Do you remember "Po," the famous character from the movie Kung Fu Panda? As much as you might have enjoyed the film (I certainly did), did you imagine a lovable, fluffy panda becoming the Dragon Warrior and bringing peace to the valley? To be honest, nobody did. Even in the movie, when Master Oogway announced Po as the dragon warrior, nobody, including Master Shifu (Oogway’ s disciple), believed the prophecy. The decision felt wrong and impossible. Yet, in time, Master Oogway’ s prophecy was fulfilled, and Po proved his worth as a brave yet compassionate warrior.
On similar lines, almost nobody will believe me when I say that traditional recruiting will die. Furthermore, organizations that rely solely on recruiters will struggle to find and nurture talent in the future. Yet, this scenario will come to pass. We have seen the indications all along.
Think about it - organizations have been working on strengthening the talent acquisition function for years. Yet, they haven't succeeded despite having big staffing teams, creating separate functions for talent pooling or diversity and inclusions, and seeking extended support from boutique staffing vendors. Recruitment remains a $30 billion industry, and the reason is that everybody needs "good" and "on-time" talent. Unfortunately, the traditional recruitment model has failed to deliver. The emerging code of work, fuelled by the pandemic, calls for a cohesive, transparent, and digital ecosystem to streamline talent acquisition and promote employee satisfaction.
Here are some hiring trends to reinvent the recruiting function:
Recruiting AI Chatbot - The New Dragon Warrior
Well, not a panda, but an AI-powered chatbot is the future of the recruitment industry. The combination of AI and Natural Language Processing (NLP) can solve the majority of problems faced by Talent Acquisition Leaders – including the quagmire of finding "good" and "experienced" talent "on time."
With advanced capabilities to crunch numbers and information across millions of data points, an AI-enabled recruiting platform can find suitable profiles within a second of crawling. A chatbot also takes over communication, providing real-time visibility to both the candidate and the hiring manager. From resume screening to interviewing and onboarding, the software can automatically handle all these functions while matching the suitable candidates to the right post for maximum productivity. Presently, several organizations are introducing these capabilities in their recruitment system through PeopleStrong's Alt Recruit and Workday to see incremental results.
Focus on Recruitment Marketing
Traditionally, organizations have focused on job boards, job fairs, and other print media for attracting talent. However, local recruitment ads no longer cut when you have the option of hiring candidates from across the world. Instead, it's better to focus on creating an employee-centric online presence by investing in a branding strategy for your organization. Become active in various social communities where your "ideal" candidates are likely to hang out to attract individuals that match your company's vibe. Creating a separate function for recruitment marketing can help accelerate this process and even prove to be a turning point for your existing recruitment process.
Returning to Kung-Fu Panda, I'd like to quote something here. Master Shifu said, "If you only do what you can do, you will never be more than who you are right now." I find this statement to be especially true for the recruiting space.
Take the example of technical recruiters or recruitment specialists. This is one of the most abused terms in the present scenario. In fact, the recruitment specialists who ruled the roost in the past couple of years will either fade away or shift to the role of recruitment coordinators while AI takes over the core recruitment process.
In the meanwhile, another coveted position would arise – of recruitment scientists who work closely with business leaders to create qualified job profiles and possess the capability of having technical conversations with candidates. This will help reduce the hiring lead time, cost of hiring, and, most importantly, business leaders will get more productive hours from members who spend at least 15% of their time interviewing.
Many organizations like us have created such an ecosystem where recruiters are directly able to manage hiring for entry-level candidates without the involvement of the business. The recruitment scientist knows the actual task and evaluates candidates with the business hat instead of the HR hat.
The pandemic has created extreme financial pressure on organizations while also leading to new and remote working models. Several organizations reduced operations and laid off employees in 2020 to keep the wheels turning. Additionally, some organizations are now introducing location-based compensation or a differentiated compensation strategy to reduce costs.
To make this model work, you first need to fix a base pay for a particular role or skill to ensure parity. Additionally, there can be a location-based allowance, which is based on the living costs of the area where the employee is located.
The model helps in several ways. First, with remote hiring, it's possible to recruit talent from Tier 2/Tier 3 cities. These individuals needn't move to the metros and can continue working from their location - which saves them hassle and cost. From an organizational point of view, it becomes possible to address the talent crunch. Additionally, remote employees are likely to stick for a longer duration even at a lesser compensation, as they needn't incur any additional expenses to move to the city.
Planned Workforce Management
Organizations have been trying to create a diverse and inclusive workforce for years. However, they haven't succeeded due to various reasons. With remote hiring, it becomes possible to focus on these elements to become an equal opportunity employer. For instance, if an organization intended to hire specially-abled individuals but couldn't because of the existing office infrastructure, that hurdle can now be overcome by giving an equal opportunity to people who can work from the comfort of their personal settings.
To reduce costs, recruiters will also focus on hiring fewer individuals. They will prefer employees who are subject-matter experts or multi-talented to bring more value to the table.
While the trends shared above might look ordinary, the results can be genuinely transformative depending on the seriousness with which they are implemented. Eventually, you have to follow the "Common Sense" approach to build a new and focused recruitment strategy centered on candidate value proposition, talent pooling, and primary hiring sources augmented with advanced metrics to improve the overall productivity. I like to call it the 5W approach: Who, When, What, Why & Where. Eventually, organizations that follow a proactive and common-sense approach to recruitment, coupled with intuitive decision making and cultural alignment, will emerge as the recruiting leaders in their space.