The year 2019 may be the year that organizations start retooling how they find, evaluate, and even pay employees. Chalk the shifts up to, among several factors, the tight labor market and a massive influx of data, says Jeanne MacDonald, global co-operating executive and president of global talent solutions for Korn Ferry’s RPO and Professional Search business.
It has always been a red flag—the “hole” in a candidate’s resume, a period of time where a candidate wasn’t working. But an increasing number of organizations are realizing that those holes are there for very legitimate reasons, such as taking time off to care for children or aging loved ones. Many firms are now actively seeking out people with these types of gaps, MacDonald says.
Making AI more intelligent
Artificial intelligence (AI) has been touted as the new holy grail in recruiting. However, experts worry that its “intelligence” could create a lack of focus on diversity and inclusion. Even when resumes are anonymized by removing candidate names, AI often can figure out a candidate’s gender by analyzing the phrases used.
One way to help alleviate the issue is to feed the artificial intelligence with non-partial data, such as talent assessment data, that highlights success factors. The AI also needs to be trained to look more for the skills needed for a specific role instead of focusing on subjective modifiers, says George Vollmer, Korn Ferry’s vice president of global account development.
There are four generations now in the workforce, each with different expectations when it comes to pay and rewards packages. Forward-thinking firms are using social listening, focus groups, and surveys to figure out what each generation actually wants. With that information, they are able to tailor rewards packages, offering different mixes of pay, flextime, paid time off, international assignments, student loan repayment, and other benefits.
Rethinking performance review
Firms are starting to consider real-time feedback as, at a minimum, a supplement to annual reviews, if not a substitute. In the United States, the average job tenure is a little more than four years. Experts say that with such short tenures, annual reviews are no longer the primary way to help employees develop professionally. Many employees already recognize this.
Diversity and inclusion
There have been growing mandates for more women on boards and other senior leadership positions, around the world. While that’s a good development, firms need to maintain focus across all levels of an organization to create an ongoing pipeline of diverse talent, including women, people of color, disabled persons, and LGBTQ employees.
For years, consumer product companies and retailers have been surveying customers about their experiences with the brand. Increasingly, that practice is becoming part of the recruiting process. Technology is allowing for real-time feedback from candidates about their experiences during the recruiting cycle. The survey tools seek feedback at all points within the process, which gives recruiters and hiring managers data-driven insights and intelligence.
Off-the-wall job titles
Chief happiness officer. Data wrangler. Legal ninja. They may sound like off-the-wall job titles, but roles like these are emerging across many industries to meet the changing strategies of organizations.
For example, healthcare, finance, and other firms are increasingly looking to hire a chief experience officer. These businesses realize that the need is stronger than ever for customers to have positive experiences at every touchpoint, MacDonald says.
Business leaders traditionally set their strategy by analyzing business analytics to determine cost and operational effectiveness. However, experts say they may fail because they don’t find the right type of talent. Increasingly, firms are incorporating talent analytics into the mix. This data measures things such as competition for qualified talent in a region and compensation norms.
Talking talent holistically
With the massive influx of data, one would assume organizations would have an integrated way to analyze all elements of talent decisions, including recruiting, compensation, and development. Unfortunately, in many organizations, each of these functions is operating under a different “language,” often unable to talk with one another.
Experts say there is a trend toward a more foundational, data-centric approach that creates insights from organizational, team, and individual perspectives. That allows for a calibrated approach to talent that is tightly linked to business outcomes.
Short-term hiring needs
The speed of technological advances and changing business priorities makes knowing what’s going to happen next year—or even next month—extremely difficult.
Leading organizations are taking a holistic approach to talent acquisition. In the short term, they are speeding up hiring by figuring out the right mix of short-term contractors, gig workers, and full-time employees to do the work that currently needs to be done.