(The following is an excerpt from our research report, “Global Workforce Trends,” which is available for free download.)
Competition defines all aspects of talent management in a market where demand outstrips supply for certain critical skills. Employers not only find themselves struggling to identify the people they need; they are also struggling to appeal to those people over the many other career options available. To overcome the challenges of talent acquisition, companies are getting creative about every aspect of the recruiting process, from rethinking strategy and technology to evolving the role of the recruiter. Flexibility, job requirements, automation, and recruiter specialization are all factors in the competitive equation.
Adapt to Flexible Work Models
In the past, organizations often made workforce decisions based on “how things are always done.” If a certain role was filled by a permanent employee, then any vacancy would be addressed by the hiring manager and HR organization searching for a new employee. If certain activities were traditionally performed by contingent workers or contractors, then the hiring manager would turn to procurement to help them secure flexible workers as needed. Today, companies realize that a more flexible approach to planning can help yield faster results and quality talent at a time when contractors or flexible workers may make up a significant portion of the workforce in certain fields.
Several considerations go into determining which model is best for a given talent need. What is the availability of potential full-time employees compared to flexible workers? Is the job strategic to the company’s core business? How well is the company positioned to manage the role? By taking time to consider worker options in light of these questions, employers can open themselves to a larger supply of potential talent. To answer these questions effectively, organizations need a view into the talent supply, and they depend on collaboration between HR and procurement, two areas of the business that have traditionally made decisions independently of each other.
Prioritize Job Requirements
In the past, companies often assumed they had upper hand in the employer-candidate relationship when it was common to have many qualified applicants for a given position. As a result, including many requirements in a job description was seen as a way of ensuring that only the most qualified people applied for the role. Today, companies realize that repositioning their focus to take an equal footing in the relationship is an important step to competing for the critical talent they need.
The adjustment to a better employer-candidate relationship begins with the job description and requirements. Instead of being inflexible in the job requirements, employers can focus on streamlining requirements and highlighting the skills and competencies that truly reflect the needs of the role or assignment. For example, does the “years of experience” need apply to every potential candidate? Often, the requirement is based on an arbitrary hiring manager decision and may prevent qualified workers from applying. Is remote working and flexible scheduling an option? By rethinking onsite and working-hours requirements, organizations open themselves to a larger supply of potential employees.
Build Digital Capabilities
In an environment of talent scarcity, employers are applying technology to achieve several critical improvements in recruiting capability. Through sourcing solutions, such as machine intelligence and automation provider HiringSolved, they can automate the process of matching jobs to candidates, as well as mining social networks to build potential candidate pools quickly and effectively while integrating with applicant tracking systems (ATS), candidate relationship management (CRM) systems, and HR platforms. Other examples of automation include resume review solution Avrio, and AI chatbot communication and scheduling solutions such as Olivia. These AI applications take up the manual, administrative tasks that have consumed talent acquisition time and resources in the past.
Together, the collection of largely AI-driven technologies now available to talent organizations can free the recruiter to build deeper relationships with the workers they seek. Those applications can improve the candidate experience by eliminating the communications gaps that have traditionally left candidates unsure of their status or the next steps in the process. Likewise, CRM platforms can automate interaction with candidates and drive communications and marketing across social media channels, helping to support the employer brand message and improve access and interactions in a complex digital online environment. Rather than replacing human effort in the recruiting process, these innovations give human recruiters the enhanced capabilities needed to do a job that grows increasingly demanding as they work in a highly competitive market for talent.