Even before the pandemic, it was difficult for people in HR to hire talent based on future trends.
In a post- pandemic world, we are looking at employability in a totally different light. We have to completely change the way we work to meet future roadblocks or uncertainty. It is important that hiring practices and talent acquisition should adjust to the new way of hiring and working.
With new technologies coming up every day, it is hard to understand the tools and strategies that would be needed in the future. It is possible though to have a list of priorities when it comes to making sure that your resource pipeline is future proof.
The first step would be to introspect and answer the following questions, instead of trying to changing based on industry trends.
- What is the role of your business in the changing workplace and what directions can it take?
- How are you adapting to meet it headlong?
- How do you leverage data better when it comes to talent pipelining?
- Social media is important but with changing privacy laws and shifting algorithms, how will you connect with your customers despite these uncertainties?
- What is the role of automation in hiring and on-boarding your new employees?
- How do you plan on implementing a performance management system when your employees work from different locations and time zones?
Why build a Talent Pipeline?
The recruiter’s role is changing. When you look at 2021 recruiting trends, you realize that talent managers need to work with resource management teams to adapt to changes and keep the business moving forward. Here are five ways to future-proof your resource pipeline and keep it relevant.
1. Hire for Human Qualities and not just Skills
While skills and certifications are important, employees can always upskill or reskill significantly. Human qualities, wrongly dubbed ‘soft skills’ when in fact they are critical skills, will dominate the workforce of the future. For instance, employees of the future need to look beyond narrow roles and responsibilities. They should be ready to become brand representatives and in a sense, critically functioning business partners for the organisation.
In this article from People Matters, Phuong Huynh, Head of Talent Acquisition at Sanofi, Asia, believes that instead of conventional hiring practices, recruiters need to look beyond a candidate’s skills on paper. Moreover, recruiters need to make the hiring process more personalized and human. In today’s business culture, companies should view employees in the form of journeys instead of simply looking at metrics. Huynh says, “The moment you start viewing candidates’ journey as an experience, you will try to make it unique and customised.”
The idea is to introduce employees to broader, more personal roles within the organisation and to encourage them to take on the mantle of an advocate for the company and the brand.
Collaboration skills, critical thinking, adaptability, problem-solving skills and creative vision are qualities that ensure that your employees contribute to your organisation in valuable ways. Apart from this, Huynh talks about other qualities – storytelling abilities, for instance, and presentation literacy. Indeed, it is a combination of both left-brained and right-brained functions that you should look for in a candidate – someone who is able to think from different perspectives and can understand data but also make it tell a story and garner insight.
One important trend that recruiters have noticed is that the ‘pull’ strategy works better than the ‘push’ strategy when onboarding talent. Instead of merely listing job openings on social media or on skilling platforms, start dialogues about hiring, create content around your recruitment process, and engage top talent to seek you out. It is important to look beyond job boards and to get to your potential employees in different ways.
It is also important to cultivate a powerful internal talent pipeline. Understand and analyse your current internal resources. Are there people who can rise up to fit broader, more challenging roles? What future do you chart for them within the company? Work out ways to nurture their skills and talents so that they can take on more decisive roles in the future. Nurturing in-house talent can save you a lot of work and uncertainty because these are employees who already know your business. You are also simplifying your recruitment process and you have an eye to the future in terms of fitting these people into more impactful, long-term roles. Nurture your current employees in order to maintain your talent pipeline.
2. Strategize Effectively
Hiring managers need to be trained to analyse resumes and review candidates qualitatively. A made-to-measure training program for hiring managers should focus on adaptability, creativity, qualitative review skills, and even a bit of psychology! Hiring managers should fit keenly into the company’s overall vision and should be its advocates in the sense that they are able to hire those who can embody the company’s corporate values completely.
For instance, continuous recruitment should be on the agenda of a hiring manager. You need to keep looking at future positions that need to be filled and you need to keep building capacities for future roles. This is where a talent pool comes in and it is important to continuously assess a person’s growth trajectory from inside the organization as well as look outside for potential new employees. Some of the questions you need to ask are – what will be the skills in the future that my employees will need to possess? How do I insulate my company from pandemic-like disruptions in the future? What departments or jobs will my company not need in the next decade?
It is important to align your hiring strategy with your business goals and roadmaps. Do your potential employees have the skills, talent, ambition, and grit to take your company towards those goals?
It is inevitable that technology will replace or change jobs. The skills of the future will include adaptability to technology. Will Markow, who leads Burning Glass Technologies, says that “the companies and people who invest in the new skillsets driving this disruption will be best positioned to embrace this never-ending cycle of change and innovation.” Markow also states that hybrid jobs will be the future. This is an important point because hiring managers need to shift focus from talent acquisition to talent development. People with several specialties and astute generalists who can work across domains will be in demand, over pure specialists who can only work in one or two domains.
3. Design Roles based on AI impact
Of course artificial intelligence will change the workforce and hiring landscape but here’s what is interesting about it – hiring managers and employers need to use AI to enhance and nurture each employee’s career and growth. AI can in fact be used for employee retention and to better their contribution to the organization. A company that leverages AI and enhances an employee’s capacities will be ahead of the curve.
There are three aspects to AI. It is used to find the right people, it is used for forecasting, and it also automates and changes the nature of many jobs.
Most companies use the descriptive form of AI – to give them details on jobs, skills, hiring practices, matching algorithms, and finding the right candidates.
To go one step ahead is to use predictive AI to predict which candidate will perform better or contribute better to which role within the organization. So instead of giving you a list of 10 people right for this job, predictive AI can tell you that these 10 people are perfect and these 3 or 4 are going to do the best and contribute the most to the company’s long-term goals. Automation will deep dive into resumes and organize meetings with potential employees but it will be relationship building that will be the focus of hiring managers. They need to constantly work on the talent pipeline by meeting people outside, networking with them and seeking out talent from diverse sources. Companies need to understand the reach of their technologies and strategize accordingly. They should reskill and upskill their employees to address skills that will be crucial in the future. It is important that companies keep AI impact in mind when they design their workspaces and roles for their employees and use the right recruitment software and automate your recruitment funnel.
4. Be inclusive and bring Diversity into your Hiring Practices
Diversity and inclusion will play a huge role in shaping future hiring capabilities and trends. The top-down approach to diversity is the best one – making diversity part of the top management culture will definitely impact the rest of the company. There is more to the diversity debate than just representation, although that is crucial too. People from different backgrounds and with different abilities or neuro diversities bring multifaceted talent and different perspectives to a company. They also keep the company vibrant and relevant. It isn’t enough to simply increase the number of women or people from minority backgrounds in your organization but to leverage their talents, and to build and nurture their journeys within your organization. Social mobility is a powerful thing and it can empower a company with vision that can tide over challenges in the future in many remarkable ways. Global mobility to those from different backgrounds and an encouragement of diverse skills, such as interpersonal and intercultural interactions, also matter. Many markets of the future will be multidimensional, made up of customers from the unlikeliest places or backgrounds, and from different geographical locations. Cultural intelligence is a definite plus in an employee.
5. Focus on Talent pool Engagement
Whether you hiring from the inside or the outside, continuous and connected recruitment processes are needed to future-proof your talent pipeline. With the advent of social media, there are various ways of finding good talent, through various interfaces. These interfaces give you an insight into how adaptable the candidate’s skill sets are, what his or her personality is like, and whether he or she can be a fit for the company’s long term vision and identity.
As a recruiter who wants to future-proof the talent pool, you need to constantly analyze and assess skills, behaviors, values and competencies. Aim to provide quality experiences to your employees. Encourage them to work in concert with technology and make it a tool that they can use to take the company forward, with cross-curricular thinking and intelligent integrations. Organizations should look at succession planning and long-term talent goals. It is not enough to merely have a huge database of potential employees. You need to identify those who would be keen to work for your company and become its advocates, people who will become vocal and voluntary brand advocates in a vital and personal sense.
A good talent acquisition strategy is important to future proof a company’s talent pipeline. It isn’t technology or superior skillsets alone that will drive a visionary hiring policy but one that focuses on constantly building on the talent pool. Companies that do this will be one step ahead of the rest.