During their annual meeting in Davos last week, the World Economic Forum published a new report which illustrates the labour market of the future. While the adoption of new technologies is giving rise to greater demand for roles born of artificial intelligence (AI) and cybersecurity, the report also draws attention to the “continuing importance of human interaction in the new economy.”
No one is feeling the pressure of these changes to the workforce more than talent attraction professionals. The Fourth Industrial Revolution has finally brought the digital transformation to HR and most talent attraction teams have been caught off guard.
In our ebook, Hiring in 2020 & Beyond: Future-Proof Your Talent Attraction Strategy, we’ve compiled the emerging trends in talent attraction. Here’s an overview of how emerging technology is changing how we recruit and what we recruit for.
1. You’ll Recruit for New, Emerging Roles
As new technologies become more widely adopted, demand for emerging jobs — what the Jobs of Tomorrow report calls, “roles at the forefront of the data and AI economy” — is increasing massively, making an already competitive talent market even more cutthroat. The World Economic Forum predicts that by 2022 alone, 133 million new jobs in major economies will be created to meet the demands of these emerging technologies. In our own informal survey, we asked about new or emerging skills that our clients are hiring for. Data science topped the list at 18%, followed by cybersecurity (13%), technology design and programming (13%) and machine learning / artificial intelligence (11%).
To fill the jobs of tomorrow, recruiters must get creative to find the skills required to support the future growth of their organisations. Look beyond your usual channels to new frontiers. Embrace “non-professional” social networks like Instagram and Snapchat to reach candidates where they spend much of their digital time. And don’t forget offline venues — attend events and meet-ups dedicated to specific occupations or skills.
Reskilling should also become a major priority for your organisation as many of these emerging job roles are under-supplied. Training and development for existing employees is a cost-effective way to grow your talent pool for present and future job openings.
2. You’ll Work with More Technically Savvy Candidates
The Gen Z-ers entering the labour market are bringing their digital sensibilities to their job search. Are you keeping up? They expect to find and apply to jobs in a few swipes and taps. Embracing the favourite online haunts of young talent is a great way to stand out from the crowd. Voice assisted applications are also on the rise, with McDonald’s leveraging Amazon Echo and Google Home devices to make it easy for candidates to apply for positions at their restaurants.
There’s still no substitute for a good word. Digital disruptors like Amazon have changed our expectations as consumers. As such, employees and candidates are more likely to share their experiences online via review sites like Glassdoor and Indeed — and seek out this social proof during the job search. What if you could give candidates the first-hand information they want in a way that you can manage?
Modern candidate engagement platforms let you mobilise your employee advocates to share their stories and experiences of life at your organisation — right from your career website. This content, which is far more authentic than typical corporate messaging, is scientifically proven to engage the brain and creates an emotional connection between candidates and your employer brand.
3. You’ll Evolve from Recruiter to Candidate Concierge
While technology is changing how candidates find and apply for jobs, it will also change your role as a talent attraction professional. With the emergence of AI-powered tools like chatbots, many of the repetitive, administrative tasks are being taken over by machines, leaving recruiters to provide a more human touch. No longer just recruiters — talent attraction teams are free to become candidate concierges, leading candidates through the recruitment journey with the “white glove treatment.”
This high-touch, personalised candidate experience is what candidates crave, and it’s more important than ever as the hiring market is set to become even more competitive with the growing demand for new skills. According to Talent Board, positive candidate experience during the recruitment process continues to drop (from 62% of candidates saying their experience was positive in 2015, down to 50% in 2018). This can have an impact on the business beyond hiring, with some upset candidates going so far as to boycott the company's products or services and telling others to do the same.
Embracing the ways that new HR technologies can create efficiencies within your talent attraction strategy will become more and more urgent to allow your team to make deeper connections with candidates.
4. You’ll Leverage Video for Interviews
Another technology that’s shaping the candidate experience is the rise of video for interviews. Whether it’s Skype or Google Hangouts to connect far flung candidates and interviewers, or an AI-powered tech to scan for facial cues, video enhances the screening process by eliminating time and bias. Algorithms can track, analyse and assess the candidate’s facial expressions and tone of voice without interference from human bias.
Beyond video, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and even holograms will start to appear in the realm of talent attraction. VR headsets have the effect of physically immersing a candidate in a workplace scenario, offering a better way to evaluate candidates, compared to the traditional in-person interview. Advances in AR and VR can even offer workspace previews that give candidates an idea of the environment they might work in, providing a much better overview than photos on the career website.
There’s no doubt that technology has a lot to offer talent attraction teams in terms of efficiency and ability to convert. AI in HR can be used across the entire employee lifecycle — for attracting, hiring, retaining, and developing talent — and will eventually become a must-have to stay competitive. However, chatbots, while useful, don’t compare to the real thing. Don’t get so focussed on the technology that you forget the value of the human touch in recruiting. Ultimately, a positive candidate experience — with authentic human connection — will do more to convert candidates into hires than any technology can. Leverage tech to eliminate administrative tasks and free your team to truly guide candidates through the hiring journey.
Check out our ebook, Hiring in 2020 & Beyond: Future-Proof Your Talent Attraction Strategy, for a deep dive into these trends and get tips on how to keep up with the changes.