The world is still not relieved from the pandemic of Covid-19 and it is forcing businesses worldwide to adjust and adapt to the new normal. A Gartner survey found that 48% of board directors expect their business models to change as a result of COVID-19. Organizations are considering this aspect in all of their strategic planning and talent acquisition strategy is not an exception to it. Most of the organizations are experiencing shifts in their demand and supply of talent as compared to the pre-covid era.
A recent Korn Ferry talent acquisition survey revealed that organizations are struggling for answers when it comes to adjusting their hiring plan in these uncertain times. Out of 620 respondents, 70% are planning for short-term hiring only and nearly 30% of the respondents do not have a post-pandemic hiring plan altogether. In the post-pandemic world, strategic talent acquisition needs a people-centric approach. Processes and technology will become part of the solution when people first approach is followed. It has become more important that how recruiters engage with candidates and influence their experience during the whole process of hiring.
A survey conducted by Top Employers Institute states, looking at leading organizations, 84% of Top Employers globally take measures to align their talent acquisition policies, processes, and systems with their organizational value proposition. However, it is important to look beyond the near-term survival challenges and plan for talent acquisition in the new “normal”. Many organizations are struggling with the unprecedented attrition resulting in increased workload for the talent acquisition team. Along with flexible hiring strategies, innovative ways are being implemented in an effort to retain the existing talent.
There are few aspects that organizations can focus on to succeed in the talent war whether from a short-term or long-term point of view. Let us look at some of the important ones;
Speed-up Hiring Process
This looks simple but creates a great impact on candidate experience. Reducing the interview to onboard time by avoiding unnecessary delays can result in better hiring numbers. This will also result in an impactful experience for a new starter. The longer it takes; the probability of losing the candidate is more. So, wherever possible, hire the candidates as soon as possible. This will help in reducing the chances of candidate looking for more options. Appropriate support of technology in this process can fill in the gaps created by manual intervention.
Revisit Employer Value Proposition
Organizations need to revisit their offerings for the candidate encompassing monitory and non-monitory benefits. This pandemic has changed the expectations of the candidates whereby work-life balance, health, and wellbeing have equal importance along with monitory benefits. Candidates may choose organizations that promote these aspects as a part of their workplace culture.
The career page on the organization’s website is a common place for candidates to visit and apply for the published roles or show interest in future openings. Make sure to add language highlighting the actions the organization has taken to support employees and the community at large during this pandemic. Also, state any defined Covid-19 precautionary procedure for candidates, if in-person interviews are going to be scheduled.
Maintain Engagement with Candidates
Losing touch with the offered candidates can lead to disengagement and for future candidates it may result in creating disinterest in the organization. Whether the candidates are being offered or kept on hold, they need to be communicated regularly. Keep the communication transparent yet positive. Providing regular updates to the candidates keep them engaged and they would be keener to join such organization even for future roles. In addition to the candidature status update, it can include sharing of company updates, milestones achieved; news about winning awards, or any philanthropic work organization is contributing to.
Flexibility, freedom, and work-life balance are undeniably strong selling points in the current scenario and will remain the top priority for the candidates in post-pandemic times. Work from home was considered a new normal but now it has become the basic expectation of most of the candidates. In one of the study by Buffer.com, it is found that 99% of respondents wanted to work remotely at some point in time, and another study reported that 67% would quit their jobs if their workplace becomes less flexible. Offering remote working with appropriate technology support allows organization to hire from any part of the world. Flexible working hours and maintaining work-life balance can lead to less stressful environments resulting in more output.
Use of Technology
Since the last few years, many organizations have adopted various technological interventions within their Human Resources function. However, Covid-19 has shown the real effectiveness of the same. During this pandemic, where most of the organizations were working from home, going virtual became the reality. Video interviews became the norm and e-copy became the alternative for physical documents. In continuation to that, infusion of Chatbots and AI can help the organizations to stand out and create a great experience for the candidates.
Focus on Internal Talent
While it is assumed that the role of talent acquisition is to hire external talent from the market, supporting the growth of internal talent is equally crucial. The talent acquisition strategy should ideally include build, buy and borrow philosophy. Whereas buy refers to the hiring of external talent and builds refers to up-skilling and re-skilling of the existing employees. Exercising these programs in a correct manner will instill a culture of learning within the organization and can help in addressing future skill gaps.
Josh Bersin, in one of his articles for Human Resource Executive, writes the bottom line for employers is this: Don’t think about hiring as the only way to grow. While traditional hiring will never go away, sustainable growth will come from upskilling and redeploying people, redesigning the company for automation and scale, and investing in programs that improve productivity, wellbeing, and culture.
Talent acquisition is beyond just a recruitment process and should consider all the aspects mentioned by Josh Bersin as a part of short-term and long-term strategy for organizations to sustain and grow in any situation.
Note- Views are personal.