strengthen company profile by encourage employees to film video on their experience in the company and upload on sites such as youtube and glassdoor to promote company welfare, environment and culture.
In this talent-constrained environment, we see three main sources of capabilities that can be leveraged more strategically by ‘accessing talent’ in varying ways. While each of these tactics may seem obvious on the surface, none of them have been tapped to their fullest potential to date, making them some of the most promising ways for organizations to go after needed talent.
Firstly, organizations should look much more strategically at moving current employees into available opportunities across the enterprise. This is a key differentiator for both recruiting and talent. An internal hire need not be a “perfect” fit for a role to be afforded an opportunity for growth or skills development. Studies show that reskilling an internal hire may take a year or so, but it can be done for as little as one-sixth the cost of hiring an external candidate.
While internal talent mobility may not be a new idea, it’s certainly an area where organizations have much room for improvement. Many employees feel the lack of information available within their company on available job roles, which many of them to feel it is easier to find a new career outside of the organization instead of staying with the current employer.
The second source of talent is the “alternative workforce”- people who work in gig arrangements, as contractors, as contingent workers, or in other non-traditional arrangements. This tactic appears to be especially relevant for companies looking for ways to flex their workforces in response to changing business conditions. It can also be an important factor for employers in countries where strict labour laws, high severance requirements, company-specific agreements with workers’ councils, and other factors create an environment where hiring full-time employees is often less appealing due to difficulties with layoffs as business conditions change.
On the alternative workforce, the number of people in alternative work arrangements is on the rise around the world. The availability of these types of workers is an opportunity for organizations that want to immediately bring capabilities into the organization that can deliver on specific outcomes.
The war for talent is raging more fiercely than ever. To win requires more than execution; it demands reinvention—not just of the talent acquisition process, but of the talent acquisition mindset. To do this, organizations should rethink how to access existing internal talent, reset traditional expectations on where talent can be found and what it looks like, and rewire the recruiting process by taking advantage of advanced technologies like AI. The talent is out there if you know how to look.
Automation is something we are already seeing enter the talent acquisition space. Automated systems can aggregate candidate data, present a list of this data to a recruiter, or seek out particular candidates based on their work history and skills. Some systems can even conduct the first round of candidate interviews and screening for the employer.
The counterpart to automation is machine learning and artificial intelligence. These artificially intelligent system can learn on its own, this allow the recruitment process to shorten as A.I make the connection and reach meanings without relying on pre-defined behavioural algorithms. True A.I. can improve on past iterations, getting smarter and more aware, allowing it to enhance its capabilities and its knowledge. The good news here is that technologies are available today that can revolutionize recruiting. A decade ago, organizations invested in applicant tracking systems (ATS) as the core platform to help collect, catalogue, manage, and track candidates.
More recently, an explosion of new tools, many powered by AI, have come on the market to make that process more scientific, scalable, and effective. Mature organizations now use AI-driven chat bots to enable a more streamlined approach to the application process; video interviews can screen and assess candidates for their fit to a particular role and the organization; and many new tools can help with targeted job advertising and expansive candidate searches. Consider a simple example. A new AI-based assessment system from Pymetrics can assess a wide variety of human traits and skills, and map them directly against the characteristics of the highest-performing people in various roles.
By using the tool, organizations have dramatically expanded their aperture for recruitment, hiring people who may not have expensive college pedigrees but are competent, ambitious, and ultimately able to succeed. Another example would be, Interview AI which analyse common facets of the interview process to understand the intangible human qualities (facial features, word choice, voice inflection, etc.) that can better predict candidate fit. This technology can assess a candidate’s ability to perform job duties by simulating customer/client interactions, measuring the applicant’s empathy and attention to detail.
Many factors are driving the rapid development in talent acquisition technology, including the increased demand by employers to stay competitive and attract high potential talent. Another dynamic that is keeping the ecosystem sufficiently niche-centric and largely disintegrated is the venture capital firms as there is new company getting capital funding almost every 2-to-4 weeks. The full impact of this new technology on talent acquisition is yet to be known. But for now, the race for capital funding and market share is keeping the recruiting tech fragmented and congested, and keeping the recruiting community on edge. Thus, long term strategies to attain talent acquisition in today’s world will be challenging and recruitment firms needs to be adapted quickly to remain relevant.
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