At Talent Solutions, we help organisations transform the way they source, manage and develop their workforce to ensure that they have the right talent today, and for the future. We understand the challenges of competing for talent in an ever-changing market, but by sharing the latest market insights and trends, we can help you maximise productivity and drive profitability, despite unpredictable, complex and evolving markets.
Jill Bassett, Talent Solutions Operations Director, met with Matt Alder, host of the Recruiting Future podcast. Their discussion covered upcoming and growing trends in skills development, digital transformation and evolving employee expectations.
J: We know that the technology is available, but hiring is still reliant on traditional methods. Do you feel a cultural change is needed around how we think about data and its value in the recruitment process?
M: Absolutely, lots of organisations recruit in a traditional way, using ‘gut feel’ and perceived ‘culture fit’ in their hiring tactics. It’s important to understand when it’s appropriate for technology or humans to drive the process, but reliance on these traditional methods needs to change. Take diversity and inclusion, a growing area of focus for organisations; if you want to attract more diverse talent you’ll need a more inclusive assessment process, but falling back on gut feel and perceived culture fit are synonymous with bias, so there’s a real driver for organisations to make improvements.
Linked to that, digital platforms enable organisations to glean data that wasn’t accessible in face-to-face interviews, which can then be used to improve efficiencies of recruitment processes, candidate experience and diversity. For example, by gathering data from video interviews, you can analyse the number of questions asked, the types of questions asked to male vs female candidates, and consistency of questioning between line managers. Although mindsets need to shift, I’m optimistic that more companies will adopt these ways of working and use data to inform their hiring decisions.
J: At Talent Solutions, we talk about how organisations need to take a more holistic approach to their talent strategy. Traditionally, recruitment activity has been portioned out between different business areas – permanent hiring to HR, contingent hiring to procurement and so on – but how do you see this evolving as we come out of the pandemic?
M: Over the last six months in particular, talent acquisition leaders have indeed been working more holistically and approaching recruitment as one coherent strategy, not in different silos. This shift has been driven by the speed at which change is happening, high levels of volatility, skills that are needed and how rapidly those skills needs are changing. There’s still a long way to go, because we’re talking about changing decades of behaviours and processes, but the last 18 months have shown us that change can happen and be embedded much more quickly than many expected.
J: In the face of uncertainty our clients have built greater supply chain resilience to minimise risk to their operations. How resilient does the market look to you today?
M: The amount of volatility going on now and likely to continue for the next few years is off the scale. We don’t yet know how certain industries will recover or which new opportunities will emerge. Before the pandemic, there was a perception that organisations were looking holistically at talent and skills, but the need for that has become critical now.
Being able to flex workforces up or down, access critical skills through different workforce models and bring new skills into a business is critical. Organisations like Talent Solutions are well-placed to help with those challenges.
J: Finally, as we come out of the pandemic, what positive change would you like to see embedded across all workforces?
M: It centres around employee and candidate experience, which embodies everything we’ve talked about today. If you’re using the right tech in the right way to make those experiences better, it helps companies achieve their goals; it increases productivity and makes it easier for them to have the right talent.
I’d also like to see a more sophisticated approach in the way employers use technology in HR and talent acquisition. There are some fantastic things that are possible in talent management, workforce planning and talent acquisition using data and technology, and it would be great to see employers really embracing those to their advantage.
To find out more about our Talent Solutions RPO and wider workforce offerings, contact us today.
This article was originally published in the 12th Edition of the Human Age newspaper – get your copy here.