Daily Top 5 Global HR News – 18 August 2017
We bring together from ICube Research and published news, a summary of 5 items that are contemporary.
1. AI And The Reinvention Of Recruiting
Recruiting is getting a makeover — again. It’s undergone several since the emergence of career boards almost 20 years ago, and now the Fourth Industrial Revolution is propelling everyone forward to adapt fast with the race for artificial intelligence (AI) forcing the traditional recruitment industry to step up their game.
AI Is The New Electricity
In my work headhunting and coaching for innovation leaders, and previously working in consumer electronics and entertainment in the last millennium, I’ve seen technology change the speed of business — from the postal service to fax to email; from store shopping and library microfiche hopping to internet surfing — at all times dramatically altering industry and the way we work.
The arrival of electricity enabled entire industries to be born and created new ways to work. It took away jobs and made jobs. AI will do the same. Businesses that don’t adapt will lose.
The New Recruiter Profile
As a result, the nature of recruiting is changing and requires the recruiter to be a hybrid of coach, data analyst, design thinker, marketer and storyteller. I call this evolved position the human capital developer.
• As a coach, the recruiter will manage relationships authentically and with transparency — with the client and candidate always in mind — and be able to juggle goals and conflicting situations with finesse and professionalism.
• As a data analyst, the recruiter will learn to read data, ask the right “data questions” and search for the right answer to meet the needs of the evolving company with a big problem to solve.
• As a design thinker, the recruiter will construct a strategy and attract the talent using the current data.
• As a marketer, the recruiter must truly understand the company’s vision, goals and needs in-depth to be that credible future guide.
• As a storyteller, the recruiter will know how to tell a story to each audience using the data to help clients, candidates and colleagues see opportunity and how they can solve the problem.
Human Capital Developers
The mark of a recruiter’s future will be just how open they are to learning. It’s not only being able to fight 10 fires at once but having an attitude that’s open to learning brand-new skills — such as how to interpret data while also demonstrating ninja-level emotional intelligence (EQ) with an “everyone is a client” mindset. Just to make the list of ideal attributes even more demanding, recruiters must also understand the complexities of the company’s vision, goals and needs in depth — not by rote. The skills recruiters need to meet the demands of their position are radically changing and it’s not for the faint of heart, especially if the recruiter is passionate about delivering a service that goes way beyond the Google search results of “Recruiters are ….”
Whether recruiters want to adapt to this environment predicts whether they will have job satisfaction in the coming years. In reality, the new work environment will demand that recruiters become ready for a new era. They will need to learn new communication methods such as collaboration, transparency, sharing of information and the ability to work in networks, rather than hierarchical relationships. When machine learning soon becomes a part of a recruiter’s toolkit, the search process will be fast and the execution throughout will be heavily reliant on emotionally and analytically intelligent recruiters with superior communication abilities. Human to human superpowers will be most in demand from that point.
Talent Recruitment Practices For A New Era
According to Deloitte’s 2017 Global Human Capital Trends survey, 81% of respondents named talent acquisition the most important or second most important challenge. Technological advances such as AI, automation and cognitive recruiting will transform the profession and require recruiters to hire talent with new input from these systems.
The report also notes that while individuals are quick to adapt technological innovations, organizations typically move at a much slower pace. Recruiters must sharpen their interpersonal skills and focus on the employee journey as the human touch, or the white glove treatment, or maybe we can call it good manners.
For recruiters, it’s about adopting the coaching model on top of the AI stack of requirements. This requires building genuine relationships with talent and strong ties across departments, which means developing EQ fast. Recruiters who possess a 360-degree view of talent within an organization can delve much deeper than superficial job titles, hard skills and degrees to determine culture fit, agility and much more. It’s about being able to see beyond the data — and being human.
How to get there? Nothing cuts to the chase faster than doing the self-work with individual professional development work. Until today, anyone could become a recruiter. In interviewing many recruiters, I’ve found that too many fall into this role instead of it being a calling to architect a company direction with talent — and this is where this new phase will determine who succeeds in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Relationship management and the ability to accurately assess incoming data are becoming the chief aims of recruiters. The talent wars make recruitment a vital function for companies to win. Finding talent who can thrive and meet the demands of the digital age won’t be easy unless recruiters are willing to look at themselves and acknowledge the need for their own continual professional development to play an active and essential role for the company they represent.
Companies succeed based on the talent they recruit. From the entry level to the C-suite, employees keep companies evolving. This emerging breed of recruiters ensures the right talent for the company’s culture and vision gets hired, on-boarded and developed to keep companies moving forward.
2. How to Improve Candidate Experiences
The tenets of recruitment are changing, placing the candidate at the center of the hiring process. Not only are recruiters looking at efficiency and costs, they are using the candidate experience as a benchmark for high recruiter performance. There lies a logic in this. A candidate is a close and ongoing touchpoint for an employer, and how he or she experiences the prospective employer says a lot about the employer value proposition. The candidate experience can make or break the employer brand. A candidate who has had a bad experience will talk about it to peers, colleagues, friends—all potential candidates. Negative word spreads fast and before you know it, your company will have lesser applicants in an already cut-throat war for talent.
In fact, CareerBuilder’s 2017 Candidate Experience Survey interviewed people at both ends of the spectrum, i.e. 4,512 workers aged 18 and above, and 1,500 hiring decision makers to know what leads to inadequate candidate experiences. Here is an overview of what is best avoided to become an employer of choice:
- Lack of a fast application process: Some of the dissatisfaction cited was about application processes taking too long (28%), needing to customize documents for each job (34%), and” “uploading a resume into a system but still having to manually fill out fields” (29%). In today’s age where everyone wants everything fast and quick, this may be a huge demotivator and result in strong candidates dropping out at the application stage itself.
- No trained hiring managers: Hiring managers are often not trained or prepped by talent acquisition specialists, on how to hire the right way. Only 40% of hiring managers are actually trained, and amongst these, only 40% are trained specifically on the topic of relevance for the job and candidate. This leaves candidates with a bad feeling about the company, often dissuading them from proceeding.
- Lack of a good career site: According to the survey, 89% of job seekers feel that an employer career website is important to get key information. 24% said that the employer site, even if present, did not convey how it is like to work for the organization. Only 45% of companies actually portray the right work environment and give candidates a realistic feel of the employee experience.
- No tailored communication: The survey highlights the shift in communication preferences, with millennials significantly preferring email communications (57%) and Gen Xers preferring both email and phone communication equally (47%). Recruiters must up their communication means and reach out to people in the way they prefer. This means adopting new means such as text messaging, social media messaging, and video calling as an intrinsic part of the recruitment and selection process.
- No relationship with the candidate: A candidate interaction is not just for filling a current vacancy, but also potential talent pool for the future. Recruiters are enmeshed in the day to day tasks of recruitment, often subjected to the high pressure and time-bound commitments. They do not take out time for the things that truly matter, like frequently and effectively communicating with your talent pool at large. 35% of employers said that they did not work towards this.
- No use of technology: Applicant tracking systems and other recruiting technologies like background check have been around for some time now, yet recruiters are still sticking to manual methods. It is important to tap into the wealth of cloud and artificial intelligence and reap the efficiencies and accuracy that tech tools provide us. For example, the survey says that recruiters who currently use an ATS are 25% more likely to have a standardized process to help deliver a consistent candidate experience.
Over and above these specific pointers, one can see a lack of respect for the candidate. Only 49% of the candidates complained that their prospective employers treated them with the same level of respect and accountability as current employees. There needs to be a sea change in attitude, and candidates must be elevated to the status of partners in the hiring process, rather than mere spectators at the receiving end.
3 .Recruitment strategies: What works best (and what doesn’t!)
Results from the latest survey by Forde HR Cloud show that as many as two out of three business managers and CEOs may struggle when recruiting new staff. While some hiring hurdles are shared across all business sizes and industries, SMEs face particular challenges when it comes to luring talent:
- Applicant lack of skills and experience (50%)
- Lack of applicants (27%)
- Challenging salary expectations (19%)
- Applicants Lack of Skills or Experience
Finding candidates who have relevant past experience and can hit the ground running is a wide-spread issue for many organisations. However, it has particular challenges for SMEs who, unlike bigger corporations, often can’t afford the time and financial investment to train new hires from the ground up.
Lack of Applicants
This is one recruitment hurdle that seems to affect SMEs more so than bigger companies. It can be the result of a lack of vacancy advertising, a lack of applicant motivation to apply, or a mix of both. Small businesses usually have some of the best working environments and company cultures because of their small, family-like nature, however, they have to work harder to publicise themselves as competitive employers.
Challenging Salary Expectations
Here, again, small businesses can feel disadvantaged by their inability to compete with the big compensation packages on offer by industry giants. Often SMEs see successfully interviewed candidates turn down their job offers because they’re unwilling to accept the salary, or they can’t keep talent because staff find better wages elsewhere.
So, what are the best solutions to a challenging landscape?
The answer to overcoming many of these recruitment obstacles can be found in those small businesses who said they don’t struggle. More importantly, why they feel their recruitment strategies are successful:
33% of SMEs believe the most successful recruitment strategy for them is to place an emphasis on larger salaries. That may seem obvious, but it isn’t practical for all growing businesses who don’t have the large wage budgets that industry leaders do.
The pros of advertising big salary packages are obvious; you will attract the top talent to your business. The cons, however, are many – and not just because its expensive. Large salaries can cause resentment among small, tight-knit teams where there are big disparities in pay. They can also raise questions among clients as to the pricing structure of your products/services. Then there is the problem with increases, and if you can’t afford future pay rises, how do you keep employees motivated? Employing those motivated almost entirely by salary will harder to retain in the long run.
There are alternative compensatory methods, however. Some small businesses will offer a share of equity, so that key staff members have a real invested stake in growing the business successfully. Others will work on a bonus structure or commission in the early days.
However, there are other non-financial benefits packages which prospective job candidates can find just as tempting as cold hard cash.
Training and Development
The second most fruitful recruitment strategy for small businesses comes in the form of offering training and development opportunities. This is particularly noteworthy in light of the fact that “lack of skilled applicants” is proving such as issue.
If you can’t recruit them, train them.
Research suggests that employees want more training. If a potential new staff member can see that you value your team enough to invest in their development then that will be a major selling point for your business. Possibly even more than a high salary offering, short term. In fact, of all the non-financial motivators, opportunities for career growth are the most valued. In 2016, 68% of employees rated training and development as the most important policy their employer has.
This can play in an SME’s favour. Small businesses are often seen as specialists and their team working is less linear than the silo departments of bigger organisations. Marketing the diversity of the role and the opportunity to gain experience across a range of disciplines could help to attract ambitious applicants, hungry for development. Supporting the progression of ambitious staff will result in them feeling professionally satisfied and less inclined to leave.
16% of small businesses surveyed then stated that “access to recruiting resources” like third party agencies and head hunters helped them succeed in recruiting talent. This tactic can certainly help to bring more applicants who are more qualified, with less effort which could be viewed as a time-saving exercise. However, you get what you pay for and these services come at a substantial cost.
There are many resources that SMEs can utilise to promote job vacancies without paying substantially to do so. The company website should be the first port of call. With the job ad on the site, it is entirely possible to optimse the listing so it appears in Google. You could also run a small, locally targeted PPC (pay per click) campaign to attract local job hunters.
Free recruitment sites like Indeed are a popular choice, as are local or industry jobs boards.
Social media platforms offer a great range of tactics to take advantage of. Firstly, there’s LinkedIn’s Job listings and the ability to keyword-search for candidates and head-hunt. Meanwhile, 67% of recently employed people found their role through Facebook. Setting up a job ad is relatively easy and there’s a range of audience targeting options so your spend isn’t wasted. Finally, you can use Twitter hashtags like #JobFairy to promote the vacancy.
SMEs can even contact local universities, further education centres and independent training consultants in their industry who may be able to point them towards particularly talented graduates or individuals who are seeking a change.
As noted earlier, salaries are far from the only benefit potential applicants want to see from a prospective employer and SMEs are uniquely placed to offer some of the more enticing perks for modern workers.
Thanks to modern IT infrastructures, it is easier than ever to accommodate flexible and remote working. Other ways to promote a positive company culture include little gestures like birthday days off, “pizza Fridays” or quirky wellbeing stunts like office yoga. Not forgetting, ping-pong tables and ball pits!
Working closely with the surrounding community also comes naturally to small businesses. This allows them to offer partnership perks such as charity days paid leave so staff can give back to a cause close to their heart, or enjoy free membership at a local gym to improve their health, especially if the job is computer-based.
For those still seeking more tangible “perks”, new services like Perkbox are gaining popularity among SMEs as a cost-effective way to give something tangible to employees in the form of discounts, freebies and competitions.
In terms of recruiting, being a small business shouldn’t be seen as a weakness to overcome. It’s a strength that should be marketed with passion. An individual has the ability to make a huge impact right away and be seen doing so. To many, this is an exciting, attractive proposition. Therefore, when pitched right, it is entirely possible to appeal to and retain the top talent in an industry.
If there are any gaps in your recruitment strategies, try address as many as possible before ploughing time and resources into promoting the next vacancy. There’s so much you can do that will benefit, not just the hiring process, but your existing teams and the retaining of.
4. Why your employer brand is as important as your customer experience
Employer brand is key. While people may be attracted to working for you by the role and salary, your business reputation also plays a significant part in attracting top quality talent.
How well does your business appeal to employees, both existing and potential? While you may be focused on delivering great customer experience, it’s important to remember that your employer brand is crucial to your business success too.
While people may be attracted to working for you by the role and salary, your business reputation also plays a significant part in attracting top quality talent.
The process of recruiting, hiring and onboarding new employees offers a great opportunity for businesses to establish an employer brand. Set the tone right at the start and you can look forward to welcoming an engaged, effective and loyal member of your team.
How well does your business appeal to a potential employee?
Put yourself in the shoes of a well-qualified and talented candidate. How do you choose which companies to apply to? Which companies make you think ‘I’d love to work there?’ and which would you never even consider?
Candidates have a perception of what it’s like to work for your company, in the same way that your customers have a perception of what it’s like to buy from you.
What do you want the perfect candidate to think when they come into contact with your business? Does your recruitment, hiring and onboarding process reflect the values and culture of your business? Or is there a disconnect between them?
Treat your employees like customers
Employee experience should be given the same level of attention as customer experience. It’s all very well planning to impress new employees with a desk full of goodies on day one, but it’s important to present a consistent and quality experience to ensure that they walk through your door in the first place.
Good employees are hard won. If they are talented, experienced and a good fit for your business, chances are they will also be attractive to your competitors. During the recruitment, and onboarding process, candidates are deciding if your company will be a good place to invest their time, skills and experience, and whether or not they value what you can offer in return.
A poor experience, lack of communication or delays in appointing new employees to a role can mean your ideal candidate chooses to go elsewhere.
Make sure that you’re clear about why you want people to join your business and what benefits you offer. The more clearly you communicate your proposition and brand values, the more likely people are to engage and value what you do, both as customers and employees.
How experience shapes your employer brand
As consumers, we’re used to sharing our experiences, both positive and negative, about companies we do business with. The same is true for candidates and employers.
Word of mouth is a powerful and trusted source of information. It can both help and hinder your recruitment process.
Social media makes it very easy for people to connect with your employees and get the low down on your employer brand. Sites like glassdoor.com give candidates an idea of the questions they may be asked at interview, and also offer an insider’s view of what it’s really like to work for your company.
Why does employer branding matter?
Your reputation as an employer will be influenced by what people see and hear about you from friends and family, and in the press and media. If you want to attract talented and effective employees who will help build your brand, recruitment begins long before you advertise the role.
Technology provides many tools to help you run your business and manage your employees effectively. For a fast and simple onboarding solution, take a look at webonboarding. com. For a simple online tool to manage your expenses, check out webexpenses.com.
5. 3 Trends That Are Putting the Focus Back on the Human In HR
We use our phones everywhere — at work, on the train, in the bathroom — for everything from banking to spreadsheets, and yet, when it comes to HR tools, many companies still rely on decades-old, desktop-based legacy software that’s clunky and difficult to learn. But that is changing, and fast. Advances in cloud applications, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and high-level analytics may well rewrite what it means to be an HR professional.
Far from removing the human element, new digital tools enable HR professionals to gain big-picture insights and offer a window into an employee’s true potential. Here are three trends in personnel technology that will put the humanity back in HR.
The impact of the cloud
Perhaps the most far-reaching change to break into the digital scene in years has been the adoption of cloud computing. HR has been slow to embrace the cloud for fear of confidentiality breaches and lack of funds. No longer. HR team members now have the ability to manage most of their daily tasks online, from applicant tracking, to benefits management, to performance evaluations, to records administration.
For employees, mobile apps have also meant the ability to log hours, access payments and benefits from any device at any time of the day. That allows companies to tap talent all over the globe, and to work with more consultants, specialists, and freelancers rather than hiring a full-time employee to handle every project that comes up. Meanwhile, top-tier millennial candidates are naturally more comfortable with online platforms and tend to prefer — if not to expect — this level of access to their benefits and 401k. This makes the case for replacing legacy software all the more urgent.
Companies who’ve gone all in on customized enterprise HRIS may not like hearing that their expensive systems need to be replaced. However, the evolution of HR technology may make it critical to conducting business in today’s ecosystem. Machine learning should allow HR professionals to use more precise, complicated analytics to both report and predict key performance indicators. Such structures will allow teams to blend data from different sources, and produce more high-level, meaningful measurements — making a single suite of enterprise software unnecessary. Rather, HR teams will be able to pick and choose management software that best fits their needs, then “train” programs to read data from various sources, a possibility that argues against the usefulness of legacy suites.
AI will revolutionize recruiting
The integration of new technologies is especially evident in the recruiting arena — one place where human biases often blind recruiters and hiring managers to a candidate’s true potential and fitness for a role. Recruiting chatbots are already in use at FirstJob, a job search site for recent graduates, and in the US Army, where the virtual guide Sgt. Star has been conversing with potential enlistees since 2014.
It might seem inane to leave these kinds of delicate hiring decisions to a bot. The truth, however, is that AI is a much more accurate predictor of talent, better suited to read through the lines to identify candidates that fit a job profile, and perhaps even better able to recognize certain soft skills as well. For instance, HR SaaS startup Interviewed (recently acquired by Indeed) uses analytics-targeted processes to identify signs of skills like empathy, which are difficult to assess with any kind of hard measurement. Recorded field tests measure facial cues and speech patterns to assess a candidate’s temperament and personal skills.
Of course, the final hiring still gets the human okay. Likewise, Sgt. Star’s job isn’t to identify qualified candidates. Rather, it’s to field questions about the Army that can’t be answered by an FAQ alone. Recruitment bots may be the next generation of HR technology, but they’re not about to replace warm-blooded professionals anytime soon.
The internal startup trend
The rapid deployment of technology has also resulted in a fundamental change to the way organizations do business as a whole. Businesses today are “agile,” able to respond quickly to market shifts and new trends. Even large companies take a startup approach to project assignments and duties, so it’s not uncommon to see employees given more autonomy to wear several hats at once, depending on current needs. Org charts are no longer set in stone, but are living, breathing documents that need to be redesigned to reflect the multi-functional nature of modern employment.
The challenge is how to offer that kind of flexibility while enforcing compliance and tracking employee metrics, such as performance. By all predictions, advanced analytics will offer that ability, as well as allow teams to understand and visualize results from high-volume data sets to fine-tune programs and improve efficiency — and discover the true “culture” in their office.
If anything, the movement to digital HR tools has brought into sharp relief the need for a more thoughtful, human-centric approach to HR. This focus springs at least in part from broader trends in business, where high employee retention rates, morale and engagement have been largely accepted as the most cost-effective way to manage employees.
Overall, there’s been a “consumer-fication” of the entire employment experience. From recruiting — where companies might ask a potential candidate to create an Instagram post as part of their application process — to the gamification of tasks, and offering perks like a ping-pong table or access to a company keg, employee satisfaction is very much in the minds of management and HR alike. At the same time, employees can rate and review companies and share information that was once kept strictly confidential, like salary.
Overall that means that employees now have more power than ever to shape their experience at work.
These changes won’t happen overnight, of course. But they will redefine your role as a human resources employee, taking away much of the administrative burden and allowing you to focus on what matters: the people that make your company run.
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(The articles above have been curated from various sources but not been edited by ICube staff)