As winning the war for talent is reignited in a dynamic and disruptive business landscape, organisations are revisiting and redesigning their recruitment efforts. The talent economy has become increasingly candidate and skill-driven. But with inflationary pressures, there is an urgent need today for HR professionals to reduce the costs of hiring talent, while levelling up their efficacy in bridging the current skill gap.
In an exclusive webinar conducted by People Matters powered by upGrad Placements, top HR leaders deliberated on ways to address talent needs of businesses today. We were joined by Mayank Kapoor, CHRO, FreeCharge; Divya Amarnath, Director HR-Flipkart; Kunal Rohilla, AVP-HR, EXL and Husain Tinwala, Co-Founder, upGrad Rekrut, who offered their insights and real-life success stories on innovative hiring practices.
De-mystifying the hiring landscape to set clear targets
At the beginning of the discussion, Husain pointed out that technology disruptions have placed immense pressures on business outcomes and the performance of the bottom line. This has also led to a tight competition for tech skills and roles. With Kunal highlighting that “the demand for digital competencies has doubled” and Divya revealing how, “over 70-75% of these roles today have competing job offers,” the panellists highlighted the lack of bargaining power of enterprises today.
Despite CTCs going up to recruit in-demand talent, the panellists agreed that one cannot overlook how hiring time has also increased. And the problem doesn’t end there. The cost of re-hiring remains significant, with candidates often dropping out at the last minute or leaving for better offers. As a result, the combined impact of high hiring costs and opportunity costs can lead to setbacks on business targets and sustainable growth.
While the pressing concern of developing a sustainable talent pipeline remains paramount, for many it's finding the answer to the question of whether to build or buy talent is an important one to answer. Which would yield the greatest benefits for the longer term?
The Answer: Build, Buy and Borrow Talent
As pointed out by Mayank, the first step is to revisit the organisational structure and gain an accurate picture of the effectiveness of hiring decisions. Today’s talent strategy has to be a win-win for the organisations and their workforce and this can be achieved with a diversified hiring practice in place that can be broken down into the following three blocks:
Upskilling and internal mobility is vital to retaining your talent. It also plays a significant role in heightening productivity when top performers are identified and enrolled into customised L & D programs to enhance their skills. Organisations must also support skill-building by enabling the democratisation of career growth opportunities. This can be done by outlining critical competencies for each role. This can help employees align their interests to the needs of the business, invest in their upskilling to take on new roles, and expand their current set of responsibilities.
The panellists agreed that what you prioritise while hiring plays a significant role in the long term sustainability of your talent pipeline. Although this varies across industries and organisations, an internal assessment plan is vital. While hiring it’s necessary today to focus on LifeLong learners. Such candidates are invested in their self-growth and ready to take on new challenges by developing new skills.
When it comes to reducing hiring costs, campus recruitment and referrals are the most effective. A multi-marketing referral system that incentivises referrals across departments can prove beneficial.
The two components of building and buying talent can be also interwoven in experiments such as the train to hire models of campus recruitment, where skilling programs unique to the business context are designed and are rolled out in campuses. The top performers from these programs are then hired.
Today the gig economy for tech talent is growing by leaps and bounds. Given flexible employment models have fast become a mainstay, many highly skilled professionals can be hired on a part-time/contractual basis. Rather than relying entirely on in-house talent, companies need to strategize on how to best leverage such opportunities as they can contribute significantly to achieving business excellence and growth.
Through a diversified approach that has a bit of all three components mentioned above, you can maximise the returns of your hiring efforts. The panellists, however, agreed that even with the best hiring strategy and skilling tools, there remains one critical element that HR leaders cannot overlook: employer branding. It helps to retain your talent and ensure the desired candidates want to work in your organisation.
Leaders today need to continuously strengthen their work culture, to ensure that their recruitment drives are a success and their employees are engaged and productive. This needs to be supplemented with access to opportunities for their growth within the organisations. A resilient workforce invested in their self-growth then becomes the game changer in steering the business to new heights in the current disruptive world of work.