The future of recruitment
Digitisation is transforming industries all over the world. New jobs and skills are emerging every day, while others are becoming obsolete. No one can be certain what the future holds, but we can be sure of one thing – new workforce strategies will be required, to ensure both workers and organisations thrive.
John Kinderman, Director at Brook Street, said: “The recruitment industry has changed countless times in the past – newspaper advertising was replaced by job boards, rolodexes were replaced by databases, and much more. The difference now is that change is happening at an unprecedented speed and scale, and the pace is set to accelerate.
“As the recruitment industry embraces artificial intelligence and other innovations, we can expect many tasks to be automated. But this doesn’t mean that recruitment and talent acquisition teams will no longer be required. Instead, it means that the role of recruiters is transforming and they have the opportunity to bring increased value to their organisations.
“In the years ahead, technology will take care of routine hiring tasks, so that recruiters can focus their time and attention on more fulfilling responsibilities which give more value to hiring managers and candidates. With the right skills and mindset, recruiters won’t be replaced by technology. They’ll augment it, challenge it, and harness its power to deliver a more efficient, streamlined hiring service.”
We can’t slow the rate of technological advance. But recruitment teams can adapt their approach to hiring to ensure they remain effective in their roles. In this article, we examine several different ways the recruitment industry is transforming, and how this will impact recruitment and talent acquisition teams on the ground.
Human strengths will be more important than ever
Recruiters will need to combine human strengths with digital know-how. They’ll have to quickly adapt to new technologies, systems and platforms. They’ll also be required to be a great communicator, problem solver and collaborator, so they can connect the right individuals to the right roles. With the optimal skills mix, recruiters will augment – rather than compete – with technology.
Recruiters will need learnability
As hiring processes are increasingly automated, recruiters will require an appetite for continuous skills development to be able to adapt to new ways of working. While existing skills, abilities and knowledge are important, they won’t be as important as someone’s capacity to learn and adapt. To stay employable throughout their career, recruiters need learnability – the desire and ability to develop in-demand skills.
Screening candidates’ skills will change, too
Organisations are looking for workers with the right blend of hard and soft skills, but soft skills are subjective and difficult to assess. Recruiters will be challenged to think differently about how they uncover the strengths and weaknesses of applicants. And, as the skill requirements of organisations change, recruiters will need to be inquisitive and immerse themselves in emerging business areas, to become closely familiar with evolving skill demands.
New talent pools need to be embraced
In this tight labour market, recruiters will need to consider the potential of candidates who don’t currently possess the full range of capabilities required for a particular position, but whose skills gaps can be filled through training and development. For example, individuals that have had a career break may simply require support in getting up to speed in recent industry developments. These candidates represent a rich pool of talent that can be tapped to help alleviate skill shortages.
Changing organisational expectations must be met
Organisations want to increasingly embrace different, non-traditional types of employment – including contractors, freelancers, gig workers and outsourced services. They don’t want to limit their options when recruiting, and want to consider the entire labour market, regardless of employment status. Recruitment teams ought to think holistically about how they support hiring across multiple types of employment, to ensure they continue to deliver the talent their organisation demands.
Effective use of data will set recruitment teams apart
Today, most conversations between recruiters and hiring managers focus on metrics that provide transactional-level insight into hiring: the number of roles filled, time-to-fill, attrition, and so on. These metrics explain what happened, but not why or how those trends have come about. In the future of recruitment, improved talent analytics will be required that will allow recruiters to predict success, rather than just reflect on it.
Candidates are in the driving seat
Candidates want recruiters to do more than simply connect them to jobs. They want value, choice, and a personalised approach that will help them progress their careers and lives. It’s critical that recruiters align their approach to the expectations of the people they wish to attract. Whether someone is successful in their application or not, delivering a compelling candidate experience has never been more important. This will enable them to build the trust and loyalty that will keep them engaged in the future.
Attraction is evolving
Gone are the days where a single advert posted on a job board would result in crowds of jobseekers knocking on your door. Job boards still have an important role to play, but they are just one weapon in a recruiter’s arsenal. New technologies and applications are emerging every day, and it’s important for recruiters to think carefully and creatively about how best to harness these new communication channels, to ensure they can effectively reach in-demand talent.
Digital candidate experience will speak volumes
Many recruitment teams are experimenting with using chatbots to have preliminary conversations with candidates. This is a low-cost, responsive way to answer and ask lots of questions, allowing recruiters to focus their time on tasks that add more value to organisations and candidates. Transparency is critical, though, since chatbots masquerading as human beings will certainly weaken a recruiter’s credibility. With hiring processes becoming increasingly automated, personal interaction holds more value than ever before.
This article first appeared in the ninth edition of The Human Age Newspaper.