A recent Microsoft study reveals that 41% of the workforce is planning to leave their employers this year. In the face of this great resignation, organisations need to drive success by getting the best talent available in the market. However, statistics reveal that 25% of mission-critical positions often remain vacant even after five months. As organizations compete for the top candidates, they expend large sums of money, time, and other resources in advertising and recruitment. But research shows that the careful use of talent assessments can yield benefits for organisations through increased productivity, cost savings, development, and better retention of top employees.
To delve deeper into this, People Matters and Pearson hosted a recent webcast with Steven Yudiyantho, SVP, Human Capital Strategy, PT Bank Mandiri (Persero) Tbk. and Matt Stevens, Head of Talentlens UK, Pearson who discussed and deliberated upon strategies that organisations can develop to hire the best talent to achieve successful business outcomes.
The key talent predictor: Agility
“Agility is the new talent currency, predictor of potential,” shares Steven.
Earlier when looking for candidates to hire, the search was for someone who can do the job. And while that focus continues to remain, what is important is also the drive for learning on the job. Learning agility is crucial; people in their respective roles must apply their learnings, as well as learn new skills continuously and over time. When talking about agility, Steven breaks it down into three parts: first is intellectual agility to adapt to the needs of digital transformation, the second is emotional intelligence which and finally, a growth mindset that drives one to learn and envisage their career development within the organisation. Workers must be adapt at working autonomously, independently but also with empathy, to show compassion and a real desire to understand other people.
Strategies for measuring talent and bringing in the right candidates
In the ultra-competitive world where talent markets tend to be volatile and disruptive, recruiters have to place the candidate at the centre during their hiring process.
Matt emphasises, “An organisation’s goal must be to retain, upskill and develop their people which is their most precious resource.”
There needs to be clarity on the technical skills required, the recruitment process needs to start early and they must meet the candidate on their own terms. Organisations must foster links with schools and colleges, engage in direct outreach and carry out talent campaigns on social media to attract candidates. Companies must present themselves as a welcoming, progressive, ethical, ambitious place where people have access to numerous learning opportunities. The employee value proposition, or EVP, must be aligned with the talent purpose as well.
Greater emphasis on big data in hiring and identifying skill needs
The way people work is changing and so are the skill needs. In order to identify and measure skill gaps in the virtual ecosystem, there is an increased urgency to utilise big data. Tech solutions such as AI interviews, adaptive tests, and gamification are increasingly important for assessing candidates as well as current employees in a purely objective fashion, removing the risks of conscious or unconscious bias. Psychometric solutions can be key in measuring both the soft and hard skills of the candidate, and the aggregation and analysis of big data allows companies to identify trends, patterns and gaps in their talent profile, which can help HR to map out (and budget for) learning and reskilling opportunities aligned to the needs of their business.
Solutions have to be developed together
Steven highlights that when we develop assessments to hire the right candidates, the chosen tech solutions must have an accessible language, must provide a good candidate experience and should have cultural sensitivity. With regard to the role frontline managers can play in retaining talent and encouraging learning, and in general building a good employer brand, it is evident that leaders have to take ownership of learning programs and present evidence to the people of why it is important and why it works. The importance of learning and internal career growth have to be sold to employees in the right way. In other words, assessments to hire candidates as well as assessments to measure the talent of the workers require leaders and tech providers to work together to come up with solutions that best fit the values and goals of the organisation.
Optimising the organisation’s learning budget
In order to build a culture of learning at your organisation with the right budget, the first thing that must be done is to build the capability of learning in the organisation. In other words, learning developers must work with subject matter experts to build a learning experience that is attractive and accessible to all, and this must be championed and modelled by the leadership. The first step for this is baselining the current skills profile of a team or a workforce using psychometric tools. Then the process of developing an ecosystem driven to learn becomes easier as there is greater awareness of the starting point of your employees, and what they need to do next. In turn, this tells companies the scale of the need so that they can budget accordingly.
The final takeaway from this discussion is that recruitment is a game of risk management and probability. The most critical thing that organisations are looking for in their candidates is learning agility and as such, there is a need on the part of companies as well to offer learning opportunities to their hires in order to retain and develop their talent for better business outcomes. Tech solutions are key in relation to this, they not only aid in an objective hiring process but they also help channel learning opportunities and measure the outcomes so that organisations know where they stand and where they need to pivot towards. In a “vuca” world, the only way to move ahead, attract and retain the right talent is to build and continuously encourage a culture of learning and development.
You can view the webcast here: