Daily Top 5 Global HR News – 14 July 2017
We bring together from ICube Research and published news, a summary of 5 items that are contemporary.
1. Can recruitment technology keep pace with the gig economy?
The recruitment market is facing some serious growing pains. From increasing restrictions on the use of offshore talent to technology that can perform tasks once completed by humans, many are asking if recruitment will be able to keep pace with the increased competition for talent.
Currently, most HR technology is centered on improving efficiencies and task management. But what’s next?
Can all this innovation win the war for talent?
During the 2017 Engage conference hosted by Bullhorn, around 1,000 recruitment professionals were polled about the challenges the face. The resulting report revealed that 67% of recruiting pros believe automation will actually help promote top talent by freeing them up from tasks such as scheduling and screening candidates.
The remaining 33% said they planned to replace a portion of their staff with technology to reduce administrative costs. On top of all this innovation, the rapidly expanding gig economy is providing opportunities for more than half of these recruiters to partner with digital staffing platforms, but around 43% said they view online talent platforms as counterproductive because of increased competition for the top talent.
So how can companies approach candidates in a competitive market? Jerome Ternynck, founder and CEO of SmartRecruiters, a SaaS talent acquisition company headquartered in Los Angeles, shared with HR Dive how important it is to think of candidates like they are customers.
“Start looking at recruiting like marketing. If you want to attract the best talent, then the company must put more investment in time and money behind the effort,” he said.
Recruiting in the new gig economy
With the increasing use of freelance workers instead of traditional hires, companies are shifting how they view talent in the first place. In exchange, new technologies are emerging to serve that population.
Anil Dharni, the CEO of Sense, told HR Dive that the company is focused on heading off worker churn, which he says, “is the single biggest problem staffing agencies face. Up to 15% of workers leave before a job starts, up to 20% leave before the job ends, and just 10-30% get re-deployed once a job ends.”
Dharni noted that independent workers are prime candidates for better communication technologies.
“Gig workers make up a bigger chunk of the U.S. workforce every year, but haven’t been as much of the focus of new HR technologies,” he said. “As this workforce continues to grow, I expect to see more HR technologies focused on their onboarding, engagement, learning and career planning[.]”
Evidence from various surveys show this is the case. The McKinsey Global Institute surveyed 8,000 adults from the USA and Europe, to find that approximately 162 million people (around 20-30% of the global working-age population) regularly perform some kind of independent work. An Intuit survey placed the percentage of gig workers closer to 34% for the U.S., mostly because of the rise of online and mobile platforms that make remote work possible. By the year 2020, Intuit predicts there will be around 7.7 million Americans freelancing (up from 4 million currently).
Thinking of recruitment technology as a sales tool
Recruitment technology that enhances the brand marketing of an organization can provide the edge that employers need to remain competitive. This applies to the gig economy too, which is made up of an “entirely different set of values and an entrepreneurial mindset,” Corey Berkey, the Director of HR for JazzHR, said.
“Companies need to embrace technology tools in order to cater to the needs of Gen Y and Z candidates. These are digital natives who have certain expectations about working in a modern world,” Berkey added.
Recruiters have to face the facts that new technology and changes in the way people work are inevitable in today’s economy. The companies that embrace and integrate new technology to augment current systems will be able to compete for the best talent, leaving those that refuse change in the dust.
2. Five HR solutions needed this financial year
With the start of the new financial year, many Australian organisations are in the midst of reviewing and refreshing their workplace practices and culture.
In response to this, global HR think-tank Reventure has devised five strategies that address the workplace challenges organisations will face this financial year.
These five HR solutions have been comprised from two recent research pieces, Delivering Purpose and Meaning and Renewing Australian Workplaces, which takes a closer look at 2017 workplaces, said Dr Lindsay McMillan, lead researcher for Reventure’s campaign a future that works.
“Workers are the most valuable asset of any workplace and as such, the financial year should also mark a time when leaders take a closer look at their workplaces and renew them for next year,” said McMillan.
“Increasing productivity is no longer viewed in archaic terms such as longer working hours but how the workplace can effectively understand and harness employee’s individual talents.
“Each year, the bottom line is the focus of reporting and the measurement of success – leaving little time for visionary thinking or employee development which can also genuinely grow the organisation.”
Reventure offer the following five strategies to address workplace challenges:
1. Talk in terms of purpose not results – a common pitfall among organisations is to solely motivate workers with financial outcomes or competition. With our research finding that the next generation is increasingly looking for purpose at work, leaders will need to actively foster an understanding of how an employee’s personal attributes such as their abilities and values uniquely equip them to do their work well.
2. Articulate a narrative – while understanding what drives your employees, make sure your organisation has a purpose to which employees can align themselves to. This doesn’t have to be a struggling rags-to-riches organisational story, but simply what makes your organisation and your workplace different.
3. Goals are better than roles – job descriptions are over, it is time for job landscapes. Instead of a list of KPIs and direct reports, job landscapes outlines a list of end goals assigned to an employee and the way in which these goals interconnect and relate to the goals of others. This promotes a more connected and understanding workplace culture.
4. Follow the leader – in this rapidly changing work landscape, business leaders and managers often set and model the workplace culture. Organisations must ensure they equip this executive level with the soft skills of transformational leadership in which leaders work with employees to identify needed change, create a vision forward and executes the change.
5. Resurrect creativity – in a bid to complete work efficiently, creativity and innovation can often take a backseat. Carefully select teams for projects to ensure workers collaborate and learn from others with different skills sets or encourage workplace huddles which allows for short bursts of creative internal input to solve problems.
3. How will the growth of AI impact the HR and recruitment sectors?
Artificial intelligence (AI) is well and truly on the rise across many sectors and industries. In fact, there’s probably been a point where you’ve asked yourself: “could my job be taken over by a robot?”.
For recruiters, this could be an extremely likely possibility.
Research into the HR and recruitment industries has found that 70% of HR managers believe the recruitment process would be more effective if it were more data-driven and, because of the technological advances in the industry, an increase in the use of AI would be an obvious solution to this problem.
However, many could argue that an increase in AI will lead to jobs being put at risk – but should we simply embrace this change and prepare for new roles to open up within the sector?
Adview expects AI to transform the industry in three ways:
1. AI can be used to reach a larger pool of skilled and talented candidates
A human recruiter’s manual ability to carry out candidate searches is much more limited than AI’s. All recruiters know that an effective way of finding out about a candidate’s attitudes, interests and values is through their social media profiles but AI can take this one step further.
AI technology can analyse a wide variety of words used in any given candidate’s social media posts, making it an extremely useful tool for narrowing down the talent pool during the early stages of the recruitment process. But, this doesn’t mean that a recruiter’s role becomes futile – it simply allows them to spend more time on worthwhile and valuable activities whilst AI undertakes candidate screening tasks.
By using AI in the candidate search process, any risk of unconscious bias on the recruiter’s behalf is reduced. Instead, AI can ensure that recruiters focus on the candidate’s expertise and skills so the most talented applicants shine through, benefitting both the individual and the recruiter.
Whilst it could be argued that AI will mean it’s the end of the line for recruiters as the technology will be enhancing and improving efficiency in the recruitment process, it’s important to remember that AI doesn’t have the advantage of experiencing emotions that humans do. Humans have an innate ability to judge character and personality, meaning the need for manual screening when selecting the right candidates will always be necessary.
2. The job candidate experience will be improved by AI
The process of searching for a job, applying for it and waiting to hear back – and often getting radio silence – can be painfully long and stressful for job seekers, especially if the business or recruitment agency they are applying through has an inefficient process.
It is equally as important for a job candidate to feel impressed by the business they are applying to, as it is for the company to feel like the candidate is perfect for the role. If a job applicant has to wait two weeks to find out their application has been accepted, another two weeks to schedule an interview and a further three weeks to find out if they’ve landed the job, there’s a strong chance they’ll be discouraged.
At the very least, they’ll now have a negative perception of the company but they could also have spent that time talking themselves out of wanting the job. However, AI can reduce this processing time; with the use of technology, businesses and recruitment agencies can improve the candidate experience and prevent them from becoming disengaged.
According to findings from a recent survey by Software Advice, 41% of job hunters have put their negative candidate experience down to being unable to contact a recruiter. Chatbot software, such as Mya, enables job applications to be reviewed for the mandatory criteria immediately; instead of waiting two weeks to hear feedback from a recruiter, candidates can find out in a matter of minutes whether they have been accepted for the next stage of the process.
Due to the high volume of CVs and applications recruiters receive, it means that it is almost impossible to provide feedback to an applicant in such a short space of time. AI technology means that the time of uncertainty for the candidate, whilst they wait to be contacted, is significantly reduced.
3. AI will be used to discreetly identify and keep track of job seekers’ behaviour trends and patterns
Even before the initial candidate screening stage, AI is already hard at work. Through analysing data, algorithms and trends, AI can pick up on the behaviour of active job seekers. If someone is spending a significant amount of time searching for ‘marketing jobs’ on a job board website, AI will track and learn this pattern and target the job seeker with relevant marketing jobs.
Not only can AI reach active job seekers, it also has the ability to target those who may not be actively searching for a new job or career; AI software can analyse data from social media to learn when a user might be leaving their job, looking for work or changing career.
For human recruiters, staying on top of job hunters’ trends and patterns can be a time consuming process, but AI can take on this role and reduce the manual investment. A recruiter’s ability to follow up with candidates can only go as far as phone calls and emails (apart from stalking LinkedIn and Twitter profiles) which, again, is a timely process, and often not appreciated by the candidate.
AI’s ability to discreetly track and spot candidates’ behaviour patterns is a win win situation for both recruiter and candidate; recruiters have more time to focus on reaching the most suitable candidates, and job seekers don’t find themselves inundated with follow up calls.
So, will the growth of AI eventually mean recruiters will be completely replaced by AI?
Google have already introduced Cloud Jobs API, which works to improve the recruitment process by matching “job seeker preferences with relevant job listings based on sophisticated classifications and relational models”, and we can only expect to see more companies and recruitment agencies following suit.
It’s likely that recruiters will find themselves relying on AI more and more over the coming years as the amount of depth and efficiency it can bring to the recruitment industry is phenomenal. But, it could eventually lead to jobs being replaced.
It can be argued that a human’s ability to feel emotion and assess character is something that AI cannot compete with, so humans will always be needed as part of the recruitment process. A recruiter’s time and effort can often be consumed by low-level admin aspects of their role, so if AI can take over these tasks it shouldn’t be seen as a negative impact.
4. Ways Technology Improves the Human Resources (and Human) Experience
Many business leaders argue that technology is taking the “human” aspect out of human resources. However, from recruiting to hiring to connecting teams worldwide, the argument can be made that technology is greatly improving the human experience.
Consider the case of Sarah Wilson, director of talent acquisition and principal staff officer at the Toronto bookstore, Indigo: Wilson has been using AI recruiting software to help personalize the hiring process.
“We started using Ideal.com last year, and we saw results within the first week,” Wilson told me. “I think some people dismiss AI because they think it will hurt their candidate experience. We saw it as an opportunity to further improve ours.”
The HR director said she didn’t want hiring scenarios for her company that resembled those of most large retailers, where candidates hear no response. Instead, AI technology helped her team cut out many time-consuming administrative tasks. This decreased the response time for getting back to applicants and helped her team spend more time with candidates they wanted to meet in person.
While Wilson was able to effectively use HR tech to improve the candidate experience, in general a balance between tech and human interaction can be hard to achieve. Here are four ways companies can use technology to improve the human experience:
1. Automation leaves time for human connection.
Human connection is the end goal for business leaders, and HR tech is providing them the time to grow meaningful relationships.
“Both HR and recruiting professionals get caught up in the monotonous tasks associated with their jobs,” Mahe Bayireddi, CEO of Phenom People, a talent-relationship marketing platform in Horsham, Pa., explained via email. “Where many people view HR tech as a human replacement, I view it as a bridge to a very apparent gap between HR and recruiting technology and the human element the industry has lost sight of in the past.”
Bayireddi said he believes HR pros get overwhelmed with mundane tasks, making it impossible for recruiters to be more personal in their communications. By using automated technology, they’re able to focus on building relationships and bringing on the best talent for their teams.
Tip: Help employees be more productive and motivated in their relationships by first understanding what tasks are holding them back. Before signing up for automation software, ask team members what tasks are preventing them from honing-in on the human element of recruiting and HR. Then, research which software can take care of these tasks and free up their time to target the best job candidates.
Related: Why Tech Is HR’s Friend, Not Its Enemy
2. Provides more information
There’s no doubt that things move fast in a startup. So, leaders often forget to stop and ask employees for feedback.
Steffen Maier, co-founder of Impraise, a performance-management software company in New York City, said he believes that letting feedback slip out of view can be detrimental to an entire organization.
“The emergence of feedback apps helped to change this by encouraging employees to ask for feedback when they need it, instead of waiting for an annual review,” Maier said via email. “Creating an environment in which it’s okay to ask for feedback, whether from your manager, reports or colleagues, means that information flows more freely throughout the organization.”
Enhancing feedback, especially by offering the option of anonymity, gives managers the information they need to have a more meaningful dialogue with their employees.
Tip: Use a feedback or communication platform to perform a company-wide anonymous survey on employee or organizational matters. From pay and benefits to after-work activities, Maier has improved employees’ performance and work experience by using their feedback.
3. Connects employees worldwide
The immersion of video in HR tech is fast evolving how leaders do business worldwide. Gayle Wiley, chief people officer at Lifesize, a video, audio and web-conferencing company based in Austin, puts her company to the test by using video conferencing for her recruiting needs.
“Externally, I use video-conferencing for interviewing candidates who are not located nearby,” Wiley explained. “Internally, it is my main communications vehicle for conducting productive meetings with our entire global workforce — for performance reviews, town hall meetings, onboarding of new employees, training and development and more.”
With today’s increasingly dispersed workforce, one-click face-to-face interactions are crucial in building the human experience. Co-workers who were once able to connect only over the phone or via email are now able to see one another and interact as though they were in the same room.
Tip: If possible, try the following exercise: Spend a few days communicating with people in your office via phone, email and on messaging platforms. Then, after a day or two of limited facial contact, connect with people via video.
Take notice of the deeper connection with co-workers that’s restored through your return to face-to-face discussion. Now, imagine the connections being missed due to the absence of these personalized interactions.
4. Improves personalization
With evolving tools, employers are able to take what were once limited standard procedures and create improved, more expansive experiences for their teams. Such experiences are especially relevant for employee perks and benefits.
Tip: With tools like Maestro Health, an employee health and benefits platform, employers are able to offer complete solutions in a personalized and simpler format. The platform allows users to be shown and to choose from a variety of health benefits to find the ones that are right for them.
5. Social Media Recruiting: 5 Recruiting Alternatives to LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a great resource for recruiters, allowing you to search through more than 500 million members to find your next top talent. But if you are finding that it is falling short, you might want to go a bit more niche. There are lots of different networks which have been set up for different industries, so try these alternatives if you are trying to find something that LinkedIn doesn’t offer.
1. Stage32 for Film, Theatre, and Television
If you need to hire someone for your next production, this could be the place to find them. There are more than 300,000 people on the network and they hail from 180 different countries. Each profile contains a headshot, portfolio, work experience list, and reels or past projects on display. It’s a great way to connect with people in the industry, some of whom might be winners of Emmy, Tony, or Academy Awards.
2. Facebook for Any Industry
We bet you didn’t think we’d be bringing up Facebook as a recruiting tool, did you? Well, if you’re looking to poach top hires, it actually offers a fantastic way to find people. First off, go to search and use the tools provided to narrow down your window. Make sure to use the ‘people’ tab, then add in parameters for role, location, company, and so forth. Once you have your results, here’s where it gets kind of clever. You can send messages for the cost of $1 to anyone you find in a search. Make sure that you start your message off by acknowledging that Facebook isn’t a great place for professional conversations, and ask for an email so you can contact them directly.
3. Doximity for Healthcare Professionals
Looking to recruit new medical staff? There’s one place where a lot of them hang out, and that is Doximity. It allows doctors to refer patients to others, send sensitive patient information around, and talk without the interference of non-medical professionals. In order to engage with them yourself, you can take advantage of their Talent Finder service at $12,000 per year. You can advertise jobs through this service and also look for consultants. The average rate of consultations through Doximity is $375 an hour, and they can be paid right through the platform.
4. ResearchGate for Scientists and Academics
If you are looking for someone in the research field, you can find them at ResearchGate. This is a site which allows scientists and researchers to exchange knowledge and also distribute their findings. You can message one another, share papers and data, give feedback, and offer solutions to research issues. They are looking to start introducing job adverts, but for now, you can simply send messages to those who you think might be interested.
5. GrabCAD for Mechanical Engineers
If you need skilled mechanical engineers, this platform is a boon because it’s where a lot of them spend their time. It’s an open source library for 3D CAD models, a series of collaboration and data management tools that anyone can use, and even a challenges section where members can submit designs for crowdsourced projects. Again, just look for people here and send them a message if they fit.
It’s possible to really narrow down your search without having to turn to LinkedIn, and there are other networks for other niches too. You just have to look for them – so if your industry is not listed here, try searching the name along with terms like ‘network’ or ‘platform’. You might just find a whole new source for your next recruitment drive.
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(The articles above have been curated from various sources but not been edited by ICube staff)