Acquiring and retaining talent in the digital era
As the world steps into the Fourth Industrial Revolution, driven by disruptive technologies such as Big Data Analytics, Machine Learning (ML), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), Cloud computing and industrial automation–the functions of HR are also going through digital transformation. In today’s day and age, jobs and skills are changing at a rapid pace and organisations need to take a fresh look at how they approach acquiring the right talent, where and how to find it. According to The Gartner Recruiting Efficiency Survey, 25% of today’s candidates apply for 10 or more jobs; the average number of applications received for a single position rose 39% between 2012 and 2018. Additionally, recruiters must now weed through larger pools of poor-fit candidates where 72% of applications are considered low- to average-quality.
Today, the battle for acquiring talent is raging more severely than ever. To win, organisations need to look beyond execution. They need to reinvent not just of the talent acquisition process, but of the talent acquisition mindset. In order to do this, organizations should think of ways to leverage the existing internal talent, look beyond traditional places to find talent and rearrange the recruiting process by using advanced technologies like Big Data Analytics, AI, etc.
Digitalization of HR functions takes years of effort. In a typical talent acquisition strategy, employers would put out notices that they were hiring to their current employees and ask for referrals. Some still place an advertisement on various job portals or outsource it to professional head hunters who acquire the required talent from the industry. Various organisational managers and human resources would rely on their employees or their network of talent pool to find ideal candidates, which could take a long time and result in a loss of energy and resources. Significantly, the recruiting process has changed in advent to modern technology and hiring practices. The job market and in-demand skills are evolving fast and the speed of change is only set to accelerate.
The process of hiring someone is often a long and complex journey. Modern technologies can help companies tackle the challenge of identifying, attracting and retaining critical talent. The good news is, recruiting process has changed considerably and so are the hiring practices. Social sourcing, in which employers use social media sites like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to find employees, is one such important transformation in talent acquisition strategy. Accessing the resumes and identifying suitable candidates who fill a role is not the challenging part. What’s harder is gaining deeper insight into a candidate’s behavioural skills and their potential alignment with a company’s culture. Insights from various studies on the Future of Work show an increase in demand for skills like problem solving, learnability, dealing with ambiguity, resilience and people management to be stronger predictors of success. Relying solely on the interview process is hazardous and conducting a battery of assessments to gauge these dimensions is expensive. Emerging data analytics technology are playing an increasingly important role to fix this challenge. Many organisations are deploying algorithms that apply various criteria to evaluate personality assessments that determine if a given candidate is likely to be a good fit. Some are applying such algorithms to candidate’s social media footprints to dig deeper into the fit between personality and business culture as well as to assess the percentage of likelihood that a candidate will accept an offer.
On the flip side, AI could end magnifying biases embedded in the traditional selection methodologies at a systemic level. To safeguard ourselves, vendors of these platforms and the HR teams must test the data with a pool of diverse candidates.
For sure, digitalization is transforming the way HR attracts, retains and develops employees. In the process of acquiring talent, the balance of power seems to be shifting away from employers and toward candidates- who can now apply to multiple organisations, positions, find out about the company culture, policies, etc. on just click of a button.
It’s time for the HR function to move beyond the traditional support role, transforming the workplace experience by optimally leveraging emerging technologies. While technology takes a key role in digital transformation, what remains unchanged is the integrity of the people, processes, and culture along with priorities to have a measurable business impact. To succeed, HR as a function must evolve to the next level and embrace a transformational agenda, aligned with the business goals. As we navigate the dynamic challenges of continual disruption all around us, it is also the right time to tap the infinite, intrinsic opportunities. To thrive, HR must respond to the changing needs and diverse employee expectations. This calls for nurturing an open innovation culture, people-first policies, driven by a diverse, inclusive, engaged, competent and agile workforce with different skillsets, and backgrounds across multiple generations. Sustaining employee morale through inspiring communication, people-centric processes and a purpose-driven approach will be vital to achieve the pursuit of excellence.