Attracting the best talent is the ultimate motive for recruiting professionals. In discussion with Mr. Adhiraj, Vice President (HR), ITC, we at CareerBuilder were acquainted with some innovative thoughts on how technology and recruiting would take place in 2015.
Excerpts of the discussion with Mr. Adhiraj Dey, VP-HR, ITC
“As technology continues to develop, can we assume that businesses will still be using recruiters 10 years from now? There are grounds for doubt, but it seems on the contrary that recruiters will have a highly strategic role to play in attracting and motivating the best talents for the projects, management and operations of the organizations they serve. One thing is certain, however: the digital transformation that began in 1995 with the advent of the Internet compels us to rethink everything.
Organizations and employees will have to reinvent their everyday activities, adjust their values and perhaps even review their primary purpose. Recruiting agencies and headhunting firms will be no exception: they, too, will have to undergo a radical repositioning.
There are nine predictions about the future of recruiting that are based on significant trends and weak signals that suggest three main hypotheses:
- Collaboration is what builds the collective intelligence of organizations. Attracting the right resources will depend on how promising the employer appears in cultural, experiential and educational terms.
- New ways of working are making people more independent, and more highly specialized. The best talent will set its sights on development potential, rather than immediate satisfaction. Knowledge workers want to take personal control of their learning processes and their professional advancement.
- Smart recruitment will shift from “predictive” to “prescriptive” mode. Real-time science and technology will use artificial intelligence and contextual factors to make recommendations and provide custom interactive content.
Between the extremes of realism and imagination, below are the 9 fundamental trends for recruiting in 2025
1. Recruiters will be the “organizational designers” of high-performance teams and assignments.
Freed of the repetitive administrative tasks involved in finding candidates, posting announcements and sorting through CVs, recruiters will be able to focus on simplifying procedures and improving the content and the meaning they give to their work. They will have increased decision-making power, and will have a strategic role to play in making assignments stimulating and meaningful for employees. Their sole purpose will be to offer custom challenges to workers. The make-up of high-performance work teams will also be among their responsibilities. Advanced matching indicators will enable them to assemble the appropriate personalities, experience profiles and learning potential.
2. Recruiters will be salespeople for “rich learning” and “career discovery” programs.
Recruiters will develop and supply accelerated knowledge acquisition and personal development programs. These personalized and adaptive programs will use MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), COOCs (Corporate Open Online Courses), online gaming and microlearning content. “Rich learning” will complement marketing efforts and will constitute a necessary component of custom-tailored assignment proposals. Recruiters will have to respond to the growing demand for new skills, and speed in acquiring those skills will be crucial in a fast-changing world. The speed of technological, social and economic change will demand a reactive capacity in terms of the upgrading and renewal of talents throughout the workforce. Programs will incorporate cooperative group teaching resources, both internal and external. HR specialists will demonstrate flexibility in negotiating thoughtfully designed packages to attract candidates.
3. Recruiters will define the organization as a social and cooperative “hub” with a distinctive identity.
In an age of globalization and standardization driven by universal integrated software (Ios or Android), what encourages identification and generates loyalty is organizational culture. Made up of highly intangible and people-oriented markers, it is what distinguishes one workplace from another within the same industry, or among firms of similar size. Employees will look for balance in seeking a job close to home with values that are clearly expressed. They will also develop cultural referencing through the interpretation of social and cultural factors.
4. Employees will recruit themselves.
Rather than applicants, Employees will be considered “invited guests.” They will be briefed on targeted, location-specific suggestions, career options and development opportunities by means of wearable devices. They will have been shortlisted for the assignment on offer. The goal is to reduce unwanted invitations, delays and the complexity of recruitment procedures and focus on integration, the assignment and accelerated development. A Employees who accepts a proposal will learn first about the nature of the assignment, and then about the organization itself.
They will develop accurate profiles of knowledge workers and consumers. Combine this with a genetic profile that is virtually free of charge and we will be very close to recruitment as a biostatistical exercise. Yet another frontier to explore!
5. We will consult our “represented self” to improve our self-knowledge and our recognizability.
The death of the CV as we know it is only a matter of time! The “quantified self” will move from the quantitative phase to semantic mapping. Each point in the network – a connected worker – will be identified by labels, representations, data links and hubs, skill sets and relationships. Our personal descriptive data stored in the cloud, updated in real time, drawn from many sources and accessible through many devices, will recall the “e-portfolio” concept of the early 2000s! Educational content will be offered in progressive ways to correct any weaknesses in the “represented self.” This “synthetic me” will also be able to gain more independence.
6. “Deep recruitment” will become essential.
Recruiting in 2025 will be the outcome of several eras. The most advanced stage will be what is known as “deep recruitment.” Recruiters will use data mix and machine learning services. They will use artificial intelligence, HR big data, neurosciences and digital measurement of our sensors and related behaviours. The data and algorithms produced by these tools will help us personalize our communications, automate processes and generate hiring and talent development recommendations Recruiters will purchase data, performance analyses and online content to obtain a quantified semantic visualization of the strengths and talents within the work team, the department or the firm.
7. Recruiters will specialize in engagement and social inclusiveness.
Recruiters’ tools will include personalization, close attention to candidates, genuine conversation, culture mix, the social contract and free engagement. Hiring people with atypical profiles, talents from varied sources and older workers requires skill in managing diversity and cultural factors. Investing in workers’ potential, recruiters will have to practise the subtle art of developing contacts, building trust and reaching agreement.
A word of caution, however: promises will have to be kept. Their role will include making sure that initial coaching and development contracts provide an optimum experience. Some organizations could usefully apply their ability to identify learning potential and versatility and benefit from their development programs in order to provide opportunities for candidates with less recent labour market experience.
8. Recruiters will be engaged in re-recruitment and longitudinal recruitment.
Re-recruitment will be based on a comprehensive policy of employee development referred to as “leave, learn and come back.” Learning can be more successful outside the company. Remember that over 80% of the workforce will be drawn from generations X and Y. Recruiters will have to be constantly aware of the occupational future of their contacts, and very well briefed on their career paths and needs.
To achieve early targeting of candidates and stimulate their interest, recruiters will use very finely focused contextual relationship marketing. “Re-targeting” involves a candidate who has been approached once and subsequently receives regular signals from a firm that is tracking his or her development in the medium term. The digital connection between candidate and interfaces can provide suggestions and assignments geared to the candidate’s decision-making cycle, as is now done for consumers. By anticipating a candidate’s intention to change jobs, it will be possible to attract him or her at the right time.
9. Measurement will acquire a whole new dimension.
Recruitment departments that have developed into aggregators of external and internal data will become brokers for HR, economic and social data to be used both by the firm and by the talents that seek to measure their success and progress. We already have devices that can measure the performance and well-being of employees and work teams in real time. These will be complemented by performance measures of the recruitment of individuals and the recruitment of synergistic teams that focus as much on candidate and team satisfaction as on operational impact. Candidate evaluations will have to be immersive and interactive in order to generate appeal and clarify development requirements. Evaluation of skill requirements will also be a key measure in anticipating needs and designing and planning development programs.
In the final analysis, measurement of the candidate experience in terms of simplicity, speed and sociability, the return on engagement (ROE), the return on development (ROD) and cyclical factors will be crucial in gauging the reaction speed and overall performance of a recruitment department operating under pressure. These indicators will undoubtedly be made public in order to demonstrate that the 8 previous points are present and correct.
The new fundamentals of recruitment for the future
Naturally, all these predictions will come up against resistance to change, organizational inertia as a brake on innovation, and social, ethical, technical and moral issues. We may nevertheless be surprised by how quickly the public adopts these new ideas.
Three things are immediately obvious:
- In HR as in other disciplines, the more technology becomes integrated, the cheaper and simpler it becomes and the less it differentiates between individuals. Thank goodness for digital convergence! Power will therefore lie not in connections, media or network access, but rather in the ability to acquire and exploit knowledge derived from data.
- The more information is collated by netware, the more transparency and intelligibility will provide free choice for economic agents, candidates and recruiters.
- The more science tells us about ourselves, the more in tune we will be with our physiological, social and emotional drivers.
The best is yet to come!
In 30 years, we have moved from the early days of personal computing to mobile Internet devices and the social and cooperative web. We are just beginning to discover the potential of wearable devices and big data. The year 2025 will see a transition to the semantic web, quantum computing, robots and organic artificial intelligence.
In 2025 we will see fluid interfaces that learn from our personal biology and how we move and express ourselves; myriad means of communication that work with our “personal operating system”; ubiquitous interactive environments that provide contextualized information before we even know we need it; software that adapts independently to incorporate a missing functionality; personal robots to provide us with assistance and – perhaps – love; and bionic men with augmented cognition for extreme performance. The HR craft will have been transformed, reinvented and expanded.
Don’t believe it can happen? The acronym “BRING” (for biology, robotics, informatics, nanotechnology and genetics) nevertheless accounts for a large proportion of the extensive research program at the MIT Media Lab. All these technologies are already in the experimental stage as start-ups in 2014. Technology suggests possibilities to people, and they tend to choose what they like. Only the 2025 economy will show us which of these predictions really holds up.
Let’s hope the creative thoughts presented by Adhiraj are panned out well in 2025.
Adhiraj Dey, Vice President – Human Resources, ITC
A professional with around 20 years of experience in motivating & handling human resources development functions encompassing like Manpower Planning, Recruitment, Performance Management, Development Programs, Performance Appraisal, Training & Development, Policies & Procedures extensive experience.