Article: The dynamic evolution of recruitment


The dynamic evolution of recruitment

Organizations need to reinvent the talent acquisition space and deploy new approaches to deal with the hows and whys of hiring the right talent
The dynamic evolution of recruitment

The concept of a marketplace is still in its infancy in the HR space. There is a need for platforms that match the buyer and seller requirements


While using technologies helps organizations increase efficiency, it is important to remember to transpose the human touch points lost in the process


The talent acquisition community has long grappled with the hows and whys of hiring the right talent. The right time within which hiring needs should be met has also been debated. Previously, organizations looked at the turnaround time in hiring candidates as a measure of effectiveness. However, today the processes are assessed based on the effect they have on revenue. The usual questions that the leadership asks a talent acquisition leader regarding this pertains to the number of people hired after taking into account the billing date or the number of people who were not hired as a result of which there was a business loss. In a roundtable conducted in collaboration with the Arrows Group Global, Naveen Naryanan, Director for Global Operations outlined the changing dynamics in talent acquisition.

Recruitment models have had a dynamic evolution. For MNCs scaling up, the emphasis in the past few years was primarily on the number of employees required. This emphasis shifted to the needs of the stakeholders, since employees worked across different verticals and today, organizations have also started to focus on the candidate experience. However, while engaging in volume recruitment the dilemma faced has been whether the organization should employ recruiters who are 360 degree professionals, who usually have experience in managing all aspects of hiring and have expertise in the market?, or should the organization follow a supply chain model, where the process and professionals are split into sourcing, management, documentation, interview and so on? While the latter option makes it easy for the organization to handle volume, it makes the candidate’s experience difficult because of a number of touch points involved in the procedure. The focus therefore has to be on the ease of the candidate experience. Companies today are tackling this problem by assigning job roles like relationship managers to ensure that candidates have a pleasant job experience. This also tackles the problems of disgruntled candidates taking to social media tools to vent their anger.

Challenges in recruitment

In the age of disruptive technology, most technologies that are used in the Indian recruitment space are still largely dated. The recruitment industry has largely been dominated by Boolean search and transactional job portals which only aggregate data. Even as organizations are adapting to a generation of new talent that heavily relies on social media, the budgets for technologies are still largely controlled by the older generation. Most recruiters today are trained on scripts, calls and tackling the volume of candidates etc., the challenge however remains in tackling passive talent. Even as the survey by LinkedIn indicates that India is ranked among the top three countries where passive candidates are recruited, it seems to be most popular in the executive level. From a talent perspective, a candidates’ experience is dynamic and does not follow a particular job description.

Investment in Employer Brand

While the employer brand plays a crucial role in understanding why a prospective candidate selects an organization, it is important to remember that the employee is the number one brand ambassador. Most employees within the organization tend to talk about the work, worker and workplace. These aspects shape the perception of the employer brand even outside an organization. Prospective candidates are making choices based on this information. However, most organizations are unwilling to sell their employee experience as part of their brand. This is the biggest differentiator in terms of how to make a workplace attractive.

While every organization wants a fancy brand, the question has most often been about how much to spend. The difficulty with measuring the rate of effectiveness of the initiatives has also been an issue. With the rise of digital and social media, the metrics for measuring effectiveness has simplified. Impressions, number of followers and talent brand index are some metrics around which companies now have data on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. But only about five out of ten companies have mapped the measures that could effectively push them up on the Talent Brand Index. The Index also helps them assess the interest in candidates by looking at the data on application hits etc. The conversation around the investment on employer brand should focus on the key metrics that will be employed. If anorganization wants to be on the top ten or top three on the index, there is a price to pay. For talent acquisition specialists, this is a better way to go about articulating investment in the employer brand.

One-third of the people who apply for jobs are using mobile platforms today, but still very few companies have career apps or sites for mobile platforms. Video interviews and video job descriptions are a popular method to connect with potential candidates. Using social media and blogging platforms to create buzz around the work and workplace not only helps the employer brand, it helps engage and inform a potential candidate.

Technology and the future

Virtual talent pools have seen a big boost in the west. While organizations are chasing talent ahead of the curve, the rise of SMAC (Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud) has pushed demand almost five times that of supply. Very few organizations in India are willing to engage with virtual talent pools. While the reasons for this trend are still unclear, privacy seems to be an issue. The advantage of virtual talent pools is that they are not transactional. They can be likened to dating in terms of how an employer and employee engage with each other.  When the work and cultural fit are determined, the employee joins the company. Tools using artificial intelligence are transforming the recruiter – candidate experience. Burning Glass is an example of a product that uses the technology to sift through potential candidates with eighty percent accuracy, and uses algorithms that are capable of analyzing large volume of data while taking into account the employers need. This saves a great deal of time for a recruiter. Artificial intelligence also enables candidates to pick the right jobs based on experience.

The concept of a market place is still in its infancy in the HR space. The consumer industry is at least three times ahead of the HR industry. There is a need for platforms that match the buyer and seller requirements. The Internet of things is changing how demand is predicted in the consumer industry. If we look at the example of an RFID tag (radio frequency identification) in the consumer industry, it provides data on what needs to be bought in real time. Such technologies can also be adapted to recruitment needs which help forecast the workforce needs. The application of Big Data is focused on predicting workforce trends, insights on the channels for hiring and in understanding candidate considerations — which candidates will choose you and why. When potential candidates are given personalized attention they are more likely to join the company. It is important therefore to remember that while using technologies helps organizations tackle recruitment needs both efficiently and in short span of time, it is important to remember to transpose the human touch points lost in the process. 

(Based on the Arrows Group Global and People Matters Roundtable series)

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Topics: Recruitment, Talent Acquisition, #TAWeek

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