Changes occurring in the global economic context over the past decade have shaped the recruitment process as well. Specifically, new hiring practices have emerged due to a better understanding of employees’ needs and demands. In its recent article, the Harvard Business Review has shown the trajectory of HRM development, specifically, the way in which the recruitment process has been shaped. Though the pandemic has limited certain options, remote job openings have emerged, expanding the range of opportunities for the labor force and shaping recruitment.
The Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Labor Market
When observing the present-day labor market and employment landscape, one will notice the stupendous effect that the COVID-19 pandemic has produced on it. Namely, with the increase in the impact of the pandemic, the quality of talent scouting practices has begun to drop, leaving multiple companies with a skyrocketing turnover rate (“Reengineering the recruitment process,” 2021). Specifically, the hiring practices that used to be serviceable before the pandemic turned out to be useless in the environment of the global lockdown.
Given the fact that the levels of unemployment were already quite high before the crisis and only exacerbated after it hit, one might expect that organizations would not find it difficult to locate high-quality applicants for job openings. However, the specified supposition has not been the case.
A recent study conducted by the Gartner Company sheds light on the specified issue. Specifically, the study posits that three core trends related to changes in the labor force market can be isolated (“Reengineering the recruitment process,” 2021). The identified three trends prove that the current recruitment strategies are soon to be replaced with more innovative and effective practices.
One of the core outcomes that the research by Gartner has to share concerns the current shelf life of competencies required for specific job positions in applicants. Namely, the study posits that the longevity of most job skills is likely to diminish drastically in the future (“Reengineering the recruitment process,” 2021). Moreover, the overall trend toward rapid and quite radical changes in relation to employment issues and the labor market has been characterized by high levels of uncertainty, which also indicates the need to acquire new skills quickly.
Another notable change that has been observed in the labor market context concerns the significance and role of talent pools as HR managers used to know them. Specifically, though they have mostly retained their quality and consistency, expert candidates can be found even outside of the realm of the traditional talent pool framework (“Reengineering the recruitment process,” 2021). Specifically, opportunities for employees to acquire and train new skills while working at their traditional jobs have become quite common. Moreover, online learning classes have expanded the range of opportunities for professional development, allowing people to update their skills whenever needed.
Thirdly, the consistency in the demands of candidates has changed drastically. Specifically, due to the rise in the range of employment options, including remote jobs, people have become quite selective in their search for employment prospects (“Reengineering the recruitment process,” 2021). As a result, the notion of the employment value proposition has been injected into the present-day market, inviting organizations to compete for highly qualified staff.
Among the core factors that define prospective employees’ selection of an organization to work in, the opportunity for maintaining a proper work-life balance remains an essential one (“Reengineering the recruitment process,” 2021). The chance to engage in meaningful work that will allow an employee to experience self-fulfillment and embrace his or her potential also takes a vital place. Finally, the opportunity to exert a certain amount of control over how the job and its implementation are designed to shape one’s selection of a place of employment (“Reengineering the recruitment process,” 2021).
Remarkably, experts claim that the specified demands should be viewed as reasonable requirements (“Reengineering the recruitment process,” 2021). Moreover, companies are advised to focus on creating a robust employment value that will attract prospective candidates. The specified step is particularly important in the periods when unemployment rates soar, and organizations are likely to face substantial challenges in recruiting expert candidates. Indeed, in the context of high unemployment rates, employees are likely to be especially careful in retaining their current job, which means that highly qualified candidates are unlikely to be found in traditional talent pools.
The specified circumstances might seem rather drastic for companies that seek qualified workforce. While organizations could focus on building newly recruited staff members’ skills and, therefore, select the available labor force, the specified method is likely to cost a substantial amount of resources that companies may not necessarily have at the moment. To amend the situation, organizations will have to deploy two key steps.
Firstly and most importantly, companies must change their hiring practices to the ones that suggest selecting applicants based on their potential as opposed to the extent of experience that they have. While the latter will help ensure initially smooth performance, it does not suggest that a staff member will be able to engage in professional development and acquire new skills quickly. In turn, by choosing candidates who demonstrate high potential for growth, including quick learning abilities and significant flexibility, companies will create a strong foundation for incremental progress.
Additionally, the specified premise suggests that the approach to hiring practices should be altered. Namely, HR managers should hire new recruits based not only on the immediate needs of the organization but also on the ones that are bound to emerge in the foreseeable future. The specified design will allow companies to hire the experts that will contribut6e to the company’s growth and supply the services that will make it sustainable even in a highly competitive market.
Naturally, the task of hiring for skills implies dealing with a unique set of challenges. Specifically, testing for specific qualities that will benefit the company and help single out candidates that are capable of innovative ideas does not seem possible currently. Determining the extent of an applicant’s curiosity or learning agility is a major challenge due to the absence of verified testing tools.
As a result, a range of qualifiers that used to be in high regard among HR managers are no longer valued as strongly. For instance, the presence of multiple credentials is no longer a significant asset. The opportunities for self-teaching have shifted the focus of hiring values substantively. The proposed measure is also expected to lead to an increase in diversity rates in organizations.
Providing the employee with extra benefits that they cannot receive in other corporate settings should be considered an important advantage that firms should integrate into their HRM practices as the means of increasing hiring and retention rates. Specifically, apart from traditional free benefits of workplace lunches and recreational options, companies should offer their employees, including current and prospective ones, the chance to shape the workplace setting to suit their unique needs.
Another important point of building a value proposition that organizations can offer their staff members, one should mention the necessity to understand the needs and requirements of employees. Indeed, a range of companies tend to offer a generic range of benefits due to the lack of understanding of what their workers actually need (“Reengineering the recruitment process,” 2021, p. 19). Therefore, the importance of conducting polls and interviews that will shed light on employees’ actual needs, as well as examining the target labor market closer, are vital steps in improving the HRM approach.
The specified necessity has been spotted and addressed by many companies. For instance, the article points out that a number of firms use focus groups as the source of insights into the requirements and needs of prospective applicants, as well as the current staff (“Reengineering the recruitment process,” 2021, p. 19). The specified experience is worth taking note of as a critical part of maintaining the workplace setting attractive for the target demographic.
The necessity to abandon the traditional ways of HRM and recruiting strategies, in particular, is enhanced by a range of factors. According to the existing accounts, the pandemic belongs to the specified factor set and takes an important place in it (“Reengineering the recruitment process,” 2021). The transfer to the remote workplace context has shaped the hiring practices to a notable degree. More importantly, it has accelerated the core processes associated with change and encouraged most company leaders to finally recognize the need for change.
Studying the core changes observed in the HRM context will become particularly insightful when considering the examples of the companies that have embraced the transition to the digital context already. Among these, Philips should be mentioned as one of the leaders. Its HR manager, Cynthia Burkhardt, is responsible for talent acquisition.
According to Burkhardt, the pandemic has made the process of expanding the existing talent pools much faster (“Reengineering the recruitment process,” 2021). Specifically, Philips has started searching for experts in required fields outside of niche markets, finding talents in quite unexpected places. Therefore, the importance of self-directed learning as the vehicle for acquiring crucial skills in the required area has grown significantly, gaining the approval of HR managers.
The described changes have shaped Burkhardt’s approach to recruiting no a noticeable degree. According to the interview, the specified trends have led to Philips’ HR managers centering on the issue of quality and cost savings when recruiting leaders (“Reengineering the recruitment process,” 2021). Moreover, the development of a tool that merges different types of information, creating premises for a detailed prognosis, should be mentioned as a major achievement of Philips’ HR managers.
As a result, Burkhardt can make forecasts associated with an array of factors that create unique, company-specific circumstances. For instance, the specified method allows predicting the outcomes of hiring experts from a particular area on the company’s performance and the quality of decision-making in relation to HRM and talent management. Similarly, the tool described above helps determine the effects of recruiting contract workers as opposed to FTEs or recently graduated university alumni as opposed to people with experience in the field.
Overall, the described tool helps elicit a broad range of data related to the issue of recruitment, particularly the type of staff members that the company needs. Consequently, the extent of diversity within Philips has skyrocketed, allowing the organization to hire from different areas and expand the range of characteristics that its staff members have.
Additionally, Philips strives to maintain its HRM practices effective when it comes to addressing the needs of its managers. Specifically, Philips encourages their professional development, particularly the development of strategic thinking and decision-making skills. Though Philips is not experiencing a rise in turnover rates among its managers currently, the specified strategy is vital in keeping their job satisfaction and engagement rates high.
Furthermore, the application of peer support is used at Philips actively, which is believed to contribute to improvements in HRM. Specifically, the company emphasizes the significant role of collaboration by reinforcing cooperation between managers and experts from other areas, such as software developers. The specified step leads to an improved understanding of customers’ needs.
In turn, Philips’ approach to recruiting in a candidate’s market is characterized by quite prominent aggression and assertiveness. Moreover, the significance of adjusting the communication technique to the job opening for which an applicant is hired is emphasized. For this purpose, the company supplies HR managers with so-called battle cards, which contain crucial information about the company.
The process of hiring software developers at Philips can be used as an example. Having created a “software center of excellence,” Philips has created a competitive advantage by allowing developers to observe the entirety of the business mechanism (“Reengineering the recruitment process,” 2021, p. 21). Thus, the corporate purpose is aligned with HRM strategies.
Though the pandemic has affected the labor market to a certain extent, changing the approach to recruiting and reducing the range of certain options, the increase in opportunities for digital employment has led to the emergence of new recruitment techniques. Therefore, HR managers need to update their strategies accordingly in order to match the emergent trends and recruit highly proficient staff. In turn, the article published in Harvard Business Review points to the key issues in the present-day labor market, thus, allowing HR managers to build sustainable and cost-efficient strategies.
Reengineering the recruitment process. (2021). Harvard Business Review (pp. 17-21). Web.