New Recruiting Strategies for a Post-Covid World

HBR Ideacast 783, 9 March 2021

Lauren Smith, Vice President at Gartner Research, reported on key recruitment trends from a survey of several thousand job candidates and hiring managers. The shift to virtual interviews was evident but also 3 other trends that may be even more important.

1. A rapid turnover of necessary skills.

Pre-pandemic, only 29% of ‘last’ hires were sufficiently skilled to do the role and yet the evolution of skills has increased even more post-pandemic. The pace at which we work is changing which makes it difficult to accurately define roles. Organisations need to focus on the skills that they need to build the workforce of the future and not just replace the workforce that they had in the past. When someone leaves an organisation, they should not just dust off the old job description, instead they need to make a list of what are the emerging, evolving and expiring skills that are needed for the role. Organisations will then understand what they are looking for, not who they are looking for.

2. The need to expand beyond existing talent pools.

Where organisations have found talent in the past is not necessarily the best place to find it in the future. The move to remote working means that organisations are no longer tied to recruiting locally. Hiring managers can look at what talent they want rather than being limited by geography. There is now an opportunity to make a skills-based decision rather than simply looking backwards at what type of person previously filled a role. All organisations today are focused on developing the diversity of their workforce – an example of how to do this is to look at candidate potential rather than credentials.

3. The competitiveness that comes from offering an “employee value proposition”.

There are now new candidate expectations. Organisations need to think how they brand jobs and sell them in the labour market. Candidates increasingly not only expect companies to offer competitive compensation and benefits but also a compelling employee experience. To attract top talent, organisations need to focus on candidates as people and not just workers and talk to them about how working for the organisation can improve their life not just employee experience. Candidates will increasingly expect to influence the design of their jobs. Companies need an employee value proposition – the attributes that an organisation offers that are going to be most attractive to candidates today, e.g., flexibility, a degree of autonomy, deeper connections (understanding not only the employee but their family and community) etc..

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