The pandemic has shaken our understanding of normalcy. We don’t know what tomorrow’s “normal” will be, whether it’s putting COVID-19 behind us or learning to carry on with the virus. Those high levels of uncertainty complicate your organization’s talent acquisition strategy.
COVID-19 has accelerated long-term changes in work, from enhanced health and safety protocols to increased workplace flexibility. The pandemic also accelerated digital transformation. Since the beginning of the outbreak, 85% of companies have accelerated digitization, directly affecting talent acquisition. Now more than ever, enterprises need talent who can work with and through advanced technology.
Here’s how to prepare your talent acquisition practices to thrive in a fast-changing work environment.
Talent acquisition (TA) has to become less transactional and more involved with driving organizational strategy. As the function evolves, TA specialists will become more consultative with the C-suite instead of just filling talent orders. “The seat at the table for talent acquisition is much more in the forefront,” says David Napeloni, Vice President of Client Services at Korn Ferry’s Life Science division. “It’s not ‘tell us who to hire’ so much as ‘let’s start talking’ about candidate availability or what other companies are doing.”
A TA consultant function can cascade from the top down. What a hiring manager wants, for example, often differs from what’s in a legacy job description. TA specialists can advise managers throughout the process, Napeloni suggests, and work with hiring managers to determine their precise needs and source that talent.
Agility is essential in the face of uncertainty. Most organizations recognize that their structures and processes could look different next year than they do today. Traditionally, hiring has focused on long-term employees supported by temporary workers on an as-needed basis. But moving forward in an uncertain economy, companies should maintain a blend of full-time and interim staff to ensure flexibility in meeting business needs, suggests Beth Sears, Metro Market Manager at Robert Half.
In the past, temporary workers have been brought on mainly during busy seasons, but they are an excellent long-term tactic for maintaining agility. “By bringing temporary employees on board, companies can ease the burden on their core team while keeping critical projects moving forward,” Sears says. “This show of support for overwhelmed and time-strapped employees can also help boost retention.” Building temporary workers into your talent strategy allows you to respond nimbly in the face of change.
Moving forward in 2020 and beyond, we can expect to see higher adoption of recruitment marketing techniques. Over time, as unemployed candidates return to work, talent will once again be hard to find. TA consultants can provide value around what other organizations are offering so your enterprise organization can remain competitive in the job market, Napeloni says. This information will guide the development of differentiating employee benefits and experiences that will become your employer brand’s hallmark.
Unique employee experiences must go beyond offering increased financial incentives, Napeloni says. Candidates today are looking for organizations whose values align with their own. Most candidates actively desire employers that are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion, for example. In addition to offering competitive pay and flexible hours, enterprise organizations will need to demonstrate their commitment to an equitable, ethical culture.
Talent acquisition is poised to take on an interactive, strategic role as we move forward in 2020 and beyond. In an uncertain economy, enterprises need to make the right hiring decisions quickly without increasing financial risk. TA consultants can help you lay the groundwork and attract the talent your enterprise needs to remain agile during times of disruption.
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