Business today is highly unpredictable. With the VUCA environment, organisations have to rethink their strategy to ensure they remain relevant. In this fast-changing landscape, HR and other function leaders need to closely align with business to deliver results.
Considering the increased focus on people capability and the asymmetric talent war in the market, the role of Talent Acquisition has become critical to organisations. Over the years, the talent acquisition function has changed considerably—from a traditional number-focussed and inward function to a highly quality-focused and outward one.
Today, the expectation from this function is not only to understand business requirements in-depth but also step out into the world to identify the right fit through innovative thinking. Technology plays a huge role in enabling this, so talent acquisition professionals can focus on delivering a supreme candidate experience—especially in volume hiring.
Right from the sourcing strategy to taking actual hiring decisions, talent acquisition professionals need to evaluate where the true need for technological interventions will work well for the business. Some of the upcoming areas where are huge opportunities include:
1. Going mobile
The candidate pool today consists of digital natives. Naturally, mobile is emerging as a platform of choice for sourcing. 80% of job seekers expect to do part of their job search on a smart phone. Talent acquisition professionals are not only eyeing active job-seekers, but using channels such as mobile-responsive websites and mobile-based applications to scout for and attract the right talent.
2. Utilising social media in the selection process
Recruiters are on the look-out for tech-savvy and contemporary sourcing and selection channels. Social media engagement can be used to communicate the Employee Value Proposition (EVP) to potential candidates. Recruiters can also use tools and scrutinise social media feeds of potential candidates to assess their personality. However, talent acquisition professionals must always be careful about individual-data privacy laws and make sure not to override them.
3. Building a candidate-centric experience
Talent acquisition professions are the fulcrum of the EVP. Communicating the EVP through the right technology platforms is a must to create a great first impression. Through Aon research, we found that communicating the employer brand effectively is the number two priority in recruitment, while gamification and an intuitive job portal are other ways to enhance the candidate experience.
4. Measuring business impact
All of the above need to be continuously measured and assessed to check whether the talent acquisition strategy is on the right track. There is a dire need for talent acquisition professionals to move beyond HR metrics and think in terms of business KPIs. They need to outline the financial and non-financial metrics, as well as qualitative inputs at both individual and team levels, before arriving at business impact such as productivity, potential, sales revenue, and others. For this, data mining and data analytics is essential and organisations must embrace people analytics.
So what does this mean for organisations and talent acquisition professionals? Here are 3 steps that the talent acquisition function at every organisation should focus on:
• Aligning talent acquisition strategy to business strategy
With the technological advancements and business support, the talent acquisition function needs to build a holistic view of enterprise-wide hiring needs. This will enable aligning resources such as people-process-technology effectively and deliver greater business impact. It will also help build functional expertise in the talent acquisition professional.
• Become high-tech for high impact
As technology is set to transform the talent acquisition function, it is critical for practitioners to leverage the power of technology to transform the recruiting process from transactional to more personalised and relationship-based. This means more customised sourcing strategies based on higher-value, transformational roles and building innovative ways of reaching out to both active and passive candidates.
• Focus on the continuous development of talent acquisition professionals
Building the foundations of a great talent acquisition team takes expertise and experience. One way is for talent acquisition professionals to undertake professional certifications that helps them gain a strategic perspective across the talent acquisition life cycle and covers areas like strategising, workforce planning, employer branding, sourcing, selection, and analytics. Only then can organisations expect to get the top talent they require for both their current and future needs.
As the technological, social and economic disruptions impact businesses significantly, it is high time that the talent acquisition function goes back to the drawing board and defines a game-plan that has business, technology, and continuous development as the key pillars. The role of talent acquisition professionals will take on a highly tech-centric flavour, creating a talent-pull rather than a push strategy to attract top talent.
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A version of this article first appeared in People Matters on 20 December 2017.