Recruitment reengineering is needed

The scarcity and retention of talent and the digital transformation processes have accelerated a change in traditional recruitment practices. Challenges that require companies to reflect on their business models and an opportunity to rethink and reformulate recruitment processes. A necessary reengineering, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In recent months, all over the world, there has been an increase in demand for resources, which requires greater accuracy in selection and recruitment. Competition between organizations is fierce, as the scarcity of talent is a reality that sets as one of the trends of 2022. A result of companies’ automation and digitalization, the contrast between the skills of workers and the demands of the job, the desire for more outstanding personal and professional balance, among other reasons.

The COVID-19 pandemic has spurred a paradigm shift in recruitment and talent attraction strategies, confirming their obsolescence. A recent Gartner study reveals three trends that demonstrate the limited applicability of conventional recruitment models.

Uncertainty about skills

The first trend is the uncertainty of what skills and qualifications are needed in current and future jobs. A 2019 survey of 3,500 directors found that only 29% of new hires have the skills necessary to cope with the role.

Conclusion impacted by hybrid working models and greater automation of tasks has brought cleavages and evident technological disruption within organizations. Alain Dehaze, CEO of recruitment company ADECCO, confirms that digital transformation and hybrid working models will continue to change companies. Additionally, this trend impacts, as already mentioned, the validity and adaptation of skills for roles in the medium and long term and affects the culture of the organization – from the leadership model, recruitment, onboarding, among other elements.

Human resources managers play a crucial role in defining a strategy for the future of work, which currently seems to be lacking for 68% of the managers. Company resources and the talent to be attracted are waiting for answers about what skills they need to remain employable, active, and valued by companies. Investment is required in attracting the right talent and a retention strategy with appropriate career development.

The Future of Jobs Report 2020, developed by the World Economic Forum, highlights the urgency in identifying which jobs will disappear and which will emerge, as well as which skills are relevant and necessary to face this change, always protecting one of the assets for any company or country – human capital. This study, already in its third edition, is responsible for studying the context of the world of work, mapping the jobs and competencies of the future, feeling the rhythm of change at work based on surveys of business leaders and human resources strategists in a global scale.

The critical question for businesses, governments, and individuals is under what circumstances the global labor market can be supported by the new balance in the split of tasks between human resources, robots, and algorithms. The technological disruptions already predicted have been amplified and accelerated by the pandemic crisis we are experiencing.

The automation of workstations

One of the study’s revelations is that the automation of some jobs is happening faster than expected. It is likely that in 5 years, 85 million jobs will change as a result of the equal division of tasks between human strength and machine intelligence. Technology integration impacts decisions differently: 43% of respondents intend to reduce resources, 41% plan to outsource specialized tasks, and 34% expand human resources.

If, on one side, we experience the sharing of tasks with machines, the robotics revolution brings good news: the creation of 97 million jobs in the future compared to the number of jobs that will disappear. However, job creation will be slow, while the end of some functions will be swift.

Digital literacy and critical skills in technology will be crucial for the emergence of transformation; however, despite automation and robots being better than humans in the speed of calculation and diagnosis, it will always be essential to have a human hand to contribute to the subjective and analytical component of the data as well as challenge creativity and maintain an entrepreneurial spirit and permanent willingness to innovate.

From this social and green economy emerge advanced functions in big data, data analytics, artificial intelligence, encryption and security, cloud computing, and content creation. Paradoxically, technology in a social economy state signals the importance of interaction and the ability to aggregate and interact with other cultures. Indeed, emotional and social intelligence are uniquely human characteristics, essential qualities, for example, in healthcare.

The future competences

These new roles are aligned with the top skills that will be predominant in 2025. Analytical ability, creativity, flexibility, critical thinking, and conflict management are the most sought-after characteristics. Due to remote working and the growing autonomy of resources, the learning initiative, the need for knowledge, and personal development are skills that have been reinforced in this pandemic period, as well as resilience and flexibility.

New roles, skills, and challenges require that most competitive companies  invest in reskilling their resources. It is expected that in the next five years, almost half of the employees who stay in their jobs will need a reskilling to fulfill their core function. On average, 40% of resources will require a reskilling of 6 months or less.

An article by the consultancy firm McKinsey entitled «Defining the skills citizens will need in the future world of work»," based on a survey of 18,000 people from 15 countries, reveals that “in this increasingly automated, digital and dynamic labor market, all citizens who add value beyond what can be achieved by machines, know how to work in a digital and remote environment and have the ability to adapt continuously to new ways of working and new tasks, will succeed regardless of the sector in which they work or their occupation."

The recession caused by the pandemic, the predominance of technology, and the consequent digitalization revealed the lack of equity and preparation of less qualified resources. The World Economic Forum report reinforces the role of the public sector in the requalification and qualification of the most fragile workers, with clear incentives in transition periods, education and training systems.

Despite all these challenges, in this study conducted by this international team, leaders recognize that investment in human capital development are crucial – on average, around 66% of leaders expect to see a return on investment in upskilling and reskilling within a year. Investment is also reflected in adopting environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) metrics that will pay dividends in the long term.

With a careful vision and involving the organization as a whole in this transversal transformation, it is believed that this will foster an increase in productivity, drive more outstanding personal and professional balance and favor the attraction of talent (even unexpected talent) and the discovery of profiles suited to new and future challenges.

Highly talented candidates

The discovery of this pool of highly talented candidates will not always emerge in traditional clusters such as universities. This second trend reveals an effort and willingness of people to informally acquire more technical learning and key skills outside their workplace. The hybrid working model and successive lay-offs have motivated this behavior and developed greater autonomy, being in line with what is envisioned by the study “The Future of Jobs Report 2020".

With the pandemic, the relationship between companies and their workers is undergoing a radical transformation worldwide. Perhaps because of this, talent retention is expected to be a present and growing challenge. Candidates and resources are discerning selective in their company choosing to work or stay. The employee value proposition emerges as the third trend. We are not talking about an increase in salary or career growth opportunities; candidates value reputation, proximity to family, and the meaning and impact of their work.

The pandemic reinforced these criteria and factors, which muscled resources with greater freedom and autonomy.

According to the World Economic Forum report, remote working is here to stay. Some 84% of employers are ready to digitize work processes quickly, and 44% say they can move resources to work remotely.

This remote model, which favors a more outstanding personal and professional balance, raises concerns about the negative impact on productivity and well-being. It is essential that digitalization also makes room to create a sense of community and belonging. Although 78% of leaders fear this model, the pandemic paved the way for this possibility; it was a reality and will be expected in the future.

Gartner launches two suggestions to companies to address the challenges of talent hunting:

They are investing in recruitment based on potential rather than experience. The question is, what skills are needed to be successful in the future? What do we need? It is essential to understand the existing talent gaps in the organization.

In this sense, other challenges arise: it is vital to redesign new assessment models to identify candidates’ potential, emphasizing curiosity and critical thinking instead of academic degrees. In an article in the Harvard Business Review, signed by Alex Haimann, partner at Less Annoying CRM, stated that businesses cannot continue to pay for bad choices and recruitment interviews based on obsolete questions such as “what are your strengths and weaknesses?", for example. He reiterates that it is vital to design an interview process that credibly assesses the candidate’s skills, aptitude, and above all, their potential to integrate with the company culture.

All this implies designing a more effective recruitment process, including questions that assess the candidate’s level of preparation for the interview, their critical and creative spirit through to evaluating their collaborative skills, followed by clarity in oral and written expression through to exposure to games with possible colleagues in the company to analyze interaction, commitment, and curiosity.

Work on candidates’ perceptions and opinions about organizations. Organizations need to understand that these potential candidates are aware, informed, and scrutinized before first contact. As a result of the pandemic, many candidates seek information on how organizations responded to it, how they supported employees, and other issues.

In a survey of 2,800 jobseekers, 65% admitted to hesitating and even giving up the application process when faced with some facts about specific companies, which they found unattractive and discouraging.

The world has changed. It demands “collaborative empathy" between talent (resources) and organizations.

For organizations, it is necessary to realize that a strategy is urgently needed. Work, as we know it, has changed. They need to prioritize opportunities and investment in their resources’ careers through qualification and requalification, allowing for more flexible working models.

For talent, the meaning the purpose of the work is gaining strength. Resources are more demanding of organizations and have acquired greater power and ascendancy over how to leverage their potential.

A mindset that privileges agility and precision is required. Agility in digitalization, in digital transformation. Accuracy in data management for a vision of excellence in decision making.

Agility and precision define success and competitive advantage in reengineering talent recruitment.

by Célia Barata – RegTech & HR Business Manager @Uniksystem

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