New Talent Landscape: In-Demand Skills And Its Impact On Recruitment Process

As in-demand skills shift towards ensuring complex problem solving, critical thinking, emotional intelligence and creativity, organizations need to rethink the way they are acquiring talent


We work in a world where the speed of change is exponentially greater than it has ever been, where the bright light of social media exposes every detail, where people costs and risks are escalating, and where automation and technology present ever-increasing opportunities and challenges to organizations. This is a world where people’s lives inside and outside of the workplace are complex and stressful, and where talent continues to be vital to a thriving organization.

Looking forward to the new talent landscape, we first need to answer the below questions:

· How are we as organizations (re)positioning our talent and culture to transform and grow in an accelerating digital world?

· What are the experiences, knowledge, skills, and behaviours we need to drive business growth?

· How do we support and enable the organization to become the hub of a larger ecosystem for work?

While reflecting upon these questions, one realizes that it is time for us to push boundaries to power organizational agility, unleash digitalization, embrace perpetual work reinvention, rethink culture and leadership and elevate HR decision science. From predicting talent shortages to enhancing the talent experience to making better business cases in the boardroom, all this calls to action to chart a new path forward towards prioritizing growth opportunities and preparing the next generation of leaders to transform the business in the future.

It will be important for organizations to recognize how digitalization and automation free talent from repetitive rules-based work, augment and elevate their “more human” skills and create demand for new skills. To empower this transformation and thrive in the new talent landscape, the need for competencies continues to grow. Automation, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, and nanotechnology are just some of the technological advances that are changing our way of work. As advances in technology and automation eliminate some jobs, while creating new opportunities, certain competencies will become more critical and valuable. Those competencies that can be considered more “soft-skills” or transferable behaviors that apply to a variety of jobs will become the currency of the future. Learning agility, resilience, creative problem- solving, digital dexterity, diversity mindset, deep collaboration, critical thinking etc. are few competencies that will allow talent to succeed now and in the future.

Being able to learn rapidly and flexibly is critical in a world where the half-life of skills is shrinking. It is important to own one’s personal and professional growth, adopting a growth mindset and the belief that capability can be developed through continuous learning. One needs to be open to new challenges and changing one’s ideas and perceptions in response to evolving circumstances. Flexibly using different problem-solving strategies and communicating with others across disciplines, gathering feedback on solutions and redesigning solutions until the best one is found is the need of the hour. Mastering new technologies for continuous skill development, “Thinking in data” to drive sound decisions backed by critical thinking is a must to survive and thrive in the fast-paced world.

Also, placing team needs and priorities above personal needs and practising empathy can help to foster synergy within and across teams. Collaboration in making decisions, possessing the ability to take analytic, creative, and iterative processes which will lead to desired outcomes, having a Diversity Mindset to drive Innovation is a must. The continuous development of the workforce is a competitive advantage and the only strategic mechanism that will enable the organizations to thrive.

As in-demand skills shift towards ensuring complex problem solving, critical thinking, emotional intelligence and creativity, organizations need to rethink the way they are acquiring talent. Roles are being redefined and employers are moving from traditional job descriptions to skills-based definitions, traditional recruiting teams must learn to adapt.

Few organizations are realigning their recruiting teams away from business units to talent segments, where they focus on recruiting for a specific skill set, few are outsourcing select talent segments to providers for additional support and expertise and others are moving from job-based recruitment to skills-based recruitment. The shift towards aligning recruiters with specific skills creates a challenge for in-house recruiting teams, which may not have the bandwidth or ability to shift to this model. In-house teams are struggling to keep up with the pace when recruiting for a large variety of roles and skillsets, as the number of jobs being redefined to adapt to new skills increases. It’s difficult for enterprise recruiting teams to keep up with the pace of change in HR technology. As, Recruitment teams have access to more technology, which should increase productivity and improve the quality of candidates. But in truth, it can also be overwhelming.

In addition to the challenges of the Recruitment teams, ensuring a great Candidate Experience has also taken centre stage. Candidates today demand benefits like flexible working and virtual work opportunities and have in-demand skills that translate across multiple job categories. Also, these candidates, have more options than ever. With very strong job growth and low unemployment in many of the world’s leading economies, it is becoming a more candidate-driven job market every day.

Recruitment marketing tactics must also evolve gradually to meet the requirements, with career sites recommending jobs to candidates the way online retailers recommend products to consumers, for instance. The right talent acquisition technology tool can also help provide a superior candidate experience. Today, many AI-enabled sourcing tools help recruiters find the best candidates faster. A streamlined application process can allow candidates to apply with just one click. Personalized recruitment marketing tools like chatbots, SMS messages, email campaigns and individualized landing pages provide candidates with the consumer-like experience they have come to expect online.

I strongly believe that AI-based Talent assessments can add value to the Recruitment process at large and help Talent Acquisition teams to ensure effectiveness, efficiency, and experience in the recruitment process as they continue the search for new-age talent.

(The given article is attributed to Ashish Mittal, Head of People Function, Aviva India and solely created for BW People)


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