Since the pandemic, employee experience has been changing in the past two years following the organisational shift in mindset. With the emergence of the ‘Great Resignation’, the war for talent has become even more fierce. This is a ripe opportunity for HRs to make a difference in contributing to the end objective. There is a need to revise how talent acquisition, and management was operating.
Talent recruitment strategies to secure the right candidate
Pooja Bansal, CHRO, Piaggio India stressed the importance of structuring a framework for the company mapping the various positions and the people. This will enable talent acquisition managers to identify the critical positions of high value and contribute most to the organisation. This framework will help in formulating a strategic workforce segmentation.
Pooja explained this segmentation as a 4x4 model where the importance of the position is marked on the x-axis and the difficulty of the position on the y-axis. As the importance of the position rises, the difficulty in attracting talent for the position also increases. To overcome this, talent acquisition managers will have to adopt a different approach and employ different tools to fill the position. Strategising the recruitment process based on workforce segmentation helps attract the right person for the role in the least time without compromising on the quality.
Another analysis that talent acquisition managers can use during recruitment is the heat map based on the employee and talent brands. Employee brand is defined by the company’s culture to attract new talent. This is used while campaigning for new candidates. The talent brand is what the employee of an organisation is saying about it. It is beyond the employer’s control and comes from the employee’s experience. These two parameters can also be plotted on the x and y axis to determine brand attraction against the demand of the talent in a particular position.
Using these strategies, the positions which will require more effort and strategy can be easily recognised. Additionally, talent acquisition managers can also easily identify which positions have the potential to be filled internally. Applying different strategies like these will ensure more than just transactional recruitment for the company.
Changes for expanding the talent pipeline
With the shift in market demand, there is also a shift in the organisation’s goals and objectives. This has a direct impact on the employees associated with the organisation. There is pressure on both the business and the employees to transform. Employees have to upgrade their skills and even unlearn everything they know and learn a new skill set.
While adapting to the shift within the industry, it is imperative to perform a capability scanning internally to identify any internal talent. This scan will allow capability building exercises to be given to the right candidate. This will also enable employees to get the opportunity to have a new learning experience. These interventions need to be long-term to retain the employee.
Pooja lists four major pillars that she focuses on while creating a strategy for talent retention.
First is the culture of the organisation. The internal talent needs to feel appreciated in their new position while having the autonomy to fulfil their role. The second is the rewards. There is a need for creative bonus proposals. The rewards don’t need to be monetary, but the rewards have to be there to enable them to perform. The third is their career. There are many ways to encourage career growth in individuals, like sponsoring their higher education and employing assessment tools for continuous improvement. Fourth is providing a platform for the employees to voice their feedback. This will encourage positive interaction and ideas for improvement.
Evolution of recruitment assessments tools
Amidst the rising war for talent and the scarcity of skills, there is a need to revise job descriptions and examine if there is room for relaxation of some of the criteria listed. This directly results in a bigger talent pool to choose from. However, no compromise should be made on the assessment process.
Piaggio follows a unique system for young talent hiring. The assessment process starts a year before the final year through product system training and process training to orient them to the industry before the student even takes up an internship. This helps strengthen their mindset towards the industry. The Pearson assessments like Raven’s cognitive test are used for freshmen hiring. After the training, work sampling is used as an assessment technique. This has one of the highest correlations to performance, ensuring performance and productivity. The interns are then reviewed every month and selected for absorption into the organisation after a year. For lateral hiring, Piaggio employs Watson Glaser Critical Thinking test by Pearson TalentLens.
There are many assessment tools available in the market. The important step is to choose one and adapt it to the organisation’s cultural environment. To understand the impact of that assessment, the same tool needs to be used consistently. In addition to the assessment tools, it is important to train hiring managers on effective structured interviewing. Hiring managers have to categorise their questions into those based on past experiences, those based on job knowledge, and those based on situational experiences. This is an important training as effectively structured interviews directly impact the quality of the hire.
Talent acquisition efforts do not end when a candidate onboards for that position. There is a need for a focused process to ensure a positive employee experience. This starts even before a person onboards.
Piaggio’s talent acquisition team and the HR business partners establish contact with the candidate even before the person joins in by giving them small information about what is new in the organisation, sharing milestones and business objectives. This keeps the candidate aware of what’s happening in the business, and it helps generate curiosity. This also helps in avoiding last-minute cancellations. A 2 week induction process follows this to establish the company goals and their own functions. A system generated initiative called ‘First Impressions’ taken every month till the sixth month after joining helps resolve issues.
For a hybrid work environment, online onboarding poses a challenge. To overcome that challenge, it is important to define clear objectives and set them in the first 30 days, so the employee is clear about the expectations from the job. The employee should be given opportunities to interact with the team and other departments. Cross-functional projects sponsored by the leaders can help new employees to interact with other teams and build their skills.
Pooja talks more here on how you can transform the great resignation into a great opportunity for your organisation.