The world of work has been changing in unprecedented ways and leaders all across the world have had to adapt to the changing demands of this vuca world. But there is always hope for an easier transition when you have the right people standing by your side; the question then arises: How do we find the right people to walk with us as we navigate this continuously challenging worksphere? There are certain key priorities that leaders have kept in mind which include keeping up with the shifting workforce expectations, reinventing recruitment strategy for a better candidate experience, enhancing employer branding, delivering ROI and finally, development of project management skills. It is an endless process of experimentation, learning and unlearning when it comes to meeting these goals; what will aid in this process is a collaborative learning space. Keeping this in mind, People Matters and Indeed came together to host a workshop on what are the strategies leaders can come up with, what should be the foundation of these very strategies as they are used for managing complex projects in a hybrid work-set up to meet the demands of their organisations’ hiring priorities.
Our keynote speaker, Ricardo Viana Vargas, Founder and Managing Director, Macrosolutions, affirms at the very beginning of this session the increasing complexity of the world of work. What needs to be recognised is that there are no easy answers to these complex problems, what we must do instead is to react and to rethink fast in the face of any and all complexities. Coming to strategizing for hiring in the hybrid world and managing complex projects, Ricardo outlines five key aspects that all leaders need to account for:
1. Navigate uncertainty:
The VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity) world has permeated everything that we do and it’s an important idea that leaders must bear in mind. Everything has become uncertain; in the world of hiring, jobs are continuously being designed and redesigned and with changing priorities of organisations, the skill sets in demand are also changing. So when leaders or hiring managers are looking to recruit people for complex projects, the question they must offer an answer to is this: How do I offer some stability in a project with no stability?
2. Embrace adaptability:
Navigating uncertainty demands a great deal of agility and adaptability on the part of organisations. Leaders have to invest time and effort in building a highly adaptable work environment because one cannot move forward in a complex world, carrying out complex projects without the capacity to adapt, to be flexible and to be open to the unprecedented and anticipated problems.
3. Anticipate problems:
There is a need to create a system, a trigger system within the organisation that is able to anticipate problems. One also needs to anticipate long term consequences. As important as it is to focus on the challenges in front of you, one also needs to think about the potential problems that may arise years from now perhaps as a result of the solutions deployed at present. Simultaneously, organisations must invest in building a work environment that is psychologically safe for people to share their problems.
4. Reduce delivery cycles:
This aspect is critical when it comes to complex projects. There is no need to invest massive resources in projects whose rewards are received late. Organisations need to change their delivery approach, it is only when they deliver the products which can be produced with greater ease and speed can they create motivation, good face and a sense of accomplishment. It also encourages anticipation of rewards.
5. Optimise risk responses:
As complex projects are becoming more and more frequent, risk is everywhere because uncertainty is everywhere. At such a juncture, adaptability is the best foot forward for leaders. The need of the hour is not risk avoidance but rather a risk mindset so that one can strategise hiring projects with caution and great foresight.
“If you are not able to navigate this uncertainty, adapt yourself, optimise your risk responses, you will find yourself in a very weak position vis-a-vis a complex environment,” shares Ricardo.
Lessons from the workshop:
Rohan Sylvester, Recruitment Evangelist, Indeed, summarizes the points of his group’s discussion by moving in line with Ricardo’s framework. With the rising demand within organisations to ensure good candidate experience with quick turnaround time at a large scale, talent leaders have to navigate the pace of business growth and its expectations as well as a tight labour market. They may have to adapt to a potential COVID third wave and a definite hybrid work environment. In doing so, the problems which may arise is the lack of transparency between stakeholders because sometimes there are time constraints to ensuring a good candidate experience and organisations have no choice but to be okay with dropouts even after a possibly good candidate experience.
Some ideas then to maximise on a positive hiring experience which leaders can implement in a short span of time that only require time and effort and are short on delivery cycles include: group connect between candidate and hiring manager post receival of offer letter, informal video from the team welcoming the new hire, goodies, building connection with the candidate’s family, sharing a list of the organisation’s achievements and most importantly, timely and accurate feedback.
Risk responses include ensuring that all stakeholders are on the same page when it comes to hiring for complex projects and to proceed with caution when it comes to designing processes for improving candidate experience. The latter risk arises from the possibility of unknowingly making simpler processes more complex in the bid to achieve the goal for optimal candidate experience. Hand in hand with candidate experience is employer branding.
“Employer branding has evolved as a socio-cultural statement that reflects the organisation’s ethos,” shares Kalpak Huddar, Head of HR, Sitel India.
An organisation’s brand must communicate the human side of the business with honesty, empathy and the courage to adopt new challenges. They must reiterate that they are flexible and offer long term career opportunities as well as employee wellbeing and are driven to connect with employee’s families as well. A hyper personalised and seamless transfer of candidate experience to employee experience is also a must for greater retention.
In this discussion of candidate experience and employer branding against the background of complex management projects and the vuca world, it has been learned that in order to navigate this uncertainty with greater adaptability and agility and flexibility, leaders must anticipate problems, reduce their delivery cycles and optimise risk responses. What the strategy ultimately looks like and how its implemented will vary across industries with their own unique challenges when it comes to hiring, but the core of theses diverse organisations’ strategies remains the same as they learn and unlearn and devise and revise strategies for finding the right people to stand by their side as they navigate this new and unprecedented and challenging yet exciting world of work.