Chaitali Mukherjee is a Partner and Leader - People & Organization at PwC India.
In an exclusive conversation with People Matters, as part of the #HRReboot Week in partnership with Oracle, she highlighted how the recruitment function has changed, the need of rethinking our approach to hiring and what’s different in this season of virtual recruiting.
1. With a combination of officer goers and remote employees constituting the workforce of the future. What are some key hiring priorities for the recruiting function to focus on?
The way things have shaped up over the last year, recruiters need to think very differently.
Organizations are re-defining how they think of the ‘workforce’ – and more importantly, how they define full time employees. Increasingly, a whole host of employees are joining the workforce, and that includes part-time employees, remote employees, contractual employees etc.,
Therefore, even before defining priorities for the recruiting function of the future, companies may need to reflect on what kind of ‘talent’ they need to navigate the future. The newer definition of the talent for the future for the organization would need to consider how the value addition as a firm has and will evolve, what skills are now critical in the current context, to be in house v/s what could be managed through deep experts and how could this be enabled to look at talent globally.
Some of the top hiring priorities could include:
● Actively articulate the redefined ‘talent’ and reflect on the various avenues of talent – remote, part time employees etc., that companies have access to.
● To understand the culture that is reflected in their own employees and clarify the requirements as they look at new talent avenues.
● The business scenario is still organic and evolving – and companies are figuring out what they can or can’t do. For a recruiter, their own success will be dependent on walking along with the employee, on their journey.
2. Virtual recruiting is here to stay. How should companies prepare for it? And what challenge and opportunity areas do you foresee?
Virtual recruiting was previously viewed as ineffective, particularly at senior levels and it was at best used at the stage of filtration of candidates.The process wasn’t deemed completed, if an in person interview didn't happen. Now, that mindset is no longer there.
Today, it is viewed as a regular option. Virtual recruitment however requires specific skill building and adjustments – especially because candidates may have more distractions than meeting in-person.
Both the candidate and the recruiter have a role to play in making the process a success. That includes detailed context setting and an understanding of the intricacies involved in a virtual set-up.
The norms around virtual recruitment – keeping the video on, being present not just physically, but even mentally, not multitasking, connecting on time and representing the brand well may have a lasting impact. Companies need to establish a few common principles, so that there is a common experience regardless of the mode of communication, and there’s a need for a new recruitment checklist that includes recommendations for the virtual recruitment process.
3. There’s a whole new market of remote talent that are at the disposal of recruiters today. How should companies rethink their hiring strategies to tap this talent?
Beyond defining the ‘talent’, there is a need to educate your own employees on how to channel remote talent. And this will force a rethink on hiring strategy for recruiters.
Today, the marketplace has a lot of apps and platforms where both full time employees and freelancers are looking for opportunities. The future is going to have both these types of talent merged – with a focus on looking at the right skill that’s needed and then adjusting our recruitment strategy accordingly.
4. How is technology helping reboot the recruiting function to enable a return to work? And what is the approach in your company?
Technology is enabling a lot of steps already – right from AI based filtering of prospective candidates, online recruitment, proctored assessments etc., - and a lot of these steps were available even before the onset of the pandemic.
What’s needed today is a skill based approach. And that means moving away from a heavy focus on interviews. There’s a need for skill based assessments.
Therefore, defining the skills of the future will be very important which includes digital skills, remote working skills and then an understanding of how technology is being leveraged.
5. What are some recruiting trends that you think will be critical to the future?
I think the future focus will be on assessing the individual holistically. Another important need for recruiters is to become effective while reducing biases. The third thing is that recruitment happens in a known environment and that’s set to change – with changed parameters, unknown environment and limited opportunities. The process and the people need to be more effective.